Thursday, 16 May 2013

Eastern Devil

By W. Crane & E. Fitzpatrick
Wow, what a fierce and strange Devil this is from the Harmonious Tarot (Lo Scarabeo, 2005). 

A humanoid figure with pointed ears, a fierce, ape-like face and clawed toes swings a sword and rides a huge black cat.  An even bigger black turkey looks on from just behind them, while further back we see a human in a toga with hands thrown up in shock.  There are also what may be human figures looking down from a colonaded balcony. 

In front of the sword-wielding Devil figure four flames spring up from the tiled floor, and in the background the sun shines through pinkly from a cloud-strewn sky.

This Devil is both scary and bizarre.  He makes me think of a Djinn out of the Arabian Thousand and One Nights.  A terrifying demon come to steal us away to a life of torment and slavery.  Which brings us round to traditional interpretations of the Devil. 

Of course, these are tales told to frighten us into good behaviour, as defined by the teller of the tale.  Yet oftentimes, the situations or behaviours I see as more within this archetype involve a battle with ourselves.  And no tale is likely to scare us out of them, though a life-threatening shock might.  Even then, for some the habit or addiction outweighs even that kind of experience...

I sometimes wish I'd have some kind of experience that would frighten me out of eating sugar - like a diabetes scare, for instance.  Realistically, though, I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make to my habits (addiction).  I've noticed this week once again the difference that stress and lack of sleep makes - I've been eating worse than I had for a while :(

I am grateful that I know my demons, and hope that is the first step to accepting them and digging their claws out of me.

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