I love Hallowe’en. I dress up every Hallowe’en, if I’m going to a party, or just staying at home to hand out candy and scare trick or treaters. I always go for the archetypal Hallowe’en costumes: vampire, devil, ghost, witch. I’ve stretched it to include some of my favourite goddesses and demigoddesses, and I have to admit I love a good X-Men or Dr. Who costume, but since I’ve “grown up” I don’t tend to go for the trendy or non-scary costumes. I think it’s fantastic if people dress up at all, but secretly I’m very traditional about Halloween. To me, this absolutely fantastic day isn’t about dressing up as the latest scandalous Hollywood or political figure, or a chance to be a sexy crayon (I swear that’s a real costume I saw in a shop this year). It is about acknowledging that this is a day when the veil between the worlds is thin, when spirits are a little more free to walk the earth, and to revel in the fact that we don’t understand everything about life and death and there are still a lot of mysteries. I don’t mean that this should be a serious, solemn day, though. Quite the opposite – there is a real thrill and euphoria in embracing the darkness of Halloween.
This year I dressed up as a devil for Halloween (this is not the first time, it’s a personal fave). This led me to consider The Devil card, particularly the RWS version.
It took me a while to build a good relationship with this card. At first, I had trouble relating to this very earthy, bestial version of the Devil. I’ve always thought of him as a tall, dark stranger in a great suit and a knack for witty repartee. The RWS Devil is depicted this way for a reason. This card is all about the material, the physical, the intellect taking a back seat to desire. Addiction, destructive behaviour, fear, pessimism. The Devil tries to trick us into thinking that we are slaves to forces beyond our control, and that is why we find ourselves in a life that we didn’t wish for. That job you hate, the money you owe, your unhealthy lifestyle, none of these things are your fault, and you just don’t have the power to escape them. This is illusion. Take a look at the male and female figures on the card. They are wearing chains around their necks, but they could very easily remove these chains if they wished. They don’t choose to do so. When the Devil appears in a reading, it’s time to consider the limitations that you are putting on yourself with your negative thoughts or destructive behaviour. Be honest with yourself, this honesty brings freedom.
The Devil, The Lovers and The Magician
The Devil is also the shadow companion card to the Lovers. Look at them side by side, the Devil is a dark mirror to the Lovers. In relationship readings, the Devil can often represent a destructive or obsessive relationship, or a deceptive and manipulative partner. This card is asking you to admit that you have a negative relationship with a partner or friend, or that some material substance is having a negative effect on your life.
All this being said, in some cases I think the Devil card also tells us to have a bit of a sense of humour about ourselves. Compare the Devil to the Magician card – the Devil is
mirroring and mocking the pose of the confident and capable Magician. The Devil looks deadly serious, but he is laughing at us and our colossal egos. Sometimes the Devil is telling us to get over ourselves, reminding us that we can’t control everything in our lives. Everyone messes up or looks foolish sometimes, relax and embrace it.
Take a good look at the Devil card, and think about how you may be sabotaging your own quest for a happy life. Be honest with yourself. Also, lighten up a little! Everyone needs to be devilish and let off some steam now and again. Happy Halloween!