We have just entered the Dark of the year. The world is in economic and political flux.  Many people are questioning, “Who am I?  What am I doing?  How did I get into this hand basket anyway?”  Most are being tested and retested in the midst of current change and those affected directly by everything from layoffs to natural disaster are feeling it the most.  In all of the shift and change the Devil and the Tower cards come to mind teaching us valuable lessons about our physical reality and how we choose to relate to it.
The Devil is our symbol for attachment to physical existence.  A man and woman are chained to the Devil’s throne resplendent with tails and horns, representing the animal nature of humanity.  If you study the Devil himself, he is monstrous; however he is almost a caricature intended to represent human perception of worldly troubles and importance. Like a child reacts to the idea of the monster in the closet, so we react to the problems with the same fear that we oft times make much bigger than they truly are.  This card tells us how much of this world is illusory, how much perception can be fueled by fear, and like the man and woman how many feel chained to their current existence.  What the man and woman are oblivious to, however, is that the chains are loose enough to be removed from their own necks.  This card is telling us that this bondage is self-imposed and that wo/man gives power to that which binds us. 
This can create a hell of ones own making because so many walk with the chains still on, bound to old principles that no longer serve their higher being and the greater good.
The Devil can help us with this in several ways.  He reminds us that there is a separation happening by giving so much power to the physical, that behind this material existence there is energy and Divine source and everything is a manifestation of that Source.  The challenges we are faced with are pushing us to look to the other side, to help us grow, and become more aware.  The Devil is the metaphorical friction that creates the discomfort needed for self-examination.  There is now a calling to remove those chains and step back into Divine creative energy that is flowing through us and as us.    
The Tower represents the power to break out of old forms such as jobs, religion, and societal norms.  Again, the image is frightening since we are seeing the collapsing of this great structure through lightening and fire.  For some the perception of this card is one of destruction, collapsing of structures, and ill omen.  It almost seems that there is an air of punishment, however, the Tower is still of human design just as our self-imposed constraints symbolized by the chains in the Devil card.  Relating the Tower to the Self, at some point outmoded beliefs and forms must be shed, or it is done for us.  So while this card appears to be bad news, there is good news since there is freedom in this energy.
This card is a symbol of revelation of Authentic Self through the shedding of old constraints.  Everything happening in our world seems to be pushing us to examine who we are right now, who do we wish to be, and what do we value.  The Tower is reminding us of just how strong we really are, and that we do exist without these external forms to define us.  The burning desire to be fully expressed is speaking to many of us, time to break out of your mold and let yourself shine!
Ultimately, the Devil and the Tower impress upon us that while the things happening in this world feel very real and very scary, we have the power to change since it was people just like us that created it.  Now is the time to think about what we give power to.  We are so much bigger than the boxes we have created for ourselves.