The Devil is the archetype of self-inflicted suffering, ignorance, and attachment. It represents a modus operandi of the human mind.
What perpetuates the suffering is the habitual unconscious approval of those bound to the devil. The card shows the people are not fighting the devil, they are passively subject to the ties with their hands behind their bodies.
The Devil represents mind activity, negative emotions, and attachment that supports psychological suffering. At the root of its manifestation, is the belief that we are a vulnerable self that must be protected at all costs. Its root is fear.
In this mode of operation, we are ignorant of our true Self. From that perspective, in terms of what to do about this predicament, the only final antidote to the Devil’s grip is The Judgement — pay attention to the True Self.
The devil holds people by leashes around their necks, and the people have tails. That is, self-identification with the body is perpetuated.
The devil has horns and the people have horns, emphasizing the intellect and the resonance among them, like antennas sharing the same signal.
The devil displays two tongues: one on the head (intellect) and one on the belly (instinct), and the people display large ears. Traditionally the Devil “speaks” to us, that is, it uses language and intellect, and we are sure to hear it when it speaks.
The Devil stands on a pedestal rooted in darkness representing the unconscious, as do the people who listen to him, by clawing at the black patch on the ground.
While the emphasis is on self-inflicted suffering, the root of such a state is to be found in ignorance. Ignorance of the nature of the psyche and its workings. Thus the need to study and understand the psyche. Ultimately, it is ignorance of our true Self.