The Tower is a card about disaster, upheaval, sudden change, revelation.
‘The Tower’ shows a tall tower pitched atop a craggy mountain. Lightning strikes and flames burst from the building’s windows. People are seen to be leaping from the tower in desperation, wanting to flee such destruction and turmoil.
The Tower itself represents ambitions built on false premises. It represents a sudden, momentary glimpse of truth, a flash of inspiration that breaks down structures of ignorance and false reasoning. The lightning bolt comes from heaven to earth, and from Spirit to material. It breaks down existing forms in order to make room for new ones.
The figures fall headfirst, because the sudden influx of spiritual consciousness represented by the lightning flash completely upsets all our old notions about the relations between subconsciousness and self-consciousness.
The 22 flames represent the 22 Major Arcana of the Tarot. The ruling planet of this card is Mars.
A Tower experience is any experience that shakes the foundation of your current sense of security and/or forces you to question your strongly-held beliefs, perceptions, attitudes and behaviours. It may be any event that penetrates to the core of your inner being, affecting you spiritually, mentally and physically. It is often descriptive of a major upheaval, disruption, emergency or crisis, and is likely to bring chaos in the aftermath of such an event.
The most important aspect of the Tower is that with any destruction there comes creation. Thus, the Tower card represents an awakening and is about inspiration, freedom, reality and the release from bondage. It is a truth and honesty card that comes as a bolt of lightning to you through a shocking and impactful life event. It represents a necessary experience that forces you to get out of your comfort zone and to grow beyond your present level. The choice is yours: you can revert to the self-defeating, restrictive Devil (card XV), or reach for the transformational and inspirational Star (card XVII). When you begin to reach for the Star, you will come to realise that your true security and strength lies within yourself and your relationship with the Universe, and not in some false belief system or artificially-created world.
Following a Tower experience, you can rest assured that you will grow stronger, wiser and more serene as you begin to develop a completely new perspective on life that you did not even know existed. These moments in time are necessary for spiritual growth and enlightenment. Truth and honesty will bring about a positive change, even if you must experience pain and anxiety throughout the process.
The Tower also represents the inner and outer structures that you have built. These structures represent your personal defences, defences that create a more socially acceptable ‘you’ by hiding your true, inner thoughts and feelings. In times of great pressure and stress, these structures will be tested and are at risk of shattering, finally revealing your true inner self to those around you. The Tower therefore asks you to break down the structures with which you have surrounded yourself. This can be a painful and difficult process if you resist against the external forces that are pushing you to reveal more of yourself. Breaking through this pretence can cause a great deal of anguish but remember that the Tower will fall, whether you like it or not, because you have reached your limits in this area and can no longer live with it. When the Tower of ego, deception and illusion is destroyed, you are free to face truth and reality without the trappings of false attachments.
Are you undergoing a major shift in consciousness? Are you beginning to see things in a new way? Embrace the opportunity to accept change and move forward into a more positive psychological state, where personal freedom is the rule. This is a time to keep a positive attitude as much as possible. New understandings and insights may come to you in the blink of an eye. Remember that you have all the resources you need, already inside you, to deal with life and to do what you need to do.