XVI-The Tower (♂)
Lightning crashes down
Tower’s illusions shattered
Will We build anew?
and hopes demolished
I didn’t read the small print.
I built my house of cards on shaky ground
and fall as it fell.
Amazing how you can convince yourself
you know what’s real
while shrouded with illusion
ignoring all warning signs
until struck down.
I lay among the wreckage and
prepare to rebuild
more experienced and perhaps wiser.
— G A Rosenberg
For many of us, our lives are akin to a house of cards. We build them up based on how we believe life to work, adding card to card higher and higher. Since at least some of our assumptions are mistaken however, the houses (or towers) that compose our lives tends to be unstable. As we build higher and higher, the instability increases until finally there is an inevitable collapse. This may result in our relationships or jobs falling apart or some kind of loss. We have met the Tower force full on.
The Tower is a wakeup call from the universe that can show us exactly where our false assumptions have been. From the perspective of spiritual growth, it is one of the most positive cards that we can get. Wouldn’t we rather live our lives in accordance with our truest highest self (our true will) as opposed to what we believe we want in any given moment?
The question is after the collapse what do we do? Do we rebuild according to a more experienced view of reality or do we continue to make the same mistakes over and over only to face another collapse? Most of us tend to repeat the same cycles until we grow tired of having to clean up after our own messes.
Astrological Correspondence-Mars(♂)-Mars is the planet that influences our passions. This passion can be creative or destructive. It can be incredibly sexual as Mars is the planet of sexual energy. It can also be martial as Mars is the planet of war. In an esoteric sense the Mars energy involves the sacrifice of our spirit to incarnate into the physical as well as the desire to release that energy back into the higher planes. Mars has that tendency to push us to destroy that which is more illusory for that which is more real and vital. In the rulership of Aries, that creative pushing forward energy can be seen and in the rulership of Scorpio, that push towards the death of the personality and the rebirth into a more spiritual higher form. Mars also influences the vitality of the physical body particularly the bloodstream. Mars provides that passionate vital spark that energizes us to go after what we want most either in a way that will enliven us or as the moth towards the flame.
Hagalaz translates to hail and the rune tends to come up when it feels like life is hailing on us. While there is a destructive aspect to it, it is more of a destruction of past patterns that no longer serve us. It is definitely more of a short term rather than a lengthy period of disaster. Hagalaz also enables us to do shadow work and confront those sides of ourselves that left hidden may very well end up being a disruptive influence in our lives. Other runes associated with The Tower trump are Yr and Fehu.
Path on the Tree of Life-Path 27-Peh-The translation of Peh is mouth. We use our mouths to manifest thoughts and ideas which later on we concretize into material reality. Many of us have had occasion where we wrote checks with our mouths, spoken intentions that we were unable to actualize and paid the price for it. This path which connects the sephiroth of Netzach (“Victory”) with Hod (“Splendour”) tends to balance out our words with our actions usually with a fierce reminder. This path represents the destruction of the false personality. It dispels the illusion between how we present ourselves even to ourselves and who we truly are. Just as we use our mouths both to speak and to take in nourishment, Peh can also galvanize us into action in a very real way, usually by forcing us out of our own inertia. This path is known as the Exciting Intelligence.
When the Tower turns up in a reading, it normally indicates turmoil in the querent’s life. Usually this comes when they have been living their life under a series of false assumption, such as the stability of their job and/or relationships and life is handing them a wake-up call. It could mean that they have been approaching a particular problem in a certain way under the false assumption that it has been working only to find out that while it may have worked in the short term, in the long term things have proven disastrous. The good news is that this destructive force has given the querent the chance to find a new more reality based approach that will work better. The card may also mean that the disaster has not happened yet but is approaching and it might be a good idea for the querent to take a look at how they are approaching things. Are they perceiving what is really going on or are they working on the assumption that all is well and ignoring the warning signs?
The Tower can also mean that the querent is receiving or is about to receive a call to wake up to a deeper reality than they have known up to this point. They may be on the brink of a peak experience or about to receive news that will make them see their lives in a totally different way. This may also feel destructive but sometimes you have to destroy in order to build.
When the Tower comes out reversed, it may mean either that the disaster that the Tower force has brought into their lives has not been a total one or that they have started rebuilding their lives back up under the same set of false assumptions on which they have build before. This is often seen in patterns of abusive relationships where the person finds the same type of partner who has abused them before, convinced that this time will be different. The reversed Tower can also mean that the querent keeps ‘shoring up’ the problem areas rather than facing what may be causing them in the first place therefore putting off the inevitable collapse. The reversed card also may mean that by proper action, the querent may be able to avoid disaster altogether if they act quickly and honestly.