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Tarot: The Devil

Two floating, shadowy figures, a boy and a girl, with claw-like hands outstretched to touch a huge crystal. It radiates from the center of the cave they're in, with faceted spines growing out in all directions. The boy has an erection and the girl's legs are crossed.
Photoshop and MotionComputing tablet

Preview image of ghostly hand reaching for crystal
This one is hard to write about because I think the meaning is so unique to each person, even more so than most of the cards. (Aeclectic.net's long writeup on their interpretation.)

For me it's about obsession. I see obsession as a need which can't be filled - and by need I mean something critical enough to a person's well-being that it festers instead of fading. There's a lot of personal history here, from when I was a teenager and I had my own obsession. It's tangled up with autistic sensory integration problems, the sudden increase in social expecations, and the usual teenage struggle with awakening sexuality and isolation.

It's personified in the crystal in the picture, which on Karn is a physical manifestation of that compressed and explosive energy. I've heard it called a knot in the fabric of reality, or a black hole. It's both alluring and destructive, and the restless ghosts that are drawn to it find themselves caught in an addictive cycle. They crave the energy they sense in it, and they seize any trickle of it that they can reach, but it leaves them empty. So they come back for more and more, forgetting anything else they might have cared about, that might have anchored them to reality. It's sexual in intensity, like a drug, giving a burst of power and then abandoning you to fall and crash.

And it's different for everyone, what siren song calls you, and how its false promise manifests in your life. It might be the promise of happiness if you buy enough things, the promise of love if your body looks the right way, the promise of safety if you do and say the right things. There are as many variations as there are people.



( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 24th, 2012 04:38 am (UTC)
Man... I like this one. It's creepy, but yeah. The concept of cristal is cool. I get it.

Plus the picture is all shiny and blue... *bad Jim, don't get drawn to cristal just because it's glowy blue and sparkly* :P *kinda has no brain right now*

I like the story of the Devil card on the site too, I was thinking it was just gonna be the normal evil Devil, it was kinda refreshing to have it be a new story.
Aug. 29th, 2012 02:27 am (UTC)
:) Yeah it's definitely not the Christian devil. Probably influenced by Christian imagery, but then that was influenced by the other religions that came before it.
Aug. 24th, 2012 01:27 pm (UTC)
It's what RC calls a frozen need. I'm far from the days of doing RC so I don't remember how it gets fixed. RC is effective as a recovery technique, but like anything else only as effective as the people who use it.

I like the interpretation of the card, though. Obsessions come from needs getting tangled up with things I don't need, trying to meet those with something that's only going to suck out my energy and leave me worse off.

I know how Song brings the speritu back from their pain, and it works for obsessions too - for me, anyway. It's joy. When I find joy, I need less. That's why at times I can get rid of boxes and boxes of stuff. When I don't have joy, the stuff is my friends.

Makes me wonder how much of the stuff is cristal.

Why would someone like Lin accept cristal's offer of friendship? It made me wonder.
Aug. 28th, 2012 11:08 am (UTC)
What is RC?
Aug. 28th, 2012 12:50 pm (UTC)
Here is a link
Re-evaluation counseling.
Here are some links:


Aug. 28th, 2012 12:57 pm (UTC)
Re: Here is a link
Inneresting. Thanks for the links.

Never heard of it before.
Aug. 24th, 2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
This is a beautiful card, and I think that it evokes what the Devil can represent to many people. It's not just about Satan running around with horns on his head; one of the representations of sin—and the Devil, by extension—is obsession or being overly tied to things of this world, rather than pursuing what's important. It's too much earth, not enough spirit, if that makes sense.

Aug. 29th, 2012 02:24 am (UTC)
Hi Darwin! It does make sense. For me sometimes it's the opposite, I lose sight of the things of this world in favour of pursuing abstract and non-tangible things. But there is definitely a meaning in there about being overly tied to material things that really don't matter in the big picture.
Aug. 27th, 2012 12:55 am (UTC)
Very nice imagery there. In my experience reading Tarot, I've felt it represents the same as you - that someone is becoming or has become a puppet on strings, being dysfunctionally controlled by an obsession, whether it be external or internal, physical or emotional/mental.
Aug. 29th, 2012 02:25 am (UTC)
Thanks! Yeah there's a lot of potential for dysfunction when you lose perspective and find yourself getting jerked around by something.
Aug. 28th, 2012 12:21 pm (UTC)
That's a lot of interesting concepts in the card's meaning you linked to.

Before I read it it was a great card, the blue auras glowing. After I read it I thought of the card "But where is the positive side of it?"

And now I'm wondering if I misunderstood your meaning of cristal?

If I was reading it I think I'd be interpreting this card as obsession isn't a bad thing, if you are the one in control of it.

That is because as a musician, I'm damned sure there is a little bit of obsessiveness in every good musician, otherwise you'd never practise enough to realise your talents.
Aug. 29th, 2012 02:20 am (UTC)
I think you got something very different than me from it at first sight. But that's ok with me, I don't think it's a problem with the art, but just a sign of how complicated the meaning can be. I put it under a cut because I think it should be handled with care, and because I was curious if anybody else would have a similar reaction.
Aug. 29th, 2012 02:34 am (UTC)
I guess I've interpreted your cristal to be negative. So the emphasis on the cristal as negative is what I saw in it.

But if it was more neutral, just Energy, that would read a lot closer to the meaning you linked to.

Inneresting huh?
Aug. 29th, 2012 03:36 am (UTC)
Yeah see the thing is that everyone in this system has a different reaction to it, and for different reason. And they're strong reactions.

But yes. Just Energy.

The Karnese interpretation is a certain constellation of energy, contained and compressed.
Aug. 29th, 2012 07:16 am (UTC)
Lol about everyone with the different reaction. The quintessential experience of being part of a multiple system, isn't it? *grins*

Hey ok, I think I'm kinda understanding a bit better. Hopefully!

- Leonie
Aug. 29th, 2012 04:18 pm (UTC)
Yeah it is. That's why I was a bit hesitant to say it at first, or let anyone else from the system come on my post and give their opinions. Because this is a public post. But I decided it's ok.

Also I think it's important that I keep the card and all its possibilities a bit separate from... well, really decisive reactions from them. Because there has to be space for other people outside of the system to find their meanings.
Aug. 30th, 2012 02:04 am (UTC)
yep yep makes perfect sense!
Sep. 11th, 2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
We were linked here by Jim. Very beautiful, yet dark, manifestation. I like it.
Sep. 12th, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)

I keep seeing you on Jim's journal. Do you want to friend?
Sep. 12th, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
Sure! I'm just one of a vast system though so am around sporadically.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )