A lesson in overcoming fear
Each incarnation offers us the opportunity to break free of the bondage of our limitations and fears.
Major Arcana card #15, traditionally known as The Devil, is perhaps the most ill reputed card of the Tarot and the most feared. When we are dealing with this dense energy, we are most likely having a one-on-one with our shadow. Do not back down or turn away from this healing opportunity! This is important internal work and a chance for liberation from self-imposed limitations. One of my decks has this card labeled as Separation from the Source. This seems very accurate to me. It is not about being possessed by some outer force. It is about choosing to live by fear and therefor separating oneself from the life force.
The Devil may show up as a struggle with addiction, co-dependency in relationships, greed, envy, superficiality, materialism, feelings of inferiority, self-doubt, negativity, shame and guilt, obsession, ignorance, miserliness, substance abuse, misalignment with truth. You are most likely having a break with Divinity and the lesson at hand will eventually prompt a return to the light and love that is your authentic nature. You must be very gentle with yourself. The antidote to this all consuming dense state of anxiety and fear, is self-love.
Keywords: Darkness, Ignorance, fear, self-doubt, obsession with materialism, power and appearance that enslaves, negative beliefs, error in judgment, personal power leakage, guilt, shame, addiction, a sense of feeling stuck or haunted by the past, self-imposed limitations, conditioning, karmic lessons, liberation.
These are the behaviors and aspects of yourself that you may have been unconscious of or wanting to avoid. At this point your shadow aspects are creating some chaos in your life and/or relationships. The more you ignore them, the greater their power will be to come in between you and the happiness that seeks to find you. Bring them into the light of healing. Integrate them so they can become your strength and work for you.
Dealing with the energy of The Devil means earth-based challenges and lessons. Last time I pulled this card, was when I got sucked into the negativity and upset surrounding this year's election. I was on social media all the time and I was feeling increasingly anxious and disconnected from my life. My solar plexus started hurting in the night and my breathing was shallow. The world was looking pretty dark from where I was standing, and I was falling deeper into the abyss of my fear and doubt. A reading that I did, with The Devil in the self-reflection position and pretty much every challenging card the Tarot has to offer in the other positions, helped me see how I had become too entangled with the material world. I anchored back in my reality and grounded myself with lots of time in nature, smudge, prayer and altar work. It was a good reminder not to allow the temptations of my psyche to mess with my spiritual focus.
When a client draws The Devil, I will look for cards that indicate realizations and therefor a shorter process. If no such grace is evident, the best I can do is plant seeds of awareness without the expectation of a quick result.
The devil indicates karmic lessons. These imprints are patterns or mistaken unconscious beliefs and perceptions that move through the soul body from one incarnation to the next. The stakes are higher each time and the effort involved more refined. Until self-love is deeply rooted in the soul, it is difficult to break free.
First we must identify the causes of our suffering, bringing our fears into the light and healing our past. Then we must surrender all mistaken views and allowing ourselves to rest in love and acceptance.
Healing in this case often involves working with your inner child and your core wound. The following is a simple exercise that is very powerful.
Close your eyes and allow yourself to find the core wound within you that gives rise to your shadow. Breathe into this place where this wound lives. Send your light of love and compassion to this area. You can place your hand over your heart and say out loud, "Even though I believe I am....I love and accept myself."
Body work, hands on healing and soul retrieval work can be very effective, for karmic imprints are stored deep within the body. I recommend you get some energy work done to gently extract the imprint from your aura, your protective shield. Tuning into the language of the body helps keep mental constructs out of the healing process. Having a reading can also be very helpful.
Spend lots of time in nature and ground. Walk barefoot on the earth if you can. Swimming in natural sources of water is very cleansing and energizing.
The fragrance of Rosemary aids mental clarity and offers comfort when you are dealing with strong emotions and mood swings. Patchouli is grounding after trauma.
Avoid harsh chemicals, media and relationships.
Hold the vision. Remember what was true for you the last time you felt really strong and connected.
Be very gentle with yourself. Self-love is key.
Your healing and liberation at this point, lies in identifying what separates you from your happiness and discovering what you can do to strengthen your sense of connection with Divine Source.