The Tower- a fascinating card.
Some people love it, and get really excited.
Others just stare in horror "I knew that card would be there"
Lets look at some of the images to unpick these mixed messages.
The people falling
This remains the strongest image for me.
Have you had that "stomach sinking" moment?
I remember on a family walk, my youngest son had ran ahead, we'd said to wait at the next style. When we got there he was no where to be seen. We shouted, nothing. The other kids raced back to see if he'd gone a different way. He was wearing a distinctive red checked shirt. My other son said they saw a man at the top of the hill carrying something red and checked. My husband raced off, and I my stomach literally felt as if it was falling. luckily the mad was carrying his coat, and my youngest was at the next gate ahead- he'd just got mixed up but knew to stay in one spot til we found him.
Sometimes the Tower is the dread of loosing something so important we feel as if we are dying ourselves. By itself this card is not about terrible loss, rather the fear of loss, the feeling of being out of control, and unable to gain control.
Sometimes that stomach falling feeling is a good sign. I have a shaman healing booked for me next week. A few emails come back and forth about what I was hoping to achieve. Then an email came "we could do a constellation healing if that feels right" My stomach lurched, and I felt filled with dread. I know these can be very emotionally painful. I emailed back straight away "yes- that sounds exactly right."
Why is the stomach churn sometimes a good thing?
"Shadow work" is a big word, but actually the meaning is very simple.
In our unconscious there is a belief, memory or emotion that our left brain has chosen to ignore.
When we start to look at this shadow work it can make you feel out of control- after all you chose to ignore this issue because you felt it would overwhelm you.
So when I felt my stomach drop at the suggestion of constellation work I knew it was my subconscious telling me "uh-uh, don't go there you won't like what you see"
Because shadow work is usually littered with self limiting beliefs. Promises you made to yourself at moments of despair. Other peoples opinions of you that you internalised, believe without even realising they are there.
And your unconscious wants to protect you, so it will create barrios to you accessing this information.
And what happens if you are brave, face the fear- and confront that hidden information that is designed to keep you safe? That's where the good bit starts.
The small flames in the sky.
These are "yods" (in the Rider-Waite deck you'll find them in the Moon & Ace wands, swords & cups.)
Basically it is Jewish Blessing sign- you are being told that despite how this card may first seem there is a blessing there- even if it doesn't feel like it right now!
The lightening & flames
This to me is exactly what shadow work feels like.
A sudden realisation that can be emotionally quite painful.
Then a clearing out of old emotions & beliefs that leaves room for more growth, happiness and love.
The falling crown
When people are working form a place of deep shadow they tend to need to believe they are "right".
They can not afford to think too deeply for fear of highlighting their shadow side. So they tend to be dogmatic, authoritarian, with a need to be uncompromisingly "right"
Highlighting the shadow allows for more compromise, it allows you to grow, learn, change your opinions as more information comes to light. You no longer need to be defined by being "right". And in my honest opinion shadow work is never done. Like washing up it is a life long, ongoing process.
Why this split love/hate relationship for the Tower?
Partly it depends on character. If you love stability and comfort you are unlikely to like this card.
If you are a bit of an adrenalin junkie- you're gong to love it.
It also depends on your life right now.
I have had this card when I am feeling strong and confident- and I love the sense of challenge and growth it offers.
I have had this card after a lot of hard work, with a fear based attitude and I just feel like I can't cope with the storm before the calm.
Final thoughts-never try and cling tight when the Tower card is stalking you. Like ripping off a plaster the longer you take the harder it is likely to be.
If you'd like to explore The Tower a little more I have a you tube video exploring the card- you can find it here