Sunday, 15 December 2013


For our second day with the Efflorescent Tarot (Katie Rose Pipkin, 2011), we have a rather dark Devil card.

A tusked, horned, goat-headed creature wears a dark cloak of leaves and twigs.  This cloak seems to have caught up and dragged along any number of things: keys, hearts, daggers, rings, hands, faces, playing cards, bits of bone, a clock, fruit, claws, bat wings, pieces of harlequin cloth.  Six large, red candles stick out of the back of the cloak, following the creature around, lighting his horrible collection, around which flies buzz as though it were a rubbish pile.  Above all of this, a golden pentacle gleams like the moon, partially obscured by the Devil's head.

The feeling this card gives me is that of good things having been sucked into the Devil's sway, and then been turned to garbage, polluted and fragmented, til only putrid pieces remain.  It's a strong card!

Strangely enough, it makes me think of a conversation I had last week with my therapist, where he said I sounded a lot more whole than I have in the past.  This, I think, is part of the solution to the Devil card: when we can stay true to our selves, we are less likely to give into temptations and the promise of things that seem good or exciting, but leave us feeling drained or broken.  We find joy in wholesome things, or accept those shadow parts of ourselves so that we don't feel fragmented by them.

I am grateful for the reminder to stay true to myself.


  1. Cards that challenge you or even repel you do have a lot to teach you. It's the same with things that irritate you in others; they have more to do with yourself. Embracing your shadow is a kind of healing I am not brave enough to do on a conscious level but gradually much has been changed already. I am learning to be more true to myself day by day

    1. Yes, I can quite picture that, Ellen. And it's a good point - we don't necessarily need to go out in search of our shadow, over time we meet it in many ways :)