The Devil is at once titillating and terrifying. It signals a treasure trove of vices; bondage, desire, greed, addiction, fear, manipulation… Manipulation – that’s the key word. When your temptations manipulate you, when your guilt manipulates you, when you hunger, when you fear, when you are tempted, charmed, coerced, trapped, or intimidated; when you think you can’t step away or go without; when you have a need that overpowers your will – a need to consume, a need for comfort, a need to be needed…
The many possibilities of the Devil go round and round, but at the end of the day, it all ends in manipulation. Anything that tricks you into thinking you don’t have a choice. That you can’t not. That there is no escape.
At its heart, the Devil is toxic thinking. Appealing and perhaps even fun at first, but oh, at what cost. On the lighter end of the spectrum, the Devil can be a trickster, giving a wink and having a laugh at your expense. On the heavier end, the Devil can spell dark and difficult times. A feeling of suffering and stuckness. An overpowering fear and loss of self.
For some the Devil encourages manipulation. They have a need to control; a desire to play puppeteer and bend the world to their will. The meaning of the Devil turns in on itself in this case. They think that they’re in charge, but are they really? The need to be in control is rooted in fear – a self-manipulation that is then reflected outward.
The gift of the Devil is release – a light in the darkness of your doomsday mentality. The warning of the Devil is that you are allowing yourself to be controlled to your own detriment, and if nothing changes, things will only get worse. The deeper wisdom is that will and sense of self can always be reclaimed. Even if they’ve previously been yielded, you can always take them back. You have the strength and the ability to be free.