Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart … Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. — Carl Gustav Jung
The Devil card is a tricky card to understand!
It has been misunderstood and maligned by many people, with reactions varying greatly.
This card is about the dark parts of our psyche that we don’t like thinking about. If we can go into these difficult areas with awareness and acceptance, amazing personal transformations can take place. If we fail to look inward we are bound to an unauthentic life. Who looks outside dreams, who looks inside awakes.
The essence of this card cannot be understood fully from reading Tarot books alone, so I have created a post that in my humble opinion gives direct Psychic contact into the nature of this mysterious card.
To start with lets look at some of the textbook definitions of the Devil card.
I am not saying that any of these definitions are wrong but they are only the surface meanings of this complex card. To explore this card deeper lets look at the psychological concept of the Shadow.
Carl Jung’s concept of the shadow is a term to describe all the negative feelings of fear, resentment, hatred, jealousy and inferiority that we experience through out our lives but repress within ourselves.
These painful antisocial emotions and impulses have been buried alive deep inside ourselves. Even though they are hidden from conscious awareness they will find ways to express themselves.
Whatever annoys, angers, irritates or upsets us in other people, is often an aspect of our Shadow. The Shadow wants to create enemies and scapegoats putting blame and condemnation on others.
The outside world acts as a trigger to our Shadow.
The ancient Chinese Taoists said, ‘Heal it before it is born’.
I think they were referring to the Shadow and healing it before it is expressed. This can be scary at first but with practice it is clear that the shadow wants to be integrated and set free.
Exercise — Owning Your Shadow
Before starting this exercise make sure you will be undisturbed for about 20 minutes. Turn off the lights and get comfortable sitting in a chair. Close your eyes and silently count down from 50 to 0 making sure your breathing is slow and relaxed.
Once you are relaxed imagine you are alone in a house.
It is a dark moonless night and you only have a candle to guide your way. Use all of your senses to explore the house. What can you see, hear and touch. Does the house smell dusty and old? Can you sense an atmosphere in this building? Within this house you will find all of your Shadow selves, all the parts of yourself that have been hidden away for years. All the parts of you that need to integrate.
Gather the courage and go down into the cellar (this represents your childhood and past). In the flickering candle light search for your Shadow selves. They may appear to you in the form of an animal or small child, or a frightening monster; it does not matter how they show themselves, just remember this is a part of you that needs acknowledgment and love. It does not matter if you don’t understand what each Shadow self represents, just embrace them and tell them that they are safe.
Once you have searched the cellar and have lovingly greeted one or more of your Shadow selves, ask them to go up stairs to the ground floor and follow them up.
Do the same process on the ground floor (which represents your current adult self).
Now ask all of your Shadow selves to go upstairs (symbolising your future and higher self.) Once they are upstairs, follow them up into a beautiful room. Imagine the room is filled with a healing light that engulfs everything in the room. Go round every self, lovingly welcoming them back to conscious awareness, and finally imagine them merging with you as you fully embrace and accept them into your heart.
This is a powerful exercise to practice. It is a good form of psychotherapy, heightens psychic ability and will give you an experiential understanding of the Devil card which helps when doing readings for yourself and others.
For a more advanced version of this exercise I would recommend a book called Feeding Your Demons: Ancient Wisdom for Resolving Inner Conflict by Tsultrim Allione.
Until the next time