What the Devil Tells Me

The Devil - Universal Tarot
The Devil – Universal Tarot

Yesterday I felt called to do a Tarot reading. It’s been a long time since I’ve used the cards with any regularity, which is silly because they always help me feel more connected to the Sacred and myself. I don’t use them to tell the future, I use them to find insights into the archetypal energies at play in my life. It felt good to reconnect with the cards and I plan to make readings a regular part of my practice from now on. It’d be lovely to start reading for others again as well.

Overall the reading was glorious. I tried out a new layout, one I had made note of years ago but never utilized. It’s a reading based specifically in archetypes, using only the Major Arcana and the court cards. The reading validated the archetypes that are at play in my relationships (The Empress), my creativity (The Queen of Cups), etc., and helped me see some other beauty. However, I was flabbergasted to turn over The Devil card for career.

The Devil represents the small “i”, the ego. It’s a card representing bondage, limitation, restraint. And materialism – as in being tied to the material world.

This is confusing because I see my search for work in Portland as being very much tied to my values and my higher self. While I have set a couple standards regarding base income and refusal to go backwards on my career path (I’m no longer a $15/hour administrative assistant!), I’ve been seeking only meaningful positions with non-profits and educational organizations. My mantra is “meaning over money.” This is not an ego based approach to the professional world.

Until I consider the idea of smallness – playing small instead of owning my Bigness.

Perhaps my restraint or self-imposed limitations look like continuing to pursue a regular job with a regular income rather than pursuing an independent means of supporting my family through the work of my heart. I wonder if I’m limiting myself to “secure” work by telling myself that I’m not oriented to being an entrepreneur and that I thrive in high stimulation environments with lots of people. I also say that I want to help create change in leadership from the inside of organizations. Someone has to, right? And I talk about how my creativity is motivated by generosity. All of these things are valid, high minded ideals…and I suppose all of these things could also be self-imposed limitations.

There is also the possibility that I’ve been thinking small in my search for work. While I’ve applied for several leadership positions, they have been in the comfortable zone of Operations Manager/Office Manager or even Executive Assistant (which is a leadership position when you’re the liaison for the rest of the staff). While I know I’m ready for a significant leadership position, I am afraid that no one else will think so. While I was growing into a big fish in the small pond of Humboldt, I feel like I might be a small fish in the big lake of Portland. I imagine I still have some growing to do before I can be an HR Manager or Director of Operations. But maybe that’s not true?

As I go deeper into the meaning of The Devil, I am looking for where I am playing small. I’m waiting to hear back from a specific position I’m a finalist for this week. If I get it, the question may be mute. Or at least, it will look different than if I don’t get the position. If I have to continue the hunt for work, then this question of smallness will likely impact my direction from here. Either way I do feel there is something significant in what the Devil is telling me.

Of course I remain open-minded about where the Universe is leading me in regards to Radical Mystic. I know there’s a project here. Whether it’s a project from which I could one day make a living, I don’t know. I just know it isn’t that time yet. I need to develop the project. I need to build a community. And I need to do so without the shadow of money over my head.

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