Kitsune Tarot: 15- The Beast Picture

Hrmmm.. You know, I've always wondered why the tarot- a divination tool generally shunned by the Catholic religion- came to have the Devil *in* it. Originally, the tarot symbology of the Devil had the same features that the Catholic religion made the figure have when they invented him way back in history- traits from the Horned God of pagan mythology.

How indeed to turn a figure associated with all the collective ills of humanity into a kitsune and have it still be congruent with the kitsune mythology? Well, kitsune themselves are considered demons at some point in Japanese mythology (there's still stories of fox posessions!). So I gave the devil-figure in my card horns, and a rather berserk look- along with all nine tails, which is said to be the highest number kitsune can have and indicates a serious level of power. (This too always bothered me, kitsune having a flag indicating their personal capability level on their rear ends, but moving on...)

I renamed this card from "The Devil" to "The Beast". This helps to lessen the Catholic association since I believe the tarot is a tool for anyone who opts to use it regardless of religious or spiritual preference. It is also named such because each of us has an inner 'beast'- a compilation of our darkest traits that we often choose to ignore that can run rampant if left unchecked.

In this card, the solid black fox with glowing red eyes, horns and spikes along his back has obtained his maximum capability- to bring out other peoples' 'dark sides' that they usually keep hidden. It wears an inverted pentacle on its crown- yes, commonly and often mistakenly associated with the Devil of Catholic lore- which symbolizes "spirit descending into matter". It stands amid a pile of dusty coins and a spiderweb symbolizes neglect.

Chained to the bottom-most of three steps, the foxes from the Lovers sit, without their wings, on a hot floor where molten magma flows sluggishly through the cobblestones. The female fox is looking forlornly at the male, introspective and expecting him to change his behavior and pay attention to her, while he looks away, focused outwardly on something else. Both appear as if the Beast has enslaved them, though if one looks at their collars, each could easily free themselves.

They have chosen to enslave themselves to their fantasies (represented by the Beast). The Beast is the only tarot card in the Major Arcana that is entirely slanted towards the masculine end of things- it shows off extremes.

It does NOT mean "evil". It tells us "Hey, there's something about your assumptions and ideas that are seriously wrong and need to be paid attention to". Ignorance or knowing that you're in an unhealthy situation but sticking to it for some reason, accepting being in a situation you don't like, feeling as though you've lost your independence, being addicted, forgetting the spiritual aspect of life and being immersed too deeply in materialism, fearing the unknown, despairing, temptation of cheating in a relationship- the Beast card warns us of all of these things, though in the reading it occurs in will help to narrow down what exactly is meant.

It is the "wake up call" card- and also the only one in the Major Arcana that tells us "good and bad" can't be seperated into something all good, or all bad because darkness is only the lack of light and usually created from hiding errors that keep the truth from surfacing. At its best, it could mean cutting loose and going for something desired- at worst, being totally enslaved by something/someone or being an addict or stalker.

The Beast card ultimately tells us how to escape the material and temporal bonds in life in order to move forward.

Kitsune Tarot (C) CD Steele.
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