What the heck is The Devil? The prevalent Western Christian image of a creature with cloven feet, horns and a long tail is not Biblical, but a construct based on Pan, a figure of Greek Mythology. Half man, half goat Pan was not evil exactly, but untamed, amoral and natural. Okay, that’s a fun fact you might be saying, but how does this knowledge help the writing process?
Well, I think that this conceptualisation of the Devil is not who we need to fear in the development of our writing mindset. For many years, the Devil I feared lived on the inside, a construct of repression and nightmares, of what other people, more respectable people, would think when they read my writing. Why? Because in our writing it is easier for others to see who we really are on the inside, the part of our selves we have painstakingly hidden away to protect us from the judgement of others.
There’s something else we tend to fear when darkest depths of our psyches are being illuminated. The Devil shown in this card is also the figure that we are told can consume and alienate us from the love of the Divine. We are risking showing this untamed, amoral and natural part of ourselves, and being rejected, condemned even.
I think that this is the right time to share that this blog has outed me to members of my former church community as a woman who has made her choice to use tarot as one of the tools to explore my intuition, psychological archetypes and as a means to self coach on my writing journey. And I have been called out for living a life contrary to God’s will for me.
What’s ironic is that in belonging to the Church I was becoming less and less of who I felt God made me to be. I was embroiled in the fear of not being the person I needed to be to help the Church grow. I criticised myself for being too introverted to evangelise others into faith and for being too focused on moving into my own relationship with Divine. This fear of not being the person the Church needed me to be in order to serve, was the Devil in me whispering that I was not good enough. This card asks us to call out and name those whispers that tell us we are fundamentally flawed in some way, and plain just not good enough. This isn’t a case of ‘don’t sweat the small stuff.’ This is the stuff inside of us that the socially and spiritually conservative are going to have some really big issues with.
I am not the first woman to be condemned for pursuing her own spirituality outside the Church. I won’t be the last. But I’m no longer going to use up energy in the fear of being seen for who I really am, for revealing the individual connection I’ve always felt to God, Spirit and the Divine, and the not-easily-explained level of intuition I navigate my life with. For the first time I feel like I’m being seen for who I am and who I’ve always been. And, yes, I am being condemned for it in the way that I thought that I might. But it doesn’t matter because I don’t fear the condemnation anymore. It is done. I have unlocked the power of this card in my development as a writer, by acknowledging the repressed part of me, and letting go of the fear of what other people project onto me.
I’m not going to use up energy to continue to try and make myself look respectable to those whose fear based constructions I simply do not believe. I release my need to be seen as a good girl, a respectable girl and a fearful girl. I am a woman who only seeks the Light. I am using and transforming the energy that I poured into the fear of being ‘outed’ into a force for good to fuel my writing.