By Judy Jennings © Copyright 2013
The chained lovers that we last saw at the feet of The Devil plunge headfirst from the lightening-struck Tower, conscious and subconscious minds upset from their usual beliefs by a sudden flash of insight. This Tower has been built on superficial observation, ignorance, apprehension and mistrust. Foreboding as it seems, the energy represented by the destruction of The Tower is actually key to moving on from the spiritually stagnant state expressed in The Devil, where the travelers are completely ruled by their emotions. The Tower suggests that unexpected awareness provoked by forces beyond our control is a vital part of the process of freeing the personality from the domination of emotion and false reasoning. It is only in this state of mind that existing patterns truly break down in order to create new ways of thinking. Think of the energy expressed in The Tower not as a static presence, but rather as a dynamic, ever-changing force, constantly in motion in our lives.
The lightening that strikes the Tower is the same Higher Power summoned earlier by The Magician. It shares the identical meaning as the scepter of the Emperor, the wand of the Charioteer and the scythe of Death. It is the exact same energy that shines from the lantern of the Hermit, and the force that turns the subconscious mind, and the lightening bolt striking it represents breakthrough moments or realization.
Blown off its perch by the lightening, the crown is a symbol of the belief that the material world is all that matters. It represents lack of higher purpose and the idea that we are all isolated being ruled entirely by our own will.
The Tower itself, built of stone, represents subconscious activity that has taken form in an idea and manifested into physical reality. Stonework in any form, whether it be towers, fences or thrones, is always symbolic of the idea of subconscious whenever it appears in the Rider-Waite deck. Brickwork in particular connotes the powers of speech and language. Hence, we know that a breakdown in communication is a strong implication in this triumph. Twenty-two falling Yods, from the Hebrew alphabet of 22 letters, further associates the qualities of speech and language with this card. Another clue that indicates the importance of those qualities here is found in the numerological reduction of the number 16. The number of the Tower reduces to 7, assigned to The Chariot, which embodies the idea of having mastery over one's own words. In The Tower, of course, that self-control slips away.
Metaphysically, the Tower represents the second state of spiritual enlightenment, where the traveler is confronted with the sudden destruction of former philosophy. The Tower is a celebration of the dissolution of the notion that we are all separate, isolated beings. Flashes of illumination lead to a deeper understanding of the relationship between the conscious and subconscious minds. The unruly energies shown in The Tower have tremendous potential to awaken higher consciousness.
In a reading the Tower indicates sudden change above all else. A flash of intuition may be suggested, or an illumination glimpse of truth. On the other hand, depending on the surrounding cards, it might indicate the ruin of one's plans or refer to a group where communication has broken down. The element of the unexpected is always in play when The Tower presents.
If The Tower should represent a person, it will be someone who is resistant to external rules and regulations. Past traditions and present realities will never satisfy this person, whose energy at its most positive seeks to serve in the greater good of humanity. This is someone who is independent, self-motivated and idealistic. In some cases, the appearance of The Tower may signify a breakthrough regarding some type of mental block or personality disorder. Socially, it can represent liberaton from the restrictions of cultural expectations.
Meditate on The Tower for Insight.