Written by 9:05 pm Published Work


Published in The Fear Journal, July 2020

Long before the fear of catching Covid-19 spread across the globe, I feared that godforsaken 15th card in the Major Arcana: the Devil card.

You insisted I need not fear it (never mind that the card represents fear, among other things). But I did fear it, and for good reason. Your Star, your rose, your chirosophic Gemini saw something that you, with your hermetic introspection and Aries self-centeredness, overlooked. I saw the truth.

We were holding each other back.

And it crushed me, sent me spiraling into worry: How could you have overlooked a truth that crept into every pull, every afternoon reading? How could you have ignored the prickling foreboding, the pit of dread in your stomach when that Devil card surfaced? How could you have been so arrogant to think the card didn’t apply to you and I? How could you tell me not to fear the truth?

When I saw the woman and man in chains, with Dionysus glaring from behind, I immediately knew what it meant. I knew that an invisible cosmic force was trying to not-so-gently remind you and I that we were heading down a bad path. We were enslaved by our passions for each other, tempted by this notion of a perfect relationship (even though our relationship was far from perfect), seduced by this unhealthy, unholy union; and that we needed to break free of it. Yet you insisted the card meant we were enslaved to our respective situations, that it was simply instructing us that we need to break away from the bondage of unhealthy emotional ties and feeling trapped. 

Like the love-drunk Fool that I am,  I believed you. And for good reason: I wanted so badly not to have to fear the end of you and I, not to have to break away from our situation no matter how unhealthy and unholy I sometimes thought it seemed. So much so that I ignored the prickling foreboding that festered in my heart and stomach every time that Devil card surfaced. I told myself, as you instructed, that it was referring to another part of my life. Even amidst this period of pretending to be blind to the truth, I felt the fear of that Devil card.  

Originally published in The Fear Journal

Feature photo by Sergi Viladesau on Unsplash