Today we’ll cover the meaning of the Tower tarot card. This is a part of a deep dive series on the tarot.
The Tower tarot card: Lightning, falling, a precariously placed tower on the side of a cliff. The Tower tarot card is full of frightening images.
We’ll discuss these symbols later.
The astrological symbol associated with The Tower card is Aires and the planet Mars.
Let’s explore the various meanings and interpretations.
Classical Tower Card Tarot Interpretation
The classical meaning of The Tower tarot card can be seen in the Rider-Waite deck.
There are multiple symbols on the card:
People frequently fear drawing the Death or Devil cards, but the card you should actually fear is the Tower. Every symbol on this card indicates a major change, and traditionally it’s not for the better.
The Tower depicts a large tower standing above a rocky mountain. Lightning strikes ignite the structure, and two individuals leap from the windows, head first, arms spread. It’s a spectacle of devastation and turmoil.
The Tower is a sturdy building, but because it was built on unsteady ground, it may be brought down by a single bolt of lightning. It reflects desires and aims founded on incorrect assumptions.
The Tower represents the desire that is built on bad premises. The tower must be destroyed in order to clean out the old methods and embrace something new. Its insights might arrive in the form of a bolt of truth or motivation.
Upright Tower Tarot Card Meaning
The upright Tower card has a straightforward meaning:
The upright Tower tarot card is all about danger, catastrophe, devastation, and emancipation. It is connected with unexpected and quick transformation, often for the worse.
Lightning indicates a burst of energy and understanding that results in a breakthrough or revelation. It enters through the roof and knocks off the crown, representing energy streaming down from the Universe through the crown chakra.
People are frantic to flee the burning building, not knowing what will happen to them when they fall. Around them are 22 flames depicting the 12 aspects of the zodiac and the 10 points of the Tree of Life, implying that divine intervention is always present, even in times of calamity.
The Tower card does not have to represent a dreadful occurrence, such as a calamity or a tremendous loss. Change is an inevitable element of life that must be accepted.
However, it can occasionally cause dread since it implies that we must renounce the truths we previously held. The old ways are no longer relevant, and you must replace them with a new set of ideas, attitudes, and processes.
- What major changes are coming that you see?
- Are you prepared for such a change mentally and emotionally?
- Where can you seek comfort and stability if needed?
The best course of action is to let this edifice crumble around you so that you can rebuild and refocus. And, let’s face it, with a card like The Tower, you have no option but to yield to the devastation and chaos, no matter how unpleasant or painful it may be.
Change on this level is difficult, but you must believe that everything is happening for a reason. This devastation will allow for fresh development and the evolution of your soul.
If you are in a relationship, The Tower might be a terrible omen, signifying break-ups, separation, or divorce.
It can also indicate you, your spouse, or both of you going through a terrible or horrific incident that will test your relationship to its breaking point.
You must attempt to be there for each other and keep open and honest communication if you want your relationship to survive the Tower incident. If your partnership endures this turmoil, The Tower predicts that it will have changed dramatically.
The Tower may signify a lack of job security in a professional environment. It might be an indication of redundancy or job loss.
However, it may also suggest a significant shift in your current situation, which may cause you undue worry and difficulty but may eventually lead to a higher position or more security.
For example, your firm may be purchased by another company, which could bring you a lot of worries but could ultimately lead to a more secure position.
Reversed Tower Card Meaning
Reversed, the Tower card has the opposite meaning:
The Tower tarot card reversed signals an internal upheaval. A major paradigm shift is coming your way that will upend your life.
The Tower Reversed might occasionally indicate that you are rejecting change and postponing the required destruction and turmoil.
You may be denying that change is taking place. Or you may be holding to an old set of beliefs while knowing that it is no longer relevant or good for you. Even though you don’t want to, you must go through this painful period in order to learn a vital lesson and make progress in your life.
And understand that if you continue to oppose this change, it will encroach on your life even more. The Tower card warns about unavoidable growth and transition.
Types of possible changes:
- Changing religions–causing your community to disown you.
- Realizing your sexuality is not what you’ve thought.
- Philosophical change causing strife in your partnership.
- Understanding your true vocation causing a career change.
Change is never easy to accept, yet it will occur regardless matter how hard we try. If you notice any issues in your relationship lurking in the distance, now is the time to address them.
This may prevent larger difficulties in the future. Are you harboring resentments? What have you been keeping silent about because you don’t believe it’s worth battling about?
These minor concerns might grow into major issues that can destabilize an otherwise pleasant relationship. This card might also indicate that you are ready to end a relationship that is no longer working for you.
In a professional setting, The Tower inverted might symbolize that you are able to keep your position despite challenging conditions. This might just be an indication that you have successfully avoided job loss.
However, if you are avoiding what you believe to be a professional disaster and instead of feeling relieved, you find yourself sad or dissatisfied, consider that this solution may not be the greatest thing for you.
Being out of our comfort zones might sometimes motivate us to achieve wonderful things we would never have done otherwise.
Take the time to find some relief if you’ve successfully navigated yourself out of financial catastrophe. However, the Tower implies that you understand that this must happen in order for you to go on.
For example, if you narrowly escaped bankruptcy by paying off your debt for this month, accepting your circumstances and declaring bankruptcy may be simpler and healthier in the long term.
If you’ve bought a property you can’t afford and your mortgage payments are driving you underwater, it could be a better idea to sell. Otherwise, one calamity is avoided only to be repeated the next time; you may have to battle endlessly.
I always like to examine other, modern decks to see what can be read into their symbolism.
The reason for this is that every person will have different decks, so it’s good to learn how to go with your gut on what you see. This is the best way to have a good interpretation of the moment.
Too many people stick to a learned reading instead of going with the flow. Remember, each reading, deck, person, position, and question is different. Reading the cards is an art, not a science.
We’ll use a different deck for every one of these, drawing attention to lesser-known decks that deserve more recognition. Today’s is the Tower tarot card from the wonderful Patch Tarot deck.
There’s something deeply beautiful about this card, which is why I picked it. Everything is burning and collapsing around the person, yet they are untouched and shining and looking up to the sky.
This emphasizes the point that we can always overcome our circumstances. We can’t change what happens to us, but we can change how we react to it.
When you draw the Tower, it doesn’t have to be terrible if you make the best of it. Stay calm and focused and you’ll come out the other side.
The eye in the sky could be an external force causing the destruction, but I like to think of it as the third eye. It symbolizes that we can use this awful moment to turn inward and work on our spirituality. We can think of it as a test.
The Tower Tarot in Context
Context matters a lot when reading the cards. Here are some particularly strong things to look out for when the Tower tarot card appears in these contexts.
- Past: A great change has happened. Focus on the effects for the reading.
- Present: You are undergoing a seismic shift in your life.
- Future: There is a rough killing off of some aspect of your life ahead.
For other types of readings:
- Hobbies: You may pick up a new hobby that takes over your life and causes radical change.
- Love: Your relationship is about to change.
- Work: A big shift is happening in your job.
- Finance: You will either lose or gain life-changing amounts of money soon. The rest of the reading should give clues as to which.
Back to the Major Arcana list.
- Alexander, S. (2017). The Modern Witchcraft Book of Tarot: Your Complete Guide to Understanding the Tarot (Illustrated ed.). Adams Media.