General Book of the Tarot, by A. E. Thierens, , at sacred-texts.com
The goat-like figure recalls the sign Capricorn in which astrology teaches that the planet Mars has its exaltation, the name 'devil' means the evil, as is well known, and this alliteration holds good not only in English. It is the symbol of that which to exoteric human understanding is as much of a malefic nature as Venus is benefic. The counterpart of Venus: Mars, planet of pain and struggle, passion and sex-nature, but also of the energy necessary for the process of formation and generation in Nature. Allusion to sex-problems is found in the two human figures, man and woman, chained to the pedestal on which the diabolic figure is seated. That sex-nature binds man, is a natural fact of a more or less occult order.
So it has to do with generation in Nature in every sense and kingdom, though astrology teaches that Mars has a special connection with the animal kingdom and animal passion--passion which drives to the preservation of the body as well as of the race; fighting for existence in both senses of the term. So Mars always figured as the War-lord. Not only sexual energy, but every energy in Nature chains the result to the cause and object to subject. It is unnecessary to work this out any further. We shall
be safe in interpreting this card as energy, desire, lust, war, struggle, difficulties, pain, loss, etc. But also as exercise, training; tests to which the personality will be subject.
The torch in the hand of the figure denotes, of course, the fire of passion and desire, which may rise to anger, etc. So it may well be said to represent the condition of "Adam and Eve after the Fall" (W.) The struggle for existence, in short.
P. in regard to this card points to the Hebrew letter "Samech which expresses the same hieroglyphic sign as the Zain (7th arcanum) . . . etc., a weapon of any kind . . ." We can see, that this generative force has much to do with the house of marriage.