When you hear its name without looking at the picture, the Tower tarot card might seem nice and hint at meanings of structure and stability, but once you open your eyes and see the tower crumbling after being struck by lightning, it is easy to see that there is more depth to the message this arcanum is trying to teach.
Description of the Tower tarot card
While the nature and architecture of the structure itself can vary widely from one tarot deck to the next, the common point that binds them all is the presence of a towering edifice being struck down by lightning, so hard that part of the tower starts crumbling down. Since lightning doesn’t usually break down stone walls, it is easy to imagine that this particular lightning strike is not just like any other…
Biblical references in the Tower tarot card
If the tarot is usually neutral regarding religious traditions and beliefs, it is hard not to make a connection between the specific imagery of the tower tarot card and the legend of the tower of Babel, struck down by divine lightning when excessive human pride led the divine to strike down the tower with holy lightning and curse its descendants.
What does the tower tarot card mean?
Just like the crumbling tower in the image, the meaning of the tower tarot card is usually negative, a sign of destruction and despair, a hint that something important to the Querent or to the particular aspect studied in the reading is about to break down.
It could be anything, and context matters to understand where the danger lies. Usually, the tarot can provide either a means to prevent any tremendous catastrophe, or sheds some light on why this particular experience is meant to be, and what can be drawn or learned from that painful experience.
The reversed tower tarot card meaning is just as ominous. The main difference comes from the nature and source of that danger. Usually, this is the result of the actions of a specific person (or a group of people) rather than due to karma or destiny.
The Fool’s Journey
The Fool now has to learn the harshest lesson of all. To be freed from bondage and blind subservience to primal urges, sometimes violent change is the only way out. The tower tarot card pushes the Fool into a dire situation. The walls and structures carefully built so far are breaking down one by one in a painful and almost unbearable epiphany.
But just like the Death card, the lesson that the Fool must hold on to is that even in the face of adversity, even when hurt and brought down, there is always a way to stand back up and build something new, something better, from the ruins of their old world.
The Tower love tarot
Drawing the tower major arcana in a love-based tarot reading can often herald the end of a relationship about to break apart. Combined with Justice, it could foreshadow an impending divorce. While the appearance of the Tower in such a reading should never be taken lightly, it could also be a waking call. This reading might be the one last chance to salvage a relationship if the source of the problem can be clearly determined, and worked on before it is too late.
The Tower as a focus for meditation
It is usually best to stay away from traditionally negative meaning cards when using the tarot as a trigger for a meditation session. However, meditating on the Tower tarot card can be a very useful way to help cope with the pain of a bad experience or memory, or to draw important lessons from a harsh trial that fate has recently sent your way.
Try to visualize a mental parallel between a bad experience you have endured and the image of the crumbling tower on the tarot card. Then focus on the ruins that are left, and try to see how you can rebuild something on the ashes of what you have lost, something that might even be bigger and better than it used to be.
Conclusion: The Tower tarot meaning
This is probably the most negative card to be found among the twenty-two major arcana in a tarot deck. It is usually the sign of something bad about to happen, something about to break down (which could be anything, from a relationship to a prized possession). While there isn’t really a positive way to twist that particular event, what is important is to see what can be done with it. Either to try and prevent it using the wisdom of the cards to guide you onto a path that might prevent the disaster or if there is no way out you should see what lessons might be learned from that bad experience and use it as an excuse to do better next time.
It is easy to give in to despair and give up when disaster strikes, but knowing how to stand back up and move on is what makes all the difference between common people and those who want to be better, between sleeping masses and people looking for enlightenment.
Traditional keywords associated with the card
Sudden change, catastrophe, things breaking down.