The Tower’s Upright & Reversed Meanings
Ideas: Old system, shelter, tradition
Traits: Complacent, conservative, fixed, ignorant, predictable
Emotions: Contentment, hope, relief, satisfaction
- Calming your inner storm
- Clinging to traditions
- Doing things the same way
- Sheltering yourself from getting hurt
- Starting from scratch
- Sticking with old system
Ideas: Deconstruction, demolition, destruction, disaster, upheaval
Traits: Abrupt, blunt, disconcerting, disorderly, disruptive, dramatic, unpredictable
Emotions: Alarm, astonishment, frustration, panic, shock, surprise
- Breaking out of old, confining habits and mindsets
- Clearing the way for new growth
- Dispelling the influence of an inflated ego
- Getting back to basics
- Making radical changes to the structure of a system
- Stripping away harmful illusions
Ideas: Infliction, troll, violent criticism
Traits: Dissonant, emotional, fiery, frightening, hostile
Emotions: Anger, defeat, dislike, hopelessness, hurt
- Criticizing others violently
- Engaging in destructive behavior maliciously
- Forcing an unwelcome decision on others
- Picking a fight or quarrel
- Tearing something or someone apart
The Tower’s Advice
Identify what holds you back and attack it. Embrace bold change. Criticism may come; if so, search each barbed word for a kernel of much-needed truth. Some of life’s greatest lessons are tough ones! With time, a bruised ego can become fertile ground for personal growth and maturity.
Extinguish old flames before they have an opportunity to dampen promising new relationships. Despite the pain involved, a clean break is healthier than a lingering, drawn-out departure. Break down the walls and communicate honestly about what’s really happening.
Sacrifice some sacred cows. Harsh criticism from above can clear ground for a new breakthrough. Something is blocking progress; identify it and boldly sweep it aside. Document everything; should the climate suddenly change, you want your ducks in a row.
Loss clears away the debris of the past, opening up new ground for new growth. As your heart opens, let old scar tissue fall away. Rather than live in fear of sudden loss, recognize that none of us owns anything. Practice detachment.
The Tower’s Symbols & Insights
The Lightning Bolt
Many old traditions interpret disasters as divine commentary. A bolt from the blue might not be God knocking at the door, but a sudden change in circumstance may call your attention to a pattern you’ve overlooked.
With the exception of early decks (like the Marseilles), many Tower cards depict darkened skies. The moment of disaster is our lowest point. In what ways have you hit bottom?
The Toppled Crown
The crown in some illustrations represents the ego, or the self. Disasters and sudden challenges often clear the way for us to see ourselves in a new and unexpected light.
Universally, humans fear falling from great heights. Significantly, we fall from grace; exposed criminals “take the fall.” The scapegoat may be called the “fall guy.” How might your situation be impacted by someone’s metaphorical fear of falling?
More About The Tower Tarot Card
- Impending disaster.
- Cancel plans and reverse decisions.
- Someone wants to take you down a notch or two.
- Don’t hold back; say what you really mean.
- Within 23 months
- “I am able to face and overcome challenges and crises.”
- The shattered ego
- Hebrew Alphabet
- Pe[as] / Open Mouth / 80
- Numerology Number
- 16 = 1 + 6 = 7
(the motive: imagination, inner work, psychology)
- Classical Element
- Astrological Planet
- The Tower of Babel
- The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
- Shiva’s destructive dance
- The lightning of Zeus and Thor
- In a moment of intense crisis, the main character apparently loses all. Alternatively, the utter setback at the end of act 2.
- Questions to Ask
- How might the current situation dramatically alter my perspective?
- How might this loss open the door for new growth?
- What attitudes need to be struck down before I proceed?
- Related Pages
- Tarot Card Meanings Guide
- Tarot Birth Card Meanings
- Exploring Today’s Tarot
- Consulting the Tarot
- Traditional Tarot Card Meanings
- Thirteen Fun Things to Do with Tarot Cards
- Where to Go to Learn More