15. The Devil

"The time is long gone when I could frighten you with a burning wardrobe and force you to make repayment for your crimes. But I wish I could, Tom... I wish I could..." - Albus Dumbledore

Traditionally, the Devil stands for the pure essence of evil, but his symbolism is not quite so grim in tarot. This card shows the negativity and darkness in ignorance, materialism, and hopelessness. It serves as a warning that one may become enslaved and entrenched by base desires, overindulgence, or a general lack of insight and control.

While The Devil is a warning against negative influences, it does not represent true, unrelenting evil. Tom Marvolo Riddle's young life may be characterized by this card in that, while he was not yet reduced to the purely horrific figure of Lord Voldemort, his negative mindset is already caught in a dangerous downward spiral of resentment and prejudice. There had always been hope and potential for young Riddle to accomplish "great things," but once he fell into the persona of Voldemort, he became an irredeemable evil.

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