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The Devil | Symbology & Interpretations | Tarot Card Meanings

A Capricorn card is feared by some due to its relation with the Devil in religion, The Devil represents addictions, obsessions, and overindulgence through repetitive cycles and patterns that need to be broken. The Devil represents addictive toxic habits that do not benefit a person or a form of obsessive lust and temptation.

Temperance Keywords

​Upright Keywords

​Reversed Keywords

Temptations, bad habits, workaholics, ego, illusions, negative attachments, lust, materialism, control issues, obsessions.

Breaking free, independence, confrontation, seeking help, hiding, shadow-work, acceptance

Imagery & Symbolism

The imagery of the Devil card in tarot typically portrays a horned, satyr-like figure often associated with Baphomet, standing on a pedestal. The figure is usually depicted as androgynous, possessing both masculine and feminine elements.

Chains may bind two naked human figures at the pedestal's base, symbolizing bondage or enslavement to material desires. The Devil often holds a torch, representing the fiery passions that can lead to entrapment.

The Devil
The Devil

The Devil: This is a creature significant for causing instability and controlling you to do negative activities. The Devil is also red, significant for passion, lust, sexuality, grounding and safety.

Vampire Wings: Symbolic of giving in to your desires, as bats are creatures that suck on an individual's life force or blood.

Fire: The fire at the end of the male figure's tale can suggest that the male may be walking into a situation that destroys and burns away at his core. As the individual is facing away, he likely does not realize this.

Grapes: These are symbolic of desire and appetite, and can suggest the female has fallen into a desire for lust and extravagance.

Chain: Two chains are seen around the male and female figures' necks. This is symbolic of them feeling restricted and lacking freedom, however, if you look closely the chain is very loose, which means they could remove it if they so desire.

5-Pointed Star: Also known as an inverted pentagram, the star signifies magic and the darker side of occultism.

Nakedness: The two naked individuals can signify vulnerability, as well as the alternative meaning of freedom. If you notice, this card is similar to The Lovers, which looks a lot like Adam and Eve. This can be similar to the idea of Adam and Eve eating the apple offered by the snake - falling into the entrapment of their curiosity.

Pedestal: The pedestal on which the devil sits is significant to the hierarchy of individuals shown in the card. You can interpret this as the devil overlooking the situation, and having more control of what is underneath him.

Black Background: The background is completely black can suggest not being able to see clearly, as well as mystery and concealment.


The Devil Tarot Card Meanings


The Devil appearing in a general reading usually means there is a toxic repetitive habit or cycle that needs to be broken. This habit or repetitive pattern is usually seen as a toxic or negative trait, which is either addictive or pleasurable, but very difficult to resist and escape.

Alternatively, The Devil can signify ancestral healing is needed as it represents the ancestral patterns repeated over time. These patterns can show up as something more minor, such as shopping habits, or repetitive actions that do not serve you, or they can be something more major, such as alcoholism, drug abuse, or toxic relationships.


The Devil takes a more positive approach as it can signify a breaking of these repetitive patterns and cycles. I would typically interpret a reversed Devil as freedom from being chained down by cycles, and having the independence to move away from this negativity.

The Devil reversed can suggest you have decided to confront these negative aspects of yourself and maybe tried shadow work to discover the deepest parts of who you are. It may also suggest that you have finally decided to seek external support and help for your struggles, giving you a sense of control and freedom.

On an alternative level, The Devil reversed can also signify suppression of these habits and hiding your truest identity this is a more internal battle.



In love and relationship readings, The Devil can signify manipulative partners that you keep returning to, or are unable to escape from. These partners or relationships can be addictive and tempting but have core toxic issues that need to be healed and broken.

There could be a strong sense of lust and attraction causing this attachment and lack of control for you to distance yourself, however, you may be too vulnerable and end up surrendering to your desires.

I would also interpret the Devil in relationships as a toxic trait that is interfering with the relationship's progression. Alternatively, The Devil can also indicate a disregard for your partner's feelings, due to internal or external control issues for yourself.


The Devil can suggest healing and release of these negative patterns and lustful feelings. You may feel more in control of your love life and are beginning to be more independent than you previously were. Sometimes, the Devil can indicate an ending or break-up from a toxic ex or lover to which you previously went back.

In this case, this is a strong and positive card of release and freedom, as you have recognised your truest core values and are nurturing yourself in a way you previously did not.



In career, job and business readings, The Devil can suggest workaholic tendencies that you need to get away from. You may be obsessive when it comes to work, to the point of neglecting your personal life. You may also feel vulnerable and trapped within your job and may feel as though you have no control over the situation, and instead, your job has control over you.

Alternatively, you may have picked up negative habits within your work environment which is causing self-sabotage. The Devil can alternatively represent a co-worker, colleague, or boss who you feel has control over you in a negative and toxic way.


The Devil depicts a more positive meaning of independence and freedom from your restrictive work life. You may feel more in control of your work, business and career, and maybe feel empowered and have strong boundaries.

You are likely taking more accountability for your actions and are taking positive and healthy steps towards achieving your goals and breaking negative habits or patterns.



In a financial reading, the Devil can suggest negative financial habits that are negatively causing problems in your life. You may be compulsively spending, shopping, or even doing addictive activities such as gambling or betting.

These activities may be getting out of hand, to the point your finances are becoming vulnerable. You may also be taking out continuous loans, which is not improving your financial situation. It is important to regain control of your finances.


The Devil can suggest that you are adapting and being more controlled and strategic with where you put your finances. You may be breaking bad financial patterns and habits that were once weighing you down, and you are beginning to regain control and independence over your money. Alternatively, The Devil is also a card of freedom, so this can suggest debts or money instalments have finally been paid off.



The Devil appearing within a health reading can suggest a lack of self-care and control that is negatively affecting your health. In its worst forms, The Devil can indicate alcoholism, drug addiction, or relationship abuse.

The Devil can also indicate certain mental health conditions that you are struggling to regain freedom from, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, or depression. The Devil can also suggest eating disorders or repetitive patterns that either directly or indirectly interfere with your recovery.


The Devil brings great freedom from negative habits or obsessions that have been wreaking havoc on your life. You have likely gained more control over your health and habits, which brings you more independence and stability.


As an individual, The Devil can indicate a masculine figure who is lustful and draws you in. This individual lacks self-control and can be toxic, resulting in risky behaviour. They likely have innate internal struggles going on and maybe hide this part of their identity.


The Devil appearing can suggest a break of repetitive patterns, and breaking free from the toxic chains of addiction. It can also mean leaving a toxic relationship.


In its most negative form, the Devil can represent addictions such as alcoholism, drugs, lust, obsessions and many others. It is a form of giving your power away due to temptation.