Tarot Meditation: The Tower

Posted: April 2, 2016 in Spiritual Journey

RWS_Tarot_16_TowerThe Tower comes at the end of what I’m tempted to call either the Major Arcana’s dumping ground or, at very least, its disappointing mid-season. Following on from Death, Temperance and The Devil we have the card that’s probably the worst single omen in the deck, a symbol of calamity. A tall stone tower on a high peak is truck by lightning and set ablaze. A giant crown topples and two figures are sent plummeting earthward.

The two figures show very different responses. The crowned figure on the right topples backwards and bears an expression of despair and resignation, as if saying “I knew this would happen.” The figure on the left, looks downwards at the approaching earth, his face written with disbelief and horror. One can almost hear him trying to bargain his way out of the situation. Yellow flecks of gold or rain or fire speckle the sky and the figure on the left seems almost to be grasping for one of these.

I’m fortunate, I suppose, in that I’ve yet to receive this card in an upright position, more typically I see it inverted. When it appears Rx, the windows of the tower appear like a face, weeping flames (and possibly either bleeding or with tongue hanging out).The difference between the two? Perhaps in the inverted depiction the figures drift off to safety while only the artifice they created is destroyed.

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