The Devil

Devil Marseille Tarot
from the Marseille Tarot
illustrated by Jean Dodal
Devil Rider-Waite Tarot
from the Rider-Waite Tarot
illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith

Standing - or squatting - like a statue
On his plinth, wings bat-like
Spread out behind him : grotesque
But somehow comic in his portrayal
He holds one hand aloft as if waving
To us, the other carries a flaming torch.

Are those two his acolytes, horned as he is,
Or captives with bonds they could easily shake off?
Their eyes look to each other as if wondering
What they are doing there; his stare out
At the world, challenging any question
Of his presence. He is two-faced
On Dodal’s figure - his tongue protruding,
Poked out in mischief or choked out in chagrin?

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