It isn't often that we willfully want to meet the Devil, but that is what I did. Last year, I was working deeply with my shadow side and led by the Light, I was told to embark on a shamanic journey to meet the infamous figure, the Horned Goat.
I was at first terrified at the thought. My mother had raised the latter half of my childhood/adolescence in evangelical Christianity, and I was duly part of church life for a number of years. I may have since left that life, but the cellular memory and conditioning, to a certain degree, had remained. What if I died during the journey? What if the Devil tempted me with a nectar so sweet that I couldn't refuse? What if the Devil blackmailed me? What if he threatened to harm my children? What if I decided to cross over and join him in hell? What if, what if, what if?!!
But I knew that I couldn't avoid it. All signs were pointing for me to journey to him: Tarot and Oracle cards pulls, random symbols that reminded me of the Devil, the appearance of horns or goats just about everywhere I turned. The Universe was calling me to, ... and then the New Moon made me do it.
So before I went down the rabbit hole, I lit an extra large black candle for protection, smudged the hell out of my room, loaded my bed with specimens of black tourmaline, aegirine, selenite, and clear quartz, anointed myself with Anointing Parfum Oils, and shook that rattle with some trepidation. Once I arrived in the Lower World, I called on my psychopomp (an astral travelling chaperone), surrounded myself with back up spirit allies, and blurted out, "I wish to meet the Devil." I felt like Dorothy asking to meet with the wicked Witch of the West, half naive, half petrified, holding my breath. I gripped the tourmaline in my hands.
A menacing, majestic black Horned Goat appeared. He had an unruly beard of mystery, worn hooves that were sharp and threatening, and emitted a scorching energy that simultaneously felt deadly cold. His blackness were both piercing and absorbing of any light around, and I felt both repulsed and attracted to his form. His scent can only be described with one word: dank, like Spikenard. His strange light eyes, centred with long, rectangular pupils, had a pull of their own. It was Goat that spoke first, "Why have you sent for me?"
I meekly replied, "I did. My name is Mimi Young. I felt such a pull to come see you, I ---"
His impatience did not allow me to finish. With his interruption, the Goat asked me to keep it short with my explanations and spare him the obvious. Of course he knows me. He asked me to present my question, upon which, I nervously replied,
"Is it true that you are the Accuser? The great Liar, as some myths describe you?"
And then the most surprising, freeing words came. The Goat admitted that he is the Accuser and the Teller of Lies, but religion has greatly understood his function, and he became the political scapegoat for crime, social inequality, collapsing economies, disease, and a host of other problems (and eventually anything the Church didn't approve, including witchcraft - will save that for another post). He was once only an archetype, a metaphor to demonstrate duality, and with time and religious agendas, became a spiritual antagonist, the ultimate symbol of an anti-God and source of absolute evil. The very concept of salvation offered by a Christ form requires a Devil. There was no room to disbelieve in a goatish devil and hell as then it would eliminate the need for a redeemer to rescue his sheep.
He did say his true work is indeed to lie - to provoke us, and it is in the accusing that our development as souls experience a catalyst. It is the darkness within each of us, not the perceived darkness external to us, that causes the most personal and universal problems. He said when one heals, the others do as well.
The Devil has power. The archetype dwells in the deepest crevices of our hearts and subconscious, and holds the keys to much of our own power. It is by understanding our perceived 'enemy' that we come to recognize our needs, our vulnerabilities, our triggers, and thus ourselves. The Goat uses his power to get our attention, to invite us to cross the abyss. When we are not conscious of our internal Devil or worse, are actively denying it by claiming it is an external force, we project our individual shadow self onto others.
I was also told that the difference between the Awakened and the Asleep is that the Awakened actively works to be willing to accept the shadow, and learns to heal by walking with the Devil throughout one's entire life. He then asked me if I was willing to go on regular walks with him, walks through fire, through what will seem like unscalable heights, through dark prisons of forgotten memories, of learning how to say goodbye again and again, and to face the greatest rejection of all - the rejection of myself from myself. In many ways, I found this deeply romantic. Not sexually per se, but romantic in the sense that the Horned Goat knows me and sees me, more than any Ascended Master.
Some may know that the word devil comes from the Greek diablos, best translated as "to throw something in your path". The Horned Goat not only throws something in my path, but walks on my path, challenging me, whispering words of doubts and fears, showing me the real, the ugly, the un-photoshoppable. I wouldn't say he's evil, though. Perhaps that's because other sources claim the word devil shares the same root word as divinity - devi (Goddess) or deva (God).
Just as the Devil card in the Tarot deck, I have come to understand that he is an agent for liberation, that is, freedom from our own shackles. I am reminded of Carl Jung's quote (also used on a recent Instagram post):
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”
And so, may we make conscious our darkness. That is the Devil's way.
founder + plant spirit medicine practitioner