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THE TOWER Card Meaning


“There is nothing the hand of man can create that the hand of God cannot destroy.” This is a simple “ego-check” for all who aspire to power, most notably the domination of humanity to the point of challenging the gods themselves.

The tower in The Tower card represents the raw collective power of humanity’s ability to band together in physical, mental, and emotional congruency to harness resources and create physical and psychological monuments of function and form, and ultimately how empty those achievements are if the soil they are rooted in is devoid of the nutrients of divinity.

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The Tower Card Description

 God” is not happy. Lightning strikes at (the Tower of Babel in this version) and the “crowning achievement” of mankind is torn asunder while both architect (designer of this masterpiece) and emperor (facilitator and caretaker of this enterprise) are thrown from its heights. Firey yods accompany our unlucky victim’s free-fall descent. 

For added effect, fire escapes from the windows showing that even stone can burn; and, of course, the ground to which our erstwhile geniuses are falling is rocky and jagged. Just in case we miss any of the “added” symbolism and thereby fail to realize how unhappy of a situation this is, it also happens during the dead of night.

Esoteric Interpretation

 “There is nothing the hand of man can create that the hand of God cannot destroy.” This is a simple “ego-check” for all who aspire to power, most notably the domination of humanity to the point of challenging the gods themselves. The tower in The Tower represents the raw collective power of humanity’s ability to band together in physical, mental, and emotional congruency to harness resources and create physical and psychological monuments of function and form, and ultimately how empty those achievements are if the soil they are rooted in is devoid of the nutrients of divinity.

The Tower Card warns those in power not to hold themselves too highly lest greater powers than they control come along and destroy both achievement, creator, and possessor. This relates back to the old axiom that “history is written by the victors” (of war).

History is littered with great accomplishments that have been destroyed and even written out of history (forgotten forever) because the creators or inheritors of said monument, system of belief, or accomplishment lacked the humility to either the divine or to the people they served.

In short, someone or something slew the indestructible giant. The unwritten message in this overtly Christian card is that “God works in mysterious ways,” meaning that the destruction wreaked may not be the flashy and dramatic lightning bolt, but a poorly cemented stone that allows the tower to fall in on itself, or a janitor who leaves the door open for thieves, or even the earth giving way under all of the weight of “authority.”

Traditional Meaning

 “And stay out!” Okay, let’s look at change in the “major” Arcana. We have Death(“Poof! Be gone!”), The Devil, reversed, (“Quick! The guard’s not looking! Let’s get OUT of here!”), and now The Tower. This is the very earth shaking the house down to the foundations. Death is a highly personal experience (usually internal) that can affect many, whereas The Devil is almost always an external experience involving people or situations close by. The Tower can be either of these, or it can be monumental in scale or meaning.

The Tower Card is most often external change relating to job, residence, paradigm, or “traditional authority.” It is a direct challenge to our perceptions and beliefs. It can be the first shot in the revolution or it can speak for the revolt itself. It is not necessarily unpleasant, but it is sudden and it is a major change.

The Tower Card can just as easily point to a divorce or an auto accident as it could quitting your cushy job and retiring to Spain to grow wine grapes. It is a spooky card, but only to those who are afraid of losing what they have in exchange for something “new and different.” Once you have tracked down exactly what this card represents and when it will come to pass, be sure to look beyond it and see what is on the other side, and how large the fallout will be. This will help you advise your client better.

Traditional Reversed Meaning

Many traditionalists still see the Tower Card as a “bad” card. We have found in our experience that this card indicates a time of rebuilding. Obviously, rebuilding can only come after a period of disruption and chaos, and that is an awful lot of stone to move, so this does not indicate an “easy,” or overly “joyous” time, but it does indicate second chances, and time to learn from one’s mistakes.

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