Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Tarot Card of the Week, April 5-11, 2010: The Tower

In the human heart there is a perpetual generation of passions; so that the ruin of one is almost always the foundation of another.
–François de la Rochefoucauld (1613-1680)

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.

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  • April 5, 2010, 11:33 am donna

    I experienced a 7.2 earthquake and a shooting on the next street over in my neighborhood yesterday — the Tower works for me this week….

  • April 5, 2010, 12:41 pm Dawn

    I think my Tower week may have started on Friday. Not long, an hour – maybe more, after I got home from the Moon, my beloved, year-old Loki puppy literally dropped dead in the backyard. We never saw it coming…talk about abrupt heartache. I have an uncanny feeling the Tower is not yet finished with me, so I am clinging to Divine Grace with all I have. Thank you for the reminder that She knows exactly what I need.

  • April 5, 2010, 1:14 pm Brett

    I can’t believe the tower is this weeks card! I do my own readings regularly, and the tower has been making repeat appearances for months now. I am a novice, so I think it was because I was not getting the message… and it had been a very trying period in my life with major financial difficulty and a devastating health diagnosis that changed my life forever. Anyway, long story short, I finally have my first job interview in years with a good company tomorrow, and see the tower as a sign that change is imminent. I also think it is no coincidence that the tower appears this week, as pluto goes retrograde. Here’s to new beginnings!

  • April 5, 2010, 6:34 pm Star

    Earthquakes, mining disasters in the US and China, cover-ups by the Pope, military messes in Iraq and Afghanistan, deaths in NY’s Easter celebration…there is certainly powerful transformational energy swirling about! Will we get the message to find a way to peace and cooperation?


  • April 5, 2010, 8:32 pm James Ricklef

    I agree with you that this is one of the more feared cards in the Tarot deck, but for me, it sometimes just means “to make an omelet you’ve got to break a few eggs.”
    At other times, though, it certainly can have a more frightening disposition. When it turns out that a fortress we built is really a prison, the Tower card comes along to save us, despite our protestations that we don’t need saving. I often say that the Tower is like a cosmic kick in the pants. It tells us that we are in a bad situation, whether we realize it or not, and that we have two options: we can walk out of it now or we can sit around and wait for the lightning to strike and throw us out on our butt.
    Of course it can also indicate pride struck down or a blow to a leader. So if we read this weekly card for worldly events rather than for our own personal lives, this could make for a very interesting week. In that case, I think a likely candidate for a Tower experience is the Pope. For example, might he resign to save the Church further embarrassment?
    In any case, this is always an interesting card!
    Bright Blessings,
    James Ricklef

  • April 6, 2010, 7:33 am Beth

    First of all, thank you each for sharing your difficult “Tower” experiences. Shootings in the neighborhood, earthquakes, the horrible mining disaster.. And especially to Dawn and Brett – I know you are devastated. I am so sorry and will be sending you lots of good energy.

    James! Wow – I am truly honored to have you stop by and visit! Welcome and please make yourself at home!

    You make a very good point about the possible downfall of the Pope. Whether he steps down or not (highly unlikely in my view – Popes have been behind some quite horrific scandals over the centuries, and never batted an eye), the faithful, at least, are bound to be feeling rather bruised.

    I often think of The Tower in the context of the story of the Majors. If we don’t learn the lesson of The Devil, next comes The Tower. So exactly as you say, the cosmic kick in the pants.

    Let’s hope that’s it for the Tower moments this week, although I daresay maybe not… 😕
    – Beth