Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Devil as an Inspiration

One card that people do not like to see come up in a reading is the Devil. But once we come to an understanding of the symbology, we might look at this card as good instead of bad. Yes, there are times when this card can signify a person who is an adversary, or an obstacle in our way. The obstacle or adversary could be an evil person. But if we look at the traditional imagery on the Devil card, it becomes clear that one of the widsom teachings of this picture is that we are only bound by the things that we let ourselves be bound by.

The man and the woman on the card could walk away from the Devil figure, but they choose not to. How many times in your life would you have chosen a different path or done something more creative, but you held yourself back, for whatever reason? Later on this choice is a source of regret. In this instance, you forged your own chain. This is like the couple in an abusive marriage that refuse to end it. They like the old saying "the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know." Some people convince themselves that they cannot do better, or have a happier, healthier relationship, so they stay with the devil they know.

Who forges that chain? For another person it was the choice to turn away from a creative endeavor or some activity that gave them great happiness because they felt pressure to make more money, and those creative pursuits just were not producing much money. Who knows for sure that it would not have paid off further down the road? And even if it never produced a great amount of money, what if that pursuit produced a great amount of happiness?

We bind ourselves to our choices, until we gather the courage to break the chains. Bindings that represent a darker aspect of people, such as drug, alcohol or food addiction, are also chains that we choose. A person can choose to imbibe these substances to excess. Or not. A person can choose to eat to excess. Or not. When these addictions turn to liabilities in our life, then once again, we have chained ourselves to a negative cause. Once we realize that we have the power to break these chains, then the Devil is not some creature out there who made us do anything. It is our own poor choices that hold us back.

Next time the Devil card comes up for you, ask yourself a few questions. What is it that is holding me back? What do I need to do to set my self free? If I could break a bad habit or change a course I have set for myself, what would that be? In what way am I holding myself back? In looking at the image this way, the Devil can be a source of inspiration.

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