Cosmic Tarot- Devil


A green skinned horned figure, who is litereally a part of the brick wall in teh forefront, wears an odd combinatinon of military and religious symbols, a miliatary rank on his shoulder and brest , a priests collar, and a pentagram pointing down hanging from this neck. His nose is peireced wtih a large nose ring, and he has tattered wings, symbolizing false freedoms.

Around him are people in chains, a woman standing on top of a man, a man and woman trying to escape, and a woman in teh background bound by her arms stretched upwards tied to a bar.

The messag eis clear, bondage and servitude, but most importantly, the colortells the story. Dark purpllish/maroon with an ominous sky to match. Subdued reality and a message of karma, you reap what you sow.


cosmic tarot links


Good insights, paradoxx! :)

I've been wanting to post replies to these threads but have been way too busy to be able to sit and reply.

One thing that I noticed though is that the Devil himself in this card is bound. His wings are tattered and tied back together. He's also a part of the brick wall, like you mentioned before. It strikes me because it brings up the point that in order to have people bound to you, you have to be bound to them. Sure, there's a man bound to the devil's wrist by a chain, but the Devil is also chained to him by the same chain.

I think that the clothes are also somewhat symbolic of the things that bind us. The priest's collar may be there to show that people are bound by their beliefs.

Also, I believe that this scene is supposed to be inside of a prison, as suggested by the high wall in the background and the guard tower rising high above it, to keep an eye on the prisoners.


this card reminds me of a nasty creepy boss lol who is beyond redemption
someone who needs help lol more than his *subjects*


I agree that this devil needs help.

A system burdened with outdated traditions, religions, bureaucracy and rituals, rules of society that made sense 100 years ago but not any longer, political oppression etc...

He's not only part of that brickwall. He IS the brickwall, so there is little chance to be something else. Where other devils can show the need or problem with self endulging, this devil is only about limits and not promises. No hope in sight. And the worst is, the devil doesn't even know he's stuck, he thinks he's totally in charge. Enslaved by his own system he has built.


his fingernails are very creepy, it's like he comes out of a cheap but well done b-movie


I find this card hard to look at. My first reaction was that it doesn't belong in the deck. After a long time I figured out that that is because it is the only really ugly card. The composition is not careful, but is sort of carelessly off center. Many of the figures are cut off and they seem to be just thrown into the image any old way. The whole thing is bunched and crowded.

The scene in the card is dark but not with any kind of beautiful gothic atmosphere. This is just shabby and dilapidated. This Devil is an ugly being. He's not wickedly, temptingly handsome like in the Gilded Tarot, not even a beautiful monster. Here, he has stringy hair and a lumpy face and thin wrists.

It really stands out because beauty is an important part of the Cosmic Tarot. Norbert Losche seems to have created the deck with the assumption (perhaps unconscious) that beauty really is truth and that the aesthetic experience of beauty is at the same time a transcendant spiritual experience. So it makes sense that this one card is truly ugly since the Devil is an anti-spiritual force, and anti-truth and anti-the beauty of life.

The people are shown all chained up, addicted to the Devil's view of life. From their postures and attitudes, they are reveling in the power over one another that they think they have. The guard tower in the back shows the level of paranoia and distrust. The Devil pretends to be a spiritual power but his wings show how false this claim is.

There are several pairs in the Major Arcana of this deck, you can see them when you lay out all the cards and look at the colors and themes. This card seems to be paired with Judgement. They use the same purple and pink colors, with a bit of yellow. The people rising from the dead in the Judgement card are the same ones who were chained up in the Devil card.

Untrustworthyness, lies, all kinds of tawdry behavior, addiction, power plays, self-deception. In other decks the Devil can carry positive meanings like sexual energy or freeing energy that has been repressed, but I don't find those meanings in this image.