Earley Light: Shedding Light on the Shadows of Self
Explore the shadow aspects of tarot cards to help you uncover your own personal shadows and incorporate techniques, such as exercises and affirmations, to begin your journey of healing.
The Devil Inside
For the month of April, we are dancing with the devil inside. In the Universal Waite deck, the devil card depicts 2 humans, 1 male and 1 female, chained to the black pedestal that the devil is sitting on. The chains are loose, suggesting that they could remove them if they wish, but they are choosing to keep them on and are a representation of emotional and mental bondage. The humans are naked and have horns and tails, the female has a pomegranate indicating fertility and the male has a flame indicating desire. The Devil holds a flaming torch, appearing to light the tail of the male, signifying lighting his passion. The black pedestal and back ground suggests ignorance and the unknown. The devil wears an inverted pentagram on his head suggesting a mental delusion. The devil himself is a symbol of our obstacles, vices, and fears.
Overall, the card itself is a shadow card and suggests that we are being controlled and we could escape them if we want to. We are being controlled by our fears, selfishness, negative thought patterns, habits, addictions to sex, drugs, alcohol, food, material things, etc., and while we feel we are being controlled by these things, the truth is that we are allowing them to control us. There is more to it than meets the eye, as there is with any kind of addiction. There are reasons for the addictions, usually self created, because we don’t know how to deal with the realities of those reasons. People usually dabble in drugs or alcohol in the very beginning of troubles because they are unable to deal with what is going on in their lives so they choose to escape. Before long, their bodies become physically addicted so stopping is a lot harder, if not impossible, for some. The trick is to deal with the reasons behind the addiction rather than the addiction itself and this usually requires professional help. However, for the lesser issues, such as fears, selfishness or habits, we can sometimes do the work ourselves. Either way, whether it’s the lesser issues or the more difficult ones, we have to want to change and we have to be willing to do the work. We have to want to get rid of our addictions, or our fears, or habits…or whatever the devil is for us individually. If we don’t WANT to change, we won’t be able to change.
Not only is this shadow card about being controlled by fears, addictions, habits, etc, it can also be about being controlled by people. Are you in an abusive situation where the person keeps control of you with threats to your well being? They are using your fear to control you. Do you have issues with authority? Do you not like being told what to do by your boss? On the flip side of that, do you always feel the need to be in control of whatever situation there is? What would happen if you let go of control for just a little while?
If your shadow is that you want too much control, try letting something go. Try one thing a week for this month and see what happens.
If you are the opposite and you don’t control anything and allow others to make decisions, try speaking up. Take control of a situation that you normally wouldn’t (Please don’t put yourself in any kind of danger on this one. I’m talking smaller stuff).
If you are selfish, give one thing away a week or do one nice thing a week and see how you feel (you may find that you want to continue with this one).
If food is your addiction, before you reach for something to eat, figure out if you are eating out of boredom or comfort. Are you really hungry?
If you are addicted to material items, give something away to someone who needs it. Refrain from buying anything that is not essential for living (i.e. food, bills, etc).
If you have continual negative thoughts about yourself or others, tell yourself every day how wonderful you are. Find something great that you do and remind yourself of it.
If you are being controlled by a habit, make yourself aware of that habit, then tell yourself every day that you will not be controlled by it and be mindful of yourself to make sure that you do not succumb to that habit.
If you are willing to look at yourself truthfully, and admit what your devil is, you are well on your way to figuring out what started it to being with. As with any of our work, journaling and meditating are important to helping you discover what started the shadow in the first place.
If you do have an addiction or are in an abusive situation, I highly recommend getting professional help as they are more equipped to get to the heart of the matter and do what is necessary to help you. It’s ok to ask for help.
For this month’s affirmation, I am actually going to give 2 different ones. Please chose which one applies to you and if neither one does, please come up with one specifically for you. These are only suggestions.
“I do not need to control every aspect of my life. I am ok with letting some things go.”
“I will not allow (fear, habit, addiction, etc) to control me.”
The Devil card from Universal Waite Tarot
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