This week’s card is not going to be easy or enjoyable. Especially for the “sacred cows” that we hold dear; the ones that we expect to protect us, keep us from having to deal with life’s more challenging aspects, or which we hope will insulate us from difficulty.
The Tower, probably the least pleasant of all the Tarot cards, is as necessary to our liberation and growth as pleasurable experiences. Sometimes, even more so. It is traditionally about misfortune, violence, betrayal, and loss. The Tower is explosive, sudden, shattering and often (though not always) painful.
This rich, disturbing image has many, many layers of meaning; from the overthrow of someone in power, to the downfall of those who have been too materialistic or aloof, to the destruction of certain beliefs and perceptions.
It may remind us of the story of the Tower of Babel in the Judeo-Christian traditions. This tower was struck down by their God when He was angered by humanity’s arrogance. The result left mankind in a chaos of foreign languages. The Tower may also be like the lightning bolt of insight that struck Siddhartha Gautama as he sat beneath the bodhi tree. It is also a perfect snapshot of Pluto in Capricorn.
The Tower is the blast from Mystery that shatters consensual reality. It is the revolution that, while perhaps quietly, invisibly building for ages, suddenly explodes all around us.
My own experiences with the Tower over the years have been complex, even contradictory. But almost without exception, I have seen it speaking to how we must let go of the fortresses we have built to shield ourselves from some unpleasant part of reality. Brick by brick, we insulate ourselves: our gated communities, our exclusive cliques, our superiority, nationalism and inflated, distorted pride.
We tell ourselves we and only we are the chosen ones. We create myths about how our nation is especially favored by God(s). We rationalize exploitation of others, of the Earth’s resources, and turn a blind eye to our personal and cultural addictions. We even begin to believe that our Gods are the only true ones.
It is so easy for humans, as needful as we are for security, to close our eyes to seeing the blinding truth of All That Is. But hubris spells our doom.
If we refuse to let go of the fears, attitudes, habits and relationships that thwart our growth, the Universe will make us do so. If we will not get ourselves unstuck, we will get pushed. Perhaps pushed very hard indeed.
This week, look carefully at your life and your priorities. What needs to go? What have you been holding onto for too long? What in your world has become so rancid that it is now dangerous to perpetuate its presence? What wounds need to be lanced before they can be healed?
Be prepared for an important illusion to be suddenly shattered. Be ready, at the very least, for sudden, important change. Literal upheaval, such as those we are seeing more and more in correlation with the predicted earth changes, are also to be expected.
The bottom line, though, is that if we refuse to open our hearts, it becomes inevitable that the Beloved must break them open for us.
Thus, you can see that even as the lightning strikes the Tower’s crown of worldly power, and the fires burn, and the people fall, in the air there are Yods, symbols of the Word of God. This downfall comes by the command of Divine Love. This act of destruction is also an act of creation.
Change is coming. If we are not willing to change willingly and gently, we will change painfully or dramatically. Yet we can trust that these changes are exactly what the Divine One knows we need. They will, ultimately, be our saving Grace.