The Tower Tarot card meaning

The Thoth Tarot


La Maison Diev

Keywords: change, disruption, failure, something new in your life, suddenly seeing the truth, radical transformation

Refers to the planet Mars. For Crowley, The Tower “refers to the manifestation of cosmic energy in its grossest form.”

Showing the destruction of material by Fire, the card represents the coming of the new Aeon, where Fire burns up the old and ushers in a new spiritual epoch, in this case, representing Horus, the new Lord of the Aeon.

In the card we see the destruction of the previous Aeon by flames and lightning and war. In the bottom right we see the Roman Lord of the Underworld, Dis, spitting the flames of hell from his mouth. The Hebrew letter for this card means “Mouth.” Falling from the Tower are humans who have lost their form and devolved into geometric expression, which represents the Divine Will transforming organized matter back into the Pure Perfection of Nothingness. As Crowley says, “To obtain perfection, all existing things must be annihilated.”

This interpretation speaks to a double meaning shown in the card with the symbol of the Dove and the Snake. The Lord of the New Aeon brings both illumination and destruction. The flames burn away the old, making room for new spiritual growth but at the same time the destruction itself serves a spiritual purpose.

The Dove and the Serpent refer to the dualism of feminine and masculine impulses, the Will to Live and the Will to Die, which to my ears sounds like Freud’s distinction between the Pleasure Principle and the Death Drive. However, these are not competing impulses but rather complementary and necessary for the manifestation of energy, as seen in the Death Card. 

The central symbol of the card is the Eye of Horus or the Eye of Shiva. According to legend, the opening of this eye destroys the whole Universe.

In the Tree of Life the Tower represents a horizontal Path between the masculine node Netzach and the feminine node Hod. It is thus a transmutation of energy – before the construction of the final Aeon in Trump 20 it is necessary for there to be purifying flames.


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