Tower Tarot Card Meaning

tower tarot card  meaning

16 – The Tower:

Keywords: Abrupt changes, devastation, a force beyond our control, a wake up call, ending of a pattern, being forced to let go or move on

The Tower depicts a card being struck by lightening with people hurtling to the ground below… and no, it doesn’t look like much fun. The Tower is a difficult card with life-arranging energy. Sometimes things change a little and sometimes the Tower intercedes and really shakes things up. I’ve often looked at this card as a “wake up call from the Universe”. It’s telling me that changes need to be made, or they will be made for me. When the Tower comes up in a spread, look for areas in your life where letting go or moving on is important. It’s much easier to do these things for ourselves than to have them done for us. Other cards in the Tarot deal with control, this one addresses the total lack thereof. Often the end result is a good one, ending in a positive change that was very needed, but the experience itself is unsettling at best.

The Tower card #16

Planet: Mars


Note: Look at the surrounding cards to predict what kind of Change this is..

Distress, Outburst of Anger, Suffering a Blow to the Ego, Rapid Drastic Disaster, Change of Existing Ways of Life, Sudden Change for the Better or Worse, Collapse of a Particular Dream or a Future Venture, Upheaval, Chaos, Sudden Unexpected News that Shocks and Upsets You, Unexpected Shock in Your Life, Suddenly Realizing the Truth-and You May Not Like it, Unwanted and Unexpected Forced Change, Ending a Friendship or Relationship, Bankruptcy, Change of Residence or Job, Seeing Through Illusions, Doom and Gloom, Established Patterns of Thought will be Changed, Breakup or Divorce, Having an Emotional Outburst, Take a Good Long Look at Your Life, Catastrophe, Discord / Adversity, Your Old Notions are become Upset, Loss of Money or Security, Material and/or Emotional Upset, Represent Problems and/or Setback and Delays, Exposing What was Hidden, Shaken Foundations, Situation will Change Rapidly, Nice Fantasies being Shattered by Harsh Reality, A Change One Fears,


Finally Excepting the Changes, The Aftermath of a Catastrophe, Things are Finally Settling Down, The Ending is Coming Soon of a Very Stressful-Traumatic Upheaval and Change, Picking Up the Pieces, Actual Imprisonment, Gain of Freedom of Body or Mind at Great Cost, An Upheaval to a Lesser Degree-Not So Traumatic-Not So Bad, Process of Change has Started, Things are Getting Better,

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The tower is disruption, a tearing down, what happens when things get torn down, they get rebuild or something new is in its place. The tower card is reconstruction, renovation.

Brianna Stoker

Element: Fire Suit: Wands

The Tower represents sudden change. As the image of the lightning striking the tower suggests, the change is likely to be a dramatic one. We might describe the change as explosive, earth-shattering, a literal or figurative earthquake, an erupting volcano. It represents a major shock. A stunning, unexpected change. Something out of the blue. A bombshell. The Tower is not a necessarily a negative card. It could easily be an amazing stroke of luck. A big lotto wins for example. The surrounding cards should help to clarify this. There may be a sense of the Tower representing a place of imprisonment, a situation within which the querent is trapped. The destruction of this edifice may indicate a breaking of bonds, release from chains. A new freedom. The edifice may represent our illusions, or delusions, perhaps about ourselves, perhaps about the world at large. The card indicates therefore the shattering of illusions. A sudden realization of the truth. A revelation. In a swordey context it could mean a shattering of faith, belief. Or an overturning of old beliefs in exchange for new ones. It might mean the overturning of an established scientific or academic theory. In this sense, the change may not be instant, but nonetheless shattering for that. Think for example of Einstein, overturning Newtonian physics, which were the bedrock of physics for hundreds of years before Einstein. Charles Darwin’s ‘Origin of species’ would be another example. Also in a swordish context, it could represent a sensational news story, a stunning announcement. In a cuppish context it may indicate the sudden breakdown of a relationship, marriage or friendship. A sudden realization, perhaps one partner discovers the other has been unfaithful. The relationship may end in a blazing row. Also in a cuppish context, the Tower could represent a nervous breakdown, a sudden emotional collapse. In a coiney context, the sudden collapse of a business. A sudden stock market crash. The loss of an election. The collapse of a seemingly well-thought-out strategy, plan. In the context of Wands it may indicate a heart attack, a stroke, struck down by a serious illness. Possibly an accident involving hospitalization. In association with travel cards such as the Chariot or any of the Knights it could indicate a road accident, a plane crash, the sinking of a ship. There is very much a sense of overturning the established order. Harmony threw into discord, order collapsing into chaos. Maybe a sense of revolution.

We might see the reversed card in the sense of removing the lightning flash. In this case the sense would be of nothing happening. No change, stagnation, entrapment. For this aspect, compare the Wheel of Fortune-Reversed, the Fool-Reversed, the Hanged Man. Compare also the eight of Swords. The imprisonment, entrapment aspect of the card might be extended to include a person in a dead-end-job, someone stuck in an unhappy marriage but can’t think of a way to get out, who wants to avoid the upset of a break-up. Maybe someone alone in an apartment who never goes out, never gets any visitors. The tower can also represent the ego, the edifice of someone’s beliefs, opinions. The reversed card may indicate a refusal to change, stuck in the old ways, living in the past, unable to move with the times.

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