Before I begin discussing this card, I would like to mention a positive thing that happened since last week. There have been some wonderful reviews this last week from very educated opinions that seem to being taking from it, exactly what I was trying to communicate. (To an artist, such as myself, that is a tremendous accomplishment) Such as this review from a customer- " I typically don't collect so-called "dark decks," but I wanted this one because I tend to like garish decks and the AOT seemed to gesture in that direction. I wouldn't call the art garish or even necessarily dark-it's just strange. Wonderfully strange "
My Aunt, a well respected tarot reader and astrologer in Eugene, Or. also seemed to feel it was a theme and style she appreciated, that also pleases me a lot :) because we do have VERY different ways of approaching things and that she understands my message is quite an accomplishment. She did however, wish for me to add to the introduction of the book where we discuss our families origins in tarot with her and my mother in the 1970's, that we actually have a long history of spiritualists in our family, most noteworthy, my great grandmother, Ida Goodrich. Ida was the minister of a spiritualist church in Los Angeles and an automatic writer. Alright! With that said, onto the card of the week!
WARNING!!!! This is a very dark theme!! It is after all, The Devil card.
Ohhh the Devil card.....I used to get this one a lot when I was a teenager. Just like the death card, it can be misinterpreted, especially for entertainment purposes. It is not a card that is classically "evil" as much as it's a card about fear, restraint and oppression. When I was considering what I wanted my Devil card to be, it was a little personal. Since this card is about oppression and my idea of oppression is a ho hum, non creative job, where you lose your will to enjoy life but they offer you just enough security to keep you there out of fear for years. Since I have stepped off that path quite a few times in my life, most recently this year, to finish this tarot deck, that is my personal evil. I am happy to report that I never draw this card anymore though!
I do understand that things now are not as bad as they have been, especially the more I learned about the theme I chose for this card, but I do feel like there is a definite lack of loyalty or security in taking these paths for my generation. Instead of my parents generation where it seems more likely that if a man or woman wanted to support their family off of a factory job, they could keep that job for 30-40 years and have a mutual sense of loyalty between employee and employer. For example, office jobs are given in contracts a lot more these days by big companies to save a little money on health insurance and salary pay and keep employees feeling this constant anxiety that they could be disposed of at any second.
On the flip side, the theme of this tarot card in the American Workforce does help you to understand how things have improved in the last 100 years.
In 1911, the triangle shirtwaist factory fire in New York destroyed the lives of 146 female factory workers. Largely Immigrants, some even as young as 14. The post industrial revolution sweatshop produced shirts by seamstresses working long and hard hours. Scraps of fabric flung every which way in the jam packed rooms are suggested to be the cause of the fire. Because of precautions put in place by management to limit fabric stealing, the women were trapped inside the factory, unable to get down the locked stairwells. Many perished in the fire, others leapt to their death out the windows bellow. Or as one reporter described it, he believed they were flinging bundles of clothes out of the windows from above, every few moments until he relized those bundles were people.
If one good thing came from this horrific event it was that it set the wheels in motion for our first ever government mandated fire exits and workers rights.
The Devil symbolizes oppression, and that is anything keeping you in a situation unfavorable to you by overt control and fear tactics. This card reversed or upright could mean your feeling paralyzed by fear of oppression or that you are the oppressor in this situation. Either way it is not a good place to be. Evaluate what you want in life and what keeps you from getting it. Pursue it without dominating others or allowing yourself to feel dominated by others.
When you think of the classic devil figure what do you think his main control over you would be? I would say it's fear. So if your getting this card at all or a lot think about what scares you and why. Does it have any place in your life? Learning more about your fears can be very insightful and important to your development as a person. Fears that go un-confronted sneak into your life and irrational decision making from all angles.