Happy Halloween everyone!
I decided to get a little spooky with today’s post, because on Friday I pulled the most appropriate Halloween card ever: The Devil.
Now, before you go getting all freaked out on me (which I get, this card gives me the creeps too!) I just want to say that in tarot, the devil is not as awful as he might seem.
Bridget over at Biddy Tarot describe the devil as this:
“The card of the Devil represents the hidden forces of negativity that constrain you and that trick you into thinking you are imprisoned by external forces ultimately out of your control. The Devil is an inner force within each of us. He represents our fears, addictions, and other harmful impulses. He is a master of deception and creates the illusion that you are involuntarily bound to him. However, the figures in this card are free to remove the chains from around their necks, indicating that they have freely given the Devil any power he has over them.”
I didn’t say this was a pleasant card.
Its unpleasantness comes from the fact that our situation might seem scary, uncomfortable, out of our control, and makes us feel vulnerable. But all of that negativity that we’re placing on the situation is usually coming from inside ourselves.
Friday, the day I pulled this card upright, I had plans to drive to Lansing and speak with a mortgage officer at my bank. Owning my own home is something I’ve always dreamed about, and I realized that I’m finally in a good place to start making that a reality in my life. But that morning I woke up terrified of making the drive to the bank.
I was having all of these ridiculous conversations in my head about why I would get turned down, or why this was going to be a ridiculously embarrassing situation – as in the bank would look at my finances and laugh me out of the building. But of course I didn’t want to admit any of that.
So, as I sat down at my coffee table to do my morning card draw, I knew the question that was eating away at me, How can I work at combating these limiting beliefs about my finances? But instead I asked, “What do I need to know for today?”
This is where things get spooky with tarot, in my opinion.
Regardless of the card you draw, you’re going to project your subconscious thoughts onto that illustration. And sometimes, the cards are really fucking spot on.
So I shuffled my deck, spread the cards, and pulled the devil, upright. I actually laughed out loud, because it couldn’t have been more fitting.
Here I was, basically having an internal panic attack about the fictitious conversations I was having in my head, and how my entire future rested on these conversations, and the devil appeared.
In my situation, the devil is my anxiety and fear of vulnerability. I hate talking to people about my finances, especially people who have access to my bank accounts and credit scores. They know what’s up, and they can see where I’ve been, and how shitting my finances have been in the past. And this anxiety, in all of its trickster and illusionist glory, concocted these ridiculous stories and played them on repeat. The devil in my head was doing everything it could to get me to cancel the meeting and just stay home and binge watch Netflix.
Pulling this card, allowed me to immediately recognize what I was doing. I do this frequently after all, and can’t always catch myself. But as soon as I could register those habits, I knew I had to stop. So I pulled out my tarot journal, wrote my question and the card, and then started spilling my guts on the paper about what this card meant for me. I wrote about my fears about talking to the loan officer. I wrote down the real worst case scenario, which isn’t even that bad, and I wrote down all of the good things that could come out of it. And as soon as I was done, I felt relieved.
Because like the chained lovers in The Devil, I feel restricted by the chains around my neck. But they’re actually not that tight, which means all it takes is acknowledging the situations and realizing that I do have the power to make a difference and to not blow this small situation out of proportion.
The brilliant Elizabeth Gilbert says in Big Magic,
“I have no great love or loyalty for my personal devils, because they have never served me well.”
I love this quote because it resonates so hard with me.
For far too long I let my personal devils weigh me down and keep from living in my life’s light. But that has never served me. It has never propelled me forward, brought abundance to my life, challenged me to be creative or innovative. It has never let me blossom into the human being I have the potential to be.
The Devil is a scary card to pick up, it always sends a shiver down my spine,. But from here on out, I will keep it associated with that Big Magic quote in my head, and never let it freak me out again. With a little more practice, I’ll be able to recognize those chains and illusions, and bring myself back into the light a little quicker every time.