This day has finally come, and I sit calm and focused, in the hallway of beginnings as I consider the journey of The Devil. Much traveling has been undertaken in the last 6 months, and many things have transpired and passed into being as a result of my wanderings. I am beginning to see that this entire process has the potential to tap into a vast source of creative power, and as such, it begins to take on a more serious visage. As I have brought the power of change into my life through these voyages into the unknown realms, so also have I developed the realization that this power brings with it immense responsibility. I calmly wonder whether I am fitted for such a burden, the weight is immense, but also equaled and indeed exceeded by the profound surges that I feel from the depths of the ground beneath me. The power of the earth is great, a vital source of strength, like a vast battery that resides silently and for the most part ignored, beneath our very feet. Who considers the virility that remains largely untapped, hidden in the realms of the gnomes, forgotten in our modern age, molded by myth makers and lost into legends?
So with a determined and collected energy, I rise to my feet and with purpose and power, I walk the stairs to meet The Devil.
I open a beautifully carved door, embossed with oak leaves and acorns, and tentatively enter a rocky land that seems barren and harsh, rather unforgiving to first glances. I look around and see that there are a few people wandering around and that there is a pattern of roads leading towards a large central tower. The flinty grey tower rises from the landscape like some ancient edifice from the land of fairy-tales, but is in fact very much like the Priest Towers that are found scattered across the Celtic landscapes of Ireland, some remaining to this day, proud defenders of Power and Protection that defended the early Christians from the marauding Viking hoards of the Dark Ages.
There is a single doorway, placed some way up the wall, with a ladder for access, and beside this single approach are standing two familiar figures, The Hermit and The Hierophant. Not only are these two figures associated with the other two astrological earth signs in the Tarot, but they are also closely linked to the concept of faith and religion, spirituality and learning. I acknowledge their esteemed presence, and wonder about the relevance of this, finding after some consideration that it may be necessary to engage the energies of these two cards in order to fully understand the experience of The Devil. The Hermit can teach us to know ourselves, whilst the Hierophant can instruct us in how to operate within certain laws and structures that contain and hold us. It seems perhaps that when we have experienced the structure and containment of The Hierophant and gone within to embrace the inner teachings of The Hermit, we may then be free to fully understand and enter into The Devil.
After my long consideration, I decide that it must be time to enter the tower, and I walk slowly towards the huge structure, which is vast, and of a dizzying height. I cannot deny that I am afraid of its power and potency, and I hesitate as I climb up the ladder and finally step in through the arched doorway to stand in the gloom of the lower floors. As my eyes grow accustomed to the dim light, I am slowly becoming aware of a bluish glow above me, and I look up to see a strange writhing hologram type being spiraling up through the height of the tower.
The writhing form appears to be the entwined bodies of a man and a woman, locked in an ecstatic sexual embrace, entwined like the snakes on a caduceus, eventually turning into those creatures as they spiral up into the unseen reaches of the tower. As I look at them, and their oblivion to all others in their ecstasy, I sense that I feel a little scared of the male, at first, but then a message arises within me that “The male is only as strong as the female able to receive him..” and I get a strong feeling that the whole essence of this card is about a balance of energy that spirals ever upwards toward spirit, connecting the earth to the sky in an eternal dance of love. The emotional and the physical link together and are key to the energetic expression, as femininity and masculinity unite in harmony and balance, giving and receiving, not taking or controlling, safe within their personal structures yet also trusting and open to each other, joyful and alive. I watch them, mesmerised by the beauty of their dance, which emanates a sonorous and angelic vibration that puts me in mind of music until I can bear to watch them no longer, and I drag my eyes away from their hypnotic and mesmerising presence and head back towards the door. As I eventually step out into the sunshine I am temporarily blinded by the brilliance of the dazzling light, and am assaulted by images of the Devil and Lucifer, the bringer of light, the fallen angel, the son of the morning and all these things seem to explode in my mind as the relevance of the power struggle often depicted in this card is revealed to me.
I feel confused and startled, as if a huge paradigm shift has taken place in my awareness, and as I look out again over the rocky landscape, with the tower behind me, I see Malachi again, he is standing some way off, tending a large white she goat.
I approach him, and he welcomes me with his usual kindness, instantly calming me, and talks to me quietly about the goats. He tells me how the male is often shunned, because he is wild and smells really bad, but his tenacity, intelligence and cunning keeps him safe, he is wise and clever. He says too that the female is preferred because she is useful, she is calm and gives milk, and does not rebel from the chains that we place on her, and so we accept her. The message seems to be that in order to utilise the power of The Devil, we must embrace the wildness and the more unacceptable parts of our nature and become whole. We must not content ourselves with enslavement and service, for we have the tools with which to free ourselves at any given time. Malachi looks kindly at me and places his hand over my heart and tells me to look inside my heart, that it is all about the time and the place, and that I have nothing to fear. Again he has lulled my fears, and I walk away from him in a kind of dream like state, my mind awash with the rich symbols of this journey, and with much to consider. I take with me a bag full of treasures, many as yet not fully realized, and that will lie undiscovered until they are ready to be released into the world. I see the carved wooden doorway again, and the door is slightly ajar, perhaps I forgot to close it behind me this time, or is there someone else here with me? I don’t think about this for too long, but leave the idea waiting for further pondering, and slip quickly back into The Hallway of Beginnings.
The Devil XV
The Lord of The Gates of Matter
The Child of The Forces of Time
Zodiacal Trump of Capricorn
Saturn Rules Mars Exalted
My name is Joanna Grant, I am an Astrologer, Tarot Reader and Writer, who lives on the beautiful Beara Peninsula in the South West of Ireland. I can often be found at home, deep in arcane research, or practicing some new form of divination whilst burning the dinner! My children probably wish that I was “normal” but may well remember my eccentricities fondly when they come to face the challenges of their own paths. My long knowledge of Astrology leads and informs my practice, in offering guidance, empowerment and healing, helping others to lead a more authentic and magical life. You can read more about me here.
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