Four Pillars Tarot: The Devil

Notes on The Devil

(Awakened Indulgence)

Artist’s Notes :
The Fool Falls  and awakens the Magician’s Will to Power and begins their journey
The Chariot rider brings the outer circumstances of their life under control only to find that their passions will provide them with a much tougher challenge (Strength)
With Temperance, we have learned how to ride the balance of our passions after loss, sacrifice and renewal, but then we hit the Devil.
Our personal devils are always with us.
As Strength speaks to our wants, the Devil speaks to our needs
What is the difference between a want and a need anyway?
When we want something, it is very specific. we want it and we want it now!! No, nothing else will do except that particular thing that we want and we will wait patiently or otherwise for the right specific thing to come along until we get it
A need however is not that specific but it is so much more immediate.
“I need it, man, I’ll take it any way you can give it but please I can’t go without it. No, please man, I’m not addicted I just need it for right now”
Those needs are what chain us and it is only once we realize what our needs are that we can either satisfy or transcend them
That knowledge of what we need is the Devil’s gift
About the Archetype:
It makes sense that for many the Devil is a frightening card. It speaks of vice and temptation and excess and being chained by your own desires. While the card can mean that for some in reality it is the representation of Pan and the pure enjoyment fulfilment and use of the sensory world in all of its aspects. Many of us fear the desires and kinks that we carry around and bury them deep. We can all too easily become so terrified by the shadow selves that we repress ourselves and hide them away. Repression is the true trap for something that is too contained cannot expand and pressure builds up until it explodes uncontrollably. By enjoying ourselves and the world around us to its fullest and by deciding when and how we explore our temptations we give ourselves room to grow. The Devil tells us that we are material beings with a sensual nature and that we should delight in this. Our physicality is not something we need to transcend but a valuable tool in our arsenal. It is when we are incarnate that we can best grow and evolve. Learning to channel the carnal material energy that we have can lead us farther than denial ever can. It is only through the physical that we can bring the forces of our subconscious and superconscious into full awareness and manifestation. It is a force of responsibility because if we go to excess, it is up to us to recover and go forward.
It is only by going forward, accepting the darkest parts of ourselves that we can achieve true growth and true power for the treasure of our deepest selves lies beyond that.
Astrological Correspondence:
Capricorn(♑︎)-Much like the goat that is its symbol, the Capricorn energy leaps to the top of whatever field it is involved in. In material matters, it is hard-working, ambitious, and practical and has no problem making it over any obstacles in its way to get to where it’s going. It may be considered a ruthless energy in some ways tho Capricorn is always willing to take responsibility for its actions. Spiritually (for Capricorn while grounded has an extreme spiritual aspect and has the ability to manifest its spiritual goals) Capricorn will do the work necessary to reach the heights and the depths with a keen appreciation for every stop along the way. Capricorn has a competitive side and likes to win. It can tend towards the conservative side but uses whatever it needs to get to where it wishes to go. The Capricorn energy has a very sexual side and again there it knows how to get what it wants. Its planetary ruler is Saturn which in its slow-moving way gives Capricorn both patience and an awareness of the limitations it must overcome.
In a reading:
When the Devil turns up in a reading, it can often indicate that one is facing the shadow side of themselves. Perhaps they are feeling tempted by desires they are uncomfortable with. It is only by understanding the need and how to satisfy it that the querent can move past it. The Devil may also indicate that a relationship that the querent finds themselves in maybe damaging in some way tho it is very enticing. Perhaps it is with someone with an air of danger or ‘the forbidden’ to the querent. At the very least it may mean danger to them tho danger is not always a bad thing and can often be an amazing learning experience. The card may also refer to a feeling of being trapped or constrained by either circumstances or desires. This feeling is somewhat delusional and maybe a way of the querent avoiding taking responsibility for their own actions when they can release themselves at any time by making the decision to do so and following through with it. Another meaning of the Devil is obsession or focusing on one area at the expense of others. Excess may lead to wisdom or loss, it is up to the querent.
When the Devil turns up reversed or badly aspected, it often is asking the querent if what they currently have in their lives is what they want. They may be coming to an understanding of how they are trapped by their addictions and desires and are preparing to throw off their chains. The reversed card can also mean that the querent is ready to end a relationship that feels destructive. They may be understanding more and more how illusory that feeling of being trapped or constrained by another person in their lives is. It may also be a realization that they have been over-indulging in some area of their lives and it is time to put it aside for a while. The Inversed Devil may also mean that it is time for the querent to detach.
Fate’s Whisper:
In the recesses of our mind, we have chains that hold us back. Ancient dragons once said, “for each being to shine brighter their shadow must grow with it.” What happens when that chain breaks though? After all, what the chain holds back isn’t all the big things but instead the small ones. The more one lives the more those smaller things build up. Everything we swept off with excuses, every shame we ever felt, and many other things. The release of that chain brings may bring out our greater pettiness and hate for everything around us. How will you act when your chain is broken?



Notes on Strength

(Soothing the Beast Within)


Four Pillars Society Tarot by Gary Rosenberg (GAR) and Nyxsaurius Fallsong

Artist’s Notes:
Many, if not all of us have a pit of snakes somewhere in our psyche Buried within our recesses is a snakepit of passion and desire. It does no good to suppress it because one way or another the crazy will come out. If we don’t exhibit it ourselves, we will draw others into our lives who will exhibit and act it out for us or find ourselves in moments of unreality where we do or say things that we would typically never say or do. 
This passionate, insane part of ourselves is a necessary part of our makeup, Indeed it is the generative force of life itself and life will out. It is also the whisper of the shadowed self that we must one day learn to incorporate and utilize in healthy ways.
About the Archetype:
What does it mean to master the inner self? Does it mean that we clamp down on our every wayward thought, habit, and desire? I have met many people like that and they tend to resemble time bombs or pressure valves that will one day lead to a disastrous explosion. We cannot find that kind of inner control by repression. For one thing, it becomes way too easy to lose sight of that which we are suppressing in the first place and to realize what it is our will and/or desire to do
True Strength comes from the shadow work of examining our feelings and hunger in a loving and compassionate way. It means finding places and situations where we may do this safely. By giving reign to these passions, we learn to name them and work with them and use them. Our wants, desires, and wounds that need to be healed are seldom the problem. It is the way we treat them that tends to make them into uncontrollable demons that terrify us. It takes strength and courage to face our demons and find that they may become our greatest allies.
In his Thoth deck, Aleister Crowley calls this card Lust. Many people are afraid of the strengths of their lusts. They want or need things that they feel they have to keep secret and lose sight of why and how they lust. The satisfaction of our desires can lead to an ecstatic union with our inner selves if we allow them to. There are always ways to do this that do not involve harming others or ourselves. In this way, we come to wisdom and greater self-confidence and mastery than any we have known before.
Astrological Correspondent:
Leo(♌︎)-The Leo energy has an immense self of itself and its power. It is as enthusiastic and courageous as its symbol the Lion. It is ruled by the sun and takes its pride of place in leadership and holds it through its sense of dignity and honor. The Leo energy is great for friendship but needs to know it has control. It likes to have the spotlight and can be very dramatic. Leo has an immense capacity for enjoyment of life in all of its forms but wants to both make it fun for everyone and wants everyone to know that it comes from its largesse. Leo is amazing at group dynamics especially when it is at the head of the pack. Leo has an innovative energy and dislikes few things as much as routine.
In a Reading:
When the Strength card turns up in a reading, it may indicate that it is at a time when we feel that the querent has things under control. Things that have been stressful have been mastered and the querent has confidence in their ability to deal with anything that may come up. The card may also indicate that there have been inner struggles that have been resolved not through brute force or repression but with compassion towards themselves and others. Perhaps the querent is undergoing some form of inner test where they are attempting to master either addiction or some perceived weakness. The Strength card could be leading them towards the hunger that the weakness is feeding and show that they have it within themselves to satiate the hunger without the addictive behaviour. This leads to true mastery of the situation rather than repression. If this is a present struggle then the querent can be assured that this mastery will come in time and that they will find the inner strength they need. The Strength card can also indicate that the querent needs to present a stronger more self-assured face to the world.
Inversed or badly aspected, the Strength card may show that the querent feels weak and that they can no longer continue the struggle. They may feel like they are the victims of their inner demons and lack confidence. It may indicate addictive behaviour that has been triggered in some way or it may represent a long-term struggle. The Strength card reversed may indicate that they are in a relationship that is destructive and where the passion is out of control in a negative sense. The querent may need to be reminded of struggles they have overcome in the past and mastered and need to be more compassionate towards themselves.
Fate’s Whisper:
Where there is light an equal shadow must exist. This edict was made after an event called the first grief. What caused this event was the loss of an existential anchor for the Spider of Fate. This cast a great shadow over half of that existence till the Tiger of Chance quelled it through extensive measures.
We all face our inner demons at some point. The Tiger of Chance taught that, not only forgiving but making peace with this shadow grants one even greater strength. It isn’t always easy but that is the point, if one does not know the struggle they will never know the value of the strength they have. So when those hard times come,  embrace it as you would a wave, let it overcome you. This is because like any tide it cant last forever and will eventually recede and take the part you no longer need with it.