The Tower Card Definitions


KEYWORDS: Shaken Foundation, Sudden Changes, Downfall, Release, Destruction, Upheaval, Revelation

CARD DEFINITION: There may be a sudden change or disruption in your life. A relationship may end. Monetary security reduces. Your routine is thrown out of control. Things may not happen your way. Make the best of the situation.

REVERSE DEFINITION: You may be trapped in a bad situation. You may face imprisonment of some form. There may be opposition in your dealings. Do not lose heart or patience. Compassion is the only way to get out of this situation.

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Interpreting The Tower

The seventeenth card in the sequence of the tarot deck is the Tower. Like some of the cards that have come before it in the sequence - Death and the Devil, for example - the Tower card is one that can cause a bit of a fright when it makes an appearance in a reading, but mostly because it is a card that is highly misunderstood. The Tower represents a variety of change that is both destructive and creative all at once. As is the case with physical structures built of brick and mortar, spiritual or mental structures can decay, become outdated, and require demolishment as well. However, it is important to remember that only by getting rid of the old ways that are no longer working for us can we make way for something new, fresh, and productive.

The lesson the Tower teaches us has to do with learning to take a look at the structures, belief systems, and foundations that support our way of life and our manner of thinking or looking at the world. Through the imagery and insight provided, we also learn to find the courage within to accept positive change into our lives, even if it doesn't always have a tendency to come about in a way that is pleasurable or easy to accept. Human beings have a tendency to want to cling to the familiar whether or not it is truly serving them in much the same way a young child clings to a security blanket. Through the Tower we learn to willingly let go of what we have in order to finally gain what we really want and need at long last.

The traditional image attached to the Tower illustrates these concepts by comparing the invisible structures within the mind and spirit to an actual tower. In the image, the tower is being struck by lightning and promptly begins to crumble and collapse upon itself as a result. The denizens of the tower are falling to the ground as their world unexpectedly begins to self destruct as well. Many tarot images also show a golden crown situated toward the top of the tower, but inevitably falling along with the people as it cannot resist the forces at work around it either. The image as a whole serves to remind us how suddenly change can come about and how drastically it can change our world.

When the Tower makes an appearance in a tarot spread, it generally signals the approach of time when truths, fantasies, and belief systems built on falsehoods are about to meet their demise. The changes that are spoken of will most likely come about quite suddenly, throw the querent for a loop, and be very shocking or jarring. After all, it is never a comfortable feeling to find out that something or someone important to you is not what you always thought it to be. However, it is important for the querent to note that ultimately, the changes that will come about as a result of this upset are for the best. Only when lies, falsehood, and misconception are finally swept aside can something truly strong and meaningful be built.

The changes specified could apply to any area of the querent's life. They may find out that a trusted lover or spouse is being unfaithful, that an important person doesn't have his best interests at heart, or even that his religious beliefs are unfounded and groundless. However, the surrounding cards and the actual positioning of the Tower within the spread should give more insight into what the exact situation at hand may be.