The Devil (XV) Reversed

(Card Descriptions Based On Original Rider-Waite Colors – Still Under US Games Inc. Copyright)



When The Devil Reverses, the lovely five-pointed Pentagram returns to its right and proper position.  The alignment between the Heavens and Earth has been restored and connection with Spirit re-established. You realise that The Devil has been feeding you a pack of lies all this time and you want nothing more to do with him.  He had sounded so damned convincing but thank God, you have eventually seen through him and his evil ways. You realise at last that you need to take desperate action.

Once The Devil Reverses it indicates that you are taking the necessary steps to free yourself from a restricting situation. You are beginning to think for yourself again and deciding your own path. You realise that money does not buy happiness. There maybe  a complete reversal or overthrow of your life as you cast off the material world and all sinful behaviour in search of spiritual enlightenment.  The truth is, that you are sick down to your very toes with all of it.  Enough is enough, you realise that you cannot live like this anymore and are very possibly craving the simple things in life.  You may have just come out from a life changing experience, something that rocked you to the core and are looking at your life in a very different manner.  What you see may make you want to throw up or run as fast as you can.  There may be a massive turnaround and you turn from sinner to saint.

The man and woman in The Devil Card have eventually realised that the noose around their neck is not so tight after all, they just thought it was.  They have experienced some form of enlightenment as it slowly dawns on them that no one owns them and they have the power to change their lives if they so choose.  Looking at the chains that bind them they admit that they had always been loose enough to remove and they cannot believe they have carried them around for so long. Casting them aside, they walk out of the dark and into the dawn of their new-found freedom.  This personal emancipation can be on a physical, emotional or psychological level. As far they are concerned the situation had become intolerant.

In a relationship, The Devil Card Reversed can represent a divorce. Divorce in this case would not be associated with typical scenario of marital breakdown.  When Divorce is as a result of The Devil Reversed it usually refers to eventual escape or release from a controlling abusive relationship and just a love that has fizzled out.  There may well have been violent, intimidating and abusive partner.  Generally, this divorce or end of a relationship would not have been an easy process.  There may have been fear involved and the person involved may have needed help or assistance to face up to the offending partner.  It is bound to have reached a terrible depth before any real action was taken and the strength found to get out.  The Devil Reversed signals a time when you have said ‘enough is enough’ and walked. It is important at this stage to realise how you got into this situation and belief pattern, otherwise you are bound to repeat this somewhere else down the line.  You have chosen freedom instead of enslavement.

A note of caution accompanies The Devil Reversed whether you are extricating yourself from the lure of the material world, money, gambling, prostitution, drugs, crime or an abusive relationship.  You may find this very difficult at first.  Just because you want out of your situation, doesn’t mean to say that those around and involved with you feel the same.  It may involve moving away from circles of so-called friends, a job or even location.  The Devil does not like to lose and may make several attempts to breakdown your resolve.  He doesn’t go away that easy.  You have to keep on your toes with this Fella for he will seize any opportunity to worm his way back in the door.  You may not recognise him at first as he wears many disguises so only surround yourself with those you know you can trust.  Guard your back for some time as you may not yet be out of danger.

However, it may be you, a reformed Devil who is trying to turn over a new leaf after experiencing some levelling or humbling ordeal.  Are you feeling guilty for the way you have abused any power that was given to you? Have you used your position to control, intimidate or use people?  If so, your day of reckoning has come.  Either you have renounced your sinful ways and have found your way back to Temperence or your victims have risen up against you in seek of justice or revenge.  Remember, what goes around, comes around.  Your Reign of Power is over.

Back to The Devil Upright

Back to Lesson 6

The Fool Upright  The Fool Reversed

The Magician Upright  The Magician Reversed

The High Priestess Upright   The High Priestess Reversed

The Empress Upright   The Empress Reversed

The Emperor Upright    The Emperor Reversed

The Heirophant Upright    The Heirophant Reversed

The Lovers Upright     The Lovers Reversed

The Chariot Upright   The Chariot Reversed

Strength Upright     Strength Reversed

The Hermit Upright   The Hermit Reversed

The Wheel of Fortune Upright   The Wheel of Fortune Reversed

Justice Upright   Justice Reversed

The Hanged Man Upright   The Hanged Man Reversed

Death Upright     Death Reversed

Temperence Upright     Temperence Reversed

The Devil Upright   The Devil Reversed

The Tower Upright     The Tower Reversed

The Star Upright     The Star Reversed

The Moon Upright    The Moon Reversed

The Sun Upright     The Sun Reversed

Judgement Upright      Judgement Reversed

The World Upright     The World Reversed


Lesson 1   Lesson 2    Lesson 3   Lesson 4  Lesson 5


6 replies »

  1. Question, driving me nuts…reading for a friend, Devil card of major importance…never been placed in this position before!!!??? How do I know if it’s a reverse if it is placed in a horizontal pattern rather than vertical???!!! Horizontally “left” so I don’t think its reversed but…please help me, & my friend, out with this one…thanks


    • Have an appointment now so will get back to you. Tomorrow, I am afraid. In the meantime. Can you explain what you mean by horizontal ? If the card is lying horizontally and facing left then read it upright. If facing to the right the reverse. You might find that other schools of tarot treat this differently. What position is it in the spread, and what is the question for the reading?


  2. Sometimes the Devil Reversed means the person’s given into their addiction entirely. Now the devil is hanging them….I had it come up with 9 or Swords and 8 of cups Reversed as someone in a suicidal spiral downward.


    • Hi Lancelot,

      I agree. Reversed cards can bring the extreme of the upright or a lessening of it. When the card is apparently positive we can find it become even more positive when reversed, or less. When it is apparently negative in its Upright aspect we can see it improve when reversed or become worse and further entrenched. Confirmation of which extreme, if we are reading the reversed from an extreme aspect, will be found in the surrounding cards. So, Upright Swords can suggest stress, anxiety, worries or arguments for example, but when Reversed we could be looking at an improvement as issues are resolved, or the concern would be that the original stress, worry or anxiety has not been addressed with the individual now facing clinical depression or other mental health conditions. The 9 of Swords Upright or Reversed would always be a worrying card and with the Devil Reversed the individual feels well and totally trapped in the ongoing nightmare that plays out in their mind. The can’t see a way out, other than doing something drastic. The Reversed 8 of Cups in this manner shows the determination to escape the emotional and psychological pain and torment. The 8 of Cups could imply the individual has found the strength to get out of or away from the misery by leaving or moving on, but it could highlight a plan afoot to end it all. Again, those surrounding cards are vital. So too is observing the querant when such cards are revealed. Whenever I have had these readings, the whole spread is typically corrupt, not just a couple. It is instantly clear how bad things are once the cards are turned over.

      When I eventually get to re-working The Devil, I will address all these issues.




  3. There’s a person (narcissist) obsessed with me and I have blocked them everywhere. In a reading his energies showed up as the Emperor Reversed, the Devil Reversed, and King of Cups Reversed. This scares the heck out of me. The reader kind of freaked out, said i needed to run for my life. Does the Devil in reverse he
    Help to lesson the intent of any actions he might take against me?


    • Hi C,

      I would be reluctant to comment too much on this as I do not know what you discussed or shared with the reader for her/him to give you such drastic and urgent advice. The Reversed cards would suggest a not so nice person. You call this person a narcissist. Certainly the Reversed King of Cups has the ability to be like so, emotionally manipulative. All three cards point to control and entrapment, a dysfunction personality. The Devil being Reversed can mean a lessening or intensifying of his upright aspect so it would be hard to tell. I think you feel very concerned about this person and if you sense your personal safety is in danger, it would be advisable to go to the authorities or at least take steps to protect yourself. Keep your friends and family informed of your concerns so you don’t feel alone. If you sense this reader may be on the right track fine but is there a chance it is being blown out of proportion? Again, you know the ins and outs of this person. Yes, those cards would make me think, get away, don’t get involved. If you are really worried, take action.


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