Hard Card: The Tower

For the first evergreen post of Hard Card, a feature of Tarot Tuesday, let's talk about the Tower. I know, the Tower during Mercury Retrograde seems like I'm asking for trouble but in reality, this card can be a great help—especially during times like retrograde.

Traditional Meaning

The Tower is often heralded as a card that signifies downfall, either of our ideas or practices, all the way up to things on a macro scale. Of course, this is often accomplished via disaster, chaos, and disruption. But does that have to be all?

A New Way of Looking at Falling Down

Brigit, who heads Biddy Tarot, had a wonderful blog post a while back on good cards and bad cards. In it she tackles the tower and how one reader gave her insight into the aspects of change that the Tower cannot make entirely scary—depending on how work averse you are. I'll include the link to her blog post here. (click!)

I found her take on things so refreshing that I challenge a lot of my clients to look at cards they associate with negative meanings and try to come up with a profile for them as a whole card rather than just one significant omen. With the Tower card, I will often ask my clients what it is that they're scrambling to keep in place and why. This usually leads us to talk about the exact thing they are wanting to see change in their life. This allows me to talk about the Tower in a different light.

Tower Free Fall

The meaning I find in this card can range from its more traditional scope to one of significant and imperative restructuring. The Tower becomes less of an event and more of a tool so that we can move forward, a lesson in letting go of the strain and utter futility with which we cleave to systems that no longer serve us. As an LGBTQ identified person, this card can and has come up in many discussions on coming out—what that will look like and the fear that we have in the face of all that can and will change after we come out. It's not easy! But this card is also permission, in a sense, for me to let go of the control for a minute. It's not in my hands anyway and so trying to keep that power in my hands is pointless.

The Tower is an invitation to speak your truth, whatever it may be, and let the bricks fall where they may. It may not look great in the beginning but it's a start. Demolition sometimes needs to happen. So the next time this card comes up, some questions to consider are:

What am I clinging to? Why?

What will this change?

What do I want to change? (I love this question)

and lastly, What comes next?

Because, if there is anything about the tackling of change to be learned, it is that it is far better to engage it than it is to run from it. Why settle for falling when you can leap with it? Sure, it's scary but taking charge isn't always about things going well—sometimes it's about what we do when things aren't going well for us.