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The Meaning of "The Tower" Tarot Card

(Applies to the upright position)


The Symbolism of the Tarot Card:


A monastic tower, built on the summit of a tall mountain presumably to reach higher into the sky, is being destroyed by lightning. Small "Yod" symbols appear in the sky, signifying both destructive fire and the divine origin of the destruction.


A golden crown adorns the top of the tower. It has been "lifted" off of the top of the Tower by the lightning bolt which is destroying it. Two figures fly from the tower, their fall somewhat cushioned by the "Yod" symbols.



The Meaning of the Tarot Card:


All of the traditional interpretations of this card have it down as being a card of ruin. While it is that, this is far too simplistic and catastrophic a view of this important card. The ruin in question is the ruin of a set of ideas built up by man by the revelation of the Divine, here in the form of a lightning bolt. Whoever built this tower was striving for the experience of the divine, forgetting that as man, we cannot "build ourselves up" to the same level as the divine. The catastrophic imagery in this card only serves as a reminder of what can happen if we get too high on ourselves - it isn't necessarily what will happen.


Yod is the Hebrew letter "Y", and is considered divine as it is the first letter in the unspoken Hebrew Name of God. Here, there are twenty-two Yod symbols, one for each of the tarot trumps. Through destruction, a new world is being borne in spiritual fire. Ambition and ego are no match for the spirit, and the unconscious will win out over the conscious in any struggle.


The appearance of this card is meant as a reality check, not as a harbringer of certain doom. This is a period of violent upheaval in the individual's life. Something must be destroyed in order for something to be created. A breakup of a relationship, or the end of a friendship or career. Also could be a sign that the individual is about to receive divine enlightenment of some kind - despite all of the destructive energy, signs of divinity are omnipresent throughout this card.


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