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TotOP - XVI The Tower

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TotOP - XVI The Tower


Astrological Influence - Mars
Element - Water, Fire
Month - April, November
Contributor - Janet and Stweart Farrar
Flowers - none

I just posted this to get this thread started, since we got a little bit ahead of ourselves. DE should be fleshing out this card for us today, then we can add our own thoughts to it.
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The Tower


The first thing that strikes me about this card (No pun intended!!) Is that it's all about energy. Out of control energy at that. This Tower, to me represents what can happen when a human being takes things to extremes and brings about destruction. The face of the tower is an angry looking face. Fire spouts out of it's heart, mouth and eyes, and up through the top. The jet of flame streaming down the stairs would potentially incinerate anyone who would dare try to get in there. The lightning flashes, in the shape of a pentagram. The river flowing beneath reflects the colours of the tower, but the reflection is distorted, and the bridge is beginning to crumble into the water. The figures fall, so does the rain. One can only wonder if the falling forms will splash safely into the river, or end up damaged beyond recognition on the bank, or bridge.
The frog looks as if it's trying to go some place safe and quiet. It's had enough of the chaos. It's all set, and it's out of there.

What I see here? Arrogance and anger can lead to tragic destruction. Self destruction, primarily, bringing others down too. This can come out of nowhere, like lightning, and flash with horrifying intensity. And if magick is used to further destructive ambitions, the recoil is horrendous. A falling out can have dire consequences for all concerned, and the damage is in many cases, irreparable. People who destroy their bridges end up isolating themselves. Fire comes out of someone's mouth in the form of flaming words or attitudes. Somebody gets so mad they "Blow their Stack". A heart burns for revenge, and no one can get up the stairs to attempt a reconciliation. The rain is pouring down, but it doesn't seem to be putting out the fire. And the tower itself is starting to deconstruct. When I see this card, I hear in my mind an agonised howl of indignation and despair.

I see the frog representing a creature who just wants to live and let live. It doesn't understand all this. Frogs don't like fire, and all it wants is some peace and quiet. It's humble, and only makes a display of aggression when it's appropriate, like mating season, or if it's defending it's territory. It's out of place on the scene of complete annhilation. I see the earthy presence of the frog as a direct contrast to the flaming arrogance of the tower.
It makes me aware of what can happen when lofty attitudes, overweening pride, and anger towards ones fellows replaces rectitude, patience, and simplicity.

Fast forward to the future...
The tower is destroyed. The bridge has crumbled. The falling figures have met their fate, for good or ill. The river, now peaceful, reflects the ruin of what once was. And the frog is hopping around on the crumbled structure looking for dinner.
Ultimately, the frail frog is stronger than the tower. It's modest behaviour has saved it from an untimely demise.
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I really didn't like the tower as a face when I first saw this card. It seemed kind of silly to me. But when you see it as a representation of a human, well that changes it all. This card shows a jolt (or a bolt) that changes us. It's interesting how the river seems to be eroding foundations of the tower too. Something from above - spiritual - and something from below - material - are causing change in our life.

I really like DarkElectric's ideas regarding the frog. The book, however, says it is a toad to represent negative forces, but these forces can hold the seeds of new progress. Hmmm... I guess both ideas are sort of the same.

My meaning for this card is a traumatic change leading to a new awareness, new opinions or new beliefs. Possibly distruction or ruin, but generally for the best. It's sort of as if things look awful now, but everything always works out in the end.
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This is a most unusual card. It;s the first time I've seen the Tower personified and more than a few times I have confused the image with evil. I was mistaken in this confusion.

For some reason, the facial outline reminds me very much of the stereotype of an English thug - the type I've seen in many films over the years. The flames coming out of the mouth enhance that impression,

I have wondered at the intent of the artists in so representing the Tower. By so doing are they implying that the tower experiences are usually human induced and human responsibilities? Are they implying that we are our own worse enemies - through da,age to self or damage to each other? Are they saying that Tower experiences usually result in a PERSONAL inventory of some kind and often some real change?

Now I just went to check one of my books and would like to quote you from it (Tarot Handbook by Ozaniec)

I am the Tower, Lord of the Hosts of the Mighty, I am to be focused on the 27th Path which binds the mind of Hod with the emotion of Netzach.

I am the Tower of the Self, constructed so slavishly from desires and intentions. I am constructed from thoughts and emotions combined. Yet this edifice is falling at its first contact with spiritual force and it will surely fall. The structure of the personality may be destroyed over and over, tested by fire and rocked by crises of mind and heart. Yet the foundation shall stand even though the edifice falls. When the personality is finally established in alignment with spiritual forces, the Tower will serve as a lightning, earthing spiritual realities in safety......


The writer goes on to state that those of us who seek to know ourselves can expect many Tower experiences.

So there does seem to be an interesting more personal meaning to the face on the Tower I'll meditate on this one. It is a very graphic representation of personal transformation.
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This is a freaky-looking Tower card! I guess the face symbolizes destruction of a big ego or outworn ideas.
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