|XV The Devil (L) Radiant Rider Waite, (R) Legacy of the Divne|
We are probably all familiar with the saying, ‘needs must when the devil drives’. However would it make a difference if you were offered a lift in a beat up old van or a Ferrari?
The Devil speaks to us about our base feelings. It questions our darkest desires and needs and just what we will do to achieve them. He challenges that feeling of entrapment, but are we really tied to a certain situation? Or do we actually have a way out, but find it’s more comfortable and easier to stay trapped so we don’t have to face the ugly truth?
In the Radiant Rider Waite deck we see the devil as a beast, a grotesque creature, the ugliness and the fear that our situation draws up in us, yet his two captives are quite happy to stay chained to him.
Surely he can’t be all bad then? Is it that the beast serves us in that we can grasp what it is we want without having to ponder on the ethics of our method? Sometimes it can be useful to have an ambition that can only be achieved by turning away from the needs of others and their opinions, an ambition that can only be reached ruthlessly and by using those dark little corners of our psyche that in reality we don’t want to acknowledge
In Legacy of the Divine tarot, The Devil is very different; I had one friend say ‘I wouldn’t mind being tempted, if he looked like that’.
And maybe this is what the image of this card tries to portray. Just because something looks appealing, tempting us with the enigmatic ‘come hither’, it is not necessarily going to be good for us. It can sometimes lead us down a path we would not usually take and deliver us to right to the front door our own personal hell.
We see in the card, the mask The Devil wears, is this to hide the ugliness of its true face? Are we the ones insisting the mask stay on his face? Does it tempt us with the deceptive beauty expecting us to assume the true face of him is just as aesthetically appealing? Or do we really know what lies beneath and rather cover it so we do not have to look to closely?
Our poor Fool is sitting on his sand timer, trying to push away, that which he must face, yet cannot. What has he gotten in to? What has he to see that distresses him in such a way? Why is he wanting distance from it?
Be it a situation or a part of ourselves that we do not want to accept, as like The Devil himself, it may have looked like such an attractive proposition on first glance. Now we have to decide can we still bare to look once the mask is off and we see the true face of it.
I am suddenly imagining Phantom of the Opera with this card, as Christine, so vulnerable and naive is led by the prospect of being an amazing and famous opera singer, lured by the promise of her unseen mentor who tempts and cajoles her with words like a protective ‘angel’, however once the Phantom's mask is removed, can she really continue, knowing what she now knows of him. What of the phantoms true intentions, his obsession and twisted ‘love’ for Christine. Eventually she comes to realise that the price of her fame is not worth the disgust she feels and breaks away from the ties of the phantom (although I secretly wish she’d chosen him instead of Raul, cos when you look at Ramin Karimoo why wouldn’t you)
However I digress. The Devil is asking you to look deep at the actions you have taken, the choices you have made and whether they serve you in the right way. Ultimately you can make a different choice. Comfort zones are nice, that’s why we call them ‘comfort’ zones, going outside of them may bring you something far more comfortable, in your mind and in your heart.
Just my two pennies worth.