The Devil is a Lion


The animal most commonly associated with the Devil card in tarot decks is the goat, for obvious reasons; other animals chosen for this card are often ones we look down on, such as donkeys, monkeys, or scary black ravens. We see them as being tied to their baser instincts (lust, theft, foolishness), representing the worst that we refuse to see in ourselves. Yet every animal is based in instincts, humans included. And so I decided to take an animal we very frequently romanticize, the lion, and show how it, too, can be a symbol of the things we fear in ourselves. For out on the savannah, the lion is not merely an animal to ooh and aah over with a camera. It is dangerous and deadly, and those who live in the same places know to be very careful, particularly at night. There are worse human-animal encounters at home than a raccoon knocking over a garbage can. For people who live on the land, raising livestock or farming, the appearance of a lion–with or without its pride–can be a nightmare come true.

The grassfire is another notable motif; it is all-consuming, and even the lion must run from it. But reversed, this card can symbolize finding a way through the flames to freedom. You may have to dodge the hungry jaws of a lion whose prey has been driven away, but you’ll reach safety if you keep running.

Just two assemblages left–one is done but needs to be photographed, and the other should be done in the next few days. So close!!!!



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