UPRIGHT: TEMPTATION | VICES | SELF-DESTRUCTION
REVERSE: FREEDOM | DETACHMENT | RECLAMATION
A praying mantis climbs up the curve of a pitcher plant while escaping the raging flames. Danger is ever present and growing larger by the moment, but the mantis simply moves higher, approaching the plant’s supposed safety. Pitcher plants are known to lure insects into its bell with slopes too sheer to climb; the nectar at the bottom is a sweet pool in which the unsuspecting victims drown. Just as the mantis consumes its mate upon copulation and the pitcher plant its victims, so too does the Devil tempt others into his arms, spelling their downfall with silken words and the promise of lethal pleasure. The Devil reminds us to be mindful of news and opportunities that we come across. They just might be too good to be true.
When upright, the Devil implies that the user is shrouded in a negative energy that threatens to undermine them in every way. There is a demon on your shoulder whispering in your ear, and it’s hellbent on getting you to succumb to every bad impulse that crosses your mind. Not only are these impulses dangerous, they’re also holding you back from becoming a better version of yourself. You’ve been locked in place, and it may be hard to find your way out. Do not fall victim to the evils of instant gratification as they will absolutely lead to long-term negative consequences. Take care to harbor healthy amounts of attachment towards friends, family, and new relationship partners. If you are experimenting in new fields or with new experiences, be careful that you do it only with those you trust. The devil in your ear wants you to lead you astray—don’t make it easier by giving in to what you know is wrong.
When reversed, the Devil suggests that the user is on the cusp of positive change. Now is the time to cast off the shadows still clinging to you and enter into this new stage without burdens. This is a time for soul-searching and self-discipline. Bad habits are hard to break, but you are standing on the precipice of something great. You don’t need to take the bad into the good with you. Confront your anxieties and put your inner demons to rest. Seek out professional help if you need it, and try to come to terms with the secrets you’ve held close to your chest out of shame or regret. An element of detachment can help with this. Stay true to yourself and loosen your dependence on the parts of you that will only lead you backwards.