The Tower

Also known as the Fire.


I tried to draw a better card (who wants to be the harbinger of doom?) but the cards took their revenge.

Three times I ended up drawing the Tower.

Between these, I also drew the following:


Ten of Swords

Four of Swords


Vilest of them all, The Devil.

Fine spread!  In a single sitting the Major Arcana, after shutting up for seven days, threw its three worst cards at me!

Top o’ the morning to you all, and yes Benny you can shoot me for saying this but it’s meant sarcastically.  The Tarot did NOT want to give me a positive message.

Now then, let’s interpret this glorious mess!

The Tower is the most persistent message.

Two figures plummet to their deaths as lightning hits the Tower and smashes it.  In the old Tarot, the Tower was known as the Fire.  There’s a message of Karmic retribution.

Every time I have drawn the Tower in the past, it heralded some catastrophe:  A death, or a break in relations, a complete upending of all existing order, in short,  the Tower is bad news and I have a mind of banning it out of my Tarot…  of course you know I can’t do that.

Is there any positive message in the Tower?

In fact there is (if you look at the really big picture).  The Tower represents a massive, sudden and radical change.  Things are, this is certain, not going to stay the same.  And you’d better be on your toes and adapt, and fast.

The other cards support this:


Death sometimes actually heralds a death; but more often it predicts transformation of some sort.  Be prepared for major changes.  They are coming.  You cannot escape this.

Ten of Swords:

This card too looks like a messy death; in the Hanson-Roberts and the more traditional decks, the figure is in fact lying supine with ten swords in his or her back.  I prefer this image though:  Wounded but still fighting to stay upright.  The Ten of Swords indicates a very difficult position, and decisions to be made that may be hard.  It is “a card of utter desolation” (also look at the background) ;  this is the low point, things have to change and from here, it can only get better.

Four of Swords:

This actually came up as an “outcome” card.  A knight (is he deceased?) rests in the crypt, on a tomb.  Over him are three swords (more decorative than threatening) and the fourth adorns his tomb.

Four of Swords has been interpreted as taking a rest; taking time out.  It looks more like cryogenic sleep to me.  There is an element of deep meditation in there; and the swords hanging overhead indicate both decisions to be made and problems (the proverbial “sword hanging over your head”).

As an outcome card, it could mean that whatever is about to hit you will immobilize you and force you to take time out, possibly in isolation.  Maybe intervention from an outside source is needed to reactivate this knight.  You may need help.

And the Devil:

This card is associated with addiction; abusive relationships; enslavement; dependency.

This may in fact provide the clue to the situation.  You are somehow stuck in a situation that you cannot break out of; but you are on a collision course, this can’t go well.  It was a setup from the start, and like the Mukorob in Colonialist’s blog toppling eventually from a gust of wind, your situation falls and shatters as it was destined to.  You could foresee it all along, but couldn’t break the dependency (on outside help, or on a bad relationship, or even on a drug), which would have prevented this disaster.

The disaster will come.  You will feel slain; you will be immobilized; you will feel dead.

Yet out of the ashes you must rise.  You are still alive; around you everything has crumbled but you must go on, and in fact after a period of rest and feeling devastated, you will retake your path, without the burden that was your dependency or enslavement.

I don’t know whose spread this is.

If it is mine, I can’t predict how well I’ll take it.

If it is yours, as well, all I can do is wish you to remain strong, and remind you that the path continues beyond this.  Remember the hidden message in all of these cards:  Whatever catastrophic change lies ahead, eventually it is for the better.

I would very much like to hear your thoughts on this spread!



2 thoughts on “The Tower

  1. colonialist says:

    Whichever way one looks at it, not cards to have one skipping along full of the joys of spring, going, ‘Tira lira, tra-la-la!’

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