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Rider-Waite - 15 The Devil



Type of Spiritual Experience


The card shows that if you are afflicted by demons, you don't go 'up' metaphorically speaking, you go 'down'.  But the card is not signifying some punishment after death, but the hell created in this life by our actions.

The torch is turned downward, the twin horns point down.

His face which is a triangle points down.

The Black of Intellect, cunning and scheming has won.  Cleverness as opposed to wisdom - the masculine - has won.

In the Rider-Waite card the Devil has harpy feet, bat wings [in this case symbolising Night and Black], the reversed pentagram on the forehead, a raised right hand and lowered left hand with a torch.  Again the right hand is the sign of left brain dominance and spiritual death.

He squats on a square pedestal with the two  aspects of the human soul Conscious and Subconscious who are chained to it. The chains this time are not a means of ascent but symbolically represent being chained to the square of the Earth.  

A description of the experience

The source of the experience

Tarot, the

Concepts, symbols and science items

Activities and commonsteps



Expunging demons