Upright: Disaster, upheaval, sudden change, revelation
Reversed: Avoidance of disaster, fear of change

The Tower shows a tall tower pitched atop a craggy mountain. Lightning strikes and flames burst from the building’s windows. People are seen to be leaping from the tower in desperation, wanting to flee such destruction and turmoil. The Tower signifies darkness and destruction on a physical scale, as opposed to a spiritual scale. The Tower itself represents ambitions built on false premises. The lightning bolt breaks down existing forms in order to make room for new ones. It represents a sudden, momentary glimpse of truth, a flash of inspiration that breaks down structures of ignorance and false reasoning. Notice the lightning bolt is oriented left to right (from the perspective of the card), from heaven to earth, and from Spirit to material. The falling figures correspond to the chained prisoners in the Devil card. They fall headfirst, because the sudden influx of spiritual consciousness represented by the lightning flash completely upsets all our old notions about the relations between subconsciousness and self-consciousness. The flames are actually the Hebrew yods. There are 22 flames, representing the 22 Major Arcana. The gray clouds are the clouds of misfortune that rain on everyone indiscriminately. The ruling planet of this card is Mars.

How many times have you sat safely within the narrow confines of your life, comfortable in your current thoughts, beliefs and expectations? Then, out of the blue, something ‘shocking’ happens that completely destroys your picture of peace and harmony. It blows your mind or throws you for a loop. There is a sudden realisation that your comfort was based on an inadequate foundation of false thought, belief and action. This is a humbling, frightening but necessary experience.
When you see the Tower in a reading, you may feel afraid, shaken and insecure. It is a time of great turmoil and destruction as you seek to understand how you could have been so wrong, so naive, or so blind about a particularly situation. And now, what will you do and how will you manage in the face of this shocking truth? You may be experiencing sleepless nights, depression, grief, anger and confrontation. These are normal reactions to major changes in your outer and inner worlds.
A Tower experience is any experience that shakes the foundation of your current sense of security and/or forces you to question your strongly-held beliefs, perceptions, attitudes and behaviours. It may be a divorce, death of a loved one, financial failure, health problems or job loss, or any event that penetrates to the core of your inner being, affecting you spiritually, mentally and physically. It is often descriptive of a major upheaval, disruption, emergency or crisis, and is likely to bring chaos in the aftermath of such an event.
If the Tower appears in your reading, ask yourself, “What structures in my life are breaking up?” No doubt you will already be very aware of where there is turmoil and destruction but sometimes it can be on a more subtle or subconscious level.
The most important aspect of the Tower is that with any destruction there comes creation. Thus, the Tower card represents an awakening and is about inspiration, freedom, reality and the release from bondage. It is a truth and honesty card that comes as a bolt of lightning to you through a shocking and impactful life event. It represents a necessary experience that forces you to get out of your comfort zone and to grow beyond your present level. The sudden destruction of the Tower represents the immediacy of change, and the often disorienting effects of that change. Once you hit rock bottom the choice is yours. You can revert to the self-defeating, restrictive Devil, or reach for the transformational and inspirational Star. When you begin to reach for the Star, you will come to realise that your true security and strength lies within yourself and your relationship with the Universe, and not in some false belief system or artificially-created world. Following a Tower experience, you can rest assured that you will grow stronger, wiser and more serene as you begin to develop a completely new perspective on life that you did not even know existed. These moments in time are necessary for spiritual growth and enlightenment. Truth and honesty will bring about a positive change, even if you must experience pain and anxiety throughout the process.
The Tower also represents the inner and outer structures that you have built. These structures represent your personal defences, defences that create a more socially acceptable ‘you’ by hiding your true, inner thoughts and feelings. It is like laughing politely when your boss tells a joke, or, on a deeper level, disguising your sexual feelings, particularly if you feel that they are socially inappropriate. In times of great pressure and stress, these structures will be tested and are at risk of shattering, finally revealing your true inner self to those around you. So, you need to be very careful how much of yourself you attempt to hide, knowing that one day, all will be revealed.
The Tower therefore asks you to break down the structures that you have surrounded yourself with. This can be a painful and difficult process if you resist against the external forces that are pushing you to reveal more of yourself. Breaking through this pretence can cause a great deal of anguish but remember that the Tower will fall, whether you like it or not, because you have reached your limits in this area and can no longer live with it.
Similarly, the Tower can signify your ego and the illusion of considering yourself to be superior to others. When the Tower of ego, deception and illusion is destroyed, you are free to face truth and reality without the trappings of false attachments. Are you undergoing a major shift in consciousness? Are you beginning to see things in a new way? Embrace the opportunity to accept change and move forward into a more positive psychological state, where personal freedom is the rule.

Upright, the Tower indicates a time of great turmoil and destruction, which will eventually bring with it change and regeneration. Reversed, however, the Tower card indicates that you are simply delaying the necessary ‘destruction’. You need to go through this difficult time in order to learn an important lesson. Do not resist it. Even though it is shocking and hard to deal with, it is a very important part of your life journey.
Similarly, the Tower reversed suggests that, while you consciously want change and transformation, you seem to be afraid of these two things. You may feel that change and transformation may bring with it destruction and pain, and thus you are resisting this. You may be aware that in order to create the BIG change you are seeking, you need to go through a period of significant discomfort but you seem to be afraid of this discomfort. Now is the time to think BIG and to not be afraid of taking BIG leaps ahead of you. Sure, the stakes are high and it is risky territory but if you really want to achieve the scale of change you aspire to, then you need to take some risk.
The reversal of the Tower can also lessen the degree or impact of change that is about to enter your life. You may be forewarned or you may have an intuitive sense that something major is about to happen, and you can therefore plan in advance and avoid the destruction that lies ahead. You may be lucky enough to narrowly avert disaster.



The Tower Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Chaos, destruction, sudden upheaval, trauma, unexpected change, disaster, loss, tragedy, revelations, confusion, pain, divorce, abuse, violence, bankruptcy, natural disasters

General meaning and interpretation
Whereas the Death card is usually the card people are terrified of, out of all of the cards in the deck, The Tower is the one you really need to brace yourself for. The Tower Tarot card represents chaos and destruction. It is the Major Arcana card of sudden upheaval and unexpected change. This change usually is scary, life changing and often unavoidable. A negative Tower event can be akin to a bomb going off in your life. You don’t know how you will survive but somehow you will and later you will realise that while it was a tremendously difficult thing to go through and you wouldn’t wish it on your worst enemy, it has made you into the person you are. One positive aspect of The Tower is that the destruction it brings is usually directed at something that was built on a false beliefs and foundations or unrealistic goals and dreams. Also on the bright side, the destruction The Tower brings is always followed by renewal and creation. However, The Tower with a negative aspect can represent a whole host of tragic, traumatic or life-altering events like the death of a loved one, divorce, a bad breakup, assault, rape, violent abuse, stillbirth or miscarriage, child abuse, bankruptcy, a drug overdose, a car crash or job loss to name but a few. It’s usually the kind of thing you hope will never happen to you. That said, not every Tower event denotes tragedy. If the surrounding cards are positive, The Tower can simply represent a big change, like going to live in another country. This will be a massive upheaval. It will be a scary adjustment and will change your life as you know it but ultimately the change will be a good one. Placement of The Tower is important too, in a past position in a Tarot spread it is telling you what you’ve been through. While there are some life-events that we cannot avoid, sometimes The Tower will appear in a future if you are on a path that is leading to danger to warn you to avoid it. For instance, if you tend to put yourself in dangerous situations without thinking of the consequences, The Tower may be a warning to be mindful of your safety. Or if you take big gambles with money, The Tower may be warning you that it’s time to start acting more responsibly to avert disaster. It can also warn of natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes etc.

In a health context, The Tower can represent a sudden illness or an accident so be mindful of your safety and wellbeing. If coupled with pregnancy cards it can indicate a difficult pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion or stillbirth. The Tower can also indicate mental health problems, which is understandable as Tower events generally bring with them extreme emotional turmoil. While the health issues The Tower represents are by no means easy, they are usually followed by a period of renewal. If health problems you are experiencing are forcing you to make changes in your life, try to go with the flow as these changes may ultimately prove to be for your best. Try to embrace them with a positive attitude. If you engage in any kind of substance abuse, The Tower is warning you to stop immediately or you may overdose.

Love & Relationships
In a love Tarot reading, if you are in a relationship, The Tower can be a bad omen representing, break-ups, separation or divorce. It can also represent either you or your partner or both, going through a difficult or traumatic event that will push your relationship to its absolute limits. If you want your relationship to survive this Tower event, you will need to try to be there for each other and maintain open and honest communication. If your relationship survives this upheaval, The Tower tells you that the relationship will have changed significantly. This may not necessarily be a bad thing as The Tower represents destruction of false beliefs too, so the relationship may come out completely changed but with a more solid and honest foundation. However, getting to that point will be one of the most difficult things you will go through as a couple. If you are single, you may find that you suddenly have to face an uncomfortable revelation about why you are single. If ego or arrogance has been getting in the way of you forming healthy relationships, it may indicate that a chaotic or destructive event is going to break down that ego. While this will not be a pleasant experience, it will teach you humility and improve your chances of a happy, healthy relationship in the future. The Tower can also indicate violence or assault so it can be a warning to be mindful of your personal safety when getting out there and meeting new people. Don’t be overly cautious but have your wits about you and take appropriate safety precautions.

Money & Career
In a career context, The Tower may indicate a lack of job security. It can be a signifier of a redundancy or job loss. However, it may also indicate a big change in your current position which will bring you unwelcome stress and may prove difficult but could ultimately lead to a better position or more security. For instance, the company you work for could be bought over by another company which could cause you a lot of stress or uncertainty for a while but may eventually lead to a more secure job. Financially speaking, The Tower warns to you to be careful with money. In its extreme negative, The Tower can represent bankruptcy. Avoid risky investments. There may be an unexpected upheaval coming in financial terms so if you haven’t put any money aside for a rainy day, you’d better do so quickly.

Imagine having a home you thought was solidly built and would shelter you for the rest of your life. The Tower would be a big storm that reduces your house to rubble, destroying everything you thought was secure and showing you that the foundations were not as solid as you once believed they were. While you would still have to experience sadness, loss, grief, anger and confusion at this horrible turn of events, out of the rubble you have the chance to build a new better home with more solid foundations. The Tower in a spiritual context represents the destruction of old beliefs. This could be a personal crisis of faith or some sort of scandal or revelation which will force you to rethink your whole belief system. Remember that the destruction of The Tower brings with it renewal so you may find that this sudden change actually opens you up to a more spiritual path in the long run, one that is based on a solid foundation of truth.
The Tower Reversed Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Resisting change, averting disaster, avoiding tragedy, delaying the inevitable

General meaning and interpretation
The Tower Tarot card reversed can be a sign that you have narrowly avoided a disaster. You will need to learn from the experience in order to prevent the lesson from coming back around again. It can also signify delaying the inevitable. While we would all like to go through life without experiencing hardships, they are a necessary part of life. Without darkness how would we ever learn to appreciate the light? If you have been running from a big change because you fear the pain or heartache it will bring, this Major Arcana card in reversed position may be telling you it’s time to turn and face it. Avoiding it may seem like the easier option but if you do you’ll be running for the rest of your life. Confronting it won’t be easy but it will eventually lead you to a new beginning. If you have already experienced your Tower event, The Tower reversed warns you not to try and rebuild what you had but to seek something new and better to build in place of what was destroyed as it was destroyed for a reason. You need to let it go and focus on creating something new. It can also be a sign that you are trying to hold onto people that are no longer supporting you in the way they once did. You need to let go of them and let them go their own way, so new people can come into your life.

In a Health context, The Tower reversed can indicate that you may be ignoring an illness or a warning sign of an illness, hoping it will go away. You need to face this head on to give yourself the best chance at recovery. It may also indicate that a health scare may turn out to be nothing serious, and as such, you have averted disaster. Whatever the case, burying your head in the sand will not do you any good in terms of health issues.

Love & Relationships
In a love context, if you are in a relationship, The Tower reversed can signify that while you know your relationship is as good as over, you are avoiding actually ending it for fear of the pain it will bring. You may think you can paper over the cracks but this would be like putting a band aid on a gunshot wound. You need to face facts and understand that as long as you hold onto something that is broken you are preventing yourself from moving onto something better. If your relationship has recently come through a Tower event, different but intact, The Tower reversed is telling you not to try and get the relationship back to the way it was previously. Your relationship has changed because it needed to, you can’t go back. You need to decide if this new version of your relationship is something you want. If you are single, The Tower reversed can indicate that you have avoided a disastrous relationship with someone who was possibly dangerous, abusive or violent. It can also indicate that you are delaying or completely avoiding dealing with a traumatic or painful breakup. While you may think this approach is easier than facing up to what you’ve been through, it is actually stopping you from moving on your love life. Stop and face whatever you’re running from, learn what you can from it and then draw a line under it and leave it in the past where it belongs. It hard to move forward when you’re dragging a truck load of baggage behind you so deal with it and let it go.

Money & Career
In a career context, The Tower reversed can indicate that you may be managing to hold onto your job in difficult circumstances. This can be simply a sign that you are successfully avoiding a job loss. However, if you are avoiding something you perceive as a career disaster and rather than feel relieved you find yourself unhappy or dissatisfied, consider that this outcome may not actually be the best thing for you. Sometimes being out of our comfort zones can inspire us to do amazing things we never would have attempted otherwise. Financially, The Tower reversed is the same, it can indicate that you are averting a financial disaster but it does not necessarily mean that you should. It may be worth considering allowing whatever this negative event is, to just happen so you can deal with it and move forward, rather than constantly trying to push a boulder up a big hill and always struggling. For instance, being made redundant while scary, stressful and difficult for you, may give you the time and motivation to start your own business. Or if you have been struggling to make payments on a mortgage you can no longer afford to the detriment of every other area of your life, giving the keys back to the bank and renting might actually be a tough choice that would ultimately make you happier.

In a spiritual context, The Tower reversed indicates that you may have realised that the old beliefs that you once held dear are now proving to be false but you are resisting letting them go. Maybe you feel that if you don’t have those beliefs, you don’t know what to believe in. Maybe you fear backlash from others who still hold those beliefs and are afraid to break with the status quo. You need to face the truth, let go of that which is not working for you in order to move forward and find your true spiritual path. This will not be easy but it will be worth it in the end.