The Spiritual Meaning of the Tower Tarot Card

The Spiritual Meaning of the Tower Tarot Card


The Tower tarot card is one of the least-loved cards in the deck, but it offers powerful wisdom about big life changes. What’s the spiritual meaning of the Tower tarot card?

The Tower tarot card can be a little scary—maybe even scarier than the notorious Death card. It usually shows some version of a burning tower, with people jumping out of it to get away from the flames. It symbolizes something like the Tower of Babel, a story from the Bible about a time when humans were building a tower high enough to reach into the sky. God didn’t like this, so he scrambled the human’s languages and dispersed them across the earth, making it impossible for them to communicate well enough to continue building the tower.

Big Change

There are different interpretations of the meaning of this story from a biblical perspective, but what is represented by this card is that what is being built is not meant to be. When the Tower shows up, it indicates big, painful change. Ultimately, this change is a good thing, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.

The spiritual meaning of the Tower tarot card is that all those structures in your life that no longer serve you are about to fall apart (or have been falling apart for a while). Spirit always wants you to grow and evolve. When we are building a Tower of Babel, we are growing just for the sake of it, just doing what we’ve always done. When this structure falls apart, we’re forced to see the world in a new way.

Some people see the story of the Tower of Babel as a story about the gift of cultural and linguistic diversity. Our differences are opportunities for learning and compassion, sources of creativity and exploration. If God disliked that the humans were building a tower tall enough to reach heaven, that’s because humans aren’t meant to be gods. They are meant to be human and learn all there is to learn from that complex experience. Many people read the fall of Adam and Eve as a tragedy, but this, too, can be read as a story about a gift. Eve ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil not because she was stupid or seduced by an evil serpent, but because she wanted to know what life was like outside of the perfection of the Garden of Eden. (Learn more about the spiritual meaning of the Lovers card.)

False Foundations

When the Tower card appears in a reading, it indicates that we’ve been trying to build on a false or unstable foundation. This could be core beliefs, assumptions about ourselves or others, or unhealthy habits or patterns that we don’t even realize we have. Sometimes the structure is something more concrete, like a job, a relationship, or a goal we’re working incredibly hard to achieve. Yep, these may be about to fall apart if the Tower shows up.

As hard as that may be to sit with, you probably already know that this structure is no longer working for you. This card often shows up when, for example, you get laid off from a job you’ve been hating for years but haven’t had the guts to quit, or when that lover you’ve always known was wrong for you breaks up with you. There is an element of divine intervention with this card. When you’re on the wrong path, your butt might get kicked off of it.

While there may be grieving and processing involved with that change, there’s also an opportunity to course-correct. When you can no longer do things the way you’ve been doing them, you need to build a new perspective of the world—one that is wider, more complex, more connected to the world as it really is. The Tower does not suffer simplistic illusions of the world. Numerically, the card that immediately follows the Tower is the Star. The Star is a card about hope and tender new beginnings after a fall.

If you pull the Tower tarot card in a reading, do not fear. Something is changing, but it’s something that’s probably needed to change for a long, long time. Look at the surrounding cards to see what other information you might need to work with Spirit to get onto the right path. And good luck!

Study the spiritual meaning of the High Priestess tarot card.

The Spiritual Meaning of the Tower Tarot Card

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