Artist: Luca Federici Carey
Obsession, temptation, excesses, self-destructive desires
“The Devil card represents bondage, deception and materialism: a tempting bid for the spiritual energies of the user. What better framework in which to insert these ideas than the endless decadence and opulence of the carnival? The Devil sits atop his altar of distorted attractions, swimming in an eternal swirl of bright and inviting entropy. Though the Devil seeks to acquire us through deception, its fearsome grin and elaborate horrors are plainly on display: you may indulge your destructive nature, but your master is looking through you. He grins the wide grin because, though this may be your first time seeing him, he has seen you (or iterations of you) countless times before and has already made a home within you just as you will within him.”
At first glance, all is chaos, but through the hedonistic color and light of the carnival, two clowns in the foreground are bound to a stone by chains, representing the bonds we place on ourselves through self-destructive desires. Behind them, the Devil stares out, his hand raised in command, a broad grin on his face suggesting that he has already drawn us deep within his inviting entropic circus.
For all the symbolism of bondage and command, this card is one of deception. Things are not as they seem. The Devil is a figure to blame – representative of our desires, addictions and greed, but ultimately powerless to restrain us. We are in control of our own actions, if we choose to be, rather than allowing ourselves to be bound by temptation and excess.
Astrological Element & Association
Earth / Capricorn
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