Empowering The Tower

The Tower is often a card to strike fear into your heart.

A sudden bolt of lightening leaps from a black, stormy sky, destroying a tower (which presumably took quite a lot of building), sending people to their doom in an instant. Not so fun, really.

The Tower Tarot Card
The Tower Tarot Card

I’ve written before about how this card can ultimately be a force of liberation, but there’s no denying how scary it looks when it turns up in a reading.

This morning, I drew The Tower from the Kitty Kahane Tarot, and was presented with a different view:

The Tower tarot card, from the Kitty Kahane Tarot
The Tower tarot card, from the Kitty Kahane Tarot

This is the first ‘Tower’ card I’ve seen which doesn’t depict lightening striking something. In other decks, the tower itself may be replaced by some other thing, but there is always that terrible bolt which wreaks sudden destruction on the established order.

Here, the upset is caused by a woman who lives inside the tower, as she finally pokes her head up, toppling the sickly face at the top. Her feet appear at the bottom, suggesting that the tower itself is about to move. Things are changing here!

Normally, I see The Tower as showing that terrible moment of destruction. Afterwards, when we have processed what has happened, we can look around at the rubble and work out how/what we wish to rebuild (if at all).

It feels here as change is already in progress.

The rebuilding seems to have started. Around the tower, green shoots are already growing, and the figures falling from the top do not fight their fate. I wonder what the falling tower figure is saying. A strange yellow speech bubble spews from her mouth and she, too, appears to accept that her time at the top is done.

I’m very fond of The Tower card. I like it that lightening appears from nowhere and busts everything apart – it’s the perfect antidote to entrenched denial. ‘If you’re not going to deal with this, well, something external will come along and bloody well make you.’

On the other hand, this card is so empowering!

The women here doesn’t wait for lightening to come and change stuff – she’s ready now! So she takes matters into her own hands and makes her move. It’s exciting to see her face appear where only a brick wall was before, and weird to think that seconds earlier, she was trapped inside.

It’s a fundamentally different card, then, to my usual interpretation. Make a change. BE the change. Don’t wait for the worst to happen – act now.

Awesome :)

PS: If you’re interested in this card and the Kitty Kahane Tarot deck, be sure to check out Chloe’s interpretation of the (German) guidebook in the comments below.

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13 comments

  1. chloetarot says:

    While the artwork doesn’t appeal to me much, that is a fascinating and different take on the Tower – love it! Might have to take a closer look at this deck… :)

  2. Little Red says:

    I felt the same when I first started looking at this deck – I thought ‘oh, that’s just a Waite-Smith with an over-stylised cartoon feel, hmph’.

    Then I took a closer look at the individual cards and it’s a lot deeper than that. I’ve just been sitting here pulling out the ones that feel at first glance like they ‘add’ more to the RWS cards.

    PLUS my version is in German – I can’t read the book but you could! (English ones are going for around $100 but I got this German version for E15…) It’s by Swiss psychologist Lilo Schwartz and is apparently brilliant.

    Here’s The Tower… any thoughts?

  3. chloetarot says:

    Interestingly, the commentary is in many ways more traditional than the image, and quite funny. The keywords are “bursting boundaries”, then the short explanation says basically “Things are crashing. With a lot of noise, everything falls in on itself. At first, it shocks you and you get scared. Soon, though, you notice that you have been freed from the prison of your own expectations. Only when your old beliefs and thought-patterns fall apart can you discover the breakthrough inot the infinitely wide and wonderful world.” Then “I… fly through the air, break through walls and am amazed by these powers from the heavens, which hit as quick as lightning, leaving barely one stone atop another. Walls which seemed immovable grow feet and fun away. Now, I have a lightning strike of understanding and land in the direction of flowers in a new dimension of openness. Thanks be to the Tower!” :D

  4. Little Red says:

    Ah, interesting! What a beautiful description…though as you say, closer to the ‘original’, whereas I was enjoying my interpretation (shows the value of ditching the books from time to time!)

    I love ‘the prison of your own expectations’ – that’s a perfect way of describing a status quo that needs smashing.

    Thanks so much for taking the time, Chloe!

    • Little Red says:

      Yes, absolutely. As opposed to waiting for something to happen. Makes me think of when someone wants to leave a relationship…but wait til they start an affair or fall in love with someone else before acting. This way, you deal with your stuff when you need to.

  5. Hi Little Red! I like this Tower, I find it very positive, as this woman is brave, faces the facts and with strengh and determination decides to break the tower and be free. She has no fears and is ready to begin again. I like this “ave fénix”… :) and this clear sky. Muchas Estrellas!!!!!

    • Little Red says:

      Hello you! Yeah – I see what you mean about no fears – wonderful to get this from a card which is normally so fearsome :)

  6. Leah says:

    I love this!! I have really delved into my tarot cards over the past couple of years and have recently started doing readings for other people at various events. A real difficulty for me is when positive cards turn up in a negative position (like “The Sun” showing up as a weakness) or negative cards showing up as a positive (like “The Devil” showing up as a strength). I would love any insights you have on this, Beth (like your positive spins on the Tower and 2 of Swords — great stuff!!!).

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