Here’s What The Devil Tarot Card Actually Means (2024)

When you pull the Devil card in a tarot reading, it’s easy to assume the worst. Like the Death card, the image on the Devil from the traditional Rider-Waite tarot deck appears pretty unsettling with a large devil standing behind two people in chains. Thankfully, as astrologer and tarot reader Clarisse Monahan tells Bustle, there are no “bad” cards in tarot despite the reputation of certain cards like the Devil. In fact, there are positive messages within the card as well, and digging deeper into the meaning of the Devil card will show you there’s really nothing to fear.

In tarot, the Devil is the 15th major arcana card in the deck. “The Devil is a card of vices and excess, and it can show us what we can be addicted to, whatever that may be,” Monahan says. The Devil is then followed by the the Tower, which can be interpreted as breaking free from the bonds of the Devil.

“A lot of people gasp when they get this, but it isn’t all bad,” Monahan says. “The Devil card shows us our darkness, but in doing so, also provides the opportunity for a light to shine. So while this card definitely gives off an intense tone, it can also have positive ramifications. For me, this card always reminds me to focus on integrating darkness with light. How can we welcome and embrace the hidden or repressed areas of our psyche instead of hiding it away or feeling shameful of it?”

One of the best things about tarot is that it’s all very personal. There’s no right or wrong way to do a reading. Some people will pull a card and pick out messages based on the imagery alone. Learning the general meaning behind each tarot card can help you piece together the messages you’re meant to receive, especially when you’re first starting out. With that, here’s what you need to know about the Devil tarot card.

What Does The Devil Tarot Card Mean?

Each card in the tarot has a zodiac counterpart, and the Devil is associated with Capricorn. In astrology, earthy Capricorn is known for being practical, strategic, and determined. They work hard, value security and tend to put their career above everything else. Because of that, the Devil tarot card is closely associated with ambition.

“While of course blind ambition is not healthy, ambition in general can be a good thing to cultivate,” Monahan says. “When we get this card, it is an invitation to think about where we want to go in our professional lives. Where do we want to be seen? What sort of legacy do we want to leave behind? These are some questions to contemplate when you get this card.”

The Devil is also related to the Lovers card in tarot. In fact, Stina Garbis, professional astrologer and psychic, tells Bustle they both share the same image, but in the Lovers card there’s an angel blessing the couple. In the Devil card, the lovers are loosely chained while the devil sits behind them.

“The loose chains around their necks can easily be removed, signifying one’s desire to live with their passions though they can stop at anytime,” Garbis says. Many times these “passions” are “obsessions” that are hard to break free from like sex, money, or a relationship.

What Does The Devil Card Mean When It’s Upright?

When the Devil tarot card is pulled upright, it can represent vices, addictive behavior, toxic relationships, and partying. In a love reading, the card can indicate a strong sexual attraction between two people. However, it’s more associated with a physical connection over something more deep and meaningful, Monahan says. If you’re asking about how someone feels about you, this card could mean they’re not interested in commitment at the time of your reading.

In a career reading, the Devil could be an invitation for you to set goals and stick to them. At the same time, it also “warns against unbridled ambition,” Monahan says.

What Does The Devil Card Reversed Mean?

If pulled in reverse, the Devil card offers some hope. According to Monahan, it can indicate being more in control of your life, vices and addictions. In career, it could mean that you have more self-awareness about the amount of work you’re doing, so you’ll be finding more balance in your life. In love, it could indicate turning a casual relationship into something more committed and defined.


Clarisse Monahan, astrologer

Stina Garbis, professional astrologer and psychic

This article was originally published on

Here’s What The Devil Tarot Card Actually Means (2024)
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