The Devil is perhaps one of the most occult symbolism happy cards in the traditional Rider Waite Smith deck. In my Isidore deck the traditional satyr becomes a horned (and dashing) buffalo and the people chained to his podium are my dapper hippo & goat couple very happy to be clothed. I tried to stay true to the original symbolism beyond that right down to the bat wings and pentagram.
The devil card has a lot of shock value to it when using the tarot as a prop, but it is indeed and troublesome card. It has always reminded me of that line from Labyrinth when the goblin king says “Just fear me, love me, do as I say and I will be your slave.” only without the hot David Bowie accent and far darker tones. The devil gives you the illusion that you are stuck within whatever has you held back and you believe there’s nothing you can do about it. He offers a self imposed bondage where one feels retrained even though they have the ability to simply remove the bonds restraining them.
So if you meditate on this card, I would suggest asking yourself what is holding you back and why do you feel helpless to do anything about it? Perhaps it’s just a matter of taking a step back and really looking at the situation and realizing you’ve put yourself in that corner and it’s time to step out of it. The devil is a deceiver but in the end he only has the power you give him and that’s a good way to look at life and your own issues. Perhaps the only thing holding you back is your unwillingness to take a step and start the process of moving forward.
As a side note: This photo features my Isidore doll sized deck. The doll in the photo is Corina Corina and you can’t see it, but she has her own black bare tree twig wings, a lot of red and black, and she permanently holds this card in her arms. She is part of my U.F.R.L. doll collection; all made by hand by me. Doll making has become a bit of a distraction for me when I wasn’t able to do much computing. She, or a doll like her, is available should anyone be interested. 😉