The design is an accommodation, mean or harmony, between several motives mentioned in the first part. The Horned Goat of Mendes, with wings like those of a bat, is standing on an altar. At the pit of the stomach there is the sign of Mercury. The right hand is upraised and extended, being the reverse of that benediction which is given by the Hierophant in the fifth card. In the left hand there is a great flaming torch, inverted towards the earth. A reversed pentagram is on the forehead. There is a ring in front of the altar, from which two chains are carried to the necks of two figures, male and female. These are analogous with those of the fifth card, as if Adam and Eve after the Fall. Hereof is the chain and fatality of the material life.
The Devil tells us that good and bad cannot be separated, just as you cannot separate a shadow from its source. Darkness is simply the absence of light, and it is caused by errors that hide the truth.
First is ignorance, not knowing the truth and not realizing that we do not know. Second is materialism, the belief that there is nothing but the physical. As spiritual beings, we long for the Divine, but we lose contact with this source of truth if we trust only our senses. There is also hopelessness, which robs us of our joy and movement toward the light.
The Devil lets you know that you are caught in an unhealthy, unproductive situation. You may be in the dark about something, ignorant of the truth and its implications. You may be obsessed by a person, idea, substance or pattern that you know is bad for you. Sometimes this card reflects back the negativity that has made you doubt yourself and your future. We are prone to many errors in life. The Devil lets us know when they are serious enough to require attention. When you see the Devil, examine your assumptions carefully. Make sure you are not working from a false picture of yourself and the situation. Hold fast to the highest vision of who you are.