The Devil as Feelings (Upright & Reversed)

by Anna Christopher

Despite its somewhat fearsome reputation, “The Devil” in Tarot holds up a mirror to confronting yet vital emotional realities. It exposes the feelings that tie us down and keep us in the shadows but also provides opportunities for emotional growth and Liberation. It might invite emotions such as fear, Obsession, or even denial. But what does it really mean to feel these emotions as depicted by The Devil? That’s what we’re here to explore.

Rest assured that viewing “The Devil” as feelings does not mean you’re doomed to negativity. Instead, it helps you understand the chains of your own making, the shadows you might be afraid to face, and most importantly, ways to liberate yourself from them.

Upright Devil as feelings

When the Devil card appears upright in a reading, it spotlights your vulnerabilities and emotional shadows. It probes beneath the surface and brings to light feelings often associated with fear, denial, Obsession, and constriction. Let’s peel back these layers one at a time.

Fear rises to the surface first. An encounter with the upright Devil might evoke apprehension, worry, and even dread. This card pushes us to face these fears, examine their roots, and apply our energies toward overcoming them.

Denial stands as another emotion that the Devil can reflect. Are there feelings or truths about yourself that you’ve been refusing to acknowledge? The Devil nudges us to admit these unacknowledged emotions, steering us toward honesty.

The theme of Obsession rings strong in the presence of the Devil. You might find yourself trapped in obsessive thoughts or feelings, wound up in emotional bonds that can be stifling rather than nurturing. The Devil serves to remind us of the need for balance.

Constriction or a sense of bondage also marches into the spectrum of feelings introduced by the Devil. You may feel tethered, closed off, emotionally or materially restrained. However, the Devil’s presence essentially embodies a wake-up call, pushing you to acknowledge these chains, question their necessity, and ultimately, set yourself free.

Reversed the Devil as feelings

The reversed Devil, contrary to its outward appearance, brings a wave of relief and signifies feelings of Liberation, self-awareness, detachment, and Empowerment. It signals that you’re on the brink of breaking free from whatever emotional chains have held you down.

The first feeling potentially evoked by the reversed Devil is the sense of Liberation. This card encourages you to break free from your self-imposed shackles, suggesting you’re beginning to feel unburdened and ready to move beyond limitations.

As you tear off these chains, you’ll likely experience heightened Self-Awareness. The reversed Devil prompts introspection, helping you acknowledge your fears and obsessions and explore the depths of your emotional truth.

Detachment is another gift offered by the reversed Devil. There’s a sense of stepping away from unhealthy attachments or destructive emotions and nurturing your emotional sovereignty.

Finally, there’s the liberating feeling of Empowerment. Once you’ve shrugged off the shadow of fear, denial, and Obsession, you’ll likely feel re-energized, determined, and ready to reclaim control over your emotional world.

Final Thoughts

Both upright and reversed Devil cards offer valuable messages for our emotional journey through life. They remind us to be compassionate to ourselves when facing our shadows and to be grateful when we succeed in breaking free from emotional bonds that hold us back or trap us in limiting thought patterns.

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