The Devil tarot card (XV) is the 16th Major Arcana card in the standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck. Much like The Death tarot card, The Devil is one of the cards people fear most. However, there’s no need to fear. The Devil doesn’t represent anything evil or fearful. Instead, it is the card of vices. Temptations and bad habits can hold you back from realizing your full potential if you’re not careful.
Read on to dive deep into the meaning and symbolism of the Devil tarot card.
Devil Tarot Card Keywords
Upright: addiction, depression, mental illness, violence, bad habits, overspending, greed, jealousy, cheating, lying, sabotage
Reversed: overcoming obstacles, sobriety, freedom, personal power, taking control
The Card as Feelings
Upright, The Devil tarot card signifies feelings of being trapped, overwhelmed, and enslaved. You might feel like you’re in too deep in an undesirable situation or relationship and can’t see a way out. The energy of the card could also represent something from your past that is still haunting you or preventing you from growing.
Reversed, this card shows that you are beginning to gain control of your power and break free from the shackles that have been holding you back. You are gaining clarity on how to liberate yourself and make positive changes in your life.
The Devil as Advice
Upright, The Devil tarot card is a warning against getting caught up in addictive behaviors or bad habits. This card suggests that you need to be mindful of the choices you make in order to avoid getting stuck in a destructive cycle.
Reversed, The Devil tarot card is a sign that you have taken back your power and are no longer under the influence of any negative energies. This is a time for renewal and making new decisions that will help you take back control of your life. You are free to make your own choices and create the life that you want. Take advantage of this opportunity and make positive changes in your life.
The Devil as How Someone Sees You
Upright, The Devil tarot card suggests that sometimes people can see you as a bit of a wild child, someone who isn’t afraid to take risks and do things differently. Reversed, The Devil card suggests that you have gained the respect and admiration of those around you for being disciplined and sticking to your goals. People may now look at you with admiration and respect, having seen that you are capable of great achievements.
The Devil as What Someone Wants From You
Upright, The Devil tarot card suggests that someone may be expecting you to take on a challenging task and be successful at it. Reversed, this card could suggest that someone wants something from you that may not be in your best interests. They may try to manipulate or pressure you into doing something that isn’t right for you.
Upright Devil Tarot Card Meanings
Generally speaking, The Devil card is one of the only ones where the upright position has the more negative, restrictive meaning.
Usually, when cards are reversed it signals a blockage. But not so with The Devil card.
Be mindful of that when doing tarot readings and this card shows up.
The Devil card represents the following:
- Addiction or compulsive behavior
- Temptation and evil influences
- Jealousy, greed, and selfishness
- Being trapped in a negative situation you can’t escape from
- Feeling like your world is closing in on you
- Depression and mental illness
- Bad habits that hold you back
When you are facing these obstacles, it’s tempting to feel powerless and go down a negative spiral of defeat.
However, if you look at the image closely, you will see that although the figures are “bound” to the beast, the chains are very loose.
It’s not that you’re hopelessly bound to your circumstances — it’s a mental illusion.
You can always pull yourself out of this hole.
The Devil card shows up as more of a slap in the face to show you that yes, you’re having a hard time right now.
But you don’t have to stay there.
Use it as a wake-up call to pull yourself out of a negative situation, prevent it from getting worse, and ultimately start working towards a better tomorrow.
In fact, some people actually find hope and inspiration in this card because it shows up to encourage them that while they may be struggling right now, things are going to get better.
Upright Devil Meaning For Love
Upright Devil Card Meanings For Relationships
One meaning of the Devil card if you’re in a relationship is that one or both of you is currently feeling trapped in the relationship.
You may feel a sense of a loss of freedom or loss of your personal identity.
Maybe you’re feeling too dependent on your partner or that you’re even spending too much time together. You may feel restricted in your activities, freedom of movement, or even freedom to express yourself as an individual.
If this is the case, you may want to intentionally spend time enjoying separate activities — that way you can reclaim some of your individuality.
On a more serious note, The Devil card upright can also symbolize something more sinister in a relationship.
It could be that there is infidelity, lying, or even violence.
If this is the case, seek professional help and do not only rely on spiritual and metaphysical tactics for help.
Furthermore, the Devil card shows when one or more parties is suffering from addiction, mental health problems, or just is in a downward spiral that can have a strain on the individual and the relationship as a whole.
Again, if this is the message, make sure you seek professional help.
You don’t want to let these types of things fester and get worse.
Upright Devil Card Meanings For Singles
If you are single, the Devil card means that there may be a romantic or physical connection with people in your dating life, but it is empty and without love, depth, or meaning.
If this emotionally unattached dating style is your thing, then there’s no reason to worry.
But if you’re seeking love or soul mate bonds and instead of settling for physical flings that hold no meaning, it could be damaging your spirit and your psyche.
You don’t have to settle for less.
This could be a message for you to take a break from dating and work on your self-esteem so you are being more intentional about your choices.
Additionally, The Devil card could mean that you are attracting new people in your life but there may be issues at play.
Maybe mental health issues, addictions, or violent personalities.
The thing here is that these types of people can often present as intriguing, mysterious, or exciting.
And they can get you to drop your guard, then trip you up when you least expect it.
Pay attention to your intuition and go with your gut.
Be discerning with your dating choices.
Remember that nobody is worth your sanity.
Much of the time if you have patience, the right one will come into your life and they will not cause you grief.
Upright Devil Meaning For Money & Career
In a career tarot reading, The Devil upright hints that you feel stuck in a job or position that sucks you dry, yet you feel stuck.
The Devil card is a reminder that even if it doesn’t seem like it, your feeling stuck is a mere illusion.
Think of it as a phase or temporary situation that you can break out of.
Remember that it’s your choice to be in this place!
There are always options you can take, you just have to open your mind to finding them.
In a career or business context, the Devil upright also represents someone who may smile in your face but go against you behind your back.
These types of people are often sneaky, conniving, and underhanded.
They make you feel like they’re your friend but in reality, it’s all a front.
Now if this describes someone in your business, cut ties asap!
Be mindful about who you trust and remember that even though these people may seem like good friends, your business relationship is first and foremost.
In regards to money, The Devil card upright can also mean that something is going on behind the scenes that may hurt or damage your bank account.
Do all you can to avoid risky behavior when it comes to finances.
Cut out impulse purchases, gambling, or anything potentially destructive.
Reversed Devil Tarot Card Meanings
If you are trying to overcome personal challenges in life, The Devil card in a reversed position is going to be your best friend.
It is shouting to you that you are finally breaking ground on reversing the destructive patterns that have been holding you back, so congratulations!
You are taking back your power and for the first time in a long time, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Even if you’re just barely turning over a new leaf and don’t have much success yet, The Devil card wants you to acknowledge that you are on your way.
Use this as motivation to keep going.
You have turned over a new leaf and are going in the right direction and there’s no way to go but up!
Another meaning of the Devil card upright is that you may have potentially nearly missed disaster.
For example, perhaps you were scheduled to be somewhere at a certain time, but an incident happened at home that made you fifteen minutes late.
You missed the train, only to discover that it was involved in a major accident.
The Devil card would show you that this was not by mistake — you are protected and everything happens for a reason.
Reversed Devil Meaning For Love
Reversed Devil Card Meanings For Relationships
If you’re in a relationship and the Devil card shows in a reversed position, one meaning is that it’s a sign that the troubles you’ve had are over or are near their end.
A good clue to look for is whether or not there have been any recent breakthroughs with the issues you’ve been having.
You may not exactly know what changed from one period to the next, but something has shifted and now you’re able to see light at the end of the tunnel.
Another meaning of The Devil reversed could be that you had a near-miss on something that would have ripped you apart for good.
It could be that one of you was almost going to cheat or do something wrong, but chose not to, and so there’s still hope to save the relationship.
Likewise, The Devil card could mean that if someone in the relationship has been suffering from an addiction, mental illness or other downward spiral, things are turning up or will be soon.
On the other hand, if you’re in an abusive relationship where you felt stuck for whatever reason, it could represent you finally reclaiming your power and choosing to leave — even if it will be hard.
You acknowledge that you deserve better and are willing to make the temporary sacrifices for long-term gain.
Reversed Devil Card Meanings For Singles
If you’re single and the Devil card appears reversed, it could mean that you’ve had a near-miss with a destructive, violent, or otherwise unhealthy match for you.
It could also mean that you have broken a pattern of choosing unhealthy partners and are now doing the work and taking the time to heal yourself before getting into another committed relationship.
In fact, you may be looking to attract your true love without interference from any lingering baggage.
Furthermore, if you’ve been pining away for love and have settled for less in the past, the Devil card reversed shows that you’re finally ready to go for what you’re worth.
Reversed Devil Meaning For Money & Career
The reversed Devil card has positive meanings for your money and your career as well.
Overall, even if you’re in a less-than-ideal situation with your career or job, right now your self-awareness is peaking.
You’re starting to understand the role you’ve played in your present situation, but more importantly, that you have the power to change it.
You’re starting to see new opportunities to change things in your current situation or job, but you’re also opening to thinking outside of the box.
There are opportunities everywhere and you couldn’t see them before, but now you do, and that’s a great reason to get excited!
If you have a good job that pays well but you’re not fulfilled, you may be starting to shift your perspective.
You’re considering perhaps changing careers and taking a pay cut in exchange for more free time or increased personal fulfillment.
You’re taking a more holistic approach to your career and income as only one part of what makes a happy, joyful life.
When it comes specifically to your money, the Devil reversed is a good sign.
If you’ve suffered from overspending, gambling, or otherwise being irresponsible with your money in the past, you’re learning to take a more moderate approach.
It doesn’t mean that you can never treat yourself or have fun, but it also means that you understand a spendy lifestyle is not the answer to your problems.
Rather than living for instant gratification and making purchases impulsively, this card signals that your values are shifting and you’re beginning to realize that doing so isn’t sustainable.
Financial fears and anxieties may have been holding you back from investing as much time or money into growing your income, but now you feel empowered to do what it takes to make your dreams come true.
Final Thoughts On The Devil Card
Congrats on taking the first step to working with the tarot and learning to read for yourself and those you love!
Just by interacting with different cards and learning more about their meanings, you are already on your way down your path to spiritual fulfillment and enlightenment.
The next natural step is to make sure you receive your free numerology reading.
Few things are as powerful as numerology for helping you improve your tarot readings.
But I’m not going to tell you that the information you’ll uncover will make you a better tarot reader.
It’s better for you to get your reading and find that out for yourself.
That way, it’ll be a much more personal, special, and beautiful experience.