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eddiecoyote's Avatar
eddiecoyote  eddiecoyote is offline
Join Date: 16 Feb 2007
Location: Oregon, United States
Posts: 5

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The Devil

I didn't know where else to post this and I hope this is as good of place as any. If not, my apologies.

I've got about 6 decks of tarot based on the Rider Waite cards. I've had success with them in the past but lost the deck from an ex. So now I am getting back into tarot and have a few decks for whatever mood suits me.

I am also a practicing witch, though have been more on the feeling side than the ritual side for the past decade. Reading some on Feri path I note the diffrence in correspondence with wand. This intrigues me and I decide to grab all of my tarots decks and check correspondences among them. My intent was to look at the suits and compare to see if air and swords went together in them all, and if queens had a similar ring to them, and so on.

What I ended up doing, however, is drawing The Devil, Than Horned One, and Temptation, depending on my deck. This card never really came up in any meaningful readings for myself in the past, but the meanings in all the cards resonated deeply.... very deeply with me.

Back up. Earlier that day I went in for my fourth visit with a counselor to work on some personality issues that I want to work through. My goal is to become a better person, as I told her. But as I was reviewing the tarot later that night, I realized that I am on the Fool's Path of development. Whereas I have so many strengths and gifts to offer... I have a deep deep shadow self that really messes things up (in a Jungian sense) and I've been unable to really address and deal with my shadow side.

Two side notes. While reading some writings of Janet Farrar recently she expressed the great growth, and great work involved, with working through the shadow self. Second note... while I've been a practicing Wiccan for around 12 years or so and have given homage to the God and Goddess... I've felt the Goddess move in my life.. but my interaction with the God has been 'going through the motions' in hope that if I put the ingredients together I'll have a cake.

I believe all of these elements are connected. I didn't draw the Devil randomly out of the deck. It didnt' fall out. I went to it and chose it. But I didn't mean to go for it... I was intending on looking at suits instead.

I'm looking for anything and everything I can get about The Devil. Either a spread, tarot card meanings in other decks, or whatever. Banter, dialogue, images... its all good.



p.s. and a search for "the devil" in the forums gave me nothing.
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Moonbow  Moonbow is offline
Join Date: 08 Nov 2003
Location: Southern England
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Hi Eddie,

Welcome to Aeclectic,

If you were drawn to 'choose' the Devil card when your intention was something completely different then naturally you want to find out why. To me, one of the most powerful meanings of the Devil in that of inner conflict. It's something we all use daily in order to get through our lives but perhaps in this case it pertains to a specific incident or problem which is playing on your mind.

There must be a huge amount of threads on the Devil here, so to get you started have a look at the Table of Contents - The Cards threads in the Using Tarot Cards forum.

When I put 'Devil' in Search I got over 200 pages!....... you may need to narrow it down to one forum at a time or something.

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jmd  jmd is offline
Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Though these are not from the A. Waite and P. Colman Smith based decks, but rather earlier ones, you may also wish to have a look at these two threads:
Le Diable - Contrasting the Dodal and Conver; and the (much) earlier
XV Le Diable.
There are also other questions that have to be asked, such as whether or not the Devil card is equivalent to the Horned God, or rather a distinct and quite different 'energy' - irrespective as to how some decks transform the Devil to a Horned God (a little like the inverse of the claimed ways in which the Church transformed pagan and foreign gods into the devil, doing justice to neither).

In terms of working with pagan God forms, then, perhaps distinctions are to be made that show important differences between them. For example, Lugh is quite different and distinct to Cernun, which are each different and distinct to Dionysius.

I realise that you have been working for 12 years with whatever god-forms you have adopted, but it strikes me that there two distinct hurddles are being faced, and seemingly overlapped as though a single one.

The one I describe above is related, then, to working with those (or other) god-forms. The second, distinct, and quite different, is the work on integration and acceptance of the 'shadow'. And this, to me, is closer to the works of the binding of the Devil as depicted on traditional cards - and not similar in character or tone to the positive attributes of Lugh, Cernun, Dionysius and a thousand-and-one others.
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Grizabella  Grizabella is offline
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Join Date: 08 Jul 2004
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I'm not a witch and not familiar with that path, but would Tarot Shadow Work by Christine Jette be of any help to you? It can be found discussed in the Books forum and also on Amazon. If you use the link here to purchase from Amazon, part of the proceeds go to support AT, too, which is nice. Sometimes the book comes up on our trading forum if you watch for it.
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wytchwood  wytchwood is offline
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Hi Eddie,

Like you I first found the Goddess more 'accessible' as a concept, but now I feel more 'at home' with the entity that can be called the Devil, the Horned God, or the Lightbearer amongst many names. I would recommend reading some books based on traditional Witchcraft to strengthen your affinity with the Male principle. Call of the Horned Piper and Masks of Misrule, both by Nigel Jackson, also Pillars of Tubal Cain by Jackson/ Michael Howard is superb, going into enormous detail about how various cultures have maintained beliefs in 'angelic' beings and how they relate to the entities we work with as witches.

I'm not sure I would necessarily equate the Devil card with the Horned God of Paganism, I usually find the Devil card to be an indication of materialism, or similar imbalance in life. Good examples might be: staying in a dead end job, spend lust, lack of generosity or other 'greed' related imbalance, these kind of things are all related as they represent the part of ourselves weak enough to behave less than virtuously, and are beneath out highest ideals, and this IMO is the sort of temptation represented by the Devil card, whether relating to the querent's behaviour or a situation/ person close to them.

As far as keeping being drawn to the Devil card is concerned, I couldn't possibly know why this is, it could be because it has a valuable message to convey in a divinatory sense, or it could be a sign that you could develop a better understanding of the Horned God in a psychological or spiritual sense, or some completely different reason such as a basic curiosity about a card you've never really studied before. If you are dying to get to the bottom of it, may I suggest an in depth reading of your cards to reveal detailed information as to the exact significance of your being drawn to this card?

I'd be very interested to know how you get on if you decide to do a reading.

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eddiecoyote  eddiecoyote is offline
Join Date: 16 Feb 2007
Location: Oregon, United States
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Everyone has been very nice and understanding. I too see the differences between pagan horned god and the devil. And my claim of 12 years isn't one of knowledge, just one of going a long time without overcoming a particular hurdle. I could learn a lot from someone with less than a year's pathwork.

The shadow tarot work book sounded good, and I've not digested the rest. I had a thought the other day on things that I try to be, and what motivates me, and so forth, and I realized they were all what I would assume that a card purely opposite of the devil card would look like. Hmm.... more reading to do.

Again, thanks for everyone's input... it was much appreciated.
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Thirteen  Thirteen is offline
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Most of us who start out in Wicca do so for the Goddess. If we were raised in the western world, then most of our lives we've heard only about "God" and it's been overwhelmingly implied that this God is male. So when we turn to the pagan path, it's often in search of that opposite side that we feel has been missing from our lives, the feminine, goddess side.

Wonderful as this is, it does mean that we sometimes overcompensate in the other direction, perhaps not ignoring the horned god, but certainly giving him the short shift. And the god, I believe, is patient and understanding about this, knowing that our view has been biased by other religions with a masculine center. But there is a part of him that wants our attention, and that is the part that is very much the Devil/horned god. Because magic and worship in Wicca is connected to sex, and the Devil/Horned God is all about that great mystery.

So, of course, he wants our attention.

The Devil, in the negative, can be about materialism, greed, addiction. But in the positive, he's about ambition, drive, pleasure, and sheer, animal magnetism. There is a lot in life that can't get done if we ignore him--and that includes his aggressive sex drive

In addition, we sometimes have to really delve into that part of us, that devil, to know how to master our temptations and weaknesses. If we stay away from all temptations in fear of their power over us, then they still have power over us. Experiencing them, then walking away--or just controlling our needs, gives us mastery over them, and no fear. We understand ourselves, and we understand our true power.

What this card may be telling you is that it's time to re-assess the masculine side--of yourself or just in general--and to conquer your temptaions and weaknesses. It's a very scary side because it can be ruthless, cruel, selfish, demanding. And if you were drawn to wicca because you really didn't like the masculine emphasis of most religions, you might feel some bias towards it. But it's still a part of us, all it's positive and negative. The tarot might be telling you that you're missing out on all that can be gained from the Horned One's way of doing things, of solving problems and seeing the world.
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