Chaos, destruction, sudden upheaval, trauma, unexpected change, disaster, loss, tragedy, revelations, confusion, pain, divorce, abuse, violence, bankruptcy, natural disasters
Upright Meaning Guide
The Tower Tarot Card Key Meanings:
General meaning and interpretation (Upright)
Whereas the Death card is usually the card people are terrified of, out of all of the cards in the deck, The Tower is the one you really need to brace yourself for. The Tower Tarot card represents chaos and destruction. It is the Major Arcana card of sudden upheaval and unexpected change. This change usually is scary, life changing and often unavoidable. A negative Tower event can be akin to a bomb going off in your life. You don’t know how you will survive but somehow you will and later you will realise that while it was a tremendously difficult thing to go through and you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy, it has made you into the person you are. One positive aspect of The Tower is that the destruction it brings is usually directed at something that was built on a false beliefs and foundations or unrealistic goals and dreams. Also on the bright side, the destruction The Tower brings is always followed by renewal and creation. However, The Tower with a negative aspect can represent a whole host of tragic, traumatic or life-altering events like the death of a loved one, divorce, a bad breakup, assault, rape, violent abuse, stillbirth or miscarriage, child abuse, bankruptcy, a drug overdose, a car crash or job loss to name but a few. It’s usually the kind of thing you hope will never happen to you. That said, not every Tower event denotes tragedy. If the surrounding cards are positive, The Tower can simply represent a big change, like going to live in another country. This will be a massive upheaval. It will be a scary adjustment and will change your life as you know it but ultimately the change will be a good one. Placement of The Tower is important too, in a past position in a Tarot spread it is telling you what you’ve been through. While there are some life-events that we cannot avoid, sometimes The Tower will appear in a future if you are on a path that is leading to danger to warn you to avoid it. For instance, if you tend to put yourself in dangerous situations without thinking of the consequences, The Tower may be a warning to be mindful of your safety. Or if you take big gambles with money, The Tower may be warning you that it’s time to start acting more responsibly to avert disaster. It can also warn of natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes etc.
Love & Relationships (Upright)
In a love Tarot reading, if you are in a relationship, The Tower can be a bad omen representing, break-ups, separation or divorce. It can also represent either you or your partner or both, going through a difficult or traumatic event that will push your relationship to its absolute limits. If you want your relationship to survive this Tower event, you will need to try to be there for each other and maintain open and honest communication. If your relationship survives this upheaval, The Tower tells you that the relationship will have changed significantly. This may not necessarily be a bad thing as The Tower represents destruction of false beliefs too, so the relationship may come out completely changed but with a more solid and honest foundation. However, getting to that point will be one of the most difficult things you will go through as a couple. If you are single, you may find that you suddenly have to face an uncomfortable revelation about why you are single. If ego or arrogance has been getting in the way of you forming healthy relationships, it may indicate that a chaotic or destructive event is going to break down that ego. While this will not be a pleasant experience, it will teach you humility and improve your chances of a happy, healthy relationship in the future. The Tower can also indicate violence or assault so it can be a warning to be mindful of your personal safety when getting out there and meeting new people. Don’t be overly cautious but have your wits about you and take appropriate safety precautions.
Money & Career (Upright)
In a career context, The Tower may indicate a lack of job security. It can be a signifier of a redundancy or job loss. However, it may also indicate a big change in your current position which will bring you unwelcome stress and may prove difficult but could ultimately lead to a better position or more security. For instance, the company you work for could be bought over by another company which could cause you a lot of stress or uncertainty for a while but may eventually lead to a more secure job. Financially speaking, The Tower warns to you to be careful with money. In its extreme negative, The Tower can represent bankruptcy. Avoid risky investments. There may be an unexpected upheaval coming in financial terms so if you haven’t put any money aside for a rainy day, you'd better do so quickly.
In a health context, The Tower can represent a sudden illness or an accident so be mindful of your safety and well-being. If coupled with pregnancy cards it can indicate a difficult pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion or stillbirth. The Tower can also indicate mental health problems, which is understandable as Tower events generally bring with them extreme emotional turmoil. While the health issues The Tower represents are by no means easy, they are usually followed by a period of renewal. If health problems you are experiencing are forcing you to make changes in your life, try to go with the flow as these changes may ultimately prove to be for your best. Try to embrace them with a positive attitude. If you engage in any kind of substance abuse, The Tower is warning you to stop immediately or you may overdose.
Imagine having a home you thought was solidly built and would shelter you for the rest of your life. The Tower would be a big storm that reduces your house to rubble, destroying everything you thought was secure and showing you that the foundations were not as solid as you once believed they were. While you would still have to experience sadness, loss, grief, anger and confusion at this horrible turn of events, out of the rubble you have the chance to build a new better home with more solid foundations. The Tower in a spiritual context represents the destruction of old beliefs. This could be a personal crisis of faith or some sort of scandal or revelation which will force you to rethink your whole belief system. Remember that the destruction of The Tower brings with it renewal so you may find that this sudden change actually opens you up to a more spiritual path in the long run, one that is based on a solid foundation of truth.
Reversed Meaning Guide
The Tower Reversed Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Resisting change, averting disaster, avoiding tragedy, delaying the inevitable, avoiding loss
General meaning and interpretation (Reversed)
The Tower Tarot card reversed can be a sign that you have narrowly avoided a disaster. You will need to learn from the experience in order to prevent the lesson from coming back around again. It can also signify delaying the inevitable. While we would all like to go through life without experiencing hardships, they are a necessary part of life. Without darkness how would we ever learn to appreciate the light? If you have been running from a big change because you fear the pain or heartache it will bring, this Major Arcana card in reversed position may be telling you it’s time to turn and face it. Avoiding it may seem like the easier option but if you do you’ll be running for the rest of your life. Confronting it won’t be easy but it will eventually lead you to a new beginning. If you have already experienced your Tower event, The Tower reversed warns you not to try and rebuild what you had but to seek something new and better to build in place of what was destroyed as it was destroyed for a reason. You need to let it go and focus on creating something new. It can also be a sign that you are trying to hold onto people that are no longer supporting you in the way they once did. You need to let go of them and let them go their own way, so new people can come into your life.
Love & Relationships (Reversed)
In a love context, if you are in a relationship, The Tower reversed can signify that while you know your relationship is as good as over, you are avoiding actually ending it for fear of the pain it will bring. You may think you can paper over the cracks but this would be like putting a band aid on a gunshot wound. You need to face facts and understand that as long as you hold onto something that is broken you are preventing yourself from moving onto something better. If your relationship has recently come through a Tower event, different but intact, The Tower reversed is telling you not to try and get the relationship back to the way it was previously. Your relationship has changed because it needed to, you can’t go back. You need to decide if this new version of your relationship is something you want. If you are single, The Tower reversed can indicate that you have avoided a disastrous relationship with someone who was possibly dangerous, abusive or violent. It can also indicate that you are delaying or completely avoiding dealing with a traumatic or painful breakup. While you may think this approach is easier than facing up to what you’ve been through, it is actually stopping you from moving on your love life. Stop and face whatever you’re running from, learn what you can from it and then draw a line under it and leave it in the past where it belongs. It hard to move forward when you’re dragging a truck load of baggage behind you so deal with it and let it go.
Money & Career (Reversed)
In a career context, The Tower reversed can indicate that you may be managing to hold onto your job in difficult circumstances. This can be simply a sign that you are successfully avoiding a job loss. However, if you are avoiding something you perceive as a career disaster and rather than feel relieved you find yourself unhappy or dissatisfied, consider that this outcome may not actually be the best thing for you. Sometimes being out of our comfort zones can inspire us to do amazing things we never would have attempted otherwise. Financially, The Tower reversed is the same, it can indicate that you are averting a financial disaster but it does not necessarily mean that you should. It may be worth considering allowing whatever this negative event is, to just happen so you can deal with it and move forward, rather than constantly trying to push a boulder up a big hill and always struggling. For instance, being made redundant while scary, stressful and difficult for you, may give you the time and motivation to start your own business. Or if you have been struggling to make payments on a mortgage you can no longer afford to the detriment of every other area of your life, giving the keys back to the bank and renting might actually be a tough choice that would ultimately make you happier.
In a Health context, The Tower reversed can indicate that you may be ignoring an illness or a warning sign of an illness, hoping it will go away. You need to face this head on to give yourself the best chance at recovery. It may also indicate that a health scare may turn out to be nothing serious, and as such, you have averted disaster. Whatever the case, burying your head in the sand will not do you any good in terms of health issues.
In a spiritual context, The Tower reversed indicates that you may have realised that the old beliefs that you once held dear are now proving to be false but you are resisting letting them go. Maybe you feel that if you don’t have those beliefs, you don’t know what to believe in. Maybe you fear backlash from others who still hold those beliefs and are afraid to break with the status quo. You need to face the truth, let go of that which is not working for you in order to move forward and find your true spiritual path. This will not be easy but it will be worth it in the end.
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