He was trying to walk off his hangover from the previous evening when he saw the mansion with brightly lit windows. It looked and sounded like there was a big party going on. He could hear the music and the chatter and, as he approached, he saw the silhouettes of people inside. The whole thing seemed unusual for some reason and he knew why when he walked into the house through the wide open door.
What he saw shocked him. It was the vilest, most disgusting scene he had ever witnessed in his life: People having intercourse , engaging in the most obscene sexual acts imaginable, some dancing in ridiculous looking clothes that left little for the imagination, others throwing up in corners, all drunk or stoned, yet others shouting, laughing, running wildly, and all of this going on under bright, white lights illuminating rooms with curtainless windows and the grounds surrounding the mansion — as if they demanded to be seen and admired. He was disgusted by what he saw but, strangely enough, fascinated too, for could not stop himself from watching.
A man in what looked like a Dionysus costume noticed him and, with an exaggerated hand gesture, invited him to join the orgy. He looked quite satisfied with what was going on and the expression on his face showed he was clearly amused at the Fool’s shock and disgust.
He was deeply offended. Join those poor bastards who, enslaved by their animal instincts, lost themselves in the basest of pleasures? He didn’t think so. He wanted to give a piece of his mind to the Dionysus-like guy and he did. He was so upset that he talked without a pause for almost five minutes, telling him what he thought about the whole business and letting him know what he thought about his invitation and what he could do with it.
The man quietly listened to him with a smile on his face, not interrupting him, nor seemingly in any way offended by his insults. When he finally got it all out, the man simply asked him why he was so upset.
“Everybody is having a good time and you should, too. After all, you are not any different from us.”
He was infuriated by this last remark but he also realized that there was no point in arguing with this guy. He needed to get the hell out of this place and was just about to step out when someone in a dark corner of the room caught his eye: a man looking just like him — more like a split image of him, really — had grabbed a woman and he was….
“This cannot be,” he whispered to himself, “it must be an illusion, a trick of some kind.” He knew who he was; he believed in the virtue of his mission and had no doubts about the purpose of his great journey. He began to say these aloud, as if chanting a prayer, hoping to find comfort in the spoken word, and he felt better but for only a brief moment. Then, he was suddenly exhausted as if something drained off all his strength. He could still hear the words coming out of his mouth but they sounded faint and foreign to him as if a stranger was uttering them from far away.
The Devil, at number 15, is getting impatient to show that it is the most powerful and dangerous card in the pack.
The Fool needed a little peace and quite, and a little balance in life… Yet the moment the Devil appeared before him, this balance was completely overthrown, and he realized how close slavery and lack of control were to him.
The most aggressive card of the Tarot, there is no trace of harmony and balance -visible in all the other cards to some extent- in the Devil card. The Devil represents extremes, addicitions, desires and lust. Egoism, materialism, hedonism and obsession find strength in the Devil. These strong feelings have the potential to make you their slaves at any time, or you may enter into the service of such strong feelings at any moment.
Manipulation is the work of the Devil, but it serves a purpose, and dare we say, a good purpose.
Although it fools you into addiction, it also tells you that the reason for this is not the Devil, but your own tendency. In other words, the Devil is inside you. It emerges with all its might to show you the direction of your desires and the forces that have taken over you; and has become the representative in the material world of your weaknesses and fears, and the sign of how you are controlled by external forces.
It is true that doing the thing you enjoy, or going after your passions is not always “evil”. The obstacles and prohibitions you implement to stifle your desires might prevent you further from reaching the position you crave. And sometimes, it is impossible to reach the pinnacle without that passion. What you need to look out for is where the servitude begins.
The Devil card is a symbol of being controlled by external forces because of ambition and addiction, and it does not reside somewhere out there, but inside every single person. The ruling Zodiac sign of the card is the determined, ambitious and stubborn Capricorn, who sometimes seeks material gain.
This is perhaps how to interpret the Devil card: What is the real source of our habits that you take to extremes, and you are imprisoned by? Once you ask this question, you have the means to get to know and define them, rather than rejecting them. This also helps you to increase your control over such habits. Once you realize that the things you think you possess are actually in charge of you, and that you are investing too much in one aspect of life, you take a great leap in stopping this, and liberating yourself.
In addition to all we have said so far; it is a natural tendency to focus on individual needs and sources of pleasure; and sometimes necessary. However, in order to understand what your pleasures will cost you in the long term, you must understand well the degree of command they exercise over you. Before the body you treat roughly, the spirit you wear out for material gains and the people you treat as bait for your ambitions come calling you to account, you must first hold yourself to account. Liberation is not only possible once, but always, as long as you can say “no”.