"The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man." - Nathaniel Hawthorn
The Devil represents obsession, excess, and passion used negatively or purely for self gain. Often these are vices or ties that hold or bind us in certain commitments or even in relationships that come as the consequences of our actions. This card should not make you feel fear, but clarity and direction to see hidden obstacles that could still be holding you back from your initial path ahead.
The Devil represents details or aspects of life, though it may appear to indicate trouble, strife and conflict. We are reminded that we have more control over ourselves and the events than we might at first believe. It is when we are afraid and feel helpless that we feed the "monster of fear" and feel as if we lose control of ourselves.
Fear is the great amplifier of many situations, making it harder to understand the situation. Fear is the opposite of feeling safe, which is part of our basic needs. Our basic instincts are also survival needs like hunger, thirst, our sexual desires and needs, needing to feel protected, warm and safe.
In our lifestyles we override these basic instincts to the point where we lose touch with our own reality. We unravel our identity and create another based on what we feel we should be. We wear the mask to fit into the role of accepting certain beliefs or norms even if we don't feel comfortable. In this we give away more of our power, we forget our instincts, we forget who we are.
People tend to exchange their basic identities for a socially engineered and accepted personality, one that shows that it is socially acceptable to override your basic needs, even to the point where it is acceptable to exploit life.
The Devil suggests that the important thing to remember is that we accept ourselves, that we know who we are, that we seek to find our own truth and in turn release ourselves from the shackles of exploited control.
We must remember that we can allow internal balance to determine our viewpoints without losing perspective of who we are. We have more power than we think. The achievement is to always remain true to who you are without compromising yourself, because knowing this is how you free yourselves. Personal power can be claimed and new choices can be made or it may be that you have to live with the consequences of poor decisions and questionable actions. In doing so, you live your truth none the less.
When you are out of balance: In relationships a lack of balance can occur where there is an obsession with material wealth and showiness along with other destructive things such as jealousy, possessiveness, abuse, cruelty, neediness or manipulation. Losing the sense of self, you can feel a loss of personal strength, often a sense of powerlessness and that you are being controlled by someone or something else such as instincts, eating disorders, sexual disorders, alcoholism.
Medicine: Face your fears and try to see if they have any basis in reality. Look at how you react or feel about your responses in this area of instinctual response and identity. If you find inhibitions in these basic areas, try to examine them. Locate their source, and then try to let go and move on.
Mantra: I accept myself.