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Bohemian Gothic Study - The Devil

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Bohemian Gothic Study - The Devil


Hello -
Hope I'm doing this correctly!
I'm very interested in BG Deck and have been reading all of the "study" posts and would like to start one on the Devil.
Is it a he? A she? How does "it" speak to people? What has been your experience with this card in readings?
When I see this card I think of the Empress's Purely Evil Twin Sister.
Other posts here have made reference to the Devil being male but it looks female to me.
The most horrifying, disturbing, malevolent, pure evil thing a woman can do is turn away from her light side of loving, nurturing, caring and to abuse the trust that women have been given as life givers, caregivers/nurturers. This card reveals destruction at it's worst; trust gone so wrong. The addicted woman looks so dependent and in need of the Devil - and isn't that what addiction does to us? Don't we love addiction like we love a mother?
I can't think of a better Devil card - RWS has nothing on this!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alisa13
The most horrifying, disturbing, malevolent, pure evil thing a woman can do is turn away from her light side of loving, nurturing, caring and to abuse the trust that women have been given as life givers, caregivers/nurturers.
What an excellent interpretation! And yes, I think the Devil in the card is female as well. The way she's wearing the cloth, similar to the woman she's holding, implies a bosom.

Your thoughts really work if we consider the BG's Victorian aspects, when women were expected to be caregivers. There is not only the feeling of the clinging woman's dependency (as, perhaps, an "invalid" dependent on a nurse) but also the feeling that the Devil with the hypodermic could as easily be preparing to murder her as keep her addicted. I keep thinking of all those old horror stories where the bitter spinster, tasked with caring for some invalid, does away with them. The message could as easily be a warning of how a caregiver can be made into a demon if they feel chained to their dependent.

The rapturous woman is all into that Devil, but in her loving adoration and ardor, she doesn't see the Devil's calculating and coldly disinterested expression. Or, perhaps, a moment before this, the Devil looked perfectly human and we are seeing the thing's true nature revealed in this moment when it's got his prey right where it wants it. The Devil's only aim is to inject that hypodermic. My feeling is that the woman in the Devil's arms is getting a first or final shot from that hypo. And the meaning, to me, is more one of a relationship turning into an addiction--being manipulated from where the woman freely gave herself to the Devil to one where she'll be hooked.

Alternately, there's that feeling of letting ourselves be seduced and lured into embracing dark things, believing that, somehow, it won't go wrong. Until, of course, that evil thing traps and preys on us. Like the youth who takes up cigarettes insisting that they'll stop before it affects their health, or the girl who takes up with a guy she knows is bad, but it'll be different with her.

This is a really awesome deck.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thirteen
Alternately, there's that feeling of letting ourselves be seduced and lured into embracing dark things, believing that, somehow, it won't go wrong. Until, of course, that evil thing traps and preys on us. Like the youth who takes up cigarettes insisting that they'll stop before it affects their health, or the girl who takes up with a guy she knows is bad, but it'll be different with her.
This is a really awesome deck.
Hello Thirteen
You said it! That is what is so disturbing - that a person would start on the dark path so unaware and confident that "it will never happen to him/her" and then get caught in the web.
I know a woman that this happened to. One day she was telling me that she was worried her sister was messing with the wrong type of man who would get her sister involved in drugs. Six months later this same woman, because of the "addiction" to be with a man got messed up with the wrong type of guy and became an addict herself. I think that is why I find this card so disturbing.
In the Tarot course I took the Instructor recommended having a deck for public readings and a different deck for our own "path working".
I think the BG deck will be my path work deck because it is so powerful.
How can a simple picture evoke so much emotion? The look on the Devil's face, the look on the woman's face, the huge chasm in subtext between the two.
Alex and Karen, the creators of this deck are so inspired. I'd love to hear how long it took them to create each picture, and what their inspiration was for each card.
Have you used this deck for public readings? Do you find it gets "too personal"? Kinda crazy question because the Tarot is supposed to be very personal but I hope it makes sense.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alisa13
That is what is so disturbing - that a person would start on the dark path so unaware and confident that "it will never happen to him/her" and then get caught in the web.
I second that, the unawareness of bad things happening to ONE SELF is disturbing. Nonetheless, the Devil is not - for me! Hard to define is he for me (I see him as male). It reminds me of a person I once knew very well that got on the wrong path but still I see the Devil as soothing and calming cause I know the person's other, friendly, calming side as well, besides the problems he was in at that time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alisa13
Have you used this deck for public readings? Do you find it gets "too personal"? Kinda crazy question because the Tarot is supposed to be very personal but I hope it makes sense.
Yes, I have done readings for friends and friend's friends with the BGS. It worked vey well with them. But if in any reading the Devil had appeared I would have stopped the public reading immediately. He is just too personal for me.

Astraea Aurora
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Thank you for sharing your experience with this Deck - you are right if the Devil popped up for the "average" person who wasn't really into Tarot it would freak them out.
I just realized for most people who don't know Tarot and get freaked out by the RWS deck, any card in this deck would do them in!
So - I did a Deck Interview spread with the BG so see what they had to say.
The very first card (What are your most important characteristics) that came up was the card I use for a significator when I do path work! Super Cool! Nuff said - I have just made 78 new best friends! (Devil included!)
I await the Victorian Romantic to see if that is going to be the "public" deck.
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Bohemian Gothic - The Devil


First I like the red hair and red dress- tradition.
I have been thinking about this card due to a group hypnosis class I have been taking for loosing weight.
It seems like with addictions something in life that has happend to us or emotional pain may cause us to stuff and smother our feelings. Some addictions of course are more difficult than others to break but it is our free will that gets us into trouble - we make the wrong choice.
This Devil has no chains at all. Some, like the RW deck show chains intact
but the chains only have to be shed by the wearer like a shirt or item of clothing to be removed.
I see the devil card as making the choice to be held on to things that we feel are self destructive or getting in the way of our progress from coffee drinking (if we feel it is a problem),exercising, heroin or what ever. We can seek the help we need but for somereason living in the past and not in the present we put it off one more day until tomorrow and continue the behaviour. So the Devil to me is not really an entity it is ourselves. We are put on this earth to progress and learn from our mistakes.
Usually this card can be good for sexual relationships- possibly encouraging some behaviours some folks may not approve of (think of Victorian!) although this card has such a dark side it may point more to sexual addictions and deviation. hmm..
Just rambling..
A grateful alchoholic and multiple addicted person trying hard to evolve
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There seem to be no "good" interpretations for the card, other than to point out where problems may lie, but I see the two individuals as representing its possible "positive" and "negative" aspects. The woman in blue represents our all-too-human weaknesses, which I'd say is the positive aspect, because we can often pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and do better next time, even if it is very difficult to do so. Her dress has almost fallen off, mostly revealing her left breast, associated with nurturing, compassion, and vulnerability/the ability to feel pain, and is near to the heart. The negative aspect of the card is the devil him/herself, in guise of a woman with bosom implied, as noted before, and likely it's ONLY an implication, as there is no nurture, compassion, nor heart behind the wrap. By the sneer, the devil holds his/her victim in contempt. The devil, too, is genetically human, but like the Knight of Swords, has turned away from any humane qualities. Some people do do that. The hair may be a wig, another false representation.

What might be the significance, if any, of the woman's peacock pattern dress? The peacock is traditionally a symbol of pride and vanity. What is the saying? "Pride goeth before a fall, and great pride goeth before destruction"? Is this related to the card, or am I looking in the wrong direction?
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Embracing that which will destroy us.
We can be sure that the face we see on the devil is not the face her victim first saw. Perhaps they both projected a loving warm kind face....each for different reasons. The victim wanting love and care, understanding and safety..the Devil looking for someone to hoax, bankrupt and Ruin, in the most terrible way. She feeds off pain and deception and most of all on the moment, however brief and passing when her victim recognizes what has been done to her, and has no strength to resist. The despair at the moment must be especially tasty for the devil.
And then again, maybe its' poison in that hypodermic, and an easier death for the victim. But not until the devil has had all she wants from her, and she is an empty husk.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thirteen
The message could as easily be a warning of how a caregiver can be made into a demon if they feel chained to their dependent.
I was so struck by this, thirteen--what an excellent insight on your part! I've seen that a lot of time when I was in nursing, and the caregiver was way over the line into resentment, depression and rage. In our society there is no real acknowledgment of how hard and bitter that relationship can turn. The caregiver is supposed to be infinitely giving, and the patient infinitely grateful, and over a long period of time it often doesn't work that way. It gets very old and deteriorates quickly when the caregiver feels trapped, and the pt. feels misunderstood, but totally dependent.
Ashes, ashes, they all fall down.
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To me, the Devil, as Lucifer, is a fallen angel and therefore will have no gender, or at least no apparent, set gender. He/she/it can appear male or female or androgenous depending on situation and the psyche of the viewer.
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Hi I am new one on this great forum and I like this Deck very much. I would like to add some words to this card if you do not mind.


The first thing is evident to me - dresses of these two persons.
If you look at sleeping girl's dress you will see OWL. Head, two round eyes, wings and even skirt is look like Owl Feathers.
OWL is the bird of the night. it is symbol of wisdom, care, the Moon and Death.

If you look at Devil's dress you will see green field of red flowers. It is POPPY field. He is OPIUM. Even Devil's head is look like ripe opium head with long red lock of hair like fresh poisonous red juice of opium which is inhaled by the sleeping girl.

The LOVE is a DRUG which deprives us back of reason, wisdom (blue dress). Under its influence we are becomming blind (eyes of the black girl are closed) and deff (owl is considered like deff bird). We do not want to listen to anyone and do not want to see the truth when we fallen in love or in passion.
It makes our vigilance sleepy.

We open to him/her our heart and our soul, we become opened and defenceless. (Opened body)

We are forced to dissolve in our partner under the passion and we addict to the partner as to a drug (material world, material thing in gred-red dress), we get to dependence, addiction ( Black girl embraces Red one), we cannot live without this person in spite of the fact that we understand this person and this love destroy us, and leads to the death. (An Owl is the symbol of Death).
At least we even can not notice how we lose ourselves as we get to a trap which postpones us from an external world, we lose sense of time and space and we are in the unreal world (the Moon in the sky). It is illusion of happiness. We are in darkness (Black hair).
Syringe = Ace of Swords. It is not a secret, close people, we love most of all, bring us the most severe pain, they beat, harm us to the weakest place (the Devil does a syringe prick with RIGHT hand to the LEFT shoulder of the Owl girl).

P.S Sorry for my English. It is not my native language, I hope you understand I am talking about.
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