The Devil – #15
Recognizing your Bondage

This image was for me, one of the more difficult images to paint, because the traditional imagery was so uncomfortable for me. I tried making my image not so uncomfortable and kept coming up empty of ideas. I finally realized that there was no way around this disturbing image and I had to embrace its shadow. I had to look deep inside myself to really understand the true meaning and message of this Key. This image is made to be frightening and disturbing for a reason. We need to be shocked enough to look at ourselves and where ‘our devil’ might linger in our lives. After I got over my conflict I realized how healing and shifting this Key is.
The Devil represents the vices of our physical and material world. He wants us to come to terms with our failings and drawbacks. When we stop running from our demons, and decide to confront them, we will stop being controlled by denial and our dark side. The Devil is the “guardian of the threshold.” He holds you accountable for your actions. He also guides you through the darkness and brings you into the light. Some of us close our eyes or look away from evil in the world, thinking that it will bypass us or go away. The thing is, we all share the dark side, just as we all share the light. It is part of our spiritual makeup. We can’t change the world overnight, but we can start with our own personal universe. Devil spelled backwards is LIVED. We can live life for the highest good and purpose with vision and passion, while being strong enough in character to laugh at ourselves during our lessons in life. Thus we are able to heal and move on.
The Devil is the collective shadow side – the unknown side of ourselves that we are not comfortable with, our instinctual survival side. When we are out of control in our lives, or something or someone has control over us and pushes us beyond our boundaries, all kinds of reactions, behaviors and feelings arise. Abuse, oppression, illusion, obsession, fear, hopelessness and guilt are just a few – feelings that take one away from joy and the light. Whether it be the perpetrator who inflicts pain onto his/her victim or the victim who carries the pain, resentment, anger and hate to another victim, these actions keep the energy cycling, until one makes the choice to stop the spiraling of evil. One of the biggest lessons of The Devil is to love yourself. When we stop loving ourselves, we are pulled away from spirit and the light; we will feel separated, and forever searching. The more you search away from spirit and the light, the more you go into darkness. It is there you meet up with your Devil, but you then have a choice to be lead back to the light or not.

Symbolism in The Devil Image

The dancer in this image is not a fully developed being. The dancer is androgynous and is experimenting with the light and the dark side while dancing with the serpent. In many cultures, dancing transforms one’s consciousness to an altered state. The dancer’s tail and furry legs represent one’s animal instincts that still need to be tamed. The snake represents many things. It can be one’s kundalini that is out of control OR in full spiritual creativity. It is transformation. It’s red color is passion, but also spirituality. Kundalini lays hidden at one’s base chakra and when it is aroused and not in balance, it can take control of one’s action. The dance is very alluring and seductive between the dancer and the snake. The Devil watches, to see where he comes into play with this interaction. The chains represent the entanglements and bondage that we create in our lives through material and emotional wants and addictions. The heart represents love and acceptance of the self and the great healing it brings. If we do not love ourselves, our choices become misguided reactions out of sync with the divine, and we become separated from spirit, losing a part of ourselves. In true selfLOVE we will find release from bondage. The serpent’s tail in the core of the heart represents the passion and transformation that love can bring. The heart also represents the burning desire to re-connect with spirit. On the other hand, when the heart’s desire is out of control, it can catapult one’s actions into a tunnel vision of bad choices. The man and woman in the fiery circles represent the male and female aspects of ourselves as well as the intuitive/spiritual side and the mind/material side. They are separated, lonely, and feel helpless because they are unable to re-connect. We need both aspects balanced to be fulfilled. We need to balance our polarities. The stars in the worlds of the male and female represent the possibilities that await them if they choose to find their way to re-connection. The flame that shoots up between the fiery circles is the creative passion for living life at its fullest, in balance; it burns out any negativity and lets the light shine in. OR, when one is out of balance the flame fuels one’s bondage to destructive vices and behaviors. It’s a choice that is played out in the world of materialism, in The Devil’s world. The Devil’s bat wings sparkle with all the enticing material illusions that distract one off the spiritual path. The pentagram above the flame represents evolving human awareness, as well as a grounded individual reaching up to the Divine. The Devil is transformative, if you are able to see your dark side and move through it toward the light. The astrological aspect of the Devil is Capricorn, a very steady, stable creature that lives in the heights of the mountains. Capricorn is disciplined and has created boundaries that he follows as he ascends to the top of the mountain. He is represented with his eyes closed in a meditative state, focusing on the enlightened path. His golden horns represent his creativity that flows into the universe. The wolf howling at the moon represents learning to trust one’s insights and discovering true freedom. He is the spirit teacher and the guide to help one find a new path. The full moon represents one’s journey of passing through the dark side and ascending to illumination on top of the mountain. The ravens represent bringing the darkness into the light. The Hebrew letter associated with The Devil is Ayin, meaning ‘EYE’. The eye on the goat’s forehead is the ‘wadjet eye’ or the eye of the moon. It symbolizes the power of light and was one of the most sacred and powerful protective amulets in ancient Egyptian times.

The Devil as a Lifetime Personality Symbol

As a Lifetime Personality Symbol, The Devil represents one who has practical and productive values and a good sense of humor, one who enjoys a little mirth in his life. You see things as they are and not the way you want them to be. The Devil personality is willing to face challenges and to recognize and deal with his fears and drawbacks. There are untamed desires in all of us, and those who have The Devil as a Lifetime/Personality are more aware than most of these instincts. You know that suppression or not coming to terms with those feelings keeps you in the shadows and restricted. Opening up to those feelings is the best way to free yourself from bondage, thus living life with full creative potential. The lesson from The Devil is to enjoy life and what it has to offer, in responsible and honored ways.

The Devil as a Yearly Growth Symbol

During The Devil year you may find yourself attracted to creative people and projects. You could experience a strong physical relationship that heightens your sensuality. You may confront some shadow aspects of yourself that need to be dealt with and then move on to a less restrictive life style. This is a year of playing hard and working hard, a time to view one’s own bedevilments from a place of humor and surefootedness.