Ian Parkin is the author of this post.
The Tower tarot card isn't as doom and gloom as it first appears. It's an invitation to a roller-coaster ride of self-transformation, a phoenix rising from the ashes of its old self. This is a reminder that chaos often gives birth to order, and disruption paves the path for growth. It's a precious symbol of the human spirit's resilience, a beacon guiding us towards reinvention amidst life's tumultuous seas.
The Tower, card number 16 in the Major Arcana, often induces shivers down the spine, leaving novices and experienced readers alike teetering on the edge of their seats. Its position in the deck is no mere coincidence; it symbolizes a tumultuous shake-up, a necessary upheaval that leads to growth and self-discovery.
In the traditional Rider-Waite-Smith imagery, the Tower stands tall, struck by lightning with people falling out, and flames billowing around - a clear portent of disaster, right? Well, not quite. While it indeed signifies sudden change and upheaval, it's essential to remember that destruction often paves the way for creation. You see, the Tower is that 'aha' moment, that lightbulb switch that illuminates the parts of our life that aren't built on the strongest foundations.
In the realm of the unknown, 'midst whispers in the dark,
Rises the Tower Tarot Card, a beacon with a spark.
Lightning strikes, the old crumbles, the scene seems quite grim,
Yet, from the rubble, hope does grow, on a transformative whim.
Towers may tumble, flames may roar, lives may twist and twirl,
Yet from chaos, a new dawn breaks, a pristine, shining pearl.
The Tower Tarot Card appears, a message clear and loud,
To embrace the storm, for in its wake, emerges a soul unbowed.
In the rubble of the old, a phoenix starts to soar,
Signaling the start of something more, an opening of a door.
For the Tower, though daunting, is a call to find your power,
To rebuild from the ashes, to bloom from the bower.
So, fear not the upheaval, the chaos, and the pain,
For the Tower Tarot Card promises, after rain, comes gain.
When the Tower tarot card stands upright, it's like a wake-up call from the Universe, a hint to brace ourselves for life-altering changes. It can represent a situation where you discover a hard truth, go through a significant shift, or release outdated beliefs. It's about sudden transformation, the rug being pulled from under your feet, yet landing on solid ground.
On the flip side, a reversed Tower card might feel like you're stuck in a revolving door, resisting change or fearing inevitable upheavals. However, it could also signal that the storm has passed, and you're picking up the pieces, rebuilding stronger and wiser.
The Tower tarot card is one of the more dramatic cards in the deck, often symbolizing upheaval and sudden change.
Symbolism: The Tower card shows a tall tower that's struck by lightning and is on fire, with people jumping from the windows. It represents the sudden revelation of truth and the crumbling of false structures and beliefs. The lightning bolt is divine intervention, showing that change is often beyond our control.
Main Themes: The Tower card usually represents upheaval, sudden change, chaos, and revelation. It indicates that something needs to be torn down to create space for something new. It could also suggest an unexpected, swift change that will likely be uncomfortable or challenging but is necessary for growth.
Meaning in Readings: In a reading, The Tower card can be interpreted in different ways, depending on the context.
Numerology: The Tower is numbered 16 in the Major Arcana. In numerology, 16 can be reduced to 7 (1+6), which is a number associated with introspection, wisdom, and spiritual growth. This suggests that the upheaval brought by The Tower ultimately leads to inner growth and spiritual wisdom.
Astrology: The Tower card is associated with the planet Mars in astrology. Mars represents force, courage, and conflict, symbolizing the dynamic and sometimes disruptive energy that brings about change.
Archetype: The Tower embodies the archetype of "sudden change" or "destruction and rebirth". It symbolizes the idea that sometimes, things need to be broken down so that something new can be built. It's a reminder of the often chaotic nature of growth and transformation. It's an archetype that represents change that is usually sudden, unexpected, and might be initially perceived as negative, but in the end, it often paves the way for something much more significant and positive.
Venturing beyond the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition, we stumble upon the striking differences in the Tower's depiction across the Thoth and Marseille decks. In the Thoth Tarot, the card, named 'War', represents the destructive aspect of Mars. The imagery of the card remains similar but introduces new symbols like the dove of peace and the serpent of wisdom, balancing the energy of the card.
Meanwhile, the Marseille deck showcases a simpler Tower or 'La Maison Dieu,' devoid of any people, focusing instead on the structure's fragmentation. It suggests a direct divine intervention, a humbling reminder of the transient nature of human achievements.
Tracing the footprints of the Tower card through the annals of time, we find that its symbolism has continually evolved. From representing physical towers and literal downfall in the middle ages, the card's meaning has transformed into signifying more internal and personal upheavals in modern interpretations.
Take for instance a career reading; pulling the Tower might signify job loss or a significant shift in your career path. It could also indicate the necessity to dismantle current business strategies. In terms of love and relationships, the Tower tarot card might hint at unexpected revelations or a breakup, offering a chance to reevaluate your needs and wants. However, in the broader perspective of personal development, the card could mark a pivotal moment of self-discovery, shedding old skins and stepping into a new version of oneself.
The Tower is a powerful card in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, often symbolizing upheaval, sudden change, chaos, and revelation. Here are some of the key elements in the card and what they signify:
The Tower: The central image of the card is a tall and solid tower, which represents personal ambitions and goals, structures of life, belief systems, or even long-held perceptions. The tower's existence on top of the mountain shows it was built on high ideals, but the fire and destruction implies that these ideals might have been misguided, unrealistic, or built on false premises.
The Lightning Bolt: The lightning bolt striking the tower symbolizes a sudden, unforeseen force of change or revelation that causes disruption and chaos. This could be a dramatic life event that brings about radical change, or a sudden revelation that shatters previous beliefs or perceptions. It's an 'act of God' or an unexpected, uncontrollable event.
Fire: The fire spreading throughout the tower represents destruction, but also purification. The fire, while destructive, also provides a chance to rebuild anew. It's a symbol of necessary cleansing, releasing outdated and false structures.
People Falling: The people (a king and a commoner, demonstrating that no one is immune from such events) falling from the tower symbolize the sudden upheaval and disruption that this change or revelation brings. They are being forced out of the tower, which suggests a mandatory and involuntary release from their previous positions or beliefs.
Crown Falling: The falling crown represents the downfall of false ideologies and misguided ambitions. This can also signify the collapse of ego or a humbling experience.
Yods (Flame like shapes): There are 22 Yods, the Hebrew letter meaning "hand" or "hand of God," symbolizing divine intervention. It's as though the universe is forcing change and transformation. They are also representative of the 22 Major Arcana in the Tarot deck.
The Grey Clouds and Dark Sky: These elements represent a time of difficulty and uncertainty, enhancing the sense of upheaval and disruption. They're a testament to the turmoil that's happening or is about to happen.
Wiki - The Tower Tarot Card