Mythic Tarot - Tower


Surrounded by angry waves, Poseidon swims towards a stone building built upon a rock in the middle of the sea. He holds his trident in his left hand, pointing it towards the tower as lightning strikes it and causes it to begin crumbling. Storm clouds appear in the background of the card.

  • attribute of Poseidon’s power
  • reflection of the lunar crescent, which links Poseidon with the realm of the instincts and the night
  • its prongs represent forked lightning; the thunderbolt
  • triple flame; triple weapon of the heavens, air and water powers
  • past, present and future
  • the teeth of sea monsters or the rays of the sun
  • eruption from the sea suggests a powerful instinctual force that emerges from the unconscious despite the will’s efforts to repress it
  • the deepest reaches of the soul, the unconscious or the emotions
  • spiritual depth, a depth of insight or intuition
  • source of life and death
  • infinite wisdom
  • Metaphors/Proverbs:
    • “he that would go to sea for pleasure would go to hell for a pastime” means that a sailor’s life can be so unpleasant and dangerous, it seems that those who choose to spend their leisure hours at sea must be either masochistic or insane
    • “he that would learn to pray, let him go to sea” means that sailors face many dangers and life-threatening experiences at sea
    • “in a calm sea every man is a pilot” means that when times are easy, everyone wants to be in charge
    • “worse things happen at sea” means that the present misfortune, though regrettable, could have been worse
Fish’s Tail
  • links Poseidon with the cold-blooded sea creatures and the world of instincts; cold-blooded creature which is not governed by the heat of passion
  • symbol of Poseidon as the power of the waters
  • Metaphors/Proverbs:
    • “like a fish out of water” is to be out of one’s environment or area of expertise
    • “other fish in the sea” means additional choices, especially in relationships
    • “having other fish to fry” means having additional and more important matters to attend to
    • “being a little fish in a big pond” means being just a tiny part of all that occurs in one’s environment
    • “to be a cold fish” is to be frigid or unemotional
    • “something is fishy” means that something is not quite right
    • “to fish for something” is to look for an answer
    • “all is fish that comes to the net” means that anything that comes along is accepted
    • “big fish eat little fish” means that small organizations or insignificant people tend to be swallowed up or destroyed by those that are greater or more powerful
    • “it’s good fishing in troubled waters” means that it’s sometimes possible to take advantage of other people’s difficulties in times of conflict
  • image of the collapse of old forms, the structures one builds as defenses against life and as concealment to hide one’s less agreeable side from others
  • represents the socially acceptable façades one adapts to hide the beast within
  • a structure of false or outgrown values that are put on like costumes in a play to impress the audience; structure built in the outside world to embody one’s incomplete self
  • suggests that the shock one receives when one sees how they have betrayed themselves cracks open the defenses and releases those parts of oneself which have been enslaved
  • god of earthquakes and the ocean depths and Zeus’ elder brother
  • Made a pact with Minos to make him king of Crete for the sacrifice of a beautiful white bull. Minos reneged on the deal by substituting another bull. In retribution, Poseidon got Aphrodite to afflict Minos’ wife with a passion for the bull. From this union, the Minotaur was born. Minos had the Minotaur hidden in the Labyrinth. With the help of Minos’ daughter, Poseidon’s son Theseus was able to slay the Minotaur. At the same time, Poseidon destroyed the Labyrinth, burying Minos and the Minotaur in the rubble.
  • was short-tempered and would cause earthquakes, tidal waves and storms at sea
Written in my workbook on 14 Aug 91:
The tower of lies with its windows that hide sits on a rock of fear. On the far side are waters of happiness. On the near side in waters of rage are a figure of strong resolve (oneself or another) wearing a crown of foresight carries a trident of truth. The trident calls forth lightning bolts of truth to destroy the tower of lies. Skies of growth overlook the scene.
My key color was jade (growth, Spring, fertility).