The Sacred India Tarot: Creation of the Devil Card

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CARD 15:  The Devil – Mara with his Three Daughters

This is part of the Sacred India Tarot series, which is usually published by   Due to a tech. problem in India, and because I found a paragraph which needed a small revision, I am publishing it also, here.   These entries – as can be seen in the previous one on Ganga – contain much process work as each concept developed transoceanically.   Additionally, life and dreams at night, fed in their  data.

Later in the deck, 6 of Pentacles depicts the Buddha’s Enlightenment.  The demon Mara makes a reappearance, trying to distract him with his raw power:  the Buddha keeps firm contact with the ground.

This cropped image from 6 of Pentacles card, of Mara and the Buddha, is relevant to the material of card 15:


Detail from SITA 6 of Pentacles


Here first, is an image Rohit sent me, heading his Notes; and under it is my first sketch for the ideas in this Arcanum.


Rohit’s Notes:

A very difficult card, as India does not have any such notion as the Devil.  It was a great struggle to resist using a Horned One equivalent, as the Celtic packs do, or a Pan equivalent.

However, Buddhist Mythology does have an Evil One – Mara.  Since the pack is an Indian mythology pack, and the Buddha is one of the greatest figures in the culture, I felt we can use this.  Mara plays the same role in the enlightenment of the Buddha, as Satan the Adversary does, when Jesus is in the desert, tempting and then trying to frighten him.

The illustration we will send of the blue demon, is a good place to start.  Please keep the skull headgear.  The costumes of the Balinese dancers are also a good way to depict him.  I am tired of the wild skins and hairy features of the standard packs.  “The Prince of Darkness is a gentleman.”  I forget who said that, but the suave, dangerous aspect of the Devil is what we need.  This card should not be overdone, as we are going to use this again in the suit of Pentacles.

What we need here, is the Devil holding his three daughters and a couple of men, in the standard manner, with chains around their necks, all the human figures to be nude, as is the typical custom in depicting the chains of the Devil.  He should be given a vicious looking sword to hold too, the other hand having a musical instrument of some sort.  The environment should not be depicted as forbidding and hopeless.  The power of the Devil is precisely his offer of a high standard of living and comfort.

Can you communicate a sort of serpentine fluidity to the man?  His figure should dominate the card, but it should not stand in the typical still and straight divine posture.  The Devil is polymorphous, too easily swayed by circumstances, too eager to seize immediate advantage to appreciate the long-term advantage of standing firm.  An air of instability will convey the essential hollow nature of his power.

The Devil is in Jungian terms, the challenge of the Shadow, and is in that sense an extremely useful and necessary part of the human imagination.


Jane’s Process Notes – 15 September 2002

These are quite lengthy extracts again from my workbook.  The “Devil” card  is “made for artists” because through  realizing what we project, we strip down the effigies of our bossy Saint.  We meet and are challenged here by the raw subconscious material, and we are as putty!   Through this Arcanum, as we learn to see it, gleams truth.   Rudra enters the picture again:


Arrived at Caroline’s to meet Sparkie in a happy and curious-about-it frame, after a large and excellent calzone-pizza with A and two glasses of wine;  and left there later, weary and depressed.  It is very tiring to have to sit through this kind of thing in a hot padded room, late in the evening.  My bitchings about Satsang givers are not quite on the mark, so I shall refrain.   I liked Sparkie’s earnest lady helpers and the Teutonic gang with the electronics and the camera – the electronics broke down half way through and nearly started a fire.   That was rather a relief, because the soporific new-age-zen background tinkling, though at first quite pleasant, was getting on my nerves.  Sparkie didn’t attempt any rev-ups with me, though he really pulled poor A out on the mat, for “the Advaita movement in England”, because there wasn’t really anyone else there to work with.  So in the end, I chipped in, to support Alan, and said there was a movement a few years ago, with everyone going to everybody, but now they’ve all found their teachers among themselves and got married. 

Which basically implied – you’re superfluous, mate.

My impression is that Sparkie, a blond and bearded trans-atlantic Englishman whose home is now Germany, is used to talking now in German to Germans, and had a hard job connecting to Londoners … who prefer something a little more tongue in cheek.  In his view, the Western “spiritual tradition” meeting the East, is modern psychology, and he “does not dismiss politics”.  The opinions are his, and himself-centered.  His German ladies adore him – this is natural: devotion on the spiritual path.

I should try to go to things un-comparitively, but for one schooled with the un-person-centered vitality of Kabbalah and the delicious honesty and humour of its teachers, this little gathering was a tomb.   There was a table there, covered with dazzling piles of tapes and books and gleaming photos of Papaji messengers, with among them, poor patient Ramana, and even Anandamayi Ma … presented as icons, swept into this personality cult.

These musings lead me usefully into my rather heavy work for the coming week – India Tarot Devil, Tower and Star, to be guinea-pigged through my subconscious into the light.   For instance, Key 15 the Devil is in the western Mysteries, the artist’s card par excellence.  It covers the whole field of projectile-prakriti into enclosure and includes my recent “Initiation”, drawing portraits of inner plane Masters:  “Ah Netr Ankh”, Hail to the Lord of Life.  The enclosure is a projection of the Infinite into small forms of separateness, definition, solidity.  It puts the illusion into glass and makes it hard to touch.  (What an interesting sentence!)

Serious and be-scattered insomnia last night … I became aware of a whitish, fiery and incomplete figure in my deeps, with none of its limbs defined or ‘finished’ – a kind of fury, but objectively seen.  A rapid visual association brought up my drawing of Wild Rudra – glimpsed yesterday when sorting out my old drawings.


This drawing has already been used in our Notes on SITA, the Creation of Rudra: The Fool.  Here he is again, now occupying my Shadow.  That’s what it is, inside!  That is the spike of nameless angry heat, which destroys my rest and equilibrium when slipping towards sleep into the fleece of an idea or outlined shape.  It is Rudra the Wild Hunter before the dawn of the Vedas, the one that roars, Rudra the Uncreate who with his bow and arrow shot into Bison Prajapati’s balls just as Prajapati was about to penetrate his own daughter Ushas the Dawn  (India Tarot’s Star).  The seed fell to the ground instead, and became the gap of space and time and separateness within the unity of the Uncreate.  (Stella Kramrisch, The Presence of Siva).  It became cattle, days and nights, destinies and Earth.   Yes!   The Devil – the raw-unconscious – reacts my nameless, sharp, zig zag feeling –  the falsehood of any sort of boundary.

Boundaries there must be, in drawing;  in the Yetzirah/Assiyah relationship (formation and the material world) and in the monitoring of empathies;  but in truth, boundaries there are not, and the outline and the manufacture of boundaries arouses Rudra’s rage against the Devil’s comfort zone, and artist’s bane.   Try to distinguish the level, so that the higher doesn’t get mixed so drainingly into the lower.

Saw too, in this Presence of Rudra, the lightning-flash energy.  I was at ease when limbs, hands and feet were kept open and unfinished, and I was un-eased when they were enclosed and “made”.  Let it break open anew, and smile!  Recalled also (subconscious efficiently delivers) that Rudra in Rohit’s India Tarot is The Fool, the Innocent Before Creation, the wild fury in creation’s trap.   I understand now why they wanted another Rudra-Fool, more terrible and wild;  so I drew the spiky dark lightning colours in the skies around his wild dance, descending through it into earth and mountain through his toe.

The Tarot Fool – eastern & western versions

The Fool in the Adytum (western Mysteries) emanates from Kether, the untrapped potential in the lightning flash before creation:  the flower in the bud.   How wonderful to bridge the traditions, their Light and Shadow as One.  How wonderful to be shown and to know, with my very being.

I held in focus this flickering and undefined presence – practicing a teaching of Francis Lucille’s: to include strange, unvoiced and unlined sensations, let them expand and inform … and at last fell heavily asleep because suddenly it was 7.45 and morning … and had my recurring nightmare of being “on Retreat” with my soul/spiritual group, and being alienated from it like a scapegoat.   I’m afraid my inner Rudra is always spoiling my security routines.  Never mind.  I’m glad to know my Rudra and be shown, like when Kali passed through here.

Yesterday afternoon, something lovely happened.  While tippexing the master copy of SE for the printers, I listened to the first four tapes of Lady Chatterley’s Lover … Lawrence portrays a certain discordant 1920s tedium, as read in Margaret Hilton’s schoolgirlie voice – and then at last Connie gets together with her gamekeeper in the wood on the second side of the fifth tape, and utter beauty against all hope, blossoms:  the full flood of erotic poetry unleashed.

It is a peculiar delight to be free from personal desire, and entranced by the pure beauty and primordial pulse of that erotic description;  to share in the event both male and female, with and as the subtle body.  Because I am free, it is “I AM”, without any buffers, as deep and strong as the sea.   In a pioneering spirit, Lawrence was the supreme and perhaps unique poet of the sexual act in our time:  its all-ecompassing nature and its fleetingness.  I listened and heard and was and smiled.  IT IS THE SAME AS MUSIC.

Fancy going along to Sparkie’s satsang after that!  It’s hardly fair.


16 September 2002

Slept much better, after restful day completing SE for the printers, listening to Lady C’s L, and managing to clean the kitchen … and had another Earthquake dream.  (See Notes on SITA: Death II – Kali).  This time, it was a two-storey house out in the west country somewhere.  I woke with the impression fast fading.  Again I wondered how neighbouring buildings had fared.  The ground reeled, and the house perhaps tipped a little, and dropped down at least its own height, into a gulf of silence;  yet no gulf of earth had opened and swallowed it.  The house was as before, with an outside and an inside.  I went to the bathroom downstairs, and there were no cracks in the walls,  and then I woke. 

It seems that oceanic waves pass through my marrow:  the vesica-piscean ripples, as the work of the soul ventures into … higher Yetzirah, or union.  It is also the alchemical Dragon (kundalini).   When I go out from my island into the sea, there are waves surrounding it, like a reef to surmount first.   I used to dream of seeing them.

… I have heard almost all of the 14 tapes of Lady C’s L.  Of course, the power and discovery of that first time, is unrepeatable.  It is the tragic and comic human paradox we have, that sex which touches infinity, creates its own destroyer, transforming to the weary weary linear story of man and woman and brat and do-you-love-me.  One knows – “tha’ knows” – already, and doesn’t want the story.  There is only ever the one time:  kiss it silent.

DHL – an early schoolbook sketch

…  Thinking of DHL, and the great black blight of the collieries, iron and money upon old England, of which he wrote with such passion and anger; and in those days saw and felt the destruction of humanity – this felt so perennial, that I stopped on my bike and made a note:

The interface of humanity with history, has always been that brutalizing agony upon kind Earth.

The difference in our humanity nowadays, is that more of us are involved with history.

That is to say:  seeing history as a blind, mechanical, unsolving force.  And seeing humanity – real humanity – as that which, like within flowers, manages to remain uncrushed.  Would Lawrence nowadays, recognize us as human?  And is not the turning inward and the flourishing of the esoteric wisdom, but a counterpoising accompaniment to ugliness? 

The Catherine-wheel of Cruelty and ugliness was always so, maybe in olden times more intensely so, but in smaller localities.  The tread of the wheel is in these present times wider.  At the same time, a number of specific cruelties become obsolete.  And after WW1 and WW2, no young lad goes lightly to war;  but also there is child pornography, and there is the waste of soviet-regime excrement upon the poisoned lands of eastern Europe, etc.  I think deep down, that I am not involved with ‘history’.   ‘Involved’ is also “caught up in”.  But I see.


17 September 2002

I asked for the Spirit Guardian’s help, and was reminded to touch base inwardly – my own heart-swept chamber.  One simply must deal with uninvited pests here.  One can see beyond them into Siva, one can dissolve them in the inner truth, point the ankh at them to sizzle them, laugh at them.  What, you again?

Today I have to draw the devil for India Tarot.  At the “Table Round” (a meditation), I saw clearly how the shadow side of this Key alienates and separates me:  how it becomes cut-out boring thoughts which are not mind, but mischievously say they are, and I feel outcast from sacred gatherings – exactly the dismissal from Eden into anatomy.

At the same time, the Grail shone bright, and practicing the Zodiacal colour spectrum around it, I returned to Capricorn, whose colour indigo, is the devil’s own, and whose sign I am – the creative Key of bind and loose;  creative usurpation, yet manifestation;  surfaces.  I went round to Key 15 and flipped his pentacle and pulled his beard.  His red popish eyes and pompous gesture of authority melted.  The chains fell off Adam and Eve.  Liberation always, is in my heart, and the old Goat is curiously the key to it.  He presents himself perversely, to be seen through.  He has no sense of humour at all.  He is also puritanical – behind my effort to keep all my thoughts pure of irrelevant genitalia or the gutter press, when in my citadel, and spank them if they are not.


Arcanum 15, from Jane’s Hermetic Tarot deck. 

“Baphomet” is an effigy or persistent thought-form;  but reversal of this word produces TEMOHPAB – Templi Omnium Hominum Pacis Abbas: the priest of the temple of peace for all humanity.   Much interior work consists of transforming our negative modes into their opposites – releasing the trapped creative energy as from a coiled up spring.   Through this Arcanum or “Key”, we arrive also at a deeper understanding of our sexuality.  The sum of 15 is 6 – the Tarot Lovers – Adam and Eve – who give each other truth, space and clear seeing.  As the man and woman in 15 become mature, enriching the self-conscious and sub-conscious dialogue in ourselves, the chains slip off them;  the Lovers are no longer bound by false belief.


Arcanum 6 from Jane’s Hermetic Tarot deck.  The Archangel is Hermetic Rafael, the healing face of God


18 September 2002

I began India Tarot’s No.15 – The Devil.  It is going quite well;  it is based on Mara who tempted Buddha, and should therefore suggest a Prince-of-Darkness imitation of the Buddha.  He is glamorous.  His right upper arm, waving the vicious sword, is very powerful;  the left hand playing the veena, is refined.  With the other two hands, he holds like reins, the chains of his three daughters and two men, all in their separate MATTER cocoons. He is skilled in the arts and other business.

He sits in lotus posture, has an enormous dark head and red eyes, and looks thoroughly unreliable.  I remembered he’s the father of lies, and the Alternative Guru – “God, as the ignorant conceive Him to be.”

But also, he is the supreme Key for the artist, and as Rohit describes Jungianly, the indispensable Shadow of real creativity.  His strength is where he cultivates his double nature.  He binds his daughters and their lovers to his theatrical and charismatic ability to stand in front of the light, and whirls his cloak like wings:  operatic passion.  It is best to see the joke in him.


Sacred India Tarot – card 15: The Devil:  Mara with his Daughters


And now here is someone behind that, whom I drew at the same time.  He emerged through the woods in a dream. I call him “Art the Gardener”, or maybe “Hiawatha”.

18 September 2002:   “He issurrounded by young trees and leans on a stick or spade, looking at me;  and the branch-patterns formed a heart around his upper torso and head.  He wears a cloth around his middle, Egyptian worker style … he might have elven ears somewhere.  He is somebody in my “library” or “gallery”, and I am glad I have drawn a picture of him.  There is a lot of roughly hatched deep blue sky showing through the taut autumn-turning birch trees.  I used cruder oil pastel, so as not to get too anal over facial details, and the face is left interestingly suggestive and open.  He is very beautiful and strong, he stands in a relaxed and flowing way.  He’s a bit like Christ among the thorns.




Perhaps Hiawatha …

19 – 21 September 2002

Interesting email from Vamadeva Frawley, in response to mine.  Ganapati Muni is up to things again.  I’m very pleased about this new correspondence, and hope it will go on.  Vamadeva has the highly-trained knack of reflecting or boiling down deep ideas into succinct sentences to ponder.  (see  He sent me also Chapter One of his new and more poetic work on Agni, all in very short, simple and profound paragraphs… …  and in the post arrived a CD from my friend in Hungary, of an Italian/Mephistopheles opera she’s copied for me – perfect to finish drawing my India Tarot No.15 with … !

… The Grail touches earth.  In Botticelli’s last painting, The Nativity, angels embrace humans right down in the strata of the demons.


Correspondence:  Gautam and Rohit – 24 September 2002

“Dear Jane, we think the devil is the most handsome devil we have seen to date.  No change in him at all.  Should the bodies of the women be more defined in a voluptuous sense, or are they OK?  This card is looking fantastic.   With regards, Gautam”



1 thought on “The Sacred India Tarot: Creation of the Devil Card

  1. Dearest Jane, From this Capricorn to another the essence expressed here is reaching like the fumes of a glass of wine on an empty stomach. Heady?? By passing the left brain on a sunny SUN DAY it uplifts negativity. Lifting my empty glass to you…

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