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sharpchick's Avatar
Join Date: 27 Dec 2004
Location: Arkansas USA
Posts: 2,285
Bohemian Gothic Tarot - The Tower

I. Love. This. Card.

When we draw The Tower in other decks, we usually are given an image of a crumbling tower, sometimes with flames seen shooting from parts of it.

There's a tower in this image, too. But I don't see that it's been harmed. This card goes beyond the customary damage and destruction of a formerly solid construct (something easy to read from a mundane interpretation as well) and takes us into the depths of our minds.

What I see are the two gargoyles - one whose throat has been pierced by a lightning bolt. . .which has gone on to zap the other one on the top of his head.

A sudden flash of illumination. Unspeakable revelations. (He's trying to scream - haven't you had those nightmares?)

In a flash, you can see what's been hidden in the dark. If you watch long enough, there will be another brief flash in the storm - if you are brave enough to open your eyes again.

Are you?

And what will you do about what you see?

"If you ask me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud." Emile Zola
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The Thirteenth Moon
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Join Date: 17 Sep 2001
Location: Pluto
Posts: 8,726

I like this one, too, because it *implies* the traditional tower without being traditional. The Tower is seen through that arch, which makes it seem like it's pinnacle has broken apart, and the gargoyles, angled as they are, look like the men who are traditionally falling out of the broken tower.

It's all askew, and the gargoyles gaze upward in terror. Light, in this deck, is more terrifying and telling then darkness. Whatever's been hiding in the shadows is revealed.
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Alisa13's Avatar
Join Date: 06 Dec 2008
Location: Somewhere in the mist . . .
Posts: 132

What I like about this card is that it is so visceral. I muse on when "Tower" things happen, it usually happens with a lot of talk, hence the electrified throat area. Then the bolt on the crown chakra, literally a bolt out of the blue on the top of the head. The Tower it seems, (speaking from experience) is never subtle or vague, it is a big "whop" on the head, leading to a totally new train of thought, breaking down of old ideas, ways. Something to embrace if change is welcome or accepted, something to fear if change is not sought or wanted.

It is not a question of how to weather the storm but how well you dance in the rain . . .
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swimming in tarot 
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Join Date: 31 Jan 2009
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 797

I, too, like that the traditional card elements are here, rearranged in a way that gets to the nitty-gritty. And I agree with everyone's insights!

I'd like to add a musing on gargoyles and their function. They are fancy rainspouts. As rainspouts, they are designed to direct rainwater away from the building walls, which if it were allowed to run down would crumble the mortar and weaken the building, and perhaps the tower really would fall. Here the rainspouts are attacked. Perhaps the tower should be allowed to crumble and fall!

There are also whole books devoted to the symbolic meanings of different fanciful images that gargoyles have been carved in, but I don't think discussion of them here would add greatly to the interpretation of this particular card. The Eight of Wands may be a better place.
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Join Date: 07 Nov 2002
Location: High Desert, Small City, hold the Chilli
Posts: 7,720

I always thought that gargoyles are supposed to be guardians of that building. So here we have them electrified, broken and disabled. A lot of people will lie to "protect" someone or something from the dreadful truth for "their own good." Here, the truth is overwhelming the "protective" lie. It's that lightening bolt that shows the real landscape and penetrates into the shadowy corners where the roots of lies and deception live.

* "I am NEVER off-topic" *

*All spelling by Luck and Chance, deal with it the best you can *
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Master_Margarita's Avatar
Join Date: 01 Oct 2007
Location: Samsara Central
Posts: 2,040

Just wanting to cross-reference the discussion in the thread for the Fool card. The gargoyles in the Fool card are seen again in the Tower, and they are from the cathedral of St. Vitus according to baba. The two cards together a nice illustration of the old psalm "pride goeth before the fall."

Follow me, reader! Who told you that there is no true, eternal, and faithful love in the world! May the liar have his foul tongue cut out!

--Mikhail Bulgakov, Master and Margarita

* * *
IDS: Fairytale (MRP) Oracle: Deck of Curious Design
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RiverRunsDeep's Avatar
Join Date: 02 Apr 2015
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 2,692

I notice that the gargoyle on top is holding a trumpet or megaphone-
like device in his right hand. It seems like he was about to trumpet a
warning, but the lightning pierced his throat before he could do it.
This is the way in which Tower events happen to us, there is no warning
and we are taken completely by surprise.
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