The Tower Tarot Card Meanings

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I. Symbolism and Imagery The Tower Rider Waite

The Tower Tarot card represents a picture of a high tower at the top of a rugged mountain. Spotlights and flames are burning from the windows of this tower. We can see people jumping out of this card in despair, craving to escape from the destruction and chaos. This card represents darkness and destruction in the physical aspect, in contrast to the spiritual aspect.

The tower itself represents the ambition built on the wrong foundation. Lightning breaks existing templates to create opportunities for new things. It represents a vague and temporary concept of the truth, a sudden feeling of inspiration that breaks the ignorance and erroneous arguments.

The Tower

We can notice the lightning appear from left to right (from the card’s direction of view), from heaven to earth, from the superficial to the material world. The human characters are coming out of the tower representing prisoners imprisoned in the Devil card. They are falling and their heads point toward the ground because of the sudden change of mental perception through the image of lightning completely turn all of our previous thoughts about the connections between consciousness and self-will upside down.

Flames are actually Hebrew alphabets. There are 22 flames, representing 22 Major Arcana cards. The gray clouds represent bad luck pouring down everyone. The Tower Tarot card is influenced by Mars.

1. Lightning and Fire

In the realm of tarot symbolism, the presence of lightning and fire in the Tower card holds profound significance. These powerful elements convey a sense of destruction, sudden change, and the inevitable breaking down of established structures. Lightning, with its fierce and unpredictable nature, embodies the swift and transformative force that accompanies significant shifts in life.

Symbolically, lightning represents the divine intervention or awakening that disrupts the status quo. It strikes with a force that cannot be ignored, illuminating hidden truths and exposing the flaws within existing systems. It is a catalyst for change, tearing down the old to make way for the new. This destructive aspect of lightning is not to be feared, but rather embraced as a necessary part of growth and evolution.

Fire, another elemental force associated with the Tower, further accentuates this symbolism of destruction and change. Fire is transformative in nature, consuming what no longer serves and purging the outdated. It signifies the burning away of illusions, false beliefs, and stagnant energy, allowing for rebirth and renewal.

Together, lightning and fire serve as potent symbols of upheaval and the necessary dismantling of outdated structures. They represent the breaking down of old patterns, paradigms, and institutions that hinder personal and collective progress. While this process may be challenging and uncomfortable, it paves the way for growth, self-discovery, and the emergence of a stronger and more authentic self.

Ultimately, the presence of lightning and fire in the Tower Tarot card reminds us that destruction is not always negative. It is a vital part of the transformative journey, offering the opportunity for profound change, renewal, and the creation of a solid foundation upon which to rebuild.

2. Crumbling Tower

The crumbling tower depicted in the Tower Tarot card holds a deep symbolic significance, representing upheaval, chaos, and the unavoidable collapse of outdated beliefs and systems. The tower, typically depicted as a tall and sturdy structure, embodies the illusion of stability and security. However, its crumbling state symbolizes the inherent impermanence of all structures and the inevitability of change.

The crumbling tower signifies a moment of reckoning, where the foundations of old paradigms and rigid belief systems are challenged and exposed. It represents the necessary dismantling of outdated ideologies, social structures, or personal constructs that no longer serve our growth and evolution. This collapse can be both shocking and liberating, as it clears the path for new possibilities and fresh perspectives.

In the context of the Tower Tarot card, the crumbling tower encourages embracing the chaos and uncertainty that accompanies profound transformation. It reminds us that from the rubble of the old, new opportunities and growth can emerge. By surrendering to the process of deconstruction, we can rebuild and realign ourselves with more authentic and aligned beliefs and systems. The crumbling tower is a potent symbol that invites us to release attachments to the past and embrace the potential that lies within the ruins.

3. Falling Figures

The falling figures in the Tower Tarot card hold a symbolic significance that speaks to the themes of ego, pride, and the necessity of humbling experiences for personal growth and transformation. These figures represent individuals who are forcibly ejected from their positions of perceived power and authority, a result of the crumbling tower and the disruptive forces at play.

The act of falling signifies a loss of control and a humbling descent from a place of arrogance or overconfidence. It serves as a reminder that no matter how high we climb, we are not immune to the forces of change and upheaval. The falling figures symbolize the ego being brought down to size, as pride and arrogance are confronted and shattered.

This humbling experience, though initially challenging and unsettling, is necessary for personal growth and transformation. It serves as a catalyst for introspection, forcing individuals to reassess their values, beliefs, and priorities. By confronting their own shortcomings and vulnerabilities, they are offered an opportunity for greater self-awareness and the potential for authentic growth.

The falling figures in the Tower Tarot card remind us of the importance of humility and the need to release attachments to inflated self-perceptions. Through the experience of falling, we are given a chance to rebuild our foundations with a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

II. The detailed description of the Tower Tarot card

This is a card that arouses anxiety in each of us. Fire, thunder, and broken boulders – absolutely the scene of big trouble! This 16th card will not be welcomed by anyone who does not like the change. It represents a large, sudden or reversal of destiny. Often the change occurs gradually, giving us time to adapt, but sometimes it happens too fast and suddenly. This is the influence of the Tower.

In movies, sometimes, the main character is drunk or babbled about being hit or slapped by another person. This image demonstrates that after doing all sorts of things, people sometimes have to accept pain in order to get out of a situation. Sudden events just like the way your life gets you up. Some things are no longer on the same path as they used to be, and you can not react to those changes. Are you too proud of yourself? Expect a wind to shake your ego. Are you holding on to your anger? Let it out. Are you live inside the box? Expect a surprise.

Keywords related to the Tower Tarot cards: Sudden change, Rescue, Downfall, Revelation.

III. Detailed meaning of the keywords of the Tower Tarot card

Undergo a sudden change

  • Experience a turning point;
  • Plan changes;
  • Surprise;
  • Experience a crisis;
  • Habits turn upside down;
  • In chaos.


  • Break out;
  • Emotion outbreak;
  • Controversy occurred;
  • Breakthrough the struggle of the self;
  • Let everything go.


  • Backed up;
  • Experience a breakdown;
  • Falls from high altitude;
  • Recession on wealth;
  • Afraid of the self-being shaken.

To be revealed

  • Suddenly realized the truth;
  • Exposes what has been hidden;
  • Awareness bursts from within;
  • See the illusion;
  • Have answers;
  • See everything in a flash.

IV. A few opposite cards to the Tower Tarot card

  • The Chariot – victory, control;
  • The Temperance – balance, combination, repression;
  • The Star – calm, peace;
  • 6 of Wands – welcomed, pride;
  • 10 of Cups – peaceful.

V. A few support cards for the Tower Tarot card

  • Death – extensive influence, strong power;
  • Sun – enlightenment, revelation;
  • 5 of Pentacles – a difficult time;

VI. Upright meaning of the Tower Tarot card: disaster, change, sudden change, disclosure

Words and Keywords

The collapse of an outdated lifestyle, modification, interrupt, turmoil, devastation, the awakening, instability, shocking insight, a shocking revelation, a traumatic experience a great change, a crisis, a sudden change, an inevitable change, get out of slavery, a structural error, an end of illusion, liberation, agitation of spiritual enlightenment, purification, change fast, the darkness is dispelled, aching to the bone, disturbing news, the truth of the matter liberates you, remove what is not worthy, free yourself from captivity impose, chaos, frustration.

Eliminate false beliefs, the failure of plans, the abandonment of obsolete forms, the destruction of useless structures, to face shame and guilt, the abandonment of false values, time to deal with reality, destroy something broken, distinguish the good and the bad, freedom, enlightenment, social convention bind you, a new job, change of residence, a worrying incident, separation, divorce, an accident, problems with property.

Bankruptcy, insecurity, earthquake, natural catastrophe, in a spreading with questions about health, card refers to a stroke or sudden pain, hospitalization (especially with the card Four of Swords, show that health recovery is necessary, fall seven times stand up eight, I have found the light, one day you will thank me for this, you can not turn back, let’s start it all over again.


How many times do you settle in the constraints of life, in the comfort of thoughts, beliefs, and expectations of the present? Then suddenly, something really “shocked” happens that completely destroys the image of peace and harmony that you are seeing. It swings your mind and drives you into the vicious circle. Suddenly you feel as if the comfort you are experiencing is based on a basis of perception, belief, and misleading action. This is a fearful experience that lacks confidence but necessary.

The Tower Tarot card is a card of change. Like the Devil and Death, this is not a scary card or carries the omen as its drawings in most Tarot decks. Trying to cling to a situation that may be detrimental to you at the present. Just go with the flow.


It seems there are some people/circumstances that you believe will always be for you, always the place or the person you can depend on, it has changed and is no longer the same, and you are no longer rely on those people or circumstances anymore. This problem is not something so horrible, change is the essence of life, and trying to stop it is like swimming upstream without a paddle.

If you are dreaming about this, it may be the time to return to reality. You will have trouble if you just free your soul that way. You will be able to replace them with realistic and achievable dreams and goals, more easily than some disruptive delusions in this month. Daydreaming is important, but it is equally important to be realistic. You will be able to pass this time really well, especially if you know you have all the resources you need to solve life problems and to do the things you need to do.

When you see the Tower Tarot card in a spread, you may feel scared, shocked and insecure. You feel confused when you want to find out how misleading, innocent or blind of yourself to a particular situation is. Now, what are you going to do and how will you handle it in this surreal reality? You may experience sleepless nights, stress, grief, anger and conflict. These are the usual reactions to major changes in the outside world and within you.


Energy at times tends to lead to controversy or conflict, try to keep your temper in control. Sudden turns may occur at this time. This is not a sign that will scare you. However, it is a warning sign for you to prepare. Even if you think you have the job or the most stable source of income in the world, what do you do if all of them disappear tomorrow? Where can you go to work immediately if you are forced to leave? Thoughtful thinking (when you are not in a crisis situation yet) can be a big advantage to you in case you fall down. If you hate your current job, think seriously about the change. You deserve happiness!


The Tower Tarot card in the upright maybe (but not necessarily) a sign that a relationship is likely to end. If you are in a relationship that you really do not want to end up with, then this is an important moment for harming control and talking honestly to each other. Find out how your partner feels. Do not guess or hypothesize yourself, but find out clearly.


This is not the time for risky investment, betting, or rely on the lottery to solve your problems. Even if you know the bad news, find out exactly what financial problems you are facing. It may not be as bad as you think. However, avoiding trouble is still better. Let’s solve the problem in a simple way.


Paying attention to what you are doing is very urgent at the moment. Be careful. Your nerves can be stressed, do whatever necessary to calm you down and stay in a stable state. Exercise can help. If you know what you are doing (and know about your allergies, or your doctor’s approval), consider relaxing with herbs. Be careful with drugs and alcoholic beverages now, if you are using them.


If the Tower card appears during your spread, ask yourself, “Which structures in your life are weakening?” Surely you will recognize the place where the mess happens and broken, but sometimes this feeling of perception is fleeting or just subconscious. This is also the time to keep a positive attitude as possible. New insights and perceptions can come to you real quick.

It will require you to break existing structures around you. It can be a painful and difficult process if you are against the external forces that are driving you to reveal more about yourself. Breaking the cover can cause a lot of troubles but remember that no matter what you want or not, the Tower will collapse because you have reached your limit in this field and can not take it any longer.

Situation and advice

The appearance of this card in a spread often signals a rapid, shocking and dramatic change. The normal structure in your life begins to crumble and you have to deal with the collapse of an outdated lifestyle. You can immediately sell a house, move to a new home, change jobs, pursue a new career, step into psychotherapy or especially change a relationship. Such changes help you understand yourself and take appropriate actions.

The fluctuations associated with the Tower Tarot card refer to a time when it is necessary to deal with the reality that forces you to escape from the fake life and identify things that are truly worthy. The more you try to live in that life, the more intense the change is.

Now it is the time to free yourself from the social constraints and false beliefs that hinder your development. The mechanisms of confinement must be broken before you can enlighten. Sometimes, this card predicts theft, losing job, family quarrels, or property troubles. The old order must be torn down making room for the new one. Bad structures will collapse.


Energetic and aggressive people that challenge your worldview, people who hurt the spirit or cause interruptions, someone has a stroke, the victims of natural disasters.

VII. Meaning of the Tower reversed: avoid disaster, fear of change

Words and Keywords

(+) Mental damage has ended, change is occurring, things have to change, time to overcome the financial or emotional damage and start over again.

(-) Self-imposed confinement, continuous suppression, immovable circumstances, inability to change, limited freedom, slavery of the flesh, bondage, interruption, break, chaos, turmoil, catastrophe, freedom at some level, tyranny, injustice, do not live up to expectations, give me freedom or let me die, stone walls do not make a prison, and iron bars also do not make a cage.


Even when it comes backward or forward, the Tower Tarot is still the card of change. The upright Tower refers to a period of chaos and destruction that will ultimately bring change and rebirth. However, when in reverse, this card implies that you are delaying a certain “destruction”. Like the Devil and Death, it is not a scary card or depicts bad luck as it appears in most Tarot decks. This is the time to change. Trying to hold on tight to a situation can be detrimental to you and to the people you love. You need to overcome this difficult time to take an important lesson. Do not resist it. Although it is shocking and difficult to solve, it is also an important part of your journey of life.


The Tower reversed still implies that unfortunately some people/circumstances that you believe will “always be there for you” will be able to change, no longer be the same and of course, you will not be able to count on it anymore. Try not to think too much about this, it does not imply a big, terrible change in your life. It is just a few changes. Keep your mind clearing about the fact that you always have – or can get – all the resources you need, to solve your problems in life and do what you need to do.


When the Tower card appears in reverse, people around you can experience stress, controversy or conflict, which can lead to unpredictable consequences. It is important that you do not behave in a selfish way, and do not let yourself be involved in unnecessary conflict or let your ego take over you. With the reversed Tower, think twice before speaking is especially necessary.


When you draw the Tower reversed, generally everything related to a love relationship will not be as harsh as when you draw the upright card. However, this is still a signal that you should communicate and focus on each relationship more if you want it to exist. Think positive and do not focus on “changing your partner”, consider how you can contribute and improve your own part in the relationship. Take it to step by step and do not lose your enthusiasm.


Just like the upright Tower Tarot card, it is not the time to invest or take the risk. In general, in this circumstance, the reversed card shows the fact that your financial problems may not be as big as you afraid it would be. There is nothing better than avoiding troubles and solving them in the simplest way. If you need help to resolve financial issues, do not hesitate to make a request.


Likewise, the reverse of the Tower shows fewer problems than when it is in the upright position. In the next few days, you should be careful and pay attention to what you are doing if they are in a situation that can be dangerous, like driving a car, cutting grass. Be calm and know that this soon will be over.


Just like the upright card, the Tower tells us that this is the moment to keep the most positive attitude as possible, regardless of what is going on around you, always believe in the blessings for you, and do not do the individual work only by yourself. New insights and knowledge can come to you in a flash.

Situation and advice

On the positive side, this card refers to the shocking or disruptive effects which are about to come to an end. Now you can overcome the financial or emotional damage and start a new beginning.

On the negative side of the card, you can feel depressed by the injustice or unfairness in your life. The structure or relationships that you have may suddenly break down or disappear. You feel constrained, hindered, restricted. Imprisonment, in reality, is rarely likely to occur. You feel trapped in a negative situation without a way out. Now you have to face the trouble that could have been avoided. You suffer the consequences of mistakes in the past.

The Tower Tarot card in reverse may also reduce the level or the impact of a change that is about to enter your life. You may be warned in advance or you may have an intuitive feeling that something big is going to happen, and you can prepare a plan for avoiding this destruction. You may be fortunate enough to prevent this disaster even though it will be quite hard.


Those who are shocking.

The way you react to the change of the Tower Tarot card makes all the difference in the process of experiencing change or unpleasant events. Be aware that the breakdown has occurred because it is necessary. Maybe accepting change is an overwhelming demand, but try to find a positive point in it. In fact, you can feel the great liberation that you have finally turned to a new direction. You can develop a deep understanding of your situation and gain a new level of ability to understand it.

VIII – Historical and Cultural Significance

1. Tarot Origins and Evolution

The Tarot has a rich and fascinating history that spans centuries, with its origins dating back to the 15th century in Europe. While its exact origins are still debated among scholars, the Tarot was likely inspired by a combination of influences, including playing cards, esoteric traditions, and ancient wisdom.

Initially, Tarot cards were primarily used for entertainment purposes, popular among the aristocracy in Italy and France. However, over time, the Tarot evolved into a powerful tool for divination and self-reflection. It gained cultural significance as its symbolism and structure were infused with esoteric and occult teachings.

The influences that shaped the Tarot’s symbolism are diverse and varied. Elements of Egyptian, Jewish Kabbalah, Christian mysticism, astrology, and numerology found their way into the cards, providing layers of meaning and depth. Each card in the Tarot deck carries its own symbolism and archetype, reflecting different aspects of the human experience.

Throughout history, the Tarot spread across different regions, accumulating cultural significance along the way. From Italy and France, it traveled to other parts of Europe, each region adding its own interpretations and variations. The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, created in the early 20th century, became one of the most influential decks, establishing widely recognized symbolism and imagery.

Today, the Tarot is embraced globally, transcending cultural boundaries. It is recognized as a tool for self-reflection, personal growth, and divination. Tarot readers draw upon the ancient wisdom embedded in the cards to help seekers navigate life’s challenges, gain insights, and tap into their intuitive wisdom.

The Tarot’s origins and evolution highlight its enduring relevance and appeal. Its cultural significance lies in its ability to provide a mirror to the human condition, offering guidance, inspiration, and profound insights into the mysteries of life.

2. Cultural Interpretations and Variations

 The Tower Tarot card, like many other cards in the Tarot deck, has been interpreted and understood through diverse cultural and spiritual lenses. Different Tarot traditions and decks offer unique variations in symbolism, imagery, and meanings, reflecting the influence of cultural contexts.

The Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) Tarot, one of the most widely used decks, depicts the Tower as a crumbling tower struck by lightning. This rendition emphasizes the destructive nature of sudden change and the breaking down of old structures. The figures falling from the tower symbolize the fall of ego and pride. The RWS interpretation aligns with Western esoteric traditions and has influenced many modern Tarot decks.

The Marseille Tarot, an older tradition originating in France, often portrays the Tower as a tall tower with flames bursting from the windows. In this interpretation, the Tower represents the destruction of false illusions and the need for humility. The Marseille Tarot focuses more on the spiritual lessons and transformative aspects of the card.

The Thoth Tarot, developed by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris, presents the Tower with the Hebrew letter Peh and associated astrological symbols. This deck explores the Tower as a representation of divine intervention, sudden upheaval, and the stripping away of falsehoods. It delves into the mystical and occult aspects of the card.

Cultural contexts have played a significant role in shaping interpretations of the Tower. For example, in Eastern traditions, such as Chinese or Japanese Tarot decks, cultural symbolism and mythologies may influence the representation and meaning of the Tower.

By exploring these cultural interpretations and variations, we gain a deeper appreciation for the diverse perspectives and layers of meaning within the Tower Tarot card. It reminds us that Tarot is a dynamic and evolving system that adapts to different cultural beliefs, allowing for a broader understanding of the human experience and our collective spiritual journey.

IX – Psychological Interpretations

1. Shadow Work and Personal Transformation

Shadow work refers to the process of exploring and integrating the unconscious aspects of the self that have been repressed, denied, or disowned. It involves delving into the darker and often uncomfortable aspects of our psyche, such as fears, traumas, unresolved emotions, and negative patterns of behavior.

The Tower Tarot card plays a significant role in shadow work and personal transformation. Its depiction of destruction and upheaval represents the breaking down of old structures and belief systems that no longer serve us. The card acts as a catalyst, forcing us to confront the shadows within ourselves.

Through the Tower card, we are invited to explore the aspects of our psyche that we have kept hidden or ignored. It is an invitation to face our fears, vulnerabilities, and insecurities. By acknowledging and integrating these aspects, we can facilitate personal transformation and growth.

Shadow work with the Tower card requires courage and a willingness to step into the discomfort of facing our own darkness. It is a journey of self-discovery, where we learn to accept and integrate all parts of ourselves, both light and shadow.

As we engage in shadow work, we can experience profound personal transformation. By shining a light on our unconscious patterns and behaviors, we can break free from self-limiting beliefs and old conditioning. Through this process, we gain self-awareness, inner strength, and the ability to live more authentically.

Shadow work with the Tower Tarot card provides an opportunity for deep healing, liberation, and personal evolution. It allows us to embrace the totality of who we are and empowers us to move forward on our path of self-discovery and transformation.

2. Ego Dissolution and Liberation

 The concept of ego dissolution and liberation is a profound psychological aspect represented by the Tower Tarot card. The card’s imagery and symbolism depict the breaking down of the ego’s defenses and illusions, leading to a transformative journey towards liberation and self-discovery.

The Tower card serves as a wake-up call, challenging the ego’s attachment to its constructed identity and belief systems. It confronts the individual with unexpected and often uncomfortable experiences that shatter the ego’s sense of control and certainty. This process invites a dissolution of the ego, allowing space for a deeper understanding of the self and the world.

Through the ego dissolution depicted in the Tower Tarot card, individuals are confronted with the impermanence of their external attachments and the false narratives they have constructed. This can be a humbling and liberating experience, as it opens the door to a deeper connection with one’s true essence and the freedom to transcend limited self-concepts.

Ego dissolution paves the way for personal liberation by releasing the ego’s grip on identification with roles, achievements, and external validation. It invites individuals to explore their authentic nature beyond the limitations of ego-driven desires and expectations.

By surrendering to the transformative process represented by the Tower card, individuals can experience a sense of liberation and freedom from self-imposed limitations. This liberation allows for the discovery of a more expansive and authentic self, fostering greater self-acceptance, inner peace, and the ability to navigate life’s challenges with grace.

The Tower Tarot card, with its invitation to ego dissolution and liberation, reminds us of the inherent power in letting go of ego-driven attachments and embracing the vastness of our true selves.

X. More The Tower Cards from Famous Tarot Decks

1. The Tower Thoth Tarot

the tower thoth

The Tower Thoth Tarot shows that the field in which we still think is safe and has built the surrounding wall suddenly fluctuates. The tower, which represents the value of old and outdated concepts, will collapse.

<< See More >> The Tower Thoth Tarot Card Meanings

2. La Maison Dieu Tarot De Marseille

The Tower – La Maison Dieu Tarot de Marseilles is not the house of God; it is the House/God. Tarot cards suggest quite clearly with bright red bricks, that our bodies contain Gods. 

<< See More >> La Maison Dieu Tarot de Marseilles Card Meanings

3. The Tower Shadowscapes Tarot Deck

Tower Shadowscapes

The Tower Shadowscapes Tarot brings a sudden and unexpected change. In one minute you have it all and then it disappears. Therefore, we cannot fully grasp the literal images of the Tower. 

<< See More >> The Tower Shadowscapes Tarot Card Meanings

4. The Thunderbolt Osho Zen Tarot Deck

The Thunderbolt Osho Zen describes a tower being burned, destroyed and collapsed. There are a man and a woman jumping out of the tower, not because they want to but because they have no choice.

<< See More >> The Thunderbolt Osho Zen Tarot Card Meanings

5. The Blasted Oak Wildwood Tarot Deck

Blasted Oak Wildwood

The Blasted Oak Wildwood is located at Lammas point, August 1, next to The Woodward at the inner circle of The Wheel.

<< See More >> The Blasted Oak Wildwood Tarot Card Meanings

6. The Tower Deviant Moon Tarot Deck

With the Tower Deviant Moon tarot card, just think that you are an agent of transformation. This self-sacrificing role has the potential to create stressful situations. 

<< See More >> The Tower Deviant Moon Tarot Card Meanings

7. The Tower Linestrider Tarot Deck

the tower linestrider tarot

The Tower Linestrider is a powerful card, a beacon of great change, riot, and even destruction. Along with that destruction is constructivism. The change will bring new opportunities. 

<< See More >> The Tower Linestrider Tarot Card Meanings

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