Many Tarot readers have a love/hate relationship with the Tower card. Besides the Devil and Death cards, it is one of the most feared cards found in the tarot deck, especially when it falls in the future position. But like all 78 cards, the Tower has both positive and negative aspects.
If you’ve pulled the Tower during a reading, you might be wondering if a loss is around the corner. As one of its meanings is release and tragedy, it very well could be, but the possibility of a fresh start is just as likely. Keep reading for more info on this Major Arcana card and what its appearance might mean for you.
Tower Tarot Card Meanings Key Words
Before diving deeper into the upright- and reversed Tower card meaning, and its connection to love, work, and life, below a quick overview of the most important words connected to this Major Arcana card.
Tower Tarot Card Description
With a black background and an unnerving overall feel, the face of the Tower card contains just that: a burning tower of terror. Sitting on the top of a jagged mountain, the fiery spire is several stories tall. The head of the steeple is missing, replaced by a lighting bolt and flames — smoke barrels out of the top and the sides.
Flames are also fanning out of the three windows and specks of fire fill the sky. Although the Tower card can represent many different situations, the crown at the top of the card symbolizes the material world and ambition.
What is most disturbing is the desperate people who have jumped from the Tower and are now falling to their death. It is clear that total destruction is imminent, and there is no turning back.
Upright Tower Tarot Meaning
If we had to redesign the upright Tower to a more modern-day representation, a crashing airplane would be an accurate alternative image. The Tower signifies total destruction. If you’ve received the Upright Tower Tarot card, prepare for things to be leveled and dismantled. As with all loss, this will probably be a painful process. It can also lead to a fresh start.
Before you are able to make these positive changes, you’ll have first to face the truth about a situation. Are you prepared to take your blinders off take this personal crisis head-on? Seeing through illusions and letting go of what you wish things to be is the very first step.
Money and Career Meaning
The Tower in tarot card equals insecurity in every area, especially when it comes to career and finances. Some of the situations that usually follow the fall of the Tower include the loss of a job, a long period of unemployment, or a very stressful work environment. When it comes to business, the Tower can predict failure out of nowhere.
The same can be true of finances as the Tower often symbolizes financial ruin, legal trouble, or bankruptcy. Unless the card has fallen in the past position, this isn’t the time for frivolous spending or big purchases. Buckle down and embrace a conservative attitude until this period has passed. Thankfully, even the powerful changes the Tower bring won’t last forever.
Love and Relationships Meaning
With relationships, the Tower usually predicts the ending of a friendship, a break-up, or a divorce. If the Tower tarot card is one of the Major Arcana cards pulled in a love reading, the probability of success isn’t good.
The ending is often connected to deception of some kind and eventual uncovering of the truth. Angry outbursts and emotional meltdowns may occur. This definitely won’t be the kind of amicable ending that most people hope for when closing a chapter.
Losing the one you love or hoped to build a future with can be a painfully humbling experience. But if things aren’t meant to be, this will be a necessary transition. Sometimes, the hardest part is the initial change. Remember, it is much better to accept the truth and move on than to live a lie.
Health and Spirituality Meaning
If you guessed that the Tower card embodies bad health, you were correct. The Tower often appears in a reading before or after a sudden illness, the loss of a pregnancy, or a deep bout of depression. Feelings of grief, sadness, and discouragement are often connected to card number 16. Do you feel as if you are a prisoner in your own mind or body, unable to change the things you want so desperately to be different?
You might not be able to stop the toppling down that the Tower represents, but you can come to accept where you are right now in this moment. Now, instead of focusing on what can’t be changed, think about what you can do to make things different.
If you’ve pulled this card in connection with a question on spiritual or psychic development, the answer is a little more positive. Although you may have to let go of old beliefs, now is the time to embrace your authentic self.
The Tower Reversed
Are you clinging on to people, places, and things that are no good for you because of fear? This is a common scenario personified by the Tower reversed. Many times, we know that it is time to let go, but instead, we hold on tighter. Things come tumbling down eventually, and we shake our heads as we look back at all the time we wasted.
Close your eyes and ask yourself this question, “What can I let go of?” If there are things or relationships, you would be better off without, it’s time to release and accept. Doing so is difficult, but it will free you to participate in the positive parts of your life that bring you true joy.
You cannot move forward and broaden your horizons if you keep holding on to your old life – old thinking and old habits. Learn to let go and refocus your perspective embrace a new chapter in your life. You will be surprised that the hardship and heartaches that come with it will be worth it.
The Tower: Yes or No
If you’re wondering if things will go right, the answer is no. The Tower in a Yes or No reading tells you that this isn’t the time to start a new business, branch out at work, or take your relationship to a new level. You’ll need to ride out the tsunami wave that the Tower is about to bring before you can consider making positive moves.
No worries, though. What goes up must go down. Tough times definitely won’t last forever. Once this storm passes, you will rebuild your life into something greater.
Important Card Combinations
Although the Tower clearly isn’t a card you hope for in a reading, it also has positive aspects. Especially, when combined with other cards, like the Chariot or Temperance. Below you can find the most important Tower tarot card combinations.
The Tower and the Chariot
Things may be difficult right now, but when the Chariot joins the Tower, there is a shift in power. Even if it doesn’t look like it, you are in control. What things can you change, and what should you let go of? What will it take to secure a victory or have the things that you really desire? Be confident and do just that.
The Tower and Temperance
It’s time to find a middle ground. The Tower alone usually brings forth swift ends to connections of all kinds. But when the Tower is paired with Temperance, a ‘Hail Mary’ may save the day. Instead of giving up, look for common ground and a way to stay together. All isn’t lost in this case. You will need to do some negotiating, though.
The Tower and Death
The changes that are being brought by the Tower will have lasting effects. Powerful forces will be at play here if the card is combined with the Death card. The key is to avoid worrying or freaking out. Instead, look to the other cards in the reading. Doing so will allow you to pinpoint exactly how/where the issue is going to present. Having as much info as possible will allow you to remain calm and in control.
The Tower and the High Priestess
It’s time to stop avoiding the inevitable. The constant chaos in your life is of your own doing, even if others are involved. When the Tower and the High Priestess are matched, personal responsibility is key. We can’t control other people, but we do have power over who we let in our lives, what we accept, and who we allow to stay. We also control our reactions and how we move forward after loss.
The Tower Tarot Art
Although I write all the descriptions based on the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, it doesn’t mean that I use other decks too. And there are so many beautiful decks out there! I can lose myself browsing and searching the web for beautiful tarot cards. Below you can find a small selection of beautiful Tower tarot cards. If you created a Tower tarot card yourself and want to share this, I would love to hear from you!
The Tower in a Reading
That’s all for the Tower tarot card meaning! Hopefully, you’re not shaken up by the pulling of the Tower card and realize that life’s challenges are just as important as the ‘ups.’ It is contrast that helps us appreciate the good times. What things do you have to be thankful for? Journaling these bits of gratitude daily can make a huge difference in perspective and happiness.
Are you a Tarot beginner? Learn how to read Tarot in this Tarot Beginners Guide.