XVI - The Tower



The Tower is a fearsome-looking card. It shows us a moment of reckoning we all must experience – the terror that comes when the walls of our lives come tumbling down.

The Tower Ride Waite Tarot Card

Appropriately enough, Tower-experiences are unmistakable. They show up as traumatic events in our lives after which nothing is the same. They also appear as fears and anxieties, the mental experience of falling from a fiery tower. This may not be the reality, but the feeling is visceral and scary.

The Tower is a card that forces us to live in the moment. There’s no ignoring the flames bursting from the walls and the feeling of free falling towards the ground below. There’s little we can do but experience the moment. Sometimes The Tower gives us the jolt we need to awaken to the reality of our lives.

When we look at the building itself we can hone in on the core meaning of this card: structure and what happens when it falls apart. The Tower can represent the frameworks we create for ourselves and find ourselves inhabiting. What are they make of? How do they serve us?

Of course, since The Tower is crumbling, it seems like something hasn’t been working so well. While we’d like to avoid learning something’s not working via a fiery crash, The Tower can act as a wakeup call. What we do after the walls crumble is what truly dictates the meaning and outcome of this card.

So fear not, The Tower does not signify impending doom. Uncomfortable realizations and drastic change, yes; however, we need to cut back to move forward if we want to live to our full potential. Just like forests and fields need fire to stimulate new growth, we too must go through a bit of ultimately constructive destruction.


Upheaval, dramatic change, outside forces, inevitability, reckoning, shakeup, chance to rebuild

Life Situations

A drastic change, outside forces wreaking havoc, being humbled, a downfall, destructive acts of nature, crumbling structures in one’s life – relationships, jobs, etc., being faced with the truth, cutting ties, abandoning something you’ve work on extensively, attempting to make a clean break, feelings of trauma and abandonment, dealing with a worst case scenario

Positive Attributes

Exhilaration, unmistakable events, outside of individual control, a worthy test, humbling

Negative Attributes

Destructive, disorienting, forceful, far-reaching consequences, extensive fallout

Blog Posts & Tarot Readings featuring The Tower