The Devil Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed

The Devil Tarot Card Meaning – Major Arcana IV

The Devil Tarot Card Keywords:

Upright: Selfishness, low instincts, passions, jealousy and resentment, Self-deception, Violence.

Reverse: Liberation, understanding, worker, disciplined, responsible.

The Devil Tarot card when appearing upright in a spread represents the hidden forces of negativity that are inside of you and in some way, help you to cheat yourself thinking that you’re imprisoned and dominated by external forces, ultimately out of your control, freeing you of responsibility.

The Devil is represented in his card by a satyr, a creature that is half man and half goat. In many myths, the goat was considered an impure and lustful animal. However, the goat also symbolizes the scapegoat, the person or thing on which people project their guilt’s and troubles to feel better about themselves.

When it appears reversed, the Devil’s card in the Tarot indicates a growing awareness about this denial state and that you wish to be free of this harmful habit. Now you’re more willing and able to accept changes in your life, and you can be more open to taking on new perspectives.

However, it’s not going to be an easy trip. You will have to fight against your internal fears and anxieties that tie you to your unhealthy habits. It is necessary to carry out a serious analysis of your life and eliminate those things that you know are no longer needed.

Description of the Devil Tarot Card

In the Rider-Waite deck, The Devil Tarot card occupies the XV position right between The Temperance equilibrium and The Tower of destruction paradigmatic changes. It refers to the Capricorn Zodiac sign, a Cardinal Earth Sign. Don’t let the obvious Horn reference fool you, the Devils stubbornness and charm are also Capricorn traits that can seduce all limits out of you.

The Devil Tarot Card and its astrological compatibility:

Astrologically, The devil references to Capricorn. The characteristics of little emotionality, coldness, mental acuity and attachment to material possessions, are features that this star sign and Trump shares.

The Devil Tarot card represents our mischievous humor, our primitive impulses, our attachments or inflexibility. Like Capricorn, he is ambitious and motivated. Materialism can drive him, and at the same time, be very practical. The Devil means attachment to the concrete material and separation of the spiritual. It vibrates at shallow levels of consciousness, letting itself to be carried away by all kinds of influences that separate it from their divine essence.

The Capricorn/Devil teaches us a valuable spiritual lesson: He reminds us that we all have unproductive urges, but we must learn how to forgive ourselves and, at the same time, don’t let our instincts take the wheel.

A Fallen Angel: Discovering our forbidden instincts

There is an old saying that can summarize the meaning of the Devil Tarot card quite accurately: Be careful what you wish for, you may get it. While in the Tarot of Marseilles the devil is a figure that’s mainly full of confusions, with female breasts and a lustful tongue, the Rider-Waite tarot gives a pretty clear role to the devil: we’ve come to meet the bad guy.

But this bully, who represents the union of unconnected and unthinkable aspects of nature, urges us to find what we dislike in ourselves, the hidden, and our shadow. So much so that the lovers have mutated to discover that they, too, have some devilish aspects within themselves and are depicted with tail, horns and in the midst of an apparent domination scene…

The devil is a fallen angel, according to the Bible the most beautiful and pure of all. His charm was so outstanding that he managed to summon a revolt in the celestial realm against the Creator Itself, but according to the Bible, he lost. Didn’t he? It is worth wondering if the underworld ruler, in charge of completing the godly task of pondering the good and the bad, of leading the hellish hosts and punishing the sinners of God’s law has received an appropriate punishment… for many, that sounds like a promotion.

In any case, he rebelled against creation, perfection, purity, the eternal salvation and morality, and now his wrapped in the infernal gloom, only bearer of light, acting behind the backs of our interlocutors, controlling them like a puppeteer by putting chains around their necks. At first glance this is an image of eternal condemnation but, is it?

This man with bat wings, goat legs, and hawk legs has placed chains around his guests, but they are loose like their hands are. They could, if they wanted to, free themselves from that demonic influence. Get rid of their darkest passions and get out of the instinctive shadows, overcome the forces of pleasure that drag them to sin, they only need the will to do so, but do they want to do it? That’s the big question the devil tarot card presents us.

Its spiritual message lies in overcoming the earthly world; it isn’t casual that devil holds the power of the subsoil where the roots tie the trees to the ground. If you want to overcome your current situation, go further, and reach your potential, there are certain sacrifices you must make, certain comforts you need to abandon. Either by leaving the kingdom of heaven as he did, or renouncing to limitless pleasures as the two little devils ought to do.

Don’t get caught up in guilty feelings, don’t get hooked on material possessions or superficial pleasure, there’s a whole world outside waiting for you. You need to decide to break your chains.

How to interpret the symbolic world of the Devil Trump

The first thing that catches our attention in the Devil’s Tarot card is its resemblance to The Lovers; although the colors are different, the characters are located almost identically; such a fact is not accidental. Instead of a kind angel, we find an ugly devil represented as the Baphomet, his typical representation in the world of magic.

Don’t let him trick you, even if he’s wearing an inverted pentacle as a crown; he hasn’t come to talk about black magic or satanic invocations. That pentacle represents the negative aspect of material goods and desires, the consequences of living for pleasure only.

Although with his torch seems to remind us the maxim “As so above, so below” his tricks go a little further because they inhabit the human soul darkest aspects; the uncontrollable passions, the baseness, and weakness of spirit are the tools with which the devil works.

The burning torch is also a symbol of the human passion destructive capacity. This flame, both through sexuality and materialism, is its sole purpose and makes them selfish, vulnerable and blind to anything other than their satisfaction. On the other hand, the female slave’s curious tail, with a vine ending, is a symbol of the pleasures that intoxicate like wine, represent her choice of life, based on mutual desire like that of the Lovers, but without elevation or perfection; it’s just pleasure for pleasure.

Returning to the devil, his bat wings and the black background show that it comes from the darkness and knows how to move in it comfortably. Having clear who we are and our goals, makes it more difficult for the devil to use their diabolical schemes on us.

This winged devil represents for some the figure of a wise angel fallen into disgrace, who sows evil, and moves by interests and instinct. On the other hand, for others, he’s no more than an evil doer. In any case, that destructive behavior that led Lucifer to get fired from heaven is the same force we should review in our lives.

Its horns, legs and goat’s beard remind us of the lust, rebellion, and stubbornness usually attributed to these animals, and therefore to the Satyrs, beasts subjected to the impulse of desire that was always on the lookout for nymphs.

Of all, the best-known Satyr is Pan, famous for his outbursts and of great value for Jungian analysis. According to this discipline, repressing the instincts, hiding the passions, impulses, and needs of the physical and spiritual, ends up unleashing the terror of Pan, resulting in panic and vices since every emotion we refused to communicated, to cry, or to express, ends up developing into a form of self-harm.

Remember that in tarot all interpretation will depend on the cards that accompany this Trump in a spread. Although despair seems to be the feeling associated with its slaves, if we choose to call them that, on a second more in-depth look, their facial expression transmits tranquility and serenity. The Devil instead seems to challenge us by looking directly into our eyes.

Are you asking about the outcome of a project? It may turn out to be successful yes, but are you willing to do anything to succeed? The end justifies the means? That train of thought is precisely what got the devil into trouble. This card tells us about the loss of boundaries and its consequences, there will always be consequences.

Even the lovers of the card number VI when surrendering to their limitless sexual desires have turned into small devils, with tails and all, cast away from the divine light of true love. When the Devil stands before us, it’s because the impulse has overcome our rational self and that physical desire has extinguished morality.

Upright Devil Tarot Card Meaning:

Upright Devil Tarot Card Meaning – Major Arcana IV
Upright Devil Tarot Card

The card tells us about everything that acts against us, whether it be an enemy or our self-destructive habits. Therefore, it is commonly associated with addictions to alcohol, substances, sex or even toxic relationships.

It talks about damaging situations, of moments in which we are letting ourselves be carried away by our fears and urges. But keep in mind that sometimes we are our worst enemy.

The Devil is a card of fears that paralyzes us. It can mean any form of slavery or submission, for example towards a very authoritarian boss who makes our life impossible or of an abusive lover who controls all aspects of our lives.

When it refers to people, it is about passionate beings that always have other intentions; they’re selfish and interested. Unscrupulous people, capable of doing whatever it takes to achieve their goals.

However, we need to be careful because even if the devil appears in this card as a fearsome figure, you ought to remember he was the most beautiful angel of heaven, the most seductive. Not everyone who wants to hurt you will let you see their intentions so easily.

The meaning of the Upright Devil Trump when it comes to:


Passionate loves that lack affection and romance, your lover will try to dominate you or competing against you. Instability, superficial and conflicting love.


Period of excellent health, sexual vitality, overcoming circulatory problems.


An Interesting period with new opportunities. Time to be smart in business, don’t mix business and pleasure, an affair at work will bring significant problems.


Good time for investments, to enjoy earnings and to negotiate new contracts or agreements.

Reversed Devil Tarot Card Meaning:

Inverted Devil Tarot Card Meaning – Major Arcana IV
Inverted Devil Tarot Card

When the devil card is inverted, the general message is: Liberation. You will liberate yourself from your worst fears, let go that relationship that’s hurting you or overcome all your self-destructive habits. Everything that was blocking your path to success will start to fade.

That strong sense of attachment is overcome by a spiritual realization that in this case speaks of a growth in every possible way. However, everything has a downside. It is possible that at this stage of your life the pleasure and appetites satisfaction will fade too, whether you want it or not.

It is time to produce, to create, to expand and achieve professional development, and that can also mean certain loneliness.

The meaning of the Inverted Devil Trump when it comes to:


Amorous disappointments, fights, forced solitude, rethinking your relation. Loneliness. Passionless sex.


Danger of catching a sexually transmitted disease.


Bad relations, envy. It isn’t time to career-jobs change, don’t negotiate any new contract. Be prudent.


Danger of getting scammed or betrayed, rethink your investments and distrust everyone.

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The Devil Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed
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The Devil Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed
In the Rider-Waite deck, The Devil card occupies the XV position. Meanings for love, health, work and money of the upright and reversed Devil Tarot card.
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