The Thoth Deck key 15 (ATU-15) is named the Devil while the same key is called Temptation in the Tarot of the Old Path. Both show ancient symbols of the Devil, the Goat in the Thoth Deck and the Fox , a medieval symbol, in the Tarot of the Old Path. Crowley's Goat represents the old Goat headed god and the Sign Capricorn as well, which is only appropriate since this is the sign attributed to this card. Capricorn is a sign attributed to the element earth, thus the mysterious woodland theme of the Temptation card.
The young lovers are represented here as a very sensuous young woman displaying her charms, and a smitten young man kissing her hand. The language of flowers is used extensively in this card as she holds a kingcup in her right hand, implying a yearning for riches, which is shown also as a bag of coins at the young man's feet. He is leaning against a tree unaware of the serpent coiling around both it and his leg;,the snake representing temptation, mystery and destruction, as it is often the symbol of the Lord of Life and Death. ( Zeus, the Devil etc.)
The dog-rose clambering by the tree, warns of pleasure and pain cautioning of the empty promises received by those who seek earthly pleasures.
Near the fox is a maidenhair fern urging discretion and burdock that says, "touch me not". Also near the burdock is a cracked stone representing destruction and infinity, All things began, must end, as the infinite cycle of change.
In the distance, beyond the trees, lightning flashes a danger warning adding to the signs of disaster all around the young couple who are besotted with their own ideas of pleasure and unaware of the obvious. Their vulnerability and greed is a perfect playground for the Trickster-Devil who will lead them to destruction. Seems to be a dire card, whose danger is hidden in the disguise of pleasure.
The human brain, is the Trickster, the tempter and the all around pain in the etheric-butt,to the Soul. The Survival mind is the Devil inside, it's whole life is based on fear of death, which in disguise is "fear of discomfort and/or pain"; always vulnerable in its fear of being prey,thus the brain often does unto others before they can do unto it. The immortal, we call Soul, must pay close attention to this tricky "artificial intelligence", for it is artificial to the True Intelligence of Spirit who doesn't fear death, nor needs materialist values, that are short lived and not the Real Life. Spiritual Truth is I AM...... materialist values are "I Fear..... which could be fear of loss, fear of poverty (man-made invention) fear of pain, etc which are all disguises of fear of death. We find that those who have fallen to the temptation of the "lizard brain", are predatory cowards, who will only prey on the most vulnerable and innocent; that way they seemingly avoid hurt.
However, you look at it, the Devil is the trickster in our heads, that causes worry, fear, cowardliness and all the character traits of the low material mind. You may note, that when the brain hasn't an answer during a debate of topics, and fears looking the fool, it immediately practices character assassination on the opposing party, trying to draw attention away from its lunacy.; hoping by besmirching the other with "name calling" it will win the argument and thus survive the whip-lash of peer pressure; a totally imagined pain...
THE THOTH DECK KEY 15- THE DEVIL:
is attributed to the Hebrew letter Ayin, meaning "Eye", and is shown as the eye in the forehead of the Goat persona which is the reference to Capricorn in the zodiac. This is a very magic symbol, completely misunderstood by the cloistered, fear ridden, Christian monks of the middle ages but somewhat researched by Eliphaz Levi, who identified the Goat Headed God, as Baphomet, the ass-headed idol of the Knights Templar ( an early christian idol...see Browning, THE RING AND THE BOOK) but not fully understanding this idol symbol, Eliphaz identified it with the Old God Pan, Thus the Crowley card represents Pan Pangenetor, the All-Begetter. Since Capricorn is at its zenith here, and it is ruled by Saturn who makes for self-hood and perpetuity, and exalts Mars, whose fiery material energy of Creation,this card represents the creative madness of Spring as if as a goat, it leaps across the mountains and shakes off the winter death by uncontrolled fertility. Thus the abstract Tree of Life behind the Goat, has transparent roots, showing the leaping of sap; before the tree stands the Goat God Pan with eye in the forehead his creative energy (phallus) is veiled in the symbol of Wand of the Chief Adept crowned with the winged globe and the twin serpents of Osiris and Horus. The image of fierce creativity is carried on by the fact that Capricorn is a harsh,rough, dark even blind sign where the impulse to create takes no account of reason, custom or foresight. Capricorn is often unscrupulous and sublimely careless of result.As Crowley states in his Book of Thoth,(page106) ," thou hast no right but to do thy will. Do that an no other shall say nay. For pure will, unassuaged of purpose,delivered from the lust of result,is every way perfect.
The tree is piercing the heavens, ringed by the body of Nuit (Egyptian Night-Sky Goddess), and the shaft of the wand goes down into the Earth center.
The formula of this card is the appreciation of all existing things. The exploding passion of Creation, the Divine Frenzy, is also shown as a "Tree phallus" whose earthly testes are filled with "beginning humans". This represents the finding of ecstasy in all phenomena, no matter how repulsive it seems to be. This force known as Pan,transcends all limitations.
The spiral horns, represent the Spiral Energy that pervades all, and makes all live; the all spiraling, moving force that is God..
There is a message of Mirth in the smirk on the goats face and the crown of forget-me-nots tilted on its head, Evil, isn't real, all is illusion, in the realm of mater. So our serious thoughts of fear, are to be dispelled by "laughing at our selves". Even the concept of a "living material being" surviving is a joke, Enjoy yourself now, your are going to die, be mirthful, and learn to laugh at evil, for that is the only way to defeat it. Any fool who thinks that Spirit--Spiral Energy, became human by accident, and hates the body, is just not paying attention and is denying the Intelligence of God. If it exists, it is supposed to, pure and simple, It is time to laugh at ourselves for fearing a body, whose breathe is Us the Soul, the true Psyche of the body and not the lizard brain who thinks in all the vastness of stupidity, that it will survive by destroying everything id doesn't understand.. Learn to Laugh at your seriousness, and go out an play, for that body is how the Spirit dances in Sensation! The Devil (Devi-Lingum) is Master of manifest the master of manifested form and must be faced and conquered before one enters the Higher states of conscious. Laughter conquers it every time.
WHEN THE TEMPTATION OR THOTH DECK DEVIL CARD:
Thank you for your interest and comments. May you live long and prosper.