The symbolism of The Devil

“The fifteenth numbered major trump is called Le Diable, the devil, and portrays a creature resembling Pan with the horns of a ram or deer, the arms and body of a man, and the legs and feet of a goat or dragon. The figure stands upon a cubic stone, to a ring in the front of which are chained two satyrs. For a scepter this so-called demon carries a lighted torch or candle. The entire figure is symbolic of the magic powers of the astral light, or the Universal Mirror, in which the divine forces are relected in an inverted, or infernal, state. The demon is winged like a bar, showing that it pertains to the nocturnal, or shadow inferior sphere. The animal natures of man, in the form of a male and a female elemental, are chained to its footstool. The torch is the false light which guides unilluminated souls to their own undoing. In the pseudo-Egyptian Tarot appears Typhon –a winged creature composed of a hog, a man, a bat, a crocodile, and a hippopotamus –standing in the midst of its own destructiveness and holding aloft the fire-brand of the incendiary. Typhon is created by man’s own misdeeds, which, turning upon their maker, destroy him.”[2]

Numerology: 15 (1+5=6) “The Pythagoreans held the hexad –6— to represent, as Clement of Alexandria conceived the creation of the world according to both the prophets and the ancient Mysteries. It was called by the Pythagoreans the perfection of all the parts. This number was particularly sacred to Orpheus, and also to the Fate, Lachesis and the Muse, Thalia. It was called the form of forms, the articulation of the universe, and the maker of the soul. Among the Greeks, harmony and the soul were considered to be similar in nature, because all souls are harmonic. The hexad is also the symbol of marriage, because it is formed by the union of two triangles, one masculine and the other feminine. Among the keywords given to the hexad are: time, for it is the measure of duration, panacea, because health is equilibrium, and the hexad is a balance number; the world, because the world, like the hexad, is often seen to consists of contraries by harmony, omnisufficient, because its parts are sufficient for totality (3 + 2 + 1 = 6); unwearied, because it contains the elements of immortality.” [2]

Astrology: Capricorn (cardinal, earth); Saturn (power and authority)

Kabbalah: Letter “Ayin”; Meaning “Eyes”; Symbolic Meaning “experience, knowledge”; pathway Tipharerth (beauty) to Hod (splendor)

Altar: Sacred place

Chains: restraint, restriction

Devil: materialism, physical pleasures, physical reality

Fire/Flames: transformation

Horns: physical prowess

Hourglass: passage of time

Pillar: stability

Pentagram : Spiritual Symbolism

Pentangle/pentacle/pentagram: symbolizes the five senses, but also can symbolize the five virtues “generosity, fellowship, chastity, courtesy & charity”. // “The pentad –5— is the union of an odd and an even number (3 and 2). Among the Greeks, the pentagram was a sacred symbol of light, health, and vitality. It also symbolized the fifth element –ether— because it is free from the disturbances of the four lower elements. It is called equilibrium, because it divides the perfect number 10 into two equal parts. The pentad is symbolic of Nature, for, when multiplied by itself it returns into itself, just as grains of wheat, starting in the form of seed, pass through Nature’s processes and reproduce the seed of the wheat as the ultimate form of their own growth. Other numbers multiplied by themselves produce even numbers, but only 5 and 6 multiplied by themselves represent and retain their original number as the last figure in their products. The pentad represents all the superior and inferior beings. It is sometimes referred to as the hierophant, or the priest of the Mysteries, because of its connection with the spiritual ethers, by the means of which mystic development is attained. Keywords of the pentad are reconciliation, alternation, marriage, immortatility, cordiality, Providence, and sound. Among the deities who partook of the nature of the pentad were Pallas, Nemesis, Bubastia (Bast), Venus, Androgynia, Cytherea, and the messengers of Jupiter. The tetrad (five elements) plus the monad equals the pentad. The Pythagoreans taught that the elements of earth, fire, air, and water were permeated by a substance called ether –the basis of vitality and life. Therefore, they chose the five-pointed star, or pentagram, as the symbol of vitality, health and interpenetration. It was customary for the philosophers to conceal the element of earth under the symbol of a dragon, and many of the heroes of antiquity were told to go forth and slay the dragon. Hence, they drove their sword (the moad) into the body of the dragon (the tetrad). This resulted in the formation of the penad, a symbol of the victory of the spiritual nature over the material nature. The four elements are symbolized in the early Biblical writings as the four rivers that poured out of the Garden of Eden. The elements themselves are under the control of the composite Cherubim of Ezekiel.“ [2]

“In symbolism, an inverted figure always signifies a perverted power. The average person does not even suspect the occult properties of emblematic pentacles. On this subject the great Paracelsus has written:

‘No doubt many will scoff at the seals, their characters and their uses, which are described in these books, because it seems incredible to them that metals and characters which are dead should have any power and effect. Yet no one has ever proved that the metals and also the characters as we know them are dead, for the salts, sulphur, and quintessences of metals are the highest preservatives of human life and are far superior to all other simples. (translated from the original German.)

The black magician cannot use the symbols of white magic without bringing down upon himself the forces of white magic, which would be fatal to his schemes. He must therefore distort the hierograms so that they typify the occult fact that he himself is distorting the principles for which the symbols stand.

Black magic is not a fundamental art; it is the misuse of an art. Therefore it has no symbols of its own. It merely takes the emblematic figures of white magic, and by inverting and reversing them signifies that it is left-handed.

A good instance of this practice is found in the pentagram, or five-pointed star, made of five connected lines. This figure is the time-honored symbol of the magical arts, and signifies the five properties of man, the five elements of nature, the five extremities of the human body. By means of the pentagram within his own soul, man not only may master and govern all creatures inferior to himself, but may demand consideration at the hands of those superior to himself.

The pentagram is used extensively in black magic, but when so used its form always differs in one of three ways: The star may be broken at one point by not permitting the converging lines to touch; it may be inverted by having one point down and two up; or it may be distorted by having the points of varying lengths. When used in black magic, the pentagram is called the ‘sign of the cloven hoof,’ or the footprint of the Devil. The star with two points upward is also called the ‘Goat of Mendes,’ because the inverted star is the same shape as a goat’s head. When the upright star turns and the upper point falls to the bottom, it signifies the fall of the Morning Star.’ ”[2]

Pentagram : Inverted : Black Magic Example


Tarot Cards: The Hidden Symbols Explained by Derek Johnson

Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P Hall [2]

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