As Capricorn season begins, we wanted to take a look at the meaning of the sign alongside the Tarot card that it is associated with, The Devil. For folks who don't know, each of the twelve zodiac signs is associated with a card in the Major Arcana. While the meaning of the signs and the meaning of the cards are not exactly parallel, they overlap in important ways that can help us better understand astrology and Tarot alike.
Watch more on Sun in Capricorn energy with Adama below!
The Devil is one of those Tarot cards that a lot of us might have negative or fear-based associations with. If you're a Capricorn and are reading this thinking that you got the worst luck of the draw and/or terrified this means you're going to hell, don't worry! The Devil is not a bad card—indeed, there are no good or bad cards in the Tarot—and the Devil has beautiful healing lessons to share with the world. But before we jump into the meaning of the Devil card, let’s explore the meaning of the sign Capricorn.
Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign, ruled by Saturn and Mars by exaltation. Cardinal, essentially, means control, and cardinal signs tend to like being responsible for leading, taking initiative, and directing. Earth signs have to do with the material realm—the physical body, food, the environment, and finances. In pop culture, Capricorns are known as work-obsessed quasi-robots who have ambitions so wild they have never accomplished enough. Of course, Capricorn energy is much more than this, but the interpretation that Capricorns are really drawn to work, money and worldly accomplishment comes from combining the meaning of cardinal (control) and earth (the material).
Where the meaning of Capricorn gets more interesting, though, is when we consider that it is ruled by Saturn. Saturn has to do with power and authority, but the kind that comes through years and years of hard work, discipline and limitation. Saturn is tough love, forcing us to grow by showing us all the ways in which we fall short so that we can overcome them. Wherever we have Saturn in our chart, we will be invited in major ways to take responsibility for ourselves, our choices, and our destiny.
And “responsibility” is where the Devil comes in. On the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the Devil card features front and center the Devil (who else) and, by their side, two people with chains around their necks that appear to be tying them to the throne on which the Devil sits. But when we look closely, we realize that the ends of the chains are loose. The people could walk away and be free if they recognized this, and if they chose to free themselves instead of willfully remaining captive. And so, the Devil card is about taking responsibility (Capricorn!) for our own liberation.
Together, Capricorn and the Devil card invite us to look at the ways in which we keep ourselves stuck, small and unfree. Under capitalism and the systems of oppression that we all live under, working to free our minds from harmful programming we've received is a Herculean effort, requiring tremendous discipline and a Capricornian / Devil-like resilience. It requires us to recognize all the ways in which we allow ourselves to be limited by untrue beliefs. When the Devil card shows up in a reading, it shows us that we are ready to do that work, ready to finally get free.