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16 - The Tower

This card usually shows an actual tower, being besieged or beleaguered by an outside force; often natural elements are present. Lightning strikes the top, rain buffets the tower, fire and flame surround and encompass it, and there are sometimes figures falling, cast out of its windows in the furious attack. The Tower itself is often shown on rocks or a rocky outcropping, indicating that it stands alone and unprotected.

The Tower is a card, clearly, of turbulent upheaval and major change in circumstance. But unlike the Devilís death and rebirth, the Tower marks an abrupt and sometimes painful change, usually instigated by some kind of violent revelation. The Tower can represent anything we believe to be true, that we have invested in and built or believed or cared for. But in an instant, that belief or structure or relationship will be torn asunder by a shocking truth, a slash of lightning, which represents revelation, illumination and truth. It is not easy or comfortable to have something familiar and cherished torn down, but one must remember that it is better to know the truth about something than to believe in a lie, and that once that untruth is exposed, and the Tower comes down, there is room to rebuild something more real, more reliable, and which will serve us better on our path. The Tower is not an easy card, but it speaks to the necessity of questioning even our most closely held ideas and being open to the flash of truth that will prove, or destroy, them.

15. The Devil Back to Card Descriptions 17. The Star