(i) Thoth Devil Tarot Card YouTube Presentation
My YouTube presentation of the Thoth Devil Tarot Card on my channel DavidH071. can be accessed by clicking on the image below:
(ii) Thoth Devil Tarot Card
Crowley says the card represents the material energy in its most creative form, and looking at its astrological associations we can see how this interpretation is arrived at.
(iii) Rider Waite Devil Tarot Card
The Rider Waite version is somewhat different to the Thoth imagery and we will cover this is a separate series.
(iv) Thoth Devil Tarot Card and The Tree of Life
The Devil represents incarnation and the word made flesh, the clothing that spirit takes on in order to descend into the world of form. It is the 26th path from Tiphareth to Hod. Tiphareth is the solar centre of the Tree of Life and represents Christ Consciousness. It is the opposite to the Death Card which we met earlier which connects Tiphareth to Netzach. In Hod, which is ruled by Mercury, we have the first Sepiroth which has a definite sense of FORM compared to the relative formlessness of the previous sephira. Hod is concerned with abstract ideas and as soon as mental images are present (such as in visualisation exercises) we have separation of the creation into parts.
Hod, being ruled by Mercury, is also associated with the WORD or Logos, the masculine energy or archetypal constructor of the Universe as we met in the Magus.
Thus we have the connection of this card to the material world.
Christ = known as a CARPENTER = not a literal one but a universal carpenter and constructor of the creation.
Hod is also the sephira of ceremonial magic and in this way the Thoth Devil Tarot Card is similar to the Magus in that it is concerned with the ability to manifest things.
Crowley is keen to point out that there is no universal sense of morality. Nature has no morality and morality is not cut and dry but is cultural. Man is keen to make morality a cut and dry thing.
The Devil is the Devil because he does not take sway of human morality. His nature is just to revel in the process of creation and materialism, whatever form that may take.
Jesus does NOT defend religion in fact he was very anti religion (The Hierophant represents religion). Jesus was much more about internal awareness and development rather than following external rules and regulation and this is detailed by the work of Bill Donahue on YouTube
Religious people of the time would have seen Jesus as Evil as he was very much against the traditions of the time as can be found if we read the Gospels.
Society wants people to be cut and dry, fitting into neat little boxes. Religion is the same and does not want people to have access to their own salvation. Jesus definitely wanted people to have their own salvation.
(v) Thoth Devil Tarot Card Hebrew and Astrological Attribution
(a) Hebrew Association
Related to the letter Ayin meaning ‘EYE’. The third eye can be seen in the image of The Devil.
The Thoth Devil Tarot Card represents ‘tunnel vision’ , he is one pointed in his attention and usually this is some sort of material goal although not always. It can relate to career,ambition and the fighting for and defending oneself and looking out for ones own best interests, so this is certainly not always a negative card to receive in a reading.
It implies that we can accomplish much if we are focused in our life.
The Devil is not distracted by other things and possibilities, he is very much focused on his task in hand.
(b) Astrological Association
The astrological association is another key to the understanding of this card.
The Thoth Devil Tarot Card is associated with the sign of CAPRICORN.
Capricorn is the sign of business, career, worldly success and social standing. Capricorns are usually hard workers and high achievers. Like the mountain goat they are constantly climbing:
Saturn rules Capricorn and Mars is exalted in Capricorn. Mars governs our Sex Drive and creative energy hence this card has a very strong link to the material side of life and self ambition. Saturn is also the planet of boundaries and limitations, time, and the cycles of life and death. In the Tarot Major Arcana , Saturn is associated with both the World and the Devil and in their lowest reflection they represent earthly existence with awareness firmly rooted in the associated pleasures and pains that it brings. Being chained to the creation we are therefore ruled by Karma.
Capricorn is also opposite Cancer on the zodiac wheel. In Capricorn we have the winter solstice and in Cancer we have the summer solstice. In Capricorn the days also start to become longer and the sun is reborn. This is borne out in the resurrection of Christ.
Christ’s birthday is 25th of December & is within the sign of Capricorn. So there is ironically a strong link to the Christ Consciousness in this card through its association with both the Tree of Life and its Astrology.
Chaos in Background = represents the canals on the surface of Mars
(vi) Thoth Devil Tarot Card Symbology
Goat = Pan Pangenitor = life force.
The Devil was a Christian Creation, but many of his characteristics are derived from PAN , the mythical God of music, sheep, nature and shepherds. Pans head looked human but from the waist down he was a goat. Pan was a God of PHYSICAL PLEASURES including sexuality, food and drink. He was closely associated with Dionysus, the God of Wine and as a result the Devil Card can be associated with alcohol or drug abuse.
It is from this association that this card is associated with uncontrolled desire, erotic pleasures, hedonism.
Crowley states that the card represents the complete appreciation of all existing things, with all things equally exalting him, finding ecstasy in everything. So he just rejoices in the material world without casting moral judgement.
Spiral Horns = masculine energy and life force, the spirals representing the DNA helix or blueprint for life and spiral galaxies :
When we tap into the creative power of the Devil we are tapping into the energy of life itself.
Wand of the Chief Adept = in front of Pan and used in the Adeptus Minor Ritual ritual of the Golden Dawn. It also appears in the 5 of Wands and represents the evocation of Spirit. The Wand is Phallic like.
2 serpents = symbolise sperm and they wear the Crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt and therefore represent the unification and harmonisation of opposites.
Tree Trunk and Spheres = phallus and testicles. The trunk penetrates the Rings of Saturn at the top of the card, Saturn being the Ruler of Capricorn. The rings are also associated with the Goddess Nuit and Binah the Great Mother, who is ruled by Saturn. So here we have female energies penetrated by male energies, and the implied creative impulse.
Figures inside the spheres = souls inspiring to incarnate.
Left Sphere = 4 female figures, 3 adore the Goat and one lies prostrate.
Right Sphere = 4 male figures being subdued by the Minotaur.
The sphere each contain 10 pairs of chromosomes
So in the symbolism of the Devil Card we have the process of creation repeated many times, representing the paradox of integrating the worldly and spiritual life of the Spiritual Seeker
(vii) Art to Devil Transition
Much of the information in this section relates to meditation on the Inner Light and Sound Spiritual Energies.
(a) Summary of the Transition
This transition is that of initial re-engagement between the initiate on The Path and their internal mental world of thought and identity. There is again a new awareness of separation from the thoughts and identity that have captivated the person up until this point, an opportunity to start again. The transition between these two cards is a move from the first revelation in The Fool to some recognition in The Devil of what they need to resolve, the tasks ahead and what may be required of them to proceed with the journey.
(b) Relevance to the Path
The process of walking The Path is partly one of letting go of our small sense of self and the attachments that hold us in that illusion. The first stage in this process is to see what attachments we have, to see what sense of self we have. With Initiation can gain insight into our selves, how we are and how we might be. This stage is again about taking stock of what has happened, seeing what thoughts and attitudes we have to work with. It can be like trying to find a way out of a jungle while being stuck inside it with no vantage point. Initiation and meditation can lift us out of the jungle onto a mountain top (like the Goat) to see how and where we are in our mental jungle, as well as where we want to go and how to get there.
(c) Difficulties in Attempting this Transition
The transition is once again about engagement – does one engage with The Path or remain at the starting point on a thinking level ? It can feel like being stuck in a deep, dark jungle. Thoughts may get in the way of seeing light and sound, we may only see the blackness of thought. Doubts may arise as to whether The Path is for you or not.
The mind will try to grasp and understand meditation but since the light and sound come from beyond the mind, this will not be possible. In particular it may react to anything seen in meditation, creating lots of thoughts that will immediately black-out what has been seen.
The new viewpoint gained with initiation may reveal aspects of our selves – beliefs, attitudes, prejudices that we find hard to accept. Our sense of self may seem very limiting or very fragile – we start to recognise that what was all that we knew is now only part of ourselves.
(d) Practical Advice on Making this Transition
Initiation can lead to great joy and yet also uncertainty – look for the help of Adepts and other initiates to advise you through your first times as an initiate. Continue the practices that were established before initiation – meditating regularly, reading spiritual books to aid motivation, attending meetings. Do not try to change too much at once.
Remain open in meditation even though you may not always see light or hear sound – they are always there, so it is the mind that is putting up blocks to connecting with them. The blocks are thoughts – these may be expectations that are too high, or worries about being able to see light or hear sound, or too much need to see light or hear sound, or a desire to “do” something when meditating. It may be useful to think of meditation as the light and sound meditating on you rather than the other way round – this may make it easier to sit and be in meditation rather than trying to do something. Apply yourself to meditation and be detached from expectations, allow the process to happen.
The mind may try to grasp and control meditation, but since the light and sound come from beyond the mind, this will not be possible. The mind will never succeed but it may never stop trying ! Remember that the mind cannot understand light and sound, develop insight into meditating by practising and doing meditation rather than thinking or worrying about it.
In particular it may react to anything seen in meditation, immediately creating thoughts that will black-out what has been seen.
The new viewpoint gained with initiation may reveal aspects of our selves – beliefs, attitudes, prejudices that we find hard to accept. Our sense of self may now seem very over-bearing or very limiting or very fragile – we may start to recognise that what was all that we knew is now only part of ourselves.
(xiii) Thoth Devil Tarot Card Divinatory Meanings
The closer you get to your own truth, the more you see contradiction ! This brings about the need to see life in a different way. This card teaches us to celebrate all aspects of Life but not to become a slave to its pleasures.
The above statement means that although the Fool is well progressed on his journey, he still sees many contradictions between his Spirtual Goals and the his worldly life. He has not yet fully integrated the two or indeed achieved Enlightenment. The lessons of the Devil help him to prepare for the tasks in the remaining cards.
Before considering the divinatory meaning of the Devil Tarot Card, some general points to note are :
- The Devil Tarot Card can represent those aspects of ourselves that we hide away and are afraid to come to terms with, as well as those things other people may not like. Historically the Devil represents that which society is afraid of.
- Someone, or some situation in your life offends your highest ideals.
- Outward appearances though can, like the material world be deceiving and therefore we may have people around us that are reflecting part of ourselves that we find difficult to accept.
- The first stage of overcoming this ‘shadow part’ of ourselves it by acceptance in order to transcend it. We are then in a better position to show tolerance to others and come to a greater understanding of all the aspects of ourselves.
- The inherent contradiction in our nature this card throws up can be seen in the image below :
The 26th path on the Tree of Life has been described above. It has the contradiction between our material needs and existence and our spiritual calling. The Devil sits on one shoulder and the Angel the other. We have Hod ( 8th sephiroth representing the first manifestations of the material world) at one end of the path and Tiphareth (6th sephiroth representing Christ Consciousness) at the other. So this card represents a further integration that was seen in the Art Card.
Integration process of the Thoth Devil Tarot Card = The spiritualisation of the material within us and the grounding of the spiritual for its highest expression in the world. This process opens up the all seeing eye :
Third Eye = Initiation & Revelation of the 1000 petalled lotus. The link with Tiphareth or Christ Consciousness cannot be underestimated with this card.
- It is also important to grasp that the Devil has a fun side. He loves life, makes music and dances. As long as we are not attached to the material we can enjoy its paradox more.
(a) Thoth Devil Upright
1. You feel restricted or imprisoned by life or a situation that appears out of your control, but you have far more influence over the situation than you think.
2.We need to look at our addictions and attachments that are stopping us from enjoying our life to the full.
3.The need to accept we do have an ambitious side and we can use it in a positive way, the lesson being our attachment to it and being able to see it for what it is. We have a strong desire to win, compete and improve.
4.Over investing in the material side of your life to the neglect of other matters.
5.A recognition of finding the balance between the material and the spiritual in your life.
6.Being sexually attracted to someone in your life or the desire for a relationship.
(b) Thoth Devil Reversed
2.Addiction to drugs, sex, alcohol
3.Feeling trapped in a situation over a long period of time.
4.Someone competitive to the point of being aggressive, dishonest.
(ix) Thoth Devil Tarot Card in the Celtic Cross Spread
1 : The Heart of the Situation = a sense of being tied to a situation that you feel is beyond your control
2 : Possible obstacle = unable to see all points of a situation and habitually repeating the same patterns, acting on the same viewpoints
3 : Unconscious Influences = unable/unwilling to look at those things in our personality which are from our darker side, holding us back from growth and being able to reconcile them.
4 : Recent Past = addictions to alcohol, or drugs or a destructive situation/relationship.
5 : Hopes and goals = to be more balanced between our material and spiritual needs.
6 : Short Term Future = focus on career and having fun in the world.
7 : Our Self Image in this situation = ambitious, competitive, career orientated, driven
8 : Environment = restrictive, stagnating and we need to feel free of our restrictions
9 : Guidance & Warning = unless we can look deeply into ourselves and resolve our worldly attachments, reconcile our lower and higher selves, we will always be held back realising our spiritual potential and fulfilling our life.
10 : Overall Outcome = Finding a new perspective in life where we have harmony between the world and our spiritual path.
(x) Thoth Devil Tarot Card Links.
Discussions of the Thoth Devil Tarot Card by other YouTube members
(xi) Further Links