Monday, June 3, 2013

Misfortune Teller: The Tower

The Tower
Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Deck
US Games Systems, Inc. 

No tarot cards evoke "shock and awe" like the Tower. Overall, it can go either positive or negative for me, but it's the WAY that the Tower says the events will happen that scares many clients.

Some of the meanings for the Tower for me include:
  • Any shocking or unexpected event that upsets the status quo
  • A revelation that seems unreal or incredible
  • A huge reality slap
  • Someone getting taken down a peg--"How the mighty have fallen" or "the bigger they are, the harder they fall"
Whatever it turns out to be, the Tower's appearance means that it will something that shakes us to our very foundations. I like to think of the card as "The Great Equalizer" because every single person goes through events such as this in life.

I have two examples, both of them times when I was receiving a reading instead of giving them for a change. Some years ago, my wife Jen Wells did a card reading for me about my job. I was working for a company that was doing well and had recently expanded, opening an office in England and hiring a whole bunch of new people. She pulled the Tower and called it right on: "Layoffs." I couldn't believe it. Everything was going least, that's what I thought, until the first of three rounds of layoffs came. It was a bloodbath. I didn't lose my job, but I lost 1/3 of my staff and as such my position as a manager was no longer needed. I was lucky enough to go back to my old job; I had only been in management for six months anyway, but the whole thing was still very unexpected.

The second time was many years after the first. I had an acquaintance do a reading for me for the next week, and the Tower came up. I must admit that while I was cavalier about the first reading and didn't believe it, this one I took a little too seriously. I came home that night and started wondering what might be going on. Should I take the car in to be looked at? Was there a problem in my checking account? I started freaking out a little bit. Jen finally got tired of it and said, "There is a surprise birthday party for you tomorrow!!" Whoops. It would have truly been a shock since I was totally unaware. Surprising a Scorp is hard enough, and she had succeeded. So I could understand her being angry about it.

One other possible meaning that has been coming up a lot in my practice lately is one I call "Chicken Little Syndrome". It's what happened in the second example above. Sometimes we're so afraid that the world is going to screw us over that we're seeing the potential for it to happen at any second, and then when it does it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I will often tell clients "You have a tremendous sense of the awful." And to an extent, as human beings we all do. We want to see the worst. But the Tower doesn't necessarily represent something bad. Think about the couple who is told they will likely never conceive, and then they do. Or the boss that you hate gets canned out of the blue and all of his employees are given the raises they were denied. Or you fall in love with someone you didn't expect when you are still moping from your last breakup.

Make sure that anyone you read for knows that they are in for a turbulent time. Use the cards around it to figure out what may happen and how things will end up, but don't you dare pull punches with the Tower; your client needs to hear the message.


  1. Good job! The lightning bolt can be the pin that bursts the balloon of ego. Been there, got the T-shirt. I like it when the Tower turns out to mean that you discover or become aware of something that was hidden, whether internal or external. The card that comes after the Tower can indicate whether it's a trick or a treat.

    1. Excellent point, Liz! I will definitely steal that idea--the lightning bolt is the pin that bursts the balloon of ego. That's awesome! :)