“We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.” ~Oscar Wilde
My first thought was isolation when I drew the Five of Sacred Circles (Coins or Pentacles), but is it selective isolation or exile? Not exile, but a retreat. Possibly a pause between preparing for and undertaking a spiritual ordeal.
The Devil on the opposite side shows different phases of torment. Whether it is from the inner self or outer environment, the combination is bound together by self destructive tendencies, unresolved issues, and loss of self to another’s will.
While the Prince of Swords is there to bring balance and discipline, and because of his discipline he has a strong mind and body as well as a strong sword. His sword is useful as both a defensive and destructive weapon. He is a master of his emotions and meditative practices. He will stand guard as you enter your isolation to face and release your daemons. You can be assured you are safe as you undertake this spiritual journey/task.
The Devil as Shadow, is that which lurks in ourselves and that we do not wish to acknowledge, but the Devil in me sees the Devil in you and recognizes the struggle to suppress. Suppression is the first reaction and it is wrong. If we are to defeat our devil/shadow side, we must first face it by shining light on it and embracing it. As long as it is shackled there is resistance and struggle to be seen and heard.