“Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t,” meaning that, when forced to decide, it’s better to choose a difficult or undesirable option that one is used to or familiar with rather than an unknown person or thing.
The devil you know is something or someone bad, unpleasant or uncomfortable that you are familiar with and have accommodated yourself to or can cope with.
The devil we don’t know represents our unconscious fear of the unknown and anything that is new – unfamiliar.
There are several Tarot cards that most readers and querents fear. The Devil is one of them among the Tower and the Ten of Swords.
Each card represents something positive, negative, and ambivalent or neuter. There are no ultimately negative, positive or ambivalent cards.
Speaking of the Major Arcana cards, there are various pairs and triplets. These twenty-one plus-one cards can be divided and grouped in several ways.
Understanding the Devil – just like any other card – requires a correct understanding and attribution of the card.
Traditionally, the Devil has been assigned to the Zodiac sign of Capricorn. I always felt that it is somehow unfair towards Capricorns.
However, putting emotions aside, it is all strictly technicalities.
The Major Arcana is divided into twelve cards representing the twelve Zodiac signs and ten cards representing planets. The key aspect is not identifying one card’s attribute but finding the most suitable attributes for all.
My Capricorn-Saturn pair is the Demiurge (Hierophant) and the Devil. The Demiurge represents the social ambitions of the Capricorn, while the Devil represents its drive and destiny, respectively, planet Saturn.
How I came up with these associations is a long and complicated story. There are always many pros and cons arguments, but remember, these individual archetypes should all fit into the general picture of the Major Arcana and the entire Tarot deck.
At an individual level, for instance, the archetype identified as Saturn and symbolizing the passing of time, might be the best depicted by the Hermit. Yet, to my knowledge, no one associated the Hermit with Saturn.
Understanding the relationship between the Zodiac sign and (governing) planet is crucial. According to ancient Mesopotamian beliefs, the planets are (…)
The complete text is exclusively available through my Patreon page.
Please consider supporting my work by joining Patreon and gaining access to exclusive materials.
Thank you very much!