The Devil – Linestrider Tarot Deck
I. Keyword by the Devil Linestrider
Imprisonment, fail, obsession, depravity, materialism, lust, illusion, temptation.
II. Meaning of the Devil Linestrider
The Devil Linestrider is about things in life that dominate you and prevent you from developing to your full potential. You might think these are external resources, but the Devil is an internal resource. He represents our self-bondage – fear, addiction, and harmful attachments or impulses. You may feel weak, but like the characters loosely tied in this card, it is you who hold the power to escape.
III. The Devil Linestrider in a Tarot spread
When spreading the cards, the Devil Linestrider may be trying to draw your attention to some of the constraints in your life – an unhealthy relationship, over-infatuation, negative people and behaviors. It can be about obsession and addiction. The Devil often depicts a goat or Satyr, frequently used as a symbol of lust and dark and intense motives. Above him is an inverted pentagram, representing the dark side of magic and occultism. Sometimes, this card identifies behaviors that prevent you from achieving happiness and fulfillment, such as being overly controlled, calculating, or insensitive.
The Devil Linestrider’s goat can also be the “scapegoat”; maybe you are blaming others for things that only you can change. There are many powerful and interesting card combinations related to the Devil. If you see the Devil lying next to the Page, it means that a young person in your life is suffering from addiction or self-abuse. Along with the Fool, the card can show carefree and cheerful behaviors that will lead to debt, addiction, or self-destruction. When the Devil combines with “couple” cards like the Lovers or the Two of Cups, they show an unhealthy dependent tendency on your relationship.
However, the Devil Linestrider is not always negative, in general, it indicates harmful bonds that need to be broken. You need to get rid of the things that wreck you and keep yourself away from them. Leave disappointment behind and seek freedom. Bad habits or addiction can take your best away. Find the resources in your life that have made your situation worse – those that have pushed you into the mortgage or tied you more tightly to a bad relationship. In the past position, especially in the reversed position, the Devil can refer to an addicting past in a situation that you need to remember clearly.
This 15th card represents the dark abyss of the collective unconscious of the lust wrapped around the necks of the other two.
In terms of work, if you are looking for a job or a start-up, you need to be sure of your purpose as well as how you will perform. Blind stubbornness runs for immediate benefits which can lead to depression and despair in the future. If you are in a job, but you don’t see anything in the future at all, consider a change. Maybe, you think there will be a lot of things that will keep you stuck in this job, but you have to remember that you are not held back by anything unless you allow it. If you are running a large project, you should prepare for it unobtrusively to avoid unnecessary troubles.
In terms of finance, the Devil Linestrider says that though money is essential, you cannot do unethical or illegal things for money as dirty capital will not promise you stability and long-term. At work, the core is still the effort and intelligence that you put into it, but the sly tricks will be exposed sooner or later. The card also refers to financial troubles that make you feel extremely uncomfortable. You need to stay calm in order to respond while cutting out unnecessary ones. If you want to borrow, don’t hesitate. However, you need to stick to the commitments you make.
In terms of friends and associates, the quiet actions of your friends can cause you grief. Worse it could lead to fierce conflicts. The advice is that you should clearly separate the money matter from friends as well as avoid having a heated exchange with them. Instead, you should think about whether you can continue with this relationship or not. Regarding your colleagues, do not rush to trust their words, but look at how they act and treat you. Also, if you are dissatisfied with their attitude, don’t let your emotions dominate, because if you react intensely to it, your job will be in trouble.
As for your family and relatives, you feel tired of being cared too much by your loved ones and your family members. You want to be free and to do what you want, but you are not independent enough to take care of yourself completely. The Devil Linestrider advises instead of enduring such dissatisfaction, express your thoughts or silently accumulate in order to fulfill your wishes. Arrangements and family conflicts should be avoided because disagreements cannot be resolved verbally. Only when you act can you prove that you are mature enough and able to take care of yourself. On the contrary, if you are the head of the family, your excessive worries and you being high maintenance causing others to feel tired and stifled sometimes.
IV. Message of The Devil Linestrider
For what reason did this heavily symbolic card appear so late in the Tarot? Why, even after conquering the balance from Temperance Linestrider, have suddenly fallen like this? In order to understand the esoteric value of the Devil, we must first consider meanings that are often attributed to it as delusional and imposing. The biggest illusion is materialism – we often think of this word as an obsession with money, but rather it means “nothing exists outside the sensory world”, put simply, materialists/pragmatists believe that only things that can be seen, felt, or heard are real.
Denying any spiritual potential in life and pursuing personal desires (wealth, sexuality, and politics) are the hallmarks of materialists. That superficiality often leads to unhappiness, and the Devil becomes a symbol of misery. The Devil’s power lurks in the illusion that nothing else (other than what the subject accepts) exists. In many serious cases, people only realize their unhappiness when they realize that life has many other options.
If the path to the soul is through desires, then why should society inhibit it? And if the path of liberation has been discovered and directed since ancient times, why keep it a secret? The answer lies in the great power of the sexual-spiritual energy source. If we take it to a higher level, it frees us from the limits of opposition. However, if the power is released but is not changed, it will lead to obsessive consequences, sexual crimes, violence, and even destruction of personality. It was not the mere sexual politics that could lead Greek elders to attack feminine rituals of trance. Overwhelmed by the liberated internal forces, fanatics will destroy themselves and sometimes run through the countryside, mutilating animals, humans, or even children if they do not take refuge in the home safely. Only those who have been trained to reach a level of deep inner peace, to the point of understanding the Tarot’s significance of Temperance, can safely cope with the forces lurking in the Devil card.
In fact, the Devil contains much greater than sexual rituals and violent energy. In a broader sense, it is a symbol of a living energy source locked in inner darkness – the intimate area that cannot be penetrated through conventional ways. It is called the Devil because, for those who are not prepared to receive this energy, it will automatically stir everything up like demons, a sense of the universe filled with evils, or a violent attraction. We said that the 2nd line is the line of children who develop their egos so strongly that they no longer fear the dark. The movement flow of the 2nd line helps us to glide through the water at the foot of the Wheel of Life. The 3rd line again requires a complete unconscious release of energy. That flood can only penetrate the inner area, with all the delusions, fears, and passions – things that can easily distract those who are not fully prepared.
Paul Douglas called the 15th card “the dark side of the collective unconscious”. When the so-called dark Magician (the title of the Devil) summons the devil, he/she will truly arouse a force from within. If this summon succeeds, the mage will be the demon’s master, making it his/her slave. That is when the Magician can control the released energy, not become its prey. In order to do this, the Magician must clear away the desires and fears within the ego. In short, he/she must achieve Temperance, otherwise, the Devil will win the skirmish. The Magician becomes a slave of delusions created by the devil.
We have gone quite deeply into the interpretation of the Devil card. The meanings of this card tend to follow the more conventional interpretation. We get clearer meanings because in a spread the card appears depending on the situation. The Devil Linestrider may refer to a pragmatic and superficial point of view; it also implies misery, despair, especially feelings of bondage or confinement, with the illusion that there is no other option. If it appears with The Lovers, it underlines that a relationship that begins with love has become a trap.
The Devil denotes that you are a slave of passions rather than acting in the way you believe is best. It also means a controlling obsession, especially sexual, when a person feels drawn into actions that he/she normally finds to be immoral. The most typical example is sex crime; on a more conventional level, many men and women are strongly attracted to those they do not like (God gives you what you hate). The feeling of hopelessness and shame due to surrendering to desires belongs to the Devil.
We can imagine the expressions of the man and the woman chained in the card. This is the state of accepting a bad situation. In general, when we accept an unhappy situation as normal, we can even fight against change. The reversed Devil Linestrider, on the other hand, only attempts to get rid of suffering or bondage – practically or psychologically. One does not want to accept his/her situation anymore and proceeds to self-liberate. Paradoxically, we think that way it is when we feel most unhappy and understand the limits of life most.
Before you can let go of the chain you must realize the existence of chains. So, people who are going through some process of self-liberation – like leaving home, seeking psychotherapy, or a complicated divorce – often feel much more unhappy when blindly accepting a situation that is imposed. It is a decisive time for the growth of a person. If he/she survives through it, he/she will be happier with a more fully developed personality. Sometimes we see an unbearable painful transition and we go back in chains.
The Devil Linestrider in reverse in its past position usually means that change has occurred, but feelings of grief, anger, or disappointment persist, perhaps hidden by perception, but still influenced. We are often forced to deal with the demons of the past, even those that are long gone. Our common sense does not allow us not to forget anything. The path to liberation lies in how knowledge and energy from each experience are used and transformed.
V. Corresponding Associations of Devil Linestrider
- Astrology: Capricorn
- Arithmetic: 15
- Vegetation: lobelia chrysanthemum, carnation, wormwood, mugwort
*Drawing note: The characters in this card were inspired by erotic illustrations by Italian artist Riccardo Mannelli.