16 - The Tower Tarot Card Meaning

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Tower Tarot Card Meaning

This post covers the Tower Tarot Card Meaning in the traditional tarot deck.  

Planet: Association with Mars – Tower energy is uncompromising and destroys illusions. Mars rules Aries (the Emperor) and Scorpio (Death) and is honored in Capricorn (the Devil).  Because the energy of Aries is in the card and there is an aspect of renewal.

Element:  Fire

Hermetic Kabbalah Element:  27 – Peh 

Tower Tarot Card Meaning – Themes 

  • Chaos, ruin, destruction, damage, and collapse of structure
  • Destruction of an existing way of life, belief system, or sense of security.
  • Radical trust.
  • Potential for liberation.

Tower Tarot Card Meaning In a Reading 

Radical Trust

  • The Devil will play but the tower doesn’t play. The Tower is serious and uncompromising.
  • Time to demonstrate radical trust. What was lost will be replaced by something greater. This is a time to cast off all that we do not like. What are the positives that you can look forward to? Now is the time to reach deep inside and trust yourself.
  • The Tower may also come up when a sudden change has happened – this is the lightning strike. It can be something major like separation, or something smaller like having your beliefs or expectations blown up. It is a searing truth. It might be something you recently discovered or uncovered. Whatever it is, it is something that changes things and it might dismantle you momentarily. It can be very disorienting.

Energy is sudden

  • The energy of the Tower is sudden. It often makes the event feel negative. The outcome is that the truth is revealed to you – good or bad. Take a good look at your life. The situation might change rapidly so be prepared. How are you going to live when the old forms governing your life have fallen away? Ask who do I want to be now. This is a message or intervention from divinity itself.
  • Change is inevitable – karmic forces will cause a breakdown in the structures of things. Release the old way of life rather than lament the past, accept the change, and plan for the future. Clinging to old goals will prevent you from accepting new and wonderful opportunities in the future. What is going to happen is going to happen – how easy or hard it will be is up to you.

Can represent breaking free

  • The Tower card can represent feeling restricted in some way but it also means breaking free of your prison. The walls are going to come tumbling down.

Healing past trauma

  • Although the Tower can be associated with trauma, this card also asks us to heal and deal with past trauma.

Breaking down illusions

  • The Tower card can teach us that a lot of things are illusions, especially the structures of things. This is a good time to think about what part of your structure needs to be torn down (partial or the entire thing). What is real will stay. Think about what isn’t working OR what reparative steps can you take now to prevent total destruction.
  • The querent has a choice – double down on old behaviors and climb higher into their fortress OR they can take a leap, trust, and rise to the occasion of following what you truly want
  • This card can be a calling for us to let the thing go but we cling to it because we feel like it keeps us safe.

Why the Tower card follows the Devil card

  • The Devil is the world of form and material. The Devil offers a choice – you can keep your illusions or you can choose to become aware of your illusions and cast yourself out of the garden of the ignorance. If you don’t make the choice in the Devil card – the Tower card will make it for you.
  • Who built the tower? The Devil built it. It is built to block off and protect us. It is the fortresses we build to protect ourselves.

Symbolism in card

  • Epic, ominous, and surreal images
  • Tower, no door, often nighttime, lightning strike, figures hurtling out of inflamed windows, ominous looking clouds, crown at top of the tower
  • Figures in the Tower card are the figures from the Devil card – but now they are free
  • #16 -1 + 6 = 7 (The Chariot)

Tower as Teacher Card for the Chariot

  • #16 – Teacher card theory helps us with our life.
  • The Chariot: In order to keep moving the Chariot has to be protected. Whereas, the Tower is about the destruction of structure and losing that protection.
  • The Chariot is about the accumulation of knowledge and experience to keep moving forward. And the Tower is about losing all of that stability.
  • The Tower as a teacher card means that this person is being asked to constantly tear things down, blow things apart, and accept change. This person cannot put identity on external things because those things will change and evolve.

High expression

  • Willingness to tear down illusions and free the self from the old structures holding us back.
  • Ability to demonstrate radical trust in the self and the universe when the lightning strikes.
  • Choosing to break free of old behaviors that are not serving us and stepping into what we truly want.

Shadow side

  • Worrying that things happening even though there is no evidence they might happen.
  • Addiction to distraction or situations that pull us away from work or the things we need to do
  • Addiction to suffering – always being the victim
  • Avoidant – allowing your walls to get bigger, thicker, and stronger
  • Justifying our bad behavior because we are going through a hard time.
  • Operating on auto-pilot

Magical uses

  • Times of crisis are times that have a lot of magical potential – these are the times when magic has a lot of room to maneuver. A good time to cast a spell or set a new intention.

Related Articles

  • Tarot Card Meanings Library (all tarot articles on my site) – CLICK HERE

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