The Devil is a scary card. He conjures up images of evil, addiction, our dark shadow-self. He’s the libertine of the deck – devoid of moral restraint and the norms of society. But he is really this dark figure? Is there really no good that comes out of this card?
Look at the RWS image of the card, the Devil stands atop of pillar looking down on two figures who are chained to him. The card talks about how we are chained and bound by our addictions: be they consumptive or substances. Rather than talking about substance addiction, let’s focus on our consumer addiction.
The latest piece of technology, accessory, music, movie, Tarot deck comes out and immediately (almost without thinking) we need it. We have to spend the money even if we don’t have it. We are anxious until we have it and suddenly when we do, there is a sense of relief. Our anxiety disappears and we feel happy. There is a lot of research that shows that addictions trigger pleasure centers in our brain, which give us a high when we indulge.
Minimalism is about shedding the bonds of consumerism. Looking at the two figures in the card, the shackles are loose. If you wanted you can remove them. The first thing is wanting it. When you decide to bring minimalism into your life you are taking the first step. The second step is starting to remove the clutter.
After the clutter is gone you can begin to let go you loose the shackles. When you no longer feel the compulsion to indulge consumerism, to buy every new shiny toy, you start becoming free. You are no longer bound by the power of a consumer addiction. Minimalism is the vehicle to get you “clean”.