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Ludy Lescot -Devil XV

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Hemera  Hemera is offline
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Ludy Lescot -Devil XV


This is another strange card. There is a relatively friendly looking lady who looks like she is ready to bang the couple´s heads together! Her Pentagram is big and not inverted so she could be a Priestess performing a marriage ceremony. The couple is kneeling on skulls and the man´s arm is starting to crack just like the skulls beneath it. So it´s a reminder of our mortality. Nothing bad about that surely. So, I don´t really get the message of this card at all. What is devilish in this picture-the fire, the skulls, the woman or what?
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I saw her as forcing them together whether it's good for them or not, so very much a devil woman trying to force people together through lust not love.

Their union being set on the deaths of others, wondered if there was a link with the Hanged Man skulls. There are a LOT of bones in this deck.
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Elendil  Elendil is offline
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It's a kind of subverted marriage ceremony perhaps.

And are those 'track marks' in the guy's forearm, suggesting he has been hitting the hypodermic needle?
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I’ve been doing some extensive digging around concerning this card because, quite frankly, it’s been showing up a lot for me lately. I’m not in the middle of fighting addiction, going on a spending spree, I don’t feel ‘bound’ by anything significant and No, I’m not in denial about any of the above!

Looking at the card, I don’t feel any malevolent energy. I’m drawn by the upright pentagram, a symbol of magic that hasn’t been ‘sullied’ by reversing it.

Some things I’ve found interesting that I’ve pulled from my library: All quotes here come directly from Tarot Wisdom: Spiritual Teachings and Deeper Meanings by Rachel Pollack (pg. 177-187) with exception of the Wikepedia information and link.

Quote:
When the interpreters consider what evil is, they tend to fall back on the dualism of much Hermetic doctrine, that the physical world exists as a prison, or “husk”, for the true spiritual light. The goal - the “Great Work,” to borrow a term from alchemy - becomes to liberate the imprisoned spirit.
It later suggests that this liberation “can occur through the physical world by embracing the beauty of nature or the power of sexuality,”

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If the world is in some way an imprisonment, then the physical world can become the means of our liberation. Through the body, through sexual practices such as Tantra or modern sex magic, we can awaken the kundalini energy and transform ourselves.
Interesting notations about the pentagram in relation to the Devil card:

Quote:
The Golden Dawn version of the card introduces the goat-headed figure we often think of as the standard Devil and that other assumed icon of the card, the five-pointed star. In our sample, the pentagram, in fact, only appears in the Golden Dawn and the Rider, and upside down only in the Rider. Among it’s other meanings, the pentagram evokes the human body, for if you stand with arms out and legs apart, you form a five-pointed star. Right-side up, it means nature and physicality, and has been adapted as the symbol of Wicca.
Because of the previous reference to the similarities between the Hanged Man card (the bones) and this card, I include the exerp:

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In the Hanged Man, [we learned of] the two Angels [who] descended to Earth and lusted after human women. The angel who refused to repent after raping the woman who rejected him was named Azazel. For the Jews, and thus many Kabbalists, Azazel became a Devil-like figure, similar to the Christian Satan…. Which many Kabbalists identify with the physical universe and sexuality.

There is a further twist with Tarot connections. In the legend of the two Angels, the archangel who binds fallen Azazel in the dark abyss is Raphael, the very Angel who blesses Adam and Eve in the Rider Lovers.

And more - the myth names the two women in the story. The one whom Azazel rapes is called Na’amah, sometimes identified as a demon herself, the sister of Lilith. But the other, who escapes Shemhazai ([the Angel}- he who becomes a Hanged Man) flies into the sky to become a star, is named Istahar. “Istahar” is a varient of the Babylonian Ishtar, one of the queens of the heaven.
Now, I did do a cursory investigation on Lilith herself, mostly looking for information on her sister. What I did find that was interesting, is that is more esoteric, occultist beliefs she is revered (unlike MOST other beliefs) as a goddess instead of a demon. It was also mentioned that Lilith was thought in some traditions as being the first wife of Adam. It goes further to cite that under pain of death, Eve admitted to never loving Adam, while Lilith admits to having always loved him. Here is the Wikepedia Source I find this part particularly interesting in regards to the LWB interpretation:

Do not lost your virginity on a bed of bones. If deceptions and subterfuge baptise love, they will enslave you forever

Could the woman standing in front of the pair with the pentagram around her neck, be Lilith? Just a thought.

Now, bringing us back to alternative ideas about this Devil card, I’m drawn to the idea of this ‘Satan’ or the Angel originally known as Lucifer “Morningstar”. Lucifer roughly meaning “light-bringer” and is identified with the planet Venus. How then, can a planet usually associated with Love then connect with the Devil?

Interestingly enough, if we trace the planet Venus in the sky over an eight year cycle, it forms a five-pointed star - the pentagram (but also the human body). It is also associated to nature, as seen when we cut an apple or pomegranate in half horizontally and see a five-pointed star in each half (ties back to Adam and Eve and Persephone quite nicely, eh?) Also to note, roses and other flowers have five petals in their blossoms. It is so suggested in this text then, “that the pentagram unites Heaven and Earth, with the human body as a link or a bridge.”

Venus is then shared by the Empress with the Devil. The Devil controls the ‘dark’ side of Venus, it’s rotation throughout the winter when it goes ‘dark’ in the night sky. Venus’ power then transfers back to the Empress in the Spring when her light shines once again in the night sky.

One last, and very interesting piece of information related to a Golden Dawn interpretation and fits nicely in many discussions thus far on the psychological (Jungian) interpretation of these cards. If the Angel known as Lucifer was considered the most radiant of Angels, and if he was bound to Earth as Adam and Eve were when they were cast out of Eden, then could we say that the light is within all of us?

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Before Adam and Eve leave Eden, we read that “God made them garments of skin to protect them.” People assume this means animal skins to keep them warm in the harsh world outside paradise. But the word for skin, ohr , is also the world for light. The skin that God gives them is their own bodies, a fixed physical form that contains the eternal light of their true being. Our bodies protect us. As long as we live in the illusion of duality, the world of the ego, our own light will overwhelm us…. The Devil, in a sense, holds us safe until we are ready to go through the doorway to the final cards of the Major Arcana, where we will “heal the world” by rediscovering our true selves.
This would certainly make interesting ties to the Magician card, which begins the first line of the Majors.

So where does this lead us to in interpreting this card? My take on the information provided is that this Devil card in particular is reminding us that we all have a Divine light within ourselves. That as humans, we are bound physically to a material world and that perhaps, the easiest way to access this Divine Spirit within us lies in our connection not only with nature, but through our sexuality and through awakening the kundalini. Our bodeis are only “husks’ or vessels that contain this light, and the only perversion or “lies” held in this card is to believe that our bodies or what we can only ‘see’ is all there is, without acknowledging the extent of spiritual energy held within us. As the Death card reminds us - the soul never dies, it is eternal.
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Hemera  Hemera is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaineGirl117 View Post
Looking at the card, I don’t feel any malevolent energy. I’m drawn by the upright pentagram, a symbol of magic that hasn’t been ‘sullied’ by reversing it.
I agree. There is no malevolent energy in this Devil and I´ve learned to like this card. I believe the malevolence stems from somePatriarchal and Judeo-Christian need to split things in two opposite halves. Psychologists say it´s actually a deep human need to split things into a clearly defined good and bad to be able to handle them especially if you are very young or if your psyche is otherwise still undeveloped. Marie-Louise von Franz says that a mature personality is able to endure opposites until a creative solution comes up.This creative solution is often something unexpected which decides the conflict on another level. (more on this below)

I believe the Pentagram in an ancient protective symbol. I was surprised to read that it was widely used here in Finland as late as the 18th century. It was painted on barn doors etc. I really like that symbol.

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Originally Posted by MaineGirl117 View Post
Could the woman standing in front of the pair with the pentagram around her neck, be Lilith? Just a thought.
I think she could very well be.
According to the Jungian Claire Douglas (in “The Woman in the Mirror” 1990) “The archetype of Lilith continues to be one of the most darkly enigmatic and intriguing forms of the lunar archetype. She is the unseen one-the moon with its face turned away. She is the rejected Moon Mother, fantastically and menacingly obscured by our own dark fears of her…Barbara Koltuv describes Lilith as opposite but equal to and counterpointing the Judeo-Christian masculine, all-God, calling her the feminine transpersonal shadow…Koltuv links Lilith with Hecate as a crossroads Goddess and strongly reclaims the power of both in women´s lives. As Goddess of the crossroads, Lilith (Hecate) is a passionate and intense presence indispensable at the instinctual crossroads of women´s puberty, menstruation, orgasms, conceiving, birthing, motherhood and menopause. Yet Koltuv is also concerned that this archetype is one that has been especially suppressed and unintegrated..”

I think perhaps this is the kind of Devil we are seeing in the card? And since men are equally standing at different crossroads in different times of their lives (and they also share women´s crossroads in many ways) there is a couple in front of our Lilith/Hecate. I really like that because all humans regardless of sex face these initiations and crossroads.


Marie –Louise von Franz says (in Shadow and Evil in Fairy Tales, Shambhala 1995) “ A model of an archetype can be said to be composed of two parts, one light and the other dark…you have the witch, the devilish woman, the beautiful wise woman and the goddess who represents fertility….probably they are neutral things in the unconscious – acomplexio oppositorum- and then they tend to double into a yes and no, a plus and minus..The twin motif in mythology shows that there is always a double..light and dark..good and evil”
“The Judeo-Christian attitude sharpened the ethical conflict and therefore in our culture there is a tendency to judge in a moral way and not to leave things blurred.”
So our culture has sharpened the split to two opposites. I find this discussion about duality and opposites is running through this whole deck and it comes up in nearly every card. There are two people, two animals, black and white floors or something else that seems to emphasize duality and opposites. I feel this deck somehow also finds a synthesis and solution to this problem of opposites in its different symbols.

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Originally Posted by MaineGirl117 View Post
Now, bringing us back to alternative ideas about this Devil card, I’m drawn to the idea of this ‘Satan’ or the Angel originally known as Lucifer “Morningstar”. Lucifer roughly meaning “light-bringer” and is identified with the planet Venus. How then, can a planet usually associated with Love then connect with the Devil
.
I believe the story about Lucifer, the Fallen Angel and Light Bringer is also of Judeo-Christian and Patriarchal origin and it simply overlays the Goddesses. I think it is a myth originating in some apocryphal Old Testament texts.
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As I continued my angel research on Uriel, this is what I found... all I can say is Wow!

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His angelic force, in the Hanael aspect, applies on the path of ayin. This is known as the Lord of the Gates of Matter and Prince of the Power of Air as well as the Devil card in the Tarot. Here choices and struggles are represented in action oriented ways. This also falls under the sign of Capricorn, Fire of Earth. This aspect is said to apply to the month of December. In some writings Hanael is credited with transporting Enoch to Heaven.
There are also references in the website of his connection with Venus. It is also noted (in this website link - I think) that Uriel gifted the world with Alchemy (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

The full website is here and it really brings home the idea that I described in a previous post that this card, this image, is not exclussively evoking obsession, addiction and all the woes of mortal existance!

The pentagram and it's symbolism as connecting everything in life with nature and experiencing divinity on a personal/human level is reinforced by this angellic presense.

I feel at ease now that this card has been showing up in my readings!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemera View Post
This is another strange card. There is a relatively friendly looking lady who looks like she is ready to bang the couple´s heads together! Her Pentagram is big and not inverted so she could be a Priestess performing a marriage ceremony.
'They' may be cunning and not reveal themselves in true form. The LWB carries a warning against this ceremony. It seems to challenge the assumptions that lead us into a passionate situation. In that sense it is very nice in this deck that XV also brings out VI, the Lovers. That card similarly warns against the effects of love.

On the other hand, 'evil' is not absolute, and hard-coded morals can turn the world upside down. Examine what is happening and question everything. This can work the other way also- simply doing something for the sole purpose of expressing your liberty, is no liberty at all.

In a conventional sense, the card can represent the demands of traditional society versus your own inner demands for fulfillment- these may clash. In this world in which we live, a lot of hatred and judgment arises against those who seek pleasure. Perhaps those judging them feel envy- being restricted by their own self-imposed codes of conduct, they hate others who are able and willing to satisfy their inner desires.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prasomchai View Post
'They' may be cunning and not reveal themselves in true form. The LWB carries a warning against this ceremony. It seems to challenge the assumptions that lead us into a passionate situation. In that sense it is very nice in this deck that XV also brings out VI, the Lovers. That card similarly warns against the effects of love.

On the other hand, 'evil' is not absolute, and hard-coded morals can turn the world upside down. Examine what is happening and question everything. This can work the other way also- simply doing something for the sole purpose of expressing your liberty, is no liberty at all.

In a conventional sense, the card can represent the demands of traditional society versus your own inner demands for fulfillment- these may clash. In this world in which we live, a lot of hatred and judgment arises against those who seek pleasure. Perhaps those judging them feel envy- being restricted by their own self-imposed codes of conduct, they hate others who are able and willing to satisfy their inner desires.
Perhaps, whatever one seeks, be it pleasure, marriage, children and/or other, they should make it known to their partner at outset (the LWB comment on deceptions).
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The first time I picked up this card, I thought, is she wearing a swimming costume, and her boobs are overflowing out of her top just about? I am also looking behind her and seeing like horn like things in the fire.

I get a feeling of BDSM Samhain party and Lilith is the Madam. She seems to have that energy for me, and why is she clothed and the other two are skyclad? "Come to my dungeon lair my pretties and have the time of your lives" Maybe they were seeking excitement and Lilith bought a few too many skulls, as witchy people tend to do. There is no fear in the faces and if we seen Lilith, I could imagine her dressed in latex. (all kinky and stuff).
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