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Hello and welcome to TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here.
Today I’m back to the Alleyman’s Tarot deck. Today’s card is the Devil from the major arcana. This card is clearly based on the classic Pamela Smith art. I’m curious to see what the Alleyman’s guide has to say about it and who this artist is, but first let’s talk about the energy that this little effer is spontaneously resonating with this morning: I’m getting both “guard your energy” and “know your nemesis”
And yes, I am very deliberately and specifically using the word resonating.
Energy resonance is important to both of threads of the message coming through the Devil card today.
Even though I say a message is “coming through” a particular card, I don’t want you to get the idea that the cards are a portal for spirits like something out of horror movies or 1970s TV.Our language tends to anthropomorphize things like this, but in reality they are pieces of paper with pictures on them. Tarot cards, ouija boards, rune stones, I ching coins, chicken bones…all the divination and oracle whatevers…are all simply amplifiers for our own inner, innate intuition.
Anyway, here is where the message starts to scatter into different directions. The starting point about resonance has to do with that portal for spirits vs intuition amplifier piece of it. I hear “guard your energy. “
The Devil card isn’t a happy card. It is as much of a majority-dark card as the Sun card is majority-light. The Devil card is a good card in that it serves as an important, real-talk reminder that there are indeed harmful things that exist in the universe.
When I say “hear” I mean that the intuition comes as words, sounds or music instead of mental images. In this case, I hear “don’t invite in” as in don’t think of Tarot cards as a portal to invite energies in for a personal visit. Use them like hearing aids to better listen in to what the universal energies are broadcasting for us all to hear.
It doesn’t matter what the energy seems to be. Sure, give it a listen but then make your own decision about it and don’t “invite it in.” We’ve all heard about the devils in disguise or wolves in sheep’s clothing. That can go for anything. That born-again christian thing about “invite jesus into your heart” is red lights and sirens four alarm emergency creeping heebie jeebies level stuff. Don’t invite other people’s definition of good into your heart of hearts any more than you would invite other people’s definition of evil. The only thing that deserves to be in there is your own light, love, compassion and all the wonderful things that you already are.
The best way to guard your energy is to up its wattage. I forget where I heard this example, but think of a cozy, warm, well lit house on a cold winter night. If you open the front door, does the cold and dark come in or does the light and warm spill out? The Devil card is the weather report. Our responsibility in that dark night is to close the door and save on the heating bill.
That’s one thread.
The other is akin to Socrates telling us to “know thyself.” It also came through as “the phone call is coming from inside the house.” I’ve never seen the movie that is from, but I have heard it referenced a lot. This goes back to the empathy check we’ve talked about in the past. Especially when you are reading cards or doing any sort of psychic work, It pays to stop and pay attention every now and then and ask yourself if what you are feeling is your emotion alone (which is perfectly OK, whatever that feeling may be) OR are you just empathically resonating with the zeitgeist energy or group of people around you. An easy visualization for that is to imagine a force field, light or being surrounded by your favorite protective crystal or symbol. Just for a minute, let that visualization shut out the resonance and outer noise and listen. In that quiet, protected space that you’ve imagined up for yourself, what do you feel? What are the conditions inside your protective bubble compared to how they were before?
And what do you do if they are the same?
What if the call is coming from inside the house, so to speak?
I’m reminded of a couple of more quotes. Sun Tzu in The Art of War tells us “If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.” Know your enemy and know yourself, you say? What if they are both the same?
So know your nemesis. Is there a real world threat, is what you are feeling resonance with external energies, or is the enemy within the gates?
This particular Devil card is very similar to Pamela Smith’s 1909 rendition, but it differs in a couple of ways that I think are significant.
Most notably the chained figures and the monolith they are chained to are all proportionally larger compared to the Baphomet / Devil figure on top. The face on the monolith particularly captures my attention. There is so much here.
Are you the one holding yourself prisoner? Are you your nemesis? Are you the one inside the house making scary phone calls?
Only you can defeat that nemesis.
It also brings me back to where I started with this card this morning. In true Taoist style we remember that when there is resonance there is also dissonance. If there is no enemy within, then the gate is rattling from the vibe outside of it. As Winston Churchill said, “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”
When it comes to Tarot readings and professional psychic work like this, sometimes the enemy at the gate has the wrong address. This is a consideration particular to anyone who is thinking about taking on the onus of reading for other people.
Sometimes the energy at the gate isn’t yours at all. Resonance to a degree, for sure, but less of a general zeitgeist energy but an energy that is directed toward a particular client – or in this case, a particular audience. I suspect that is where all the “I don’t know who needs to hear this but…” posts on social media comes from.
That is where I am with this card today. Zero personal resonance. I am so not in a place to work with the Devil card. Still here is this message that the Tarot muses want delivered. So here we are, paragraphs into this card reading, done with the hope that it helps someone somewhere out there in cyberspace.
I hate to say it as “I don’t know who needs to hear this but…”
It always gets my hackles up when people say that. It strikes me as a bit egotistical. Ego. Now THAT is the inner nemesis of a good professional psychic. Maybe nobody needs to hear any damn thing we say, and we need to stay cognizant of that little fact. Overblown ego is a warning sign of a grifter or a sincere psychic who is struggling a bit with their own spiritual growth. Know your limits folks. All this talk about guarding your energies, guarding your boundaries, asking for help if needed and taking time to heal goes double if you read for others as an amateur, times ten if you work professionally. I think dissonance, not resonance, is the process behind the “I don’t know who needs to hear this but…” trope. That sounds like a message you’ve been entrusted to deliver, BUT it doesn’t resonate either personally or with general energies.
I’m not sure how to say it any better, but there has to be something a little more down to earth, something a little more along the lines of “for your consideration, take or leave it as you like, but this message delivery is not for me.
Sorry, try again later.
If this sparks an idea for you, great. If not, that’s cool too. There is big, clear energy with this card, but it’s 100% not for me today.
I just finished a big project that I’ll be talking more about in September. For now I’m going to go sip some iced coffee and go into self care mode for the rest of the day.
Before I forget….this is the second of two Devil cards in the Alleyman’s deck. I just read the guidebook and it talks about not owning up to your inner desires as opposed to projecting them onto other people or onto your circumstances. I guess I was in that ballpark with minding boundaries and inner awareness and all that. The artist for this card is I.S.N.Y.R. It puts a focus on the “temptation” version of the classic Devil image rather than the “evil in the world” aspect which differentiates the card from the desire aspect of the Lovers card. Hmm, maybe I should read that part of the book too. Or maybe this is my cue to sit down, read the guide book and be done with this my interpretation then theirs motif. Seven Dane Asmund of Publishing Goblin, LLC wrote the guidebook and created the Alleyman’s Tarot and is used here with permission from back in the early days of the kickstarter. I am so grateful for that! Whether a short sip or a long quaffe, this deck really is elevating my Tarot skills even after all of these years. This thing really is the Stradavarious of Tarot decks.
Just a reminder that all things TaoCraft will be taking a short hiatus mid August. Probably around the 16th to the 20th give or take a little.
Meanwhile, think you so much for listening! I appreciate you.
Thank you for any likes, subs, shares, follows, questions or comments that you can spare. I hope you’ll visit the TaoCraft Tarot page on ko-fi where the shop, commissions, memberships and virtual coffees all support the creation of this blog and podcast. There is a link in the episode description for podcast listeners.
Have a great weekend everyone! See you at the next sip!