The Devil, The Shadow Self, Counseling, Jung and Tarot

I’ve got about 6 decks of tarot based on the Rider Waite cards. I’ve had success with them in the past but lost the deck from an ex. So now I am getting back into tarot and have a few decks for whatever mood suits me.

I am also a practicing witch, though have been more on the feeling side than the ritual side for the past decade. Reading some on Feri path I note the diffrence in correspondence with wand. This intrigues me and I decide to grab all of my tarots decks and check correspondences among them. My intent was to look at the suits and compare to see if air and swords went together in them all, and if queens had a similar ring to them, and so on.

What I ended up doing, however, is drawing The Devil, then Horned One, and Temptation, depending on my deck. This card never really came up in any meaningful readings for myself in the past, but the meanings in all the cards resonated deeply…. very deeply with me.

Back up. Earlier that day I went in for my fourth visit with a counselor to work on some personality issues that I want to work through. My goal is to become a better person, as I told her. But as I was reviewing the tarot later that night, I realized that I am on the Fool’s Path of development. Whereas I have so many strengths and gifts to offer… I have a deep deep shadow self that really messes things up (in a Jungian sense) and I’ve been unable to really address and deal with my shadow side.

Two side notes. While reading some writings of Janet Farrar recently she expressed the great growth, and great work involved, with working through the shadow self. Second note… while I’ve been a practicing Wiccan for around 12 years or so and have given homage to the God and Goddess… I’ve felt the Goddess move in my life.. but my interaction with the God has been ‘going through the motions’ in hope that if I put the ingredients together I’ll have a cake.

I believe all of these elements are connected. I didn’t draw the Devil randomly out of the deck. It didnt’ fall out. I went to it and chose it. But I didn’t mean to go for it… I was intending on looking at suits instead.

I go to a website called Aeclectic Tarot on occaision. It is a very nice site and has tons of stuff on it. Here is what it says of the The Devil.

THE DEVIL
Basic Card Symbols
A winged, horned devil, a black pedestal, a naked male and female figure, chains, inverted pentagram.
Basic Tarot Story
The Fool comes to the foot of an enormous black mountain where reigns a creature half goat, half god. At his hooves, naked people linked to the god’s throne by chains, engage in every indulgence imaginable: sex, drugs, food, gold, drink. The closer the Fool gets, the more he feels his own earthly desires rising in him. Lust, passion, obsession, greed. “I refuse to give into you!” he roars at the Goat god, resisting with all his might. The creature returns a curious look. “All I am doing is bringing out what is already in you,” the beast responds. “Such feelings are nothing to fear, nothing to be ashamed of, or even to avoid.” The Fool gestures angrily at the chained men and women, “You say that even though they enslaved?” The Goat-god mimics the Fool’s gesture. “Take another look.”
The Fool does so, and realizes that the chained collars the men and women wear are wide enough for them to easily slip off over their heads. “They can be free if they wish to be,” the Goat-god says, “Though you are right. I am the god of your strongest desires. But you see here only those who have allowed their base, bestial desires to control them.” At this the Goat-god gestures upward, toward the peak of the mountain. “You do not see those who have allowed their impulses and aspirations to take them up to the top of that mountain. Inhibitions can enslave as easily as excesses. They can keep you from following your passion to the highest heights.” The Fool realizes the truth in this, and that he has mistaken the Goat-god. Here he understands now, it is not a creature of evil, but of great power, the lowest and the highest, both of beast and god. Like all power it is frightening, and dangerous…but it is also the key to freedom and transcendence if understood and well used.

Basic Tarot Meaning
Perhaps the most misunderstood of all the major arcana, the Devil is not really “Satan” at all, but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius. These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. With Capricorn as its ruling sign, this is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild – or ambitious. This, too, is a form of enslavement. As a person, the Devil can stand for a man of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad man, but certainly a powerful man who is hard to resist. The important thing is to remind the Querent that any chain is freely worn. In most cases, you are enslaved only because you allow it.

Thirteen’s Observations
This card explores some very frightening things, things we are taught to view as evil or shameful. Like earthy materialism, sexual desire, valuables, food, drugs. Lack of control, excess, obsession and raw ambition. At its absolute worst, this is either the addict or the stalker, totally obsessed, enslaved. At its best, this is a card about giving into impulse, cutting lose, going for the gold, climbing every mountain. Among all the cards, this is one of the most complex. Interestingly because no other card is so one-sided. Most cards urge balance, unity, restraint, yin-yang. Not this card. Completely tilted toward the masculine, it is a card that revels in extremity. There is a convincing argument that this is the most powerful and dangerous card in the deck. Magically speaking, it is the one card in the deck that holds the secret of how to escape the material and temporal bonds of Earth. It is a very potent and fascinating card.
Interesting indeed. My last counseling session had me ending it on a few notes that really got the therapist’s interest. She wants to go into those the next time. I’ve looked forward to the last couple of sessions… but this next one… I fear it and I want it at the same time.

As I sat in my kitchen, books all over the place, tarot decks on the table, cats meowing, music playing, and I read about “the fool’s journey” and the assorted meanings of the various designs of this card… it all hit me pretty squarely. This card is very important to my development… this card is a key and I must work through this one to become who I am. From Wikipedia :
“The Devil is the card of self-bondage to an idea or belief which is preventing us from growing—an example could include believing that getting drunk each night is good for you. On the other hand, however, it can also be a warning to someone who is too restrained and/or dispassionate and never allows him or herself to be rash or wild or ambitious, which is yet another form of enslavement.”
On Bewitching Ways website they offer this correspondence:
Magickal Associations
Color
Mustard yellow
Herb
Witch hazel
Incense
Copal
Oil
Pine
Gemstone
Red jasper
Sign
Capricorn
Focus
For rituals for change, for releasing negative energies, integrating the shadow self into the personality, for psychic and physical protection against attacks and threats, for overcoming fear and free-floating anxiety

A little on The Shadow from Jung:

the shadow

Unfortunately there can be no doubt that man is, on the whole, less good than he imagines himself or wants to be. Everyone carries a shadow, and the less it is embodied in the individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is. If an inferiority is conscious, one always has a chance to correct it. Furthermore, it is constantly in contact with other interests, so that it is continually subjected to modifications. But if it is repressed and isolated from consciousness, it never gets corrected.
“Psychology and Religion” (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.131
It is a frightening thought that man also has a shadow side to him, consisting not just of little weaknesses- and foibles, but of a positively demonic dynamism. The individual seldom knows anything of this; to him, as an individual, it is incredible that he should ever in any circumstances go beyond himself. But let these harmless creatures form a mass, and there emerges a raging monster; and each individual is only one tiny cell in the monster’s body, so that for better or worse he must accompany it on its bloody rampages and even assist it to the utmost. Having a dark suspicion of these grim possibilities, man turns a blind eye to the shadow-side of human nature. Blindly he strives against the salutary dogma of original sin, which is yet so prodigiously true. Yes, he even hesitates to admit the conflict of which he is so painfully aware.
“On the Psychology of the Unconscious” (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.35

We know that the wildest and most moving dramas are played not in the theatre but in the hearts of ordinary men and women who pass by without exciting attention, and who betray to the world nothing of the conflicts that rage within them except possibly by a nervous breakdown. What is so difficult for the layman to grasp is the fact that in most cases the patients themselves have no suspicion whatever of the internecine war raging in their unconscious. If we remember that there are many people who understand nothing at all about themselves, we shall be less surprised at the realization that there are also people who are utterly unaware of their actual conflicts.
“New Paths in Psychology” (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.425
If you imagine someone who is brave enough to withdraw all his projections, then you get an individual who is conscious of a pretty thick shadow. Such a man has saddled himself with new problems and conflicts. He has become a serious problem to himself, as he is now unable to say that they do this or that, they are wrong, and they must be fought against. He lives in the “House of the Gathering.” Such a man knows that whatever is wrong in the world is in himself, and if he only learns to deal with his own shadow he has done something real for the world. He has succeeded in shouldering at least an infinitesimal part of the gigantic, unsolved social problems of our day.

“Psychology and Religion” (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.140
There is a deep gulf between what a man is and what he represents, between what he is as an individual and what he is as a collective being. His function is developed at the expense of the individuality. Should he excel, he is merely identical with his collective function; but should he not, then, though he may be highly esteemed as a function in society, his individuality is wholly on the level of his inferior, undeveloped functions, and he is simply a barbarian, while in the former case he has happily deceived himself as to his actual barbarism.
Psychological Types (1921). CW 6: P.III
Taking it in its deepest sense, the shadow is the invisible saurian tail that man still drags behind him. Carefully amputated, it becomes the healing serpent of the mysteries. Only monkeys parade with it.

The Integration of the Personality. (1939).
How else could it have occurred to man to divide the cosmos, on the analogy of day and night, summer and winter, into a bright day-world and a dark night-world peopled with fabulous monsters, unless he had the prototype of such a division in himself, in the polarity between the conscious and the invisible and unknowable unconscious? Primitive man’s perception of objects is conditioned only partly by the objective behaviour of the things themselves, whereas a much greater part is often played by intrapsychic facts which are not related to the external objects except by way of projection. This is due to the simple fact that the primitive has not yet experienced that ascetic discipline of mind known to us as the critique of knowledge. To him the world is a more or less fluid phenomenon within the stream of his own fantasy, where subject and object are undifferentiated and in a state of mutual interpenetration.
“Psychological Aspects of the Mother Archetype” (1939) In CW 9, Part 1: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P. 187

We carry our past with us, to wit, the primitive and inferior man with his desires and emotions, and it is only with an enormous effort that we can detach ourselves from this burden. If it comes to a neurosis, we invariably have to deal with a considerably intensified shadow. And if such a person wants to be cured it is necessary to find a way in which his conscious personality and his shadow can live together.

“Answer to Job” (1952). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.12
The world is as it ever has been, but our consciousness undergoes peculiar changes. First, in remote times (which can still be observed among primitives living today), the main body of psychic life was apparently in human and in nonhuman Objects: it was projected, as we should say now. Consciousness can hardly exist in a state of complete projection. At most it would be a heap of emotions. Through the withdrawal of projections, conscious knowledge slowly developed. Science, curiously enough, began with the discovery of astronomical laws, and hence with the withdrawal, so to speak, of the most distant projections. This was the first stage in the despiritualization of the world. One step followed another: already in antiquity the gods were withdrawn from mountains and rivers, from trees and animals. Modern science has subtilized its projections to an almost unrecognizable degree, but our ordinary life still swarms with them. You can find them spread out in the newspapers, in books, rumours, and ordinary social gossip. All gaps in our actual knowledge are still filled out with projections. We are still so sure we know what other people think or what their true character is.

“Psychology and Religion” (1938) In CW II: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P. 140
When we must deal with problems, we instinctively resist trying the way that leads through obscurity and darkness. We wish to hear only of unequivocal results, and completely forget that these results can only be brought about when we have ventured into and emerged again from the darkness. But to penetrate the darkness we must summon all the powers of enlightenment that consciousness can offer.

“The Stages of Life” (1930). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.752
Everything that man should, and yet cannot, be or do- be it in a positive or negative sense – lives on as a mythological figure and anticipation alongside his consciousness, either as a religious projection or-what is still more dangerous-as unconscious contents which then project themselves spontaneously into incongruous objects, e.g., hygienic and other “salvationist” doctrines or practices. All these are so many rationalized substitutes for mythology, and their unnaturalness does more harm than good.

“The Psychology of the Child Archetype” (1940). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.287

The hero’s main feat is to overcome the monster of darkness: it is the long-hoped-for and expected triumph of consciousness over the unconscious. The coming of consciousness was probably the most tremendous experience of primeval times, for with it a world came into being whose existence no one had suspected before. “And God said, ‘Let there be light”‘ is the projection of that immemorial experience of the separation of consciousness from the unconscious.

“The Psychology of the Child Archetype” (1940). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.284

The symbol is a living body, corpus et anima; hence the “child” is such an apt formula for the symbol. The uniqueness of the psyche can never enter wholly into reality, it can only be realized approximately, though it still remains the absolute basis of all consciousness. The deeper “layers” of the psyche lose their individual uniqueness as they retreat farther and farther into darkness. “Lower down,” that is to say as they approach the autonomous functional systems, they become increasingly collective until they are universalized and extinguished in the body’s materiality, i.e., in chemical substances. The body’s carbon is simply carbon. Hence “at bottom” the psyche is simply “world.” In this sense I hold Kerenyi to be absolutely right when he says that in the symbol the world itself is speaking. The more archaic and “deeper,” that is the more physiological, the symbol is, the more collective and universal, the more “material” it is. The more abstract, differentiated, and sp eci ‘fie it is, and the more its nature approximates to conscious uniqueness and individuality, the more it sloughs off its universal character. Having finally attained full consciousness, it runs the risk of becoming a mere allegory which nowhere oversteps the bounds of conscious comprehension, and is then exposed to all sorts of attempts at rationalistic and therefore inadequate explanation.

“The Psychology of the Child Archetype” (1940). In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious. P.291

The masculinity of the woman and the femininity of the man are inferior, and it is regrettable that the full value of their personalities should be contaminated by something that is less valuable. On the other hand, the shadow belongs to the wholeness of the personality: the strong man must somewhere be weak, somewhere the clever man must be stupid, otherwise he is too good to be true and falls back on pose and bluff. Is it not an old truth that woman loves the weaknesses of the strong man more than his strength, and the stupidity of the clever man more than his cleverness ?

Die Anima als Schicksalsproblem des Mannes (1963) Foreward by C.G. Jung. In CW 18 261
To remain a child too long is childish, but it is just as childish to move away and then assume that childhood no longer exists because we do not see it. But if we return to the “children’s land” we succumb to the fear of becoming childish, because we do not understand that everything of psychic origin has a double face. One face looks forward, the other back. It is ambivalent and therefore symbolic, like all living reality.

Psychology and Alchemy (1944). CW 12. P.74
No, the demons are not banished; that is a difficult task that still lies ahead. Now that the angel of history has abandoned the Germans,* the demons will seek a new victim. And that won’t be difficult. Every man who loses his shadow, every nation that falls into self-righteousness, is their prey…. We should not forget that exactly the same fatal tendency to collectivization is present in the victorious nations as in the Germans, that they can just as suddenly become a victim of the demonic powers.

“The Postwar Psychic Problems of the Germans” (1945)*Written I945.
Just as we tend to assume that the world is as we see it, we naively suppose that people are as we imagine them to be. In this latter case, unfortunately, there is no scientific test that would prove the discrepancy between perception and reality. Although the possibility of gross deception is infinitely greater here than in our perception of the physical world, we still go on naively projecting our own psychology into our fellow human beings. In this way everyone creates for himself a series of more or less imaginary relationships based essentially on projection.
“General Aspects of Dream Psychology” (1916). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.507

The change of character brought about by the uprush of collective forces is amazing. A gentle and reasonable being can be transformed into a maniac or a savage beast. One is always inclined to lay the blame on external circumstances, but nothing could explode in us if it had not been there. As a matter of fact, we are constantly living on the edge of a volcano, and there is, so far as we know, no way of protecting ourselves from a possible outburst that will destroy everybody within reach. It is certainly a good thing to preach reason and common sense, but what if you have a lunatic asylum for an audience or a crowd in a collective frenzy? There is not much difference between them because the madman and the mob are both moved by impersonal, overwhelming forces.

“Psychology and Religion” (1938). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.25
It is the face of our own shadow that glowers at us across the Iron Curtain.
Man and His Symbols. In CW 18: P.85
Whenever contents of the collective unconscious become activated, they have a disturbing effect on the conscious mind, and contusion ensues. If the activation is due to the collapse of the individual’s hopes and expectations, there is a danger that the collective unconscious may take the place of reality. This state would be pathological. If, on the other hand, the activation is the result of psychological processes in the unconscious of the people, the individual may feel threatened or at any rate disoriented, but the resultant state is not pathological, at least so far as the individual is concerned. Nevertheless, the mental state of the people as a whole might well be compared to a psychosis.

“The Psychological Foundation for the Belief in Spirits (1920). In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.595

The individual ego could be conceived as the commander of a small army in the struggle with his environments war not infrequently on two fronts, before him the struggle for existence, in the rear the struggle against his own rebellious instinctual nature. Even to those of us who are not pessimists our existence feels more like a struggle than anything else. The state of peace is a desideratum, and when a man has found peace with himself and the world it is indeed a noteworthy event.

“Analytical Psychology and Weltanschauung” (1928) In CW 8: The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche. P.693

If a man is endowed with an ethical sense and is convinced of the sanctity of ethical values, he is on the surest road to a conflict of duty. And although this looks desperately like a moral catastrophe, it alone makes possible a higher differentiation of ethics and a broadening of consciousness. A conflict of duty forces us to examine our conscience and thereby to discover the shadow.

Depth Psychology and a New Ethic. (1949). In CW 18. P.17
The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

To confront a person with his shadow is to show him his own light. Once one has experienced a few times what it is like to stand judgingly between the opposites, one begins to understand what is meant by the self. Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides and thus gets in the middle.
“Good and Evil in Analytical Psychology” (1959). In CW 10. Civilization in Transition. P.872
Filling the conscious mind with ideal conceptions is a characteristic of Western theosophy, but not the confrontation with the shadow and the world of darkness. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.
“The Philosophical Tree” (1945). In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.335
A man who is unconscious of himself acts in a blind, instinctive way and is in addition fooled by all the illusions that arise when he sees everything that he is not conscious of in himself coming to meet him from outside as projections upon his neighbour.
“The Philosophical Tree” (1945). In CW 13: Alchemical Studies. P.335
Projections change the world into the replica of one’s own unknown face.
Aion (1955). CW 14: P.17
The “other” may be just as one-sided in one way as the ego is in another. And yet the conflict between them may give rise to truth and meaning-but only if the ego is willing to grant the other its rightful personality.
“Concerning Rebirth” (1940) In CW 9, Part I: The Archetypes of the Collective Unconscious. P.237
Good does not become better by being exaggerated, but worse, and a small evil becomes a big one through being disregarded and repressed. The shadow is very much a part of human nature, and it is only at night that no shadows exist.
“A Psychological Approach to the Dogma of the Trinity” (1942) In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.286
We know that the wildest and most moving dramas are played not in the theatre but in the hearts of ordinary men and women who pass by without exciting attention, and who betray to the world nothing of the conflicts that rage within them except possibly by a nervous breakdown. What is so difficult for the layman to grasp is the fact that in most cases the patients themselves have no suspicion whatever of the internecine war raging in their unconscious. If we remember that there are many people who understand nothing at all about themselves, we shall be less surprised at the realization that there are also people who are utterly unaware of their actual conflicts.
“New Paths in Psychology” (1912). In CW 7: Two Essays on Analytical Psychology. P.425
In reality, the acceptance of the shadow-side of human nature verges on the impossible. Consider for a moment what it means to grant the right of existence to what is unreasonable, senseless, and evil! Yet it is just this that the modern man insists upon. He wants to live with every side of himself-to know what he is. That is why he casts history aside. He wants to break with tradition so that he can experiment with his life and determine what value and meaning things have in themselves, apart from traditional resuppositions.
“Psychotherapist or the Clergy” (1932). In CW 11: Psychology and Religion: West and East. P.528

Reading from another site on Jungian thought the author states “Also, without going into great detail, life energy (libido) is locked up in the Shadow, energy we could all probably use more of. ” Hmmm… more and more connections here.

What seems interesting is the mention of a site on the Rider Waite card that depicts The Devil as having all the elements save one… water. On a site that talks about individuation, step one… the shadow, it mentions that the beginning of such is often times via water. Is this a great miss? Is there a connection that is hidden? From the same site…
The story of the Frog Prince tells of a young woman who is visited on three consecutive nights by a frog. On the first and second nights she is horrified, but on the third night she relents and lets the frog into her bed, and in the moment that she kisses him the frog turns into a handsome prince. For Ernest Jones (a follower and biographer of Freud) the story is an allegorical account of a young woman overcoming her fear of sex. For Joseph Campbell (a disciple of Jung) the frog is just another example of the dragons and other frightening monsters whose role in mythology is to guard treasure. The frog, like them, represents the dark and frightening shadow; the treasure is the true self. The kiss symbolizes a person’s acceptanace of the shadow. And the result is the manisfestation of the true nature of the shadow, as a bearer of one’s true selfhood.

Another site on Jungian shadow with the Devil in the tarot. Hmmmm. I’ve got a lot of…. something to do.

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