There are plenty of times when we make decisions which are not based on our own highest good. There are many factors that can motivate us. Lust, greed, the desire for immediate gratification – all of these feelings (and more) can lead us down roads where in the end, we wind up wondering how we arrived in the first place.
The 15th card of the Major Arcana speaks to these sorts of urges. Contrary to what we may think, the Devil does not indicate or suggest the presence of evil in our lives, but rather it points toward us going against our own highest natures.
So (absent of the Devil card of course) how do you know when you’re doing just that? It’s simple. You trust your gut.
Think about it. That “kid who stole the cookies from the cookie jar” is a feeling anyone can relate to – and it translates to grown up matters too. Before doing something or making a decision that we felt instinctually was wrong, we’ve all experienced foreboding. Maybe it’s nausea, maybe it’s headaches, maybe it’s simply that uncomfortable shifty feeling we get when we’re afraid we’re going to get caught. However you experience it, the feeling relays that something is amiss and if we continue on the same paths we’re on, destruction (or at least something destructive) is certain to follow. The presence of The Devil in a reading indicates exactly that – not that you’ve done wrong or someone is bad but rather that you’re going down the wrong path! We’ve all done it? So how do we switch things up, when we’re already spiraling downward?
As this card also tells us, the devil is in the details. What does this mean? It means that before making decisions (particularly if we have the sense that something just isn’t quite right), we need to examine our motivations. So think about what’s really driving you. Just as much as we can choose to create positive patterns in our lives, if we elect to take ourselves down the path of the self-saboteur, that’s exactly where we’ll wind up.
So before you go against your gut – whether the action in question is big (like getting married) or small (like telling a white lie), take a moment and consider why you’re about to do what you’re doing. If, for instance, you’re getting married because you’ve reached a certain age and it’s what you think you’re supposed to do, consider this: any societal norms are constructed by man. There is no certain timetable. Wouldn’t you be much better served to spend some extra time finding the person for whom love motivates your decisions? Life is a long time to live unhappy, and if you’re doing something simply to meet someone else’s expectations (or even your own), you may want to reconsider.
One other thing The Devil card tells us, is that universal truth that we dictate our own destinies. The card indicates control over a situation for better or worse, and naturally, the ultimate situation – which bends and shifts and sometimes does back flips right before our very eyes – is life. Maintain control of yours by recognizing what makes you act. When you act to achieve your own highest good – however you know that to be true, not as it may be perceived, you’ll know what it is to be happy.