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The Devil

Tarot Card Meaning

  • Upright Keywords:

    Bondage, Materialism, Temptation, Obsession, Dependency, Hedonism, Powerlessness

  • Reversed Keywords:

    Breaking Free, Releasing Bonds, Overcoming Addiction, Reclaiming Power, Resistance to Temptation, Awareness, Liberation


The Devi tarot card represents temptation, obsession, and materialism. It symbolizes unhealthy attachments, powerlessness, and the state of being trapped by earthly desires. In contrast, when reversed, The Devil stands for breaking free from those chains, overcoming addictions, and reclaiming one’s power.

This article is reviewed and verified by our advisor

What Does The Devil Tarot Card Mean?

As you can see from the picture, The Devil card depicts a figure resembling a satyr or a demon, which symbolizes humans’ animalistic instincts, as well as two chained humans who appear weak and small compared to the demon. As you will learn from a professional-guided tarot reading session, the chains represent the state of being trapped or controlled by our base impulses.

The Devil stands for the situations where we might feel powerless, chained by our desires, fears, or addictions. The nature of those addictions can be different, from unhealthy obsessive relationships to actual chemical dependencies and more. This card is a warning against losing oneself to one’s materialistic pursuit or excessive hedonism.

The Devil Upright Tarot Card Meaning

The upright version of The Devil indicates negativity, materialism, void, lust, and entrapment. It may be pointing toward a period of feeling trapped or restricted by materialistic or earthly desires, such as lust. The Devil may also stand for obsession or unhealthy habits that lead to powerlessness.

If you get The Devil in an upright position, it means that the deck urges you to confront the unhealthy attachments that are standing in your way and try to break free. You need to recognize that true power lies in understanding and overcoming those limitations.

The Devil Tarot Card Meaning: Love & Relationships

In a love reading, The Devil represents lust and desire. It indicates that someone is not ready for commitment and just wants something temporary. If you were thinking about your love interest when you drew the upright Devil, that’s not good news. The person you are thinking of is more interested in hookups than something serious, at least for now.

Also, The Devil in an upright position may indicate addiction and dependency. If you are already in a relationship but aren’t happy, analyze your partnership and your feelings toward your significant other. Chances are, your love for them (or their love for you) is obsessive and toxic, and you are better off without them.

The Devil Meaning: Money & Career

In terms of career, The Devil in an upright position indicates the feeling of stillness and enforcement. A person who draws it might feel like they are forced to work at their current job or pursue a certain career regardless of their actual interests and ambitions.

The upright Devil, in response to a career-related question, shows that the person having a reading is having difficulty handling their finances or simply has poor management skills when it comes to money. They are spending way too much, and this keeps them stressed. If that sounds like you, some self-reflection and, ideally, a financial literacy course is a good idea.

Upright Meaning: Past

If you were thinking about your past when you drew the upright Devil, the deck is pointing toward a period of addiction, materialism, or unhealthy relationships that once controlled you. Think about the lessons you learned back then and consider how those might be relevant for you today. There’s always a reason why the tarot chooses to remind us of something.

The Devil Reversed Tarot Card Meaning

The reversed version of The Devil card represents the moment of self-awareness, where a person overcomes bad habits and addictive behavior. It indicates that an individual can regain their lost dignity and break free from the chains holding them back.

Unlike The Devil in an upright position, the reversed Devil is a positive sign. It suggests a period of awakening and reclaiming one’s power. If you’re currently struggling because of an addiction or a toxic, unhealthy relationship you don’t know how to end, the reversed Devil suggests there is light at the end of the tunnel (and that end might be closer than you think).

The Devil Tarot Card Meaning: Love & Relationships

The reversed Devil represents coming out of a hurtful situation and realizing what you want from life in terms of love. If you feel trapped in your current relationship, now is the best time to end things and break free from the chains that restricted your freedom. Don’t be afraid to leave the familiar if it no longer makes you happy. Otherwise, there will be no room in your life for a truly healthy and fulfilling partnership.

The Devil Meaning: Money & Career

In a career reading, the reversed Devil card emphasizes that you no longer depend on your job to seek stability in your life. It also means that you (or the person you are reading the cards for) can flourish in terms of career. Also, The Devil in a reversed position may predict a shift away from unethical business practices or finding freedom from a job that felt confining.

Reversed Meaning: Past

If you get the reversed Devil when asking about your past, the meaning is the opposite of the upright Devil. It reminds you of a time in your life when you were able to break free from the constraints that hindered your growth or overcome the addiction that stood in your way. Think of those events; the deck wants you to remember how strong and courageous you once were and probably still are.

Is The Devil a Yes or No Card?

The Upright Devil Meaning: Yes or No

As a response to a yes or no question, the upright Devil is a no. At the moment, something bad is standing in the way of your dream. You need to remove those obstacles first if you want to succeed.

The Reversed Devil Meaning: Yes or No

In contrast, The Devil in a reversed position is a yes. Whatever it is you would like to overcome or break free from, the cards want you to know that now is the right time, and you can do it. It won’t be easy, but the freedom you gain will be worth the effort.

Reading The Devil in a Spread

The cards you get in a spread next to The Devil may change or at least complement its meaning. Let’s look at a few examples.

The Lovers. If you draw The Devil together with The Lovers, it’s bad news for your romantic relationship. Reflect on your bond with your partner—is it genuine love or merely an obsession you can’t overcome?

The Tower. Together, The Devil and The Tower point toward a dramatic upheaval in your life that will occur at least partly as a result of certain unhealthy attachments or self-destructive behaviors.

The Hermit. Drawn together, The Devil and The Hermit are a recommendation for you. The deck advises you to take some time to think of your dependencies or materialistic pursuits. It’s the best moment for self-reflection and introspection.

The Magician. The combination of The Devil and The Magician stands for the misuse of one’s talent. Analyze your life, especially its professional aspect, to see if what you are doing is indeed what you should be doing.

Strength. The Devil and Strength duo signifies the inner power and courage necessary to overcome temptations and dependencies. If you’ve been thinking of trying to break free from the chains that are limiting you, now is the right time to try. You will succeed.

The Devil Tarot Guide

The Devil Tarot Card Meaning