The Tower – Ashes Ashes They all Fall Down
Does anybody else think of the Tower of Babel when they see this card?
The Tower of Babel, as written in the Christian Bible, Genesis 11:1-9 (NIV) goes thus…
11 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
This is where The Fool hits a roadblock!
Astrological Structure of the Tower
In the Golden Dawn, the planetary association of Mars is assigned to The Tower card. The associated astrological sign that Mars rules is Aries, the 1st house. And just like the Tower of Babel, this is the house of “it’s all about me”.
However, Mars is also the co-ruler of Scorpio, 8th house. The house of sex, death, other people’s money; and foremost, transformation. What better way to force transformation than to knock the foundation right out from under a person?!
In Greek mythology, Mars was know as Ares, The God of War, and the ruler of Aries. Fiery Mars is the planet of action, energy, and carnal desires. Mars can stir up aggression and anger when provoked.
The motto of the first house (Aries ruled by Mars) is I AM, THEREFORE I AM”.
And, the motto of the eight house (Scorpio co-ruled by Mars) is “I DESIRE, THEREFORE I AM”.
The Tower is the sixteenth card of the Major Arcana.
Traits of the number Sixteen
Combined the sixteenth card broken down to a single digit is the number 7; The Chariot, where your are given the opportunity to both express and deal with your emotion through insight and one’s own soul searching. Separately, the number 1 (The Magician) is the All, the I AM. The number 6 (The Lovers) can be loving and caring; but also self-centered and egotistical.
The Symbology of The Tower
Both the Robin Wood and the Rider Waite card have people falling from the top of the tower as it is struck by lightening. And both depict an unstable foundation. This is the emphasis of the Tower card; the foundation upon which you have built your structure (beliefs, thoughts, relationship, jobs, etc) was not built on a solid or stable ground.
This shows an all out assault from all of the elements, wind (air), earth, fire, and water. As in Genesis 11:8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth… there is no getting away from what is about to happen.
This doesn’t need to be a bad thing. Wait! What? Hear me out. When something no long works, it’s time to let it go (remember the Devil Let go, Let God?) When you are finally hit by a bolt out of the blue, and realize that you need to let go of the falsehood on which you were building your structure, you are free to rebuild on a more stable ground.
In a Reading
In a reading, The Tower card can indicate a situation or an area of one’s life where a sudden flash (lightening) is about to happen. This can be a sudden breakup of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, or a sudden change in one’s job such as being fired, or a department being restructured, or even the closing of a business. Anything that can happen suddenly is the message of the Tower. And it may not be within the quarent’s control. But when the storm passes and the skies clear, it is time to make plans for a more stable relationship, job, etc. This can, after the storm, be quite liberating.
Will the Fool fall from his/her Tower?
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