Tower Wisdom Reading

Again–The idea of 1 (or 2) spreads for each major arcana card is taken (as are the spreads) from Rachel Pollack’s excellent book Tarot Wisdom. As often as possible I am using the textual definitions from Ms Pollack’s book as otherwise there exists a possibility of skewing the meanings to serve my own ends rather than get any insight into what the cards are showing me. Recently I have also been taking (for the minor arcana) cards some of the textual definitions from Eileen Connolly’s Tarot: The First Handbook for the Master. Way back when I started working with the cards Ms. Connolly’s Tarot for the Apprentice was one of the first books I used.
Lately tho, I have had a new insight. That if the goal of these readings is a greater internal knowledge and understanding these forces then subjectivity may just be the way to go. Still I will give Ms Pollack’s and Ms. Connolly’s definitions because I feel it may be useful for anyone reading this to follow along. By all means feel free to comment.

Note: I can see that this reading is probably not one that the interpretation will come easy one. I will be posting my interpretation tomorrow–feel free to comment with your own. I don’t believe that any insight is ever wrong.

1) What lives in the house of God? High Priestess (Rev) High Priestess
2)What destroys it? Strength (Rev) Strength
3) What is liberated? The Lovers (Rev) The Lovers
4) What happens after destruction? X of Pentacles X of Pentacles
5) What begins? VI of Swords VI of Swords


1) What lives in the house of God? High Priestess (Rev)
“Reversed the High Priestess may call on us to get involved again in the world, especially if we’ve spent a time cut off from people, exploring our inner lives.”
“If we stay too long in that state we can find it hard to get back our lives, our responsibilities, our relationships.”
“The reversed card can remind us to be passionate, to commit ourselves, to something to someone.”
“In some contexts it may indicate presure from people or a lack of respect from those around us”
OK, this would seem to be a reading and a card where context is key. The Tower or House of God is all about the structures that we build ourselves to hang reality on. In this case, I choose to use House of God interchangeably with my preferred term (by way of Robert Anton Wilson and Timothy Leary) reality tunnel. What would the High Priestess Reversed mean in this context? I believe that to a large extent, our reality tunnels are defined by our interactions with other people. Whether it is the baby’s and infant’s interaction with his parents or school or clubs or other kids. As we get older, and become more aware, we start forming our own view of reality that may be separate from those around us. More and more as we go within, we test the precepts and stated perceptions that we are exposed to and form our own towers. When we isolate ourselves, our tunnels grow larger and larger but they remain untested. It is only by once again engaging ourselves with others that we can find if our reality tunnel can remain intact when faced with outside stimulus. Even if the stimulus comes from the people we have attracted into our lives.

2) What destroys it? Strength (Rev)

” Reversed might mean the desires unchecked, giving into temptation, especially sexual”
“Improper use of strength”
“Trying to be strong when pushed beyond endurance”
“Weakness, or a person who doubts his or her own strength”

OK , so if the people we draw into our lives and the framework that we build up around them is what lives in the Tower, then what destroys it is improper realization of our own strength, trying to keep mistaken beliefs about ourselves going, even when we have overwhelming evidence that reality is so much bigger than we had ever given credit to, that even holding onto one view of reality inflexibly thus hastening its fall.

Additionally, another way that Strength (Rev) may destroy one’s reality tunnel is if one has so much self-doubt that they listen to someone else’s interpretation of reality and choose to believe it without verifying each part with their own inner self.  Most of us have been raised to believe what our parents believe (ie Judeo-Christianity, Islam, Buddhism etc) At some point, many of us reach a crisis of faith when something in our perceived reality contradicts that which we’ve been taught.

3) What is liberated? The Lovers (Rev)

“The Lovers reversed usually means trouble in a relationship.”

“prolonged adolescence that keeps some people involved in childish fantasies long after their bodies have fully matured”

The Lovers card deals with relationships and choices. There would appear to me to be no more fundamental relationship of choice to our very being than our relationship to reality. We define ourselves by our reality tunnels. When they collapse under the weight of our misconceptions and internal inconsistencies, it is those inconsistencies that are liberated. If we keep spending  more money than we know we bring in, eventually we won’t have money or credit to spend (just to use one example). Another example is the person who keeps ending up in relationships with someone who will batter them physically and/or emotionally. It is only when the admission that they feel that they deserve to be beaten is liberated from the construction materials of the tunnel (or Tower if you will and yes I do think the allegory may be getting a bit thick around here) that they can build a reality in which they deserve to be loved and treated well.

4) What happens after the destruction? X of Pentacles

“A Feeling of Security. Now you have a solid base.”

“Must contend with changing cycles. Disciplined order of solidification.”

“If you believe what you say. It is no longer a gamble”

“Dreams becoming reality”

When the illusion gets destroyed, what remains would be the real, the solid. We may be devastated but one cycle has ended and  now we have a new cycle in which we can rebuild something stronger, something that will hopefully be longer lasting.  Above all else there seems to remain a feeling of relief, we have purged the shit from our lives so what remains feels truer.

5)What begins?  VI of Swords

“You are running over the bridge of swords. You are healing with the effort. Expect a triumphant sun when you are on the other side”

“A difficult cycle is now on its last phase. The nature of this karma begins a new hope as it comes to completion.”

“You may feel devastated but its almost like you knew”

This fits in nicely with the idea of building afresh from the remains in the ruins once our tower has collapsed. In the rebuilding, we heal with new hope. We may carry scars from the devastation but now we can go onwards.

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