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As this year draws to a close, we say goodbye to the Devil card (XV) in the Major Arcana of Tarot. . . that corresponds in the progression of We’Moon themes with the number (15) for the year, 2015: Wild Card.
We will be looking at different interpretations of the Devil card: the “Wild Card” theme in We’Moon 2015, and alternative renderings by We’Moon contributors who have created Tarot decks of their own:
See also the following article, “The Devil in Retrospect” by Judy Jennings, aka Prairie, (who is co-facilitating the We’Moon Tarot Forum with me now), and of course, check out the entire edition of We’Moon 2015, based on the Devil card, which we have translated as the Wild Card (cover shown above). In particular, see our interpretations spelled out in the “Introduction to the Theme Wild Card” and Invocation by Bethroot, and “Mu Musings: In Black and White” by musawa…in the Introduction to the datebook, that we will not reproduce here, given all the above interpretations we want to include in this month’s online We’Moon Tarot Forum before the year ends! As we bid farewell to 2015, we look to the forces at work in the collapse of the devilish old order...
What the Devil. . . ?
and the transformations being put into motion in the process, preparing the way for what comes next.
Pura Vida © Autumn Skye Morrison 2013
From “Introduction to the Theme, Wild Card:”
Our 2015 theme gives us the Goddess as Trickster, breaking the rules and inventing crafty solutions. Shapeshifters play with Shadow, meld into and embrace the Other. Clowns, as healers and prophets, bedevil the complacent and shake up the present moment. What about that poor old Devil? In fascinating regions of myth and psychology.. . we learn of the Devil as a blank screen where whatever is most despised can be projected. Early Christendom, hellbent on rigid social control, projected a demonic anti-God onto Pan, the playful horned deity of the woods, who was associated with mirth, sensuality, woman and earthly matter. ‘Woman, you are the Devil’s gateway!’ a 2nd century church father said it flat out. Oppression of women and demonization of female sexuality have been cardinal forces in patriarchal societies. Played out archetypically, the old stories identify Eve as the Mother of Sin. . . Eve-ill? Not this life-giving woman who radiates creative joy and love.
Bethroot Gwynn © Mother Tongue ink 2014
From “Mu Musings: In Black and White:”
In a world of ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’, demonizing the ‘other’ is the name of the game—and patriarchy thrives on it. Whichever god is proclaimed good, a devil is right there, fighting against the ‘evil’ of seeing the good in some other god! Divide and conquer is the rule: even the smallest matter (in nuclear particles as in intimate relationships) can be divided against itself and turned int a weapon of destruction. Estreme polarization has gone viral, wreaking havoc in the natural balance—affecting evey aspect of life on earth. When the dominant culture insists on two-dimensional definitions of reality, the creative value of diversity gets lost. Even the slightest difference among people become deep sources of conflict between opposing forces (black or white, friend of foe, day or night, god or bad, either/or). A society of winners and losers, held together by the toxic glue of fear and distrust, is not a sustainable world order. We need to re-shuffle the deck and find the wild card for creative solutions that embrace our differences and affirm common ground.
THE DEVIL IN RETROSPECT
Any womon who’s ever faced her inner demons knows something about The Devil card in Tarot. She knows, perhaps, about the seductive nature of addiction, or maybe she’s just too attached to a car she can’t really afford, or is being overwhelmed by feelings of fear, distrust and despair about very real dangers in the world she feels powerless to change.
Interpretations of The Devil card, as with all cards in Tarot, have a range of meanings that vary greatly from deck to deck. The Tarot Devil may be a bawdy, lusty, fun-loving trickster—a bringer of the notion that our limitations are, at least partly, of our own making. It may signify forces of opposition oppression, malevolence, materialism, superficiality, or greed. In the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith deck every aspect of The Devil is a caricature of other cards, suggesting the ironic nature of this state of mind.
But the Tarot Devil is no religious fundamentalist version, rooted in the world of good versus evil. Although it’s most often associated with restriction, the Devil has a spiritual side as well, and can represent the first stage of enlightenment, the longing to be free, for it’s only when we become aware of our limitations, and strive to overcome them, that the inner path to liberation opens, no matter what the external circumstances.
Looking back on the year, 2015, provides plenty of opportunity to confront the Devil at every turn. The most recent specter looming large on the world scene is the largest refugee exodus from war torn countries seeking sanctuary in Europe since World War II, a devastating attack on Paris, and more than one mass shooting every day of the year in the United States. . . as well as a surge in reactionary responses that are as endangering to a peaceful just world as the violence they strive to defend against.
Overwhelming as it may seem, 2015 has given us more than burdens to carry into the new year, it’s given us opportunities as well. While the Devil card has been actively stirring the cauldron of polarization this year, exacerbating the extremes on every level, human consciousness has been stirring also as we are being forcefully awakened to the absolute necessity to reach beyond to another more sustainable way to live on this earth. Necessity is the Mother of invention. We have yet to see what She will invent. This has been a time of preparation for things to come. May the wild cacophony carry us past the limitations of this year and on into the new year, 2016, (XVI) The Tower card that will split open the door to change, in the Quantum Leap Year of We’Moon 2016.
By Judy Jennings, edited by Musawa © Copyright 2015—Email
*for a comprehensive introduction to understanding the basic keys to Tarot, sign up for Judy Jennings informative monthly Buffalo Gals Tarot Newsletter via her email, and check out her new blog: “Tarot: Ancient Art For Modern Times”, where she has posted a series of essays in November on “Tarot As A Force For Social Change.”
Devil Card Interpretations
Different interpretations of the Devil card (XV) in Tarot Decks created by We’Moon artists and writers, demonstrate a range of meanings that vary greatly from deck to deck:
XV the Devil card in the
by Karen Vogel and Vicki Noble
Here is an image of the Devil at his worst. He’s placed himself on top of everyone. He keeps a tight grip on the chains that holds his operation together. Everyone involved is bound to their predetermined part. The Devil keeps order here by force or handing out rewards for complicity. To use the Devil well, look at the structures in your life. Look at what is working well and what isn’t. Think about what you need to hold your life together. How are you impacting all that supports you? Upright: The Devil is tied to system or structure of his own making. His survival may seem dependent on everyone conforming to his ideas which may include hierarchy, domination, or playing by his rules. Pay attention to any ways the Devil contributes or collapses into the abuse of power. He may need to look for ways to be true to himself instead of requiring the obedience of others. * Excerpt from: Motherpeace Tarot Guidebook, by Karen Vogel, copyright 1995, U.S.Games Systems, Inc.
Oppression—the Devil—During the Inquisition witches died by the ‘piling of stones’, as well as by fire. Heavy rocks were used to crush women to death….everyone has the potential to be oppressive or oppressed. This applies to groups and nations, as well as to individuals…if Oppression appears in a reading, it indicates that the seeker or someone near her is caught in an inner or external state of bondge/stagnation/oppression. Perhaps she is too aware of material concerns, to the exclusion of her spirit or feelings…(or) this card frequently indicates internalized oppression, whereby we oppress ourselves by believing untruths passed on to us that become internalized ,and manifest as negative feeling of self-doubt.
Was converted into the antithesis and enemy of their males god, and became the ‘devil’ as the Triple Goddess toppled from human reverence. With characteristic lack of imagination, the patriarchs just reversed the Goddess values and ‘invented’ sin, evil, guilt, confession, and pain worship (martyrdom); used penance to justify suffering; glorified death through crucifixion; and created an all-male heaven to support the all-male cast in power on earth.
—excerpted from Feminist Book of Lights and Shadows, by Z. Budapest
The Temples Guardian is a wisdom being from the Tibetan tradition. He protects the hidden truth that we are not separate from any aspect of experience. His frightening appearance mirrors our unloved, unforgiven aspects of self. Yet if we can look into our fears, and allow ourselves to recognize and open to the powerful feelings of old anger, sadness and pain that they may conceal, this Guardian is a liberating ally.
He holds up a dorje (diamond scepter) symbolizing awakened mind, and stands on a sun, moon and lotus representing the shining center of consciousness within all beings. His wisdom flames consume imaginary limitations and unhelpful old patterns of behavior. He is a guide into the realm of disowned aspects of the self. He assists us to let go into spaciousness with our vulnerability and loving heart.
Interpretation: Most of us are afraid that our secret thoughts and feelings are unacceptable, worthless or laughable. In reality, we are sacred and powerful beings, with the power to heal and transform habits that bring us suffering.
Letting go of story, gently be with your feelings, taking responsibility for them as your own. Breathe into your feelings in this moment, without blaming yourself or others. Allow your energy to release into the freedom of the present. Recognize, in any judgment of others, the mirror of unresolved personal pain from the past. Look into it, as it is the way to peace and freedom.
by Margaret Duperley
As you look into the various visual and verbal interpretations of the Devil card in the above feminist Tarot decks— and review the art and writing inWe’Moon 2015: Wild Card, think about/visualize what image you would most like to see representing the Devil Card in the We’Moon Tarot Deck—and send your comments to Judy Jennings.
We invite your contribution to the We’Moon Tarot Forum as we begin to visualize the cards that will eventually become the We’Moon Tarot deck—now in process of creation.
EMAIL your responses, questions, and insights to Judy Jennings (aka Priairie) who is co-facilitating the We’Moon Tarot Forum along with me (Musawa) this year. We are both Capricorns, so it is only fitting that we begin working together with this card that is ruled by the sign of Capricorn under the tutelage of the planet, Saturn. We’Moon 2016 starts, as always, on Winter Solstice, when the Sun goes into Capricorn (Moon I: “The Eye of the Storm”), the period of this current We’Moon Tarot Forum. When you draw the Devil Card in life, as in Tarot (which we have explored as the Wild card in We’Moon 2015)—what are the lessons it gives you that helps you get through the present situation and prepare you for what comes next?
“Quantum Leap Year” is the theme of We’Moon 2016: our We’Moon interpretation of (XVI) the Tower card in Tarot shifts the focus from what is falling apart to embrace the changes we are being catapulted into. May it be so—Blessed Be!
*** New in 2016: The We’Moon Tarot Blog! During Moon II of We’Moon 2016 (Jan 9-Feb. 7), we will be LINKING THIS SITE TO A BLOG that we are in the process of creating— in hopes of stimulating more direct dialogue with you, our beloved We’Moon readers. Share your insights and consult with our panel of We’Moon Tarot buffs: We’Moon contributors who have created Tarot decks of their own, and professional Tarot readers—who will be featured in the posts on this Blog. You can find the link on the We’Moon Tarot Forum sidebar of the We’Moon website. Tune into the We’Moon Tarot Blog after the first New Moon of the New Year begins, and join in our Tarot conversation from a We’Moon point of view! ***