The Fool had settled in Temperance for many years. He had built a life there, and learned about patience, compassion, love and duality. He even took a wife and had children. He was happy.
But, as fate would have it, he and his dog Wisdom were magical creatures. Because they were part of the Major Arcana, they were immortal. However, the people who populated the Land of Tarot were not. So, a lifetime for them was a blink of an eye to the Fool. He sadly watched as his friends and family, including his beloved wife Harmony, passed on.
When all seemed lost, he and his little dog left Temperance behind. Once again they set out on the roadway. Much had changed since he and Wisdom had arrived in Temperance. The City of Light was thriving and growing and it was early spring once again.
The Fool didn't really notice his surroundings though. He was lost in despair and sorrow. Everything he thought was real and true had disappeared and he felt that he was just an empty shell.
A strange noise coming from a field ahead caught his attention. It sounded like the clink of chains. As he rounded the corner he saw the opening of a cave at the end of the field. The noise appeared to be coming from inside. The Fool followed the sound and peered into the darkness of the cave.
Inside he beheld a most curious sight. There was a satyr like creature that appeared to have the head of a man with horns and the lower half of a goat. He was the Devil. The goat part of him symbolizes the scapegoat we all tend to blame for our faults and addictions. The Devil like appearance represents temptation.
The chains the Fool had heard were held in the Devil's hands and on their ends were a naked man and woman. They appeared to be held captive, but the Fool saw that the chains were actually very loose and could be removed by them at any time they chose. They also sprouted tiny horns, indicating that they were becoming more like their oppressor. The symbolism here speaks of the carnal, dark, and weak part of all human beings. No one is immune to temptation at some level. It is how we manage that temptation that allows us to break out of captivity.
The Devil beckoned the Fool forward. He didn't speak aloud, but in his head the Fool heard a very seductive voice. The Devil's hypnotic stare held him firmly rooted to the spot as he listened intently.
The Devil told the Fool that he could have what was lost back again. He could once again be with his wife and children, living a carefree life. All he had to do is eat just a little bit of the root that was laying on the table in front of him.
The Fool did as he was bidden and once again he felt happy and whole. He realized deep inside his mind that what he was experiencing wasn't real, but it was so good to be back in a world where time stood still. Every time that the Fool would start to drift back into reality, the voice in his head would remind him to just take a taste of the root.
It was Wisdom barking that finally brought the Fool back to himself. He opened his eyes and found himself naked and chained at the Devil's feet. He struggled with the chains at first, and then remembered he could remove them if he chose to do so.
He removed the chains, put on his clothing, and walked from the cave without turning around. He had learned that no matter how painful reality might be at times, giving your power to someone or something else was never the answer.
If the Devil appears in your cards, be aware that something or someone may appear to be holding you captive. It might be an addiction to a person, place or thing. Or, it might even be your own thoughts of self doubt and inadequacy that are holding you back from the life you could be living. The captivity inherent in the Devil card is always self made.
And the Fool, much wiser and stronger, moves forward once again.