16:   The Tower

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The Tower tarot card
Universal Waite
The Tower tarot card
BOTA (Builders of the Adytum)

The "key word" for this card is disruption.   The Tower stands for:

1.   Disaster; ruin; destruction; loss; catastrophe; failure.

2.   Sudden change; violent upheaval.

3.   The downfall of long-established institutions; the "shaking up" of one's belief system; false structures, false institutions, or false beliefs that come tumbling down, suddenly, violently, all at once.

4.   A shocking revelation; a "rude awakening."


This is the most negative card in the deck; you can think of it as the "Twin Towers card."   Other Tarot cards stand for setbacks that are overcome, or trials that become a learning experience; the Tower can represent a disaster that has no "positive spin."   It can indicate a disaster that doesn't have a meaning or "higher purpose."   Perhaps the only thing you "learn" is that bad things happen sometimes, and you are able to survive them.

In some of the older (pre-1909) Tarot decks, this card was called "Fire" or "The House of God."

NOTE:   When this card appears in a reading, it does not necessarily predict a disaster.   There are two other possibilities:

1.   the tragedy has already happened (and the other cards are telling the Querent how to deal with its aftermath) or

2.   the surrounding cards are showing the Querent how to avert a disaster.

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