When forces outside of our control cause the destruction of our carefully constructed ego identity, we are at a choice point. This is the Tower.
We build our lives. We create structures that protect us from suffering. The Tower symbolizes the violent nature of transformation. This process is absolutely necessary if we are to dismantle the artificial or conditioned aspects of our personalities.
This is the card that comes up for divorce or the serious break-up of an important relationship. It is also a card for getting fired from a secure job, or it could be the expression of a traumatic violent or painful experience. I have experienced the Tower when I am doing deep work to transform false core beliefs. How could I have built my life on those shaky foundations? Rooting out ancient, outmoded beliefs is important but very painful work. It is like having surgery. Painful, but necessary.
It may seem like the end of the world, and in some ways, it is. It is the end of your world as you knew it. It is the end of the old ways of being and seeing that have kept you safe up until now. Transformation is painful. It is ugly. It is bloody. It is scary.
The Tower is usually seen as necessary destruction. This is the end of the relationship, the job, the way of life that held you back from experiencing and learning a necessary lesson. Nobody likes to see the Tower, but often it is a reassuring symbol that trauma is a universal experience, something that most of us can relate to, if we are willing. The Tower is a necessary step from the previous card – the Devil which represents bondage and slavery to unhealthy ways – and the Star – which is full expression of the authentic self.
The hope of the Tower lies in the choice she inherently offers us. Knowing that the old way of life is no longer an option, how long are we going to choose to be victims before we are able to harness the power of this horrible experience and use it to fuel a breakthrough to a higher consciousness?
If we choose, the Tower can be an initiation and a liberation – to set us towards claiming new levels of authentic power and a deeper sense of our own value. The Tower is about trauma and transformation, but fundamentally, it is about healing. As you let go of outmoded ways of being and allow the stress, tension and pain to run their course, you will reach a higher level of consciousness. And this brings more freedom and joy.