The Devil (Tarot card)
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15.THE DEVIL--Ravage, violence, vehemence, extraordinary efforts, force, fatality; that which is predestined but is not for this reason evil. Reversed: Evil fatality, weakness, pettiness, blindness.
In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Devil is derived in part from Eliphas Levi's famous illustration "Baphomet" in his Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (1855). In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Devil has harpy feet, ram horns, bat wings, a reversed pentagram on the forehead, a raised right hand and a lowered left hand holding a torch. He squats on a square pedestal. Two naked human demons (one male, one female) with tails stand chained to the pedestal. Levi's Baphomet has bat wings, goat horns, a raised right hand, lowered left hand, breasts and a torch on his head, and also combines human and animal features. Many modern Tarot decks portray the Devil as a satyr-like creature. According to Waite, the Devil is standing on an altar. He is actually perched on a half-altar, or a half a cube, which shows he only knows half the story - the sensory half. Because of this, he can not make an informed decision.
In pre-Eliphas Levi Tarot decks like the Tarot of Marseille, the devil is portrayed with breasts, a face on the belly, eyes on the knees, lion feet and male genitalia. He also has bat-like wings, antlers, a raised right hand, a lowered left hand and a staff. Two creatures with antlers, hooves and tails are bound to his round pedestal.
The card represents: Being seduced by the material world and physical pleasures; lust for and an obsession with money and power. Also: Living in fear, domination and bondage; being caged by an overabundance of luxury; discretion should be used in personal and business matters.
- Waite, Arthur Edward, 1857-1942. (2005). The pictorial key to the tarot. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications. ISBN 0-486-44255-1. OCLC 57549699.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, by Arthur Waite
- Gray, Eden. "Complete Guide to the Tarot." 1970. Crown Publishers, New York, NY.
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