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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
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The Devil

This article was written by Carl Llewellyn Weschcke on November 30, -0001
posted under Devil

The Devil card of the Tarot:

  • The 15th Major Arcanum
  • image: usually a conventional-looking devil with horns and hooves standing on an altar to which are chained a man and a woman, alternatively the Pagan’s Horned God
  • Hebrew letter: Ayin
  • Divinatory Meaning: the instinctual drives of the sub-conscious mind
  • the 26th path on the Tree of Life connecting Hod to Tipharth.

Qabalistic Description. The 15th Key, the 26th Path. The Lord of the Gates of Matter, the Child of the Forces of Time. The path of the Devil runs between Hod (Intellect) and Tiphareth (Solar Consciousness). The Devil is an illusion, and it necessary to see beyond apparent “reality” to reach and understand the Beauty of Tiphareth. Ayin means the eye, representing the need for inner vision rather than the limitation of physical eyesight to penetrate the mysteries.

Card Description.  This card should be studied in conjunction with No. 13. They are the two great controlling forces of the Universe, the centrifugal and the centripetal, destructive and reproductive, dynamic and static. The lower nature of man fears and hates the transmuting process; hence the chains binding the lesser figures and the bestial forms of their lower limbs. Yet this very fear of change and disintegration is necessary to stabilize the life-force and preserve continuity. The colors are indigo, livid brown, golden brown and grey.

Interpretation. Materiality. Material Force. Material temptation; sometimes obsession, especially if associated with the Lovers.

Psychological Value. You may use this Arcanum to balance your inner being, and to treat others fairly, with the inspiration of your Higher Self. It helps you develop a sense of beauty, refinement and intuition, and to develop your social skills. (According the Divine Tarot of Aurum Solis  -  Divinity: Hephaestos;  Greek Letter: Xi.)


In western ceremonial magick, there is often a tendency to view a magickal operation as something that is at odds with the natural order of the universe. This is very much the core of the western mindset, where nature is something external to oneself to be "conquered." Human individuality and the Will of the magician are thought to be somehow... read this article
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