I have written of my experiences of The Devil in an earlier post.
My understanding of the 15th card of the Major Arcana, was seriously tainted by my familiarity with its most shadowy aspects.
The card of the addict, of pain, of bondage, of utter helplessness in the face of addiction.
Since I wrote that post, things have greatly improved for me.
I have learnt to harness the amazing capabilities of the mind to heal myself and get on top of the horrors of chronic pain.
I still have pain, but I no longer let it control me.
Some things never change though and I still take opiates for pain relief.
I am still an addict.
Yet, without this drug I wouldn’t be where I am now.
I certainly wouldn’t be walking four kilometers most days and losing weight.
It is with this fresh, and healthier, perspective, that I came to view the symbolism of The Devil in a new way.
The Devil doesn’t only encompass the negative aspects of human will and desire, but also the positives and benefits.
Even the so-called ‘good’ cards of the Tarot can have their negative aspects, just as the darker cards hold their own positives.
I draw The Devil a lot in my daily spread and have always hated the sight of it, until the other night when a new way of looking at this card broke through my long-held prejudice.
It had a lot to do with the deck I was using, the Vampyre Tarot.
This deck is very dark, just how I like my Tarot, as it seems my deeper insights come to me when using these dark decks.
But peel away the dark vampiric theme of the deck and here is the Horned God, his wild sexual nature given free rein.
The wild Gods of the forest, of nature, of animals.
The Horned God rules over our more basic natures, our survival instincts and will, our sexuality and passions.
It is through working with Herne The Hunter, that I found the willpower and drive to overcome my difficulties and embark on a fitness regime.
It is with the spirit of Herne the Horned God, that I walk those kilometers every day, whether my knee hurts or not.
The strength and vitality of this God, has helped me improve my quality of life more than I had ever thought possible.
The Horned Gods are lusty old creatures.
It is his fervor and desire for the Goddess that creates the seasons and ensures the fertility of the earth.
The Horned One embodies all that is masculine, natural and wild.
He is the call of the wild, the rut of the antlered stag, the untouched forest.
Pagans celebrate the lusty nature of these Gods, especially at the Sabbat of Beltane.
Sex and desire is a natural part of life, an essential part of life.
Pagans recognize this, both in themselves and in nature, and celebrate sexuality without reserve or hangups.
This sexual energy is not only about sex, it can also be used as the driving force that impels us to achieve our goals.
The flames of passion can be stoked into an inferno, burning with willpower and motivation.
It is this very energy which I have discovered in The Devil.
This energy which I have forged into the incentive and desire to get fit, lose weight and overcome my physical difficulties.
So far, it has been a roaring success.
Funny thing is, I have only seen this symbolism in The Devil after I have worked with, harnessed and used the flames of desire in my life.
The Devil is motivation, willpower, the driving force behind our achievements.
Of course, that dark side is still there, when we push these same desires too far, the dangers of The Devil are still a huge pitfall.
As long as we keep our desires and will under control, where we harness and use them to better ourselves and not the other way around, The Devil is a positive and dynamic card.
The Devil is self-improvement and achievement, most of all, it is the will and aspiration to do so.