The Tower

The House of God in the Tarot of Marseilles

Card description:

A flaming bolt lances from the heavens to tear the top off a tower. As the top of the tower falls away, two of its occupants plummet to the ground. The air is full of debris, and everything is in confusion. 

The tower card presents a scene of upset and destruction. A power from heaven, something beyond all mortal control, descends to tear earthly creations asunder, dashing the hopes of their creators. 

The lightning bolt of flames is the proverbial bolt from the blue, an unpredictable destructive assault. It brings irreparable change and marks the point between before and after. 

The tower represents earthly constructions and can therefore be interpreted as anything we build such as the self, plans, or creative endeavors. The broken, crown-like top of the tower is evidence of a sweeping and fiery change. 

Meanwhile, the people falling to the ground represent both sides of a person - the physical and the spiritual. The red, white, and blue spheres in the background give us a sense of clutter and confusion and indicate that the destruction is all-consuming.

Card meaning:

The tower is a sign of confusion and dismay. It is the sign that something needs to fall apart before any real progress can be made. 

Though the damage may be wide, and the fallout may be difficult to live through, the cleansing fire of the lightning bolt is there to help you get to the next evolutionary stage. 

Profound change can be difficult because it requires a monumental amount of effort. There is a tendency to cling to old constructs and ideas rather than to take the risk of throwing ourselves into something new. There are times when comfort is our worst enemy because it discourages progress. 

The tower symbolizes that comfort being stripped away. It is the burning away of all that is no longer needed. The ashes will fertilize new, better efforts. But first you must weather the storm.


Even if you take steps to avoid the disruption, it will still happen. The more you attempt to avoid the inevitable, the more disruptive and upsetting it will be. Allow yourself to fall to earth so that the cleansing power of fire can clear out what you no longer need. Prepare yourself for the monumental task of rebuilding from the rubble. Though you have a long road ahead, you will find yourself in a better place once you start your journey.

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