XVI The Tower

16-The Tower
In the song of boulders and
the deep unmountaining
I hear only soft murmurs of lightning
Over the thunderous disintegration
Of my trembling heart; If we fall
to rise again
If we break only to mend
I don’t think I will survive this end
I don’t think I will recognize who I am
Once this world I have grown to known
Has come to an end

The Tower

The Tower represents constructive destruction. It holds the powerful transformative force that cracks you open so that your light bursts forth and shines through. It is inevitable; it is unstoppable; it is undeniable. It is pure hardcore complete and utter spiritual, mental, emotional and physical devastation. It is an explosion of your shadow, a thunderous song of the dark energies being released from your psyche. It is the restructuring of your soul patterns, rearranging themselves into something new, something brilliant, something magnificent.

While a “Tower” moment is often something traumatic and something that leaves us so shaken and shattered, like the Devil, it is an incredible opportunity that allows us to tap into our inner resources of resilience and strength. Yes, it is most definitely shocking and disorienting and leaves us questioning our own sense of self, our worth, our belief system, our reality. Destruction reminds us that ultimately nothing escapes its end; it embodies tragic impermanence unlike any other card. But it also reminds us of what is permanent, and what is eternally true–and that is the power of our ability to choose. Identity can be impermanent; it can certainly shatter for better or for worse, but our ability to choose, to reconnect with our personal empowerment, to strive to overcome the difficulties in life, to persevere–that is a reality we are able to consciously create and cultivate. That is something that remains untouched through destruction and devastation.

Shadow Aspects

The Tower reminds us that everything is impermanent, but as long as we establish a firm foothold and grounding, we are able to rebuild anything we have lost. We can create something new and become something new and better. The Tower’s shadow is the inability to accept destruction as something part of our reality, and that it is only a small part of our reality–we are ultimately part of something bigger, and what is being destroyed or what has been destroyed is only a part of us and not all of us. Destruction and ruin come to predominate your space-time, your knowledge of the world and your sense of self; the crumbling of the Tower replays over and over again in your head and you distrust the world, disbelieving that it can ever be whole again because destruction is the only reality that you now know. Perhaps the ultimate tragedy isn’t the tragedy itself, but the acceptance of that tragedy as the ultimate and final ending.

Additional Note

Interestingly, when I was writing about The Tower card I had a vision of it becoming a black hole, draining and sucking in all the other major arcana cards. This make sense because during a Tower moment, you pull from other aspects of yourself for strength. Perhaps you connect with Wheel of Fortune and know that life has its ups and downs, and everything isn’t inherently bad or good–it is merely change. Perhaps you connect with Temperance, and recognize that there is only the Now. Or you connect with the Chariot, and overcome your hardships through concentrated focus and momentum. The Tower is in a way vacuum card that forces you to look deeply into yourself and connect, reconnect, discover and rediscover the dominant archetypes that are close to you and will empower you. It is a vacuum that violently contrasts the fullness that you have within you.

Sometimes you need the darkness to see the light.

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