Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Tower

In Tarot, I find many different interpretations for The Tower. While this has not been a card that has appeared in many of the readings I have performed over the past few years, it has been coming up frequently in the readings I have done for my friends, clients and at events. Since this card has been on my mind a lot lately, I decided I would present a few ideas regarding its interpretation.

When 911 occurred, many Tarotists saw The Tower as representing the airplanes striking the twin towers in New York City. While I seldom interpret this card as an actual physical event, I generally see it as the emotional and internal struggles one experiences when an event occurs or is about to occur--anxiety and stress. Many Little White Books ("LWBs") or books on Tarot see it as a chaotic, possibly catastrophic event. Because I read intuitively, I am never locked into any LWB or reference interpretation with The Tower.

As I teacher, I notice that the cards will present themselves, in whatever layout is selected, in manner that supports someone's individual style of interpretation. Over time, everyone's way of interpreting should continue to expand, change and evolve. I know my ability to interpret has changed quite a bit since I first picked up a deck when I was 15 years old. I love to tease my students after they interpret a reading. I swoop in and show them another perspective on how to interpret the cards--an overlay sometimes, and who knows what. When they pick their jaws up off the floor, I tell them, "that's why I'm the professional." To me, interpreting Tarot is like a puzzle. How many accurate pieces of information can we mine from the cards selected? It varies. That's what I find so exciting about Tarot.

I performed a reading for someone, recently, in connection with a possible home foreclosure. Interestingly enough, The Tower showed up front and center. This indicated to me that there would, indeed, be a foreclosure on her home. Why did The Tower appear instead of the Three of Swords, the Death card, or the Ten of Swords--all loss cards? For me, this was not just a termination of her residence and a fresh start or just a plain termination--at least at this point in time. Using practical knowledge, a foreclosure doesn't just happen out of the blue. It is a process, starting with a preforeclosure notice. It follows a legal time frame, and depending upon the bank's ability to sell the home, may or may not give someone additional time to vacate the premises and find a place to live, etc. Since this was a chaotic situation The Tower was perfect. It showed strong emotional, mental and physical consequences related to an action or event.

The individual called me back to inform me that The Tower moment for the day was the fact that her trash bag broke and the trash men left it and its spewed contents--several pounds of used kitty litter (ewww) in the driveway for her to clean up. While this could be considered a good explanation of The Tower, I was dumbfounded. Her interpretation seems valid to me, however, using Tarot to explain something mundane as a trash mishap is not something I consider Tarot worthy. OK, so I am a Tarot snob and proud of it.

For me, interpreting The Tower and its surrounding cards is about providing an accurate interpretation that can help someone when they are dealing with a chaotic situation or the emotional "stuff" related to that situation or event.

In terms of the above-referenced individual's reading with The Tower as the focal point, she did receive a feel-good moment as an outcome. It was paired beautifully it with the Six of Wands. With the Six, she will be able overcome whatever catastrophe The Tower represents in terms of her foreclosure and make the outcome a positive experience. Of course, if she had received some other feel-good card instead of the Six, there would have been more information for her to use. However, she's pretty much a cut-and-dried type of person who favors yes/no answers. Most people know that I do not really do those types of readings. However, this was the closest I came to giving her a yes/no. What other cards that represents growth or happiness, or any positive Major Arcana card such as The Sun or the World would you pull to pair with The Tower and how would you interpret it? I'd like to know.

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