The Tower Tarot Card Meaning - Upright, Reversed & More

The Tower upright

The Tower At A Glance

Keywords: Destruction, drastic change, chaos, stagnation, need to rebuild, end of the road, fear of change, feeling stuck, dismantle/disassemble power structures
Season: Winter
Zodiac/Planet: Mars

The Tower Tarot Card Description

The Tower is the seventeenth card within the major arcana and is usually numbered as 16. Traditionally it depicts a crumbling tower being struck by lightening as people (usually two) fall from the flaming tower. The dark night background and fire from within the tower express the seriousness of this card’s theme. The colors are very striking to show this card represents a very important life phase for the reader.

The tower itself is a symbol of power. Either political, institutional or a power system within the reader’s life. It being struck by lightening symbolizes the need for this old structure to be destroyed because it is corrupted, or rotten through to the foundations.

There is no tweaking that can be done to save the tower. The only way is to completely begin again. The flames and falling people symbolize that this will be an uncomfortable time for the reader and that they will need to take some time to adjust to a new way. It won’t be a smooth transition but it will be worth it in the end.

The Tower Upright Meaning

Upright The Tower symbolizes the next phase of the reader’s life will be one of sudden change. We often think change is wrong but it can be a good thing. A change to an area of our life that we have outgrown can have a very positive effect on our wellbeing.

This card says the change is inevitable. The lightning which crumbles the tower is an act of nature and completely unavoidable. Instead of clinging on to the old corrupt way we need to make space for the new things which will be built from the rubble.

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” - Albert Einstein

The Tower Reversed Meaning

The Tower reversed

If The Tower card is reversed it means fear or resistance to change. When this card comes to us reversed we are being asked not to resist the inevitable change that is coming to us.

It might be an uncomfortable time for the reader but we need to remember it is only temporary. The old way will no longer work for us and this period of adjustment will be easier and we will transition quicker if we surrender to it instead of fighting it.

“The key to change ... is to let go of fear.” - Rosanne Cash

The Tower: Yes or No

This is such an absolute brick-wall-of-a-no. You know the energy of a harassed parent when their kid asks if they can have a snack just as dinner is being served? You know that scathing look they’d give the child? (Most of us have been on the receiving end of these looks.)

Well that’s how the universe looks at us when it gives us this card to a yes or no question. Patronizing? Yes. Concrete? Also yes. So concrete that this is still a no even when reversed. It’s a “hell no, don’t you even dare.” - But at least we know here we stand. That’s got to count for something, right?

Let’s Break Down The Tower In Our Lives

How The Tower card changes when we ask it questions relating to different areas of our lives.

The Tower In Love

If the reader has asked a question about love either romantic or platonic and The Tower card appears then it can suggest there will be or recently has been a sudden change to the fundamental dynamics of a relationship. This is not the end of the relationship but it will take honest and rigorous communication and effort by both people to bring the relationship to a healthily functioning place again.

Reversed The Tower in love can mean the desire to cling on to a relationship or person despite the relationship ending. One person has already fully moved on. It can also signify a resistance to commitment within a relationship. Any action or change which deepens the connection between the people within the relationship may provoke fear for one of them.

The Tower With Money

If The Tower card appears when a question about money has been asked it is suggesting a sudden financial loss which will be recuperated over time if a big change to the plan is made.

The immediate future will look like saving money or having a period of austerity in order to protect the long term health of the business or financial situation. It will be uncomfortable but the silver lining is that the outcome is good as long as the changes are made and stuck to.

Reversed The Tower with money means narrowly avoiding a huge mistake or situation which could have caused financial failure. This card in life could look like saving a failing business at the last minute or receiving an inheritance to pay off debt. It’s a sudden injection of cash, skills or other resources which is essential to the long term financial health of the business or financial situation in question.

The Tower At Work

When asking a question about a situation at work or about our careers The Tower card can mean there is or will soon be a drastic change to the chain of command or other essential systems that function at our place of work. This change will cause discomfort in the short term, perhaps in unpaid overtime or increased tasks but long term it will be a much happier place to work. The entire work community must pull together to get through this period.

Reversed The Tower at work suggests a sudden upheaval to the chain of command or daily operations of the work environment. However it will sort itself out as quickly as it arrived. It’s important to remain patient and kind with our colleagues whilst we overcome the shock as a team. Our actions must not add to the stress of the situation and we should instead try our best at all times to de-escalate.

The Tower With Others

If we are asking about our external world, either our immediate world of people we know or the world at large and we get The Tower card as an answer it means a recent or incoming sudden change to our friend/social group caused by a situation outside of our control. For example if one person within the group moves further away or takes a job with less free time it can drastically affect the group as a whole.

Reversed The Tower with others can signify the end of a group or social setting caused by an irreparable change. We must spend a little time mourning this loss but also begin to look forward to new social events and groups which could take its place. If we don’t see any groups that we would like to be a part of perhaps it’s time to start our own.

The Tower With Self

The Tower card relates to our internal world by giving us the space to analyze how we feel about change when it comes along in our lives. Whether we are facing change currently or not, knowing how we usually respond can help us better prepare for when it does come into our lives.

Reversed The Tower card with self can symbolize the need to directly and aggressively confront our fears and the resistance we feel when drastic change manifests in our life. This card reversed asks: what if we saw the Tower card as an opportunity to inflict the change ourselves?

It says we still have a choice and can master our life by how we respond. The change may be inevitable but our reactions and emotions to the change are not set.

The Tower As Feelings

The Tower card doesn’t feel good at the time. Because it often means something chaotic and stressful is happening to us. It’s only after the dust has settled that we realize that all along this chaos was clearing a path for us. That this was actually happening FOR us not to us. So in hindsight we see just how important it was.

This can look like the convict who turns their life around around after jail. They become grateful for their incarceration because it set them right. This can look like a messy stressful move abroad with paper work and packing boxes which eventually leads to life in a better place with more opportunities. It feels like our worst day making room for our best day.