Step into the mystical world of tarot as we unravel the symbolism behind one of its most potent cards: The Tower. In this article, you will discover this card’s hidden meanings and messages within its intricate design. As part of a series exploring the tarot deck, we delve into the significance of The Tower and how it can offer profound insights into life’s unexpected upheavals and personal transformation. Whether you’re a tarot enthusiast or simply curious about the mystical arts, join us on this journey of discovery as we unlock the secrets of The Tower.

The Tower: Unraveling the Symbolism of this Powerful Tarot Card

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Welcome to this comprehensive guide on understanding and interpreting the Tower card in the Tarot deck. The Tarot is a powerful tool for self-reflection and guidance; each card carries its unique symbolism and meaning. This article will explore the Tower card in depth, discussing its description, historical background, symbolism, interpretations, and role in various Tarot spreads and divination practices. So grab your Tarot deck, get comfortable, and let’s delve into the world of the Tower card.

Overview of Tarot Cards

Before diving into the Tower card specifically, let’s have a brief overview of Tarot cards. The Tarot deck consists of 78 cards, divided into two main categories: the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana.

Major Arcana

The Major Arcana consists of 22 cards, each representing a significant life lesson or spiritual journey. These cards profoundly impact the reading and often carry potent messages and insights into one’s life path and personal development.

Minor Arcana

The Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards, divided into four suits: Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. Each suit represents different aspects of life and carries its symbolic meanings. The Minor Arcana cards provide more specific details and guidance in readings, focusing on everyday situations and challenges.

Understanding The Tower Card

Now that we have a general understanding of Tarot cards let’s look closer at the Tower card.

The Tower Card Description

The Tower card is the 16th card in the Major Arcana and is often depicted as a tall tower structure struck by lightning. The tower itself is often crumbling, with flames engulfing its top. People are seen falling from the tower, symbolizing chaos and destruction. The overall imagery is intense and unsettling, reflecting the transformative nature of this card.

Historical Background

The origins of the Tower card’s symbolism can be traced back to multiple cultural and historical narratives. One popular theory is the connection to the biblical tale of the Tower of Babel, which represents the downfall of human ambition and the destruction of oppressive structures.


The Tower card is rich in symbolism and carries several profound meanings. The lightning that strikes the tower represents a divine intervention, shaking the foundation of established beliefs and structures. The flames and crumbling tower symbolize destruction, chaos, and the breaking down of illusions. The falling figures symbolize the need for humility and surrender in times of crisis.

The Tower Card Meaning

The Tower card carries a potent message and can profoundly impact a Tarot reading. Here are some key meanings associated with the Tower card:

Representation of Destruction

The Tower card represents a sudden and powerful force that shatters the foundations of your life. It signifies a period of significant upheaval, where existing structures and beliefs are torn down. While this destruction may seem daunting, it ultimately paves the way for growth, transformation, and rebuilding.

Breaking Down Illusions

The Tower card is a wake-up call, revealing the illusions and false beliefs holding you back. It forces you to confront the truth, no matter how uncomfortable, and encourages you to let go of limiting beliefs and perspectives. Through this process, you can better understand yourself and the world around you.

Sudden Change and Upheaval

When the Tower card appears in a reading, it often indicates that a sudden and unexpected change is on the horizon. This change may disrupt your life and create instability and uncertainty. However, it is a necessary step toward personal growth and spiritual evolution. Embracing the change with an open mind and surrendering to the process can lead to profound transformation and a rebirth of your true self.

The Tower: Unraveling the Symbolism of this Powerful Tarot Card

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Interpretations of The Tower Card

As with any Tarot card, the Tower card can be interpreted in various ways, depending on the context of the reading and the surrounding cards. Here are three common interpretations:

Positive Interpretation

While the Tower card is often associated with destruction and chaos, it also carries a positive aspect. Its appearance in a reading can indicate the breaking down of barriers and removing obstacles that have been holding you back. It offers the opportunity for growth, liberation, and a fresh start.

Negative Interpretation

On the flip side, the Tower card can be viewed more negatively. It represents a sudden and jarring change that brings chaos and upheaval. It may indicate a complex and challenging period where you must face the consequences of past actions or beliefs. However, it is essential to remember that despite adversity, there is always the potential for growth and transformation.

Neutral Interpretation

Sometimes, the Tower card may not have an inherently positive or negative meaning. It can simply indicate a period of change and upheaval in your life, with the outcome depending on your response and ability to adapt. It is a reminder to stay grounded, embrace the change, and trust in the transformation process.

The Tower Card in Tarot Spreads

Placing the Tower card in Tarot spreads can provide further insight into its meaning and significance. Let’s explore its position in two popular spreads:

Position in the Celtic Cross Spread

In the Celtic Cross Spread, the Tower card is often placed as the central card, representing the present or the immediate future. This suggests that a significant change or disruption is affecting your life or is about to occur. The surrounding cards can provide additional information on navigating this period of transformation.

Position in the Three-Card Spread

In the Three-Card Spread, the Tower card is typically placed as the second card, representing the challenge or obstacle you are currently facing. This indicates that the sudden change and upheaval associated with the Tower card play a role in your current situation. The first and third cards in this spread can provide insights into the root cause of the challenge and potential solutions or guidance.

The Tower: Unraveling the Symbolism of this Powerful Tarot Card

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The Tower Card Reversed

When the Tower card appears reversed (upside down) in a reading, its meaning can be influenced or reversed. Here are some key aspects to consider:

Reversed Card Meaning

The reversed Tower card suggests that the destructive forces and upheaval associated with the upright card are being avoided or suppressed. It may indicate a missed opportunity for transformation, clinging to outdated beliefs or structures, or a fear of change.


Interpreting the reversed Tower card depends on the context of the reading and the surrounding cards. It could signify temporary relief from turmoil or avoidance of necessary change. It can also warn against ignoring warning signs or refusing to confront uncomfortable truths.

Effects on Tarot Spreads

When the Tower card appears reversed in a Tarot spread, it may indicate that the disruptive forces are less intense or not currently in play. The reading should be interpreted with this in mind, considering the potential for missed opportunities or the need to seek transformation actively.

The Tower Card in Divination

In addition to its role in Tarot spreads, the Tower card can be used in various divination practices to gain further insights and guidance. Here are two ways to incorporate the Tower card into your divination practice:

Using The Tower Card in Divination

As a standalone card, the Tower can be the focus of a divination session. Meditating on its symbolism and meaning can clarify areas of your life that require a drastic change or a release of old patterns.

Correspondences with Other Cards

The Tower card has connections and correspondences with other Tarot cards. Exploring these relationships can deepen your understanding of the Tower’s significance in a reading. For example, the Tower card may be influenced by nearby cards, such as the Sun card, representing the potential for enlightenment and deep inner transformation.

Common Symbols in The Tower Card

To fully unravel the symbolism of the Tower card, let’s explore some of its common symbols and their meanings:

The Tower

The crumbling tower represents established structures, beliefs, and systems that no longer serve your highest good. Its destruction signifies the need for these structures to fall to build new foundations.


The lightning striking the tower represents a divine intervention or sudden awakening. It brings the truth to light and initiates the process of transformation.

Burning Crown

The flames engulfing the top of the tower can symbolize the destruction of false ego and inflated pride. It is a humbling experience and encourages you to let go of arrogance and self-righteousness.

Falling Figures

The figures falling from the tower represent the ego and false identities being stripped away. They remind us to release attachments to external labels and expectations, allowing the true self to emerge.

Cracked Foundation

The cracked foundation beneath the tower highlights the unstable ground on which you have built your life. It symbolizes the need for stronger, more authentic foundations aligning with your true values and purpose.


In conclusion, the Tower card in the Tarot deck represents a significant and transformative period of destruction, upheaval, and change. Although its appearance can be unsettling, it offers growth, self-reflection, and liberation opportunities. By understanding the symbolism and meaning of the Tower card, you can embrace its messages and navigate the challenges and transformations in your life with courage and resilience. Remember, as the tower crumbles, a stronger and more authentic version of yourself is waiting to rise.

Renee Michelle

Born and raised in Northern California, Renee Michelle is a bookkeeper by day and an oil painter by night. If she isn't being snarky on social media, you can find her... let's face it, she spends most of her free time being snarky.

Renee Michelle loves long walks on the beach and scrambled egg...wait, wrong platform! Carry on!

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