5 Non-Freakout Ways To Look At The Tower Card

There are a handful of cards in the tarot that freak people out beyond belief. I’ve talked about some of them before because pretty much the entire Swords suit freaks some people out. Then, of course, you have the Death card, which was can about another time. But today I want to talk about The Tower.

Yes, friends, The Tower, that card with lightning and fire and people falling out of the sky. But you know what? It’s one of my favorite cards in the major arcana.

This is a card that naturally comes with challenges. It’s also entirely understandable why most people recoil in horror when they see it come up in a reading. Especially if that reading was otherwise bespeckled with cards like the Lovers, the Four of Wands, and the Three of Cups. But this is where we need to remember the old adage “Smooth seas never made a skilled sailor.”

No matter how you adjust your thinking of The Tower know this…it is always a sign of change. Something big is on the horizon and changes that you can’t stop are rolling in. But that doesn’t mean they are all going be terrible and disastrous. The Tower can be anything from the end of a relationship to the death of a loved one. What The Tower can do is help you prepare for the change and find your inner strength to get through it.


Cleanse it with fire!

This can be a big call for the purge of a lifetime, and that isn’t always a bad thing. We all have a habit of hanging on to things, ideas, and even relationships that have long overstayed their welcome. We might feel bad about letting something or someone go, so we hang on. When The Tower shows up in a reading around a situation like this, it can be a call for letting go in dramatic fashion so you can’t backpedal. You clearly can’t take back something you burned to the ground. Think of it as a spiritual intervention into a forced rehab of sorts.


Your heart may be saying something that your words aren’t!

An interesting thing about the tarot is that it serves as a primary tool to reflect back to us the wisdom of our Higher Self. That’s a fancy way of saying it tells us what we’re really thinking, feeling, and projecting out into the world. You might be saying to yourself and others that you don’t want your marriage to end, but then The Tower shows up to say, “Uh, yeah you do.” Before you brush off the card as being a harbinger of horror, ask yourself if deep down this is a change you really want but you’re just afraid to face the transition.


And the flowers are still standing!

When The Tower shows up and rips the rug out from under you, you can rest assured that anything that remains standing is going to be something you can firmly put your trust in going forward. We can sometimes think that a friendship, a job, a home, or a belief is on really solid ground for a long time gaining a sense of false hope of faith in it. When a challenge comes along to shake it, we might be surprised to find that structure crumbles, fast! Almost all of us can probably relate to this with friends. You do something or say something that you think is no big deal and before you know it everyone but two people have pretty much abandoned you. Those two people that stuck around are friends worth their weight in gold. Everyone else was dead weight; don’t mourn them and be glad their gone.

The Universe is sick of your bullshit!

I often think this is part of the undercurrent of any message from The Tower in a reading. When The Tower shows up in a reading that’s about your spiritual path, your beliefs about something or the way you might be dealing with a situation, this is a way for the Universe to tell you that its time to cut the shit and get your act together. Everything you’ve been trying to build has been flimsy as hell and, oh look, a stiff breeze is going to come along and blow it all down. Consider The Tower to be that much needed and well deserved shaking by the shoulders that any sane person might do if given a chance. Always stop and ask yourself, “What might I be doing to contribute to this that I’m not even aware of?”


There’s probably nowhere to go but up!

The Tower can often serve as one of several cards in the deck that represent rock bottom or a Dark Night of the Soul. In the traditional image of the cards, the people are literally falling to a rocky bottom…nothing like cliches being extremely literal. But the truth is that The Tower often does signal a bit of a rock bottom in a situation where things are going from bad to worse, the good news then is that you can only go up from here. Rather than fretting over the bad stuff that the card could be pointing toward, look at the opportunities this could be presenting. Losing your job suddenly is never a welcome thing, but it could be exactly what you need to have happen to push you toward finally goal after your dream job.


OK, yes, but EVENTUALLY you’ll go up.
And when you find yourself doing the side-to-side dance, you’re not ready
to go up yet. Hang in there.


Regardless of what cards come up in a reading, there’s one thing to remember…you’re in control. Readings are never set in stone and you have the power to change things. If The Tower comes up in a position that shows a future possible event or outcome, don’t rush to stop it. Start with examining why it’s there and what horrible end it might be suggesting for you and ask yourself the hard question: “Is this really so bad? Could this actually lead to a good thing?”

When you’re setting your intentions, making changes or working magick around that outcome either to work with or against The Tower remember the powerful magickal caveat “This or something better,” because there’s a really good chance you have no idea what you really need when you’re staring down the crumbling Tower.

But if The Tower IS causing you heart palpitations and a clenched jaw that is giving you a headache, here’s a mini-tarot spell that you can use to help ease the tension.



Working Through The Tower Spell

You Will Need:

  • White Candle
  • The Tower Card
  • The Fool Card
  • Ace of Cups Card
  • Rose or Lavender Oil and Incense


Place your tarot cards over to the right on your altar face down in the following order:

  1. Ace of Cups
  2. The Fool
  3. The Tower

{this should make The Tower the first card you pull from this pile of cards.}

Dress your candle with the oil and light your incense. Hold the candle in the incense smoke and let it wrap around the candle, blessing it with the magickal breath or life.

Place the candle in the holder and light it. Take a few minutes to gaze on the flame and feel yourself grounded while also feeling the spiritual energies of the realms above and below flowing around you. If you have specific sacred space opening practices that you like to do, such as smudging or circle casting, you can do that now, and then return to your altar.

Say an opening blessing, calling on any Gods or spirits you wish to work with. State your intention. What is it that you’re concerned about? If you pulled The Tower in a reading, what was the reading about? What messages does it give you that have you concerns about?

As an example, if your reading was about a relationship and it looks like things are going to fall apart in dramatic fashion you might say,:

“I come to the altar and before the Gods and the Spirits with concerns around the state of my relationship. I fear….{state your sincere fears and worries}…and I seek guidance and support through these challenges.”


Pick up the first card in your pile, The Tower, and really look at it. All it to bring up emotions and fears. Think about the situation and what The Tower could imply for the future. Hold the card against your heart and let these feelings flow from you into the card. Place the card over to the left of your candle and say:

“The Tower represents my fears, my worries, the things I know may be necessary but which frighten me nonetheless.”


Pull the next card, The Fool, and give him a good look. This holds a lot of the same energy as where you may be, but maybe without the carefree ignorance. You might be journeying foreword through this situation with no clue where you may end up because you could be headed for the edge of a cliff.

Hold this card close to your heart and let the feels of anxiety, fear of the unknown, and that twinge of excitement for possibilities that could arise flow freely into the card. Place this card to the right of The Tower and say:

“I may be about to walk off the edge of a cliff, and I have no idea where I may land, but I am willing to trust that the Universe/Gods/Spirits/Source will catch me.”


Finally, pick up the last card, the Ace of Cups. As you look at this card, feel the rush of Divine love and support washing over you as it flows from the loving cup of the Gods. Feel yourself being washed of worry, healed of all spiritual and emotional wounds, and surrounded with loving energy. Hold this card close to your heart and let this energy flow from the card and into your heart. Place it to the right of The Fool and say:

“I open my heart to receiving love, support, and healing from the Universe/Gods/Spirits/Source. I know that these changes are necessary, even if the reasons are not clear right now. I ask for guidance to help me accept what is for my highest and best.”


Sit here in a quiet and meditative state, giving yourself time to listen for any messages that may lend support right now.

When you’re ready you can bid farewell to any spirits you’ve called in and relate your sacred space as needed. Let the candle burn down completely. Alternately you can snuff it out and relight it a little each day until it burns down. Leave your cards in place on your altar and come back here to reflect and receive guidance as needed.


If your situation has you going into situations where you could use a little extra love and support, for instance having to have a difficult talk with a friend should the issue be around a rocky relationship, you can take the Ace of Cups with you and carry it as a talisman.


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  • Milo Rusnak
    January 19, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    I love this post–I often feel the need to include a little explanation in the readings I sell where the tower appears that it’s not the end of the world and to explain some of these alternatives. In my own life, I’ve definitely experienced the “flowers are still standing” thing after loosing many friends–it sucks in the moment, but it made me more confident in my relationship. When the Tower comes up in my readings about “small” events (like day-to-day stuff) I generally take it as a cue to do some serious decluttering, which can also be hard but ultimately best and can be fun, too! Keep up the great work.