16. The Tower: Fall down seven times get up eight

The Tower is the most hated (misunderstood) card in the Tarot. When I look at tarot subs on Reddit, I see a trend where people say something along the lines of ‘I pulled The Tower and now I’m worried something bad is going to happen to me.’

As you know if you have been here on this blog before, I don’t think the cards can tell you if something bad is going to happen to you. But even if they could, I don’t even think that’s the message that The Tower has for us. I don’t think any of the cards have a purely pessimistic meaning.

When have you felt something change so dramatically that you know things can never be the same again? Losing a loved one, breaking up with someone, being rejected, events like these are Tower moments. You might feel like the ground is crumbling all around you. It’s shocking, like a bolt of lightning.

Middle: Rider-Waite-Smith, Top left: Sasuraibito, Top right: Star Spinner, Bottom left: This Might Hurt, Bottom right: Modern Witch.

Tower moments happen to us all, and they’re unavoidable. In the imagery above we see a tower struck by lightning, and people falling to the rocks below. It can be hard to see anything positive in this image, and we shouldn’t force ourselves not to feel pain when we see it. That’s actually what this card is teaching us. Feel the pain and get through it anyway.

Sometimes you have a situation that we have neglected or repressed for so long that it starts to ferment and brew. If we keep avoiding these situations eventually they become so full of pressure that they explode and we are forced to make huge changes. Think revolutions, both literal, and the metaphorical ones in our personal lives. Leaving an abusive partner, quitting your job, leaving a neglectful home. Sometimes it is about ego- changing your mind about something you believed for a long time. Suddenly realising you weren’t right about something.

The catalyst for such change can be small, and it’s totally unexpected. You just can’t take it anymore, or can’t keep making excuses. That’s why this card can be so difficult. It’s not gentle. After it happens, you don’t know what to do, or if you can carry on at all.

But when things start to settle down again, you will be able to get up and try again. Dust yourself off and take a deep breath. And this time, whatever was holding you back before is gone. You’re resilient, you survived this huge event. Then you get to enjoy The Star, my favourite card in the Major Arcana. But you only get new beginnings when you have left something behind.

I know I said The Tower isn’t a bad card, but I have to mention how much I love the jokes people keep making that 2020 is a year of ‘all towers’:


What tower events have you experienced in your life? How did you learn to heal from them? Meditate or journal on these thoughts, because The Tower is trying to help us to become better prepared for the next time we face upheaval. As always, please be kind and gentle to yourself.

We’re in the home stretch of the Major Arcana now and I’m looking forward to telling you all about The Star.


Fall down seven times, get up eight


Published by Iona Grant

I am a writer who focuses on secular tarot, mindfulness and mental health. I read the cards for introspection, not fortune-telling. Tarot cards embody clear emotions and themes, and allow you to view a situation from new perspectives. I love that tarot exercises your creativity and imagination, and helps to prevent overthinking. I also do social media marketing for charities, and I am developing my skills in copywriting and content creation.

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