Tarot cards are more mainstream now than they have been in years. You can find them not only at occult and metaphysical stores, but major booksellers and even Amazon and Walmart.com. (I’m surprised about that last one. I just looked and holy crap do they have so many options. With pick up or 2-day delivery. Now you know) So being able to experience and learn the Tarot is easier than ever.

But there are some cards that you don’t have to be a student of Tarot to know. One of those is The Tower.

The only cards you could be skilled in could be 52 pick up and somehow you probably still know about The Tower card.

Piedmontese tarot deck, F. F. Solesio, 1865: the Tower

The Tower is the 16th card in the Major Arcana in most any of the Tarot decks you pick up. The imagery that comes to mind when you think of The Tower is probably based on the illustration from the Rider-Waite deck. Other decks stick with the same themes too. The art and stylings might be different, but the purpose and meaning are still the same. The Tower is The Tower is The Tower.

Now close your eyes. Picture The Tower card in your head.

The sky is black and in it hangs heavy white clouds. On a cliff there’s a tower being struck by lightning, the crown of the tower being tossed into the darkened sky. Fire is spilling out of it’s windows as two scared mournful people fall screaming into the abyss below.

It’s an ominous picture right?

It doesn’t seem like it signals good things, does it?

The visual of The Tower shows how it symbolizes change, crisis, upheavals, and chaos in the worst way possible. It shows the complete terror that comes with transformation.

It’s always dark and chaotic. It’s full of terror and mayhem. It’s an ominous card full of negative connotations.

Now open your eyes. Look around you. What do you see?

What do you see reflected in the world around you?

A world full of chaos, crisis, and change right?

A scary, ominous world full of darkness and confusion and it just doesn’t make sense.

Here in the US, it’s been a big basket of lunacy since before the last election. And it feels that every day since then the intensity of that insanity has been growing exponentially. And somehow, it’s all become status quo for us.

We’re like frogs in a pot and who have only just noticed the water has gotten too warm. It’s been something you just dealt with. Like an infected tooth, you don’t have the money to see a dentist about, you just live with the annoyance and pain. It becomes part of your daily struggle.

Photography of Notre Dame’s spire taken from the Saint Louis bridge during the 15th April 2019 fire.

What pulled the wool from my eyes was the burning of Notre Dame. Something about seeing that ancient house of faith and history get destroyed broke me. Which might seem weird because since obviously, I am not Catholic.  But when I watched the spire fall on the live feed on CNN, it hit me. The pieces all locked into place in my head and it became clear, we are living in The Tower Time.

(And to top it off like a really shitty bow, a few days later the attacks in Sri Lanka happened and the news again was filled with the horror stories of innocent people being killed while going about their normal lives.)

Couple with the insanity of the US clusterfucking political system and the wounds that the Christchurch killings left on the world, it feels like we are all falling out of a burning building into a night of nothingness right now. Some of us are trying to grab on to each other to fight the terror together. Others are attempting to make sure some of us hit the ground first to cushion the fall. As much as we like to brag and boast about our accomplishments and our elevated intellect, we really have no idea what is actually going on.  Despite our best efforts to be at the top of the chain of command, when it comes to the articles of change, we are nothing more than servants at their mercy.

This is the Time of the Tower.

You can feel it in the air too. I know you can. There is an almost electric buzz that takes a seat in the back of the head, like an uninvited guest at a family reunion. It takes up space and makes you carry around maladaptive behaviors like a child’s blanket. It’s uncomfortable, it’s ill-fitting, and like that uninvited guest, it infringes on your plans and keeps you from being the person you truly are. And you just can not get it to leave.
For those of us who are empaths, it buzzes harder, burns brighter, and every Tweet and every headline sting like daggers. That uninvited guest has taken a place on your couch after the reunion, slide their shoes off, and said they need a place for a while, do you mind if they stay?

This is the Time of the Tower.

Decisions that were easy are now complicated by fear and hate. Everyday interactions are questioned.  Basic safeties for so many people around the world are have been thrown into dismay.

This is the Time of the Tower.

Personally, it’s not about how I interact with the people that I’m worried about. I have social anxiety about everyone. It doesn’t matter who, what, or where you are, I’m probably a nervous wreck inside if I have to talk to you. My concern is now how the divisions between the separations between the Right and the Left, the This and the That, the Holy and the Unholy, is going to spill out over where my life flows.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I know that my privilege as a cisgendered white woman protects me from the horrors that so many people have to face. This is not fair. It’s shit. The discrimination and hatred that minorities, POC, and the LGBTQ+ community face is unfathomable and just fucking wrong.  I know my privilege is an advantage. I didn’t ask for it and I feel shitty for it working out the way it does. I am scared and saddened for those whose struggles I can not experience first hand. Their battles are tremendous. We need change to fix this shit guy. We need change and we need it NOW.

I’m afraid that soon The Burning Times will start again and not just my loved ones and I, but all the witches, Pagans, and non-Christians, all the weirdos and outcast, all the outsiders and those that don’t conform, will be targets for a wounded and self-inflated Religious Right who think that any deviations from their holy agendas need to be silenced. Very bad people who do not live their lives in accordance with the beliefs they so strongly say they uphold will weaponize the pain that good people suffered so they can punish those who are different. They fear us because we are a threat. And since we are a threat, we will be subjugated. They fail to see we are not a threat because we have different views, but because we see the truth, and see how wrong and fickle they are.

They will see Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and George Orwell’s 1984 not as speculative fiction but as guidebooks. I’m afraid the people that make up the nations, us!!, will be forgotten as people and solidified as nothing put numbers and data. We will be the tools for their masturbatory machines. We will be told when to applaud and when to boo, when to cry and when to hate.  And when we don’t comply, we will be tossed to the flames. Our bodies will be used to heat the machines that turn our country to giant factories that print money just for their pockets.

Those divides are starting to happen now. This country is inching closer to a point where things are going to erupt. The crown is getting ready to topple off our tower. The fires are burning inside. Foundations are crumbling and our leaders are turning us against each other. And the rest of the world is following right behind.

And I wish I had better words to explain it. I don’t feel like I have the right words, but it’s just THERE. It’s so fucking absurd that I feel like it’s some dystopian made for TV movie. Or a Twilight Zone episode. (The new Twilight Zone “The Wunderkind” is pretty on point) I’m tab switching while writing this trying to figure out exactly what is happening in our Nation’s capital and I just can’t. I don’t know if I am just burned out from the news or if none of this makes sense anymore. There are shootings and corrupt men arguing with each other constantly. And every week it feels like it just gets repeated.  I can just feel the unease that lingers over every breaking news story, every event, every fucking tweet. Even more, every story that doesn’t get told. We’ve faced bad times before as people, these things come and go in a cycle I believe, but this feels like an infection just itching to turn to a plague.

The Other Side of The Tower

I grew up in The Mister Rodger’s Generation. And one his messages that still rings true is “Look for the helpers”. My kids know this message because it’s been retold by Daniel Tiger in animated form. But for me, I hear it in his voice when I read it. 

Our current “helpers” are the other side of The Tower.  Those protestors, and rule breakers, those first-termers and loudmouths, those startups and just electeds. Those that rattle the status quo and not only take it to “the man” but force him to eat it? Those that rally, fight, and live on the other side of all that fear and grief those in charge bring, they are also what The Tower is about.

We have people who see the changes that are happening and are rallying to revolt against the inevitable evil that they will unleash. Every story needs heroes and those heroes are stepping up. Some of them are young and are just opening their eyes to the realities of this world. We have young people these days who see the damages in our systems and who are striving to fix it. And oh, my gods are they inspiring! We have old people who have been fighting since they were young people who are excited to show them the way. They are experienced in how to bring the truth and how to get voices heard. They are walking hand in hand with the young ones into battle against the devastation that is on the horizon. And, oh my gods are they inspiring too!

As odd as it may seem, this is what The Tower is. The Tower is as much about change as it about destruction. Change happens when those that champion good stand up and refuse to accept the status quo anymore. The change they want is often painful because it forces us to step outside our comfort zone and put ourselves at risk. We are not all risk takers and that makes it frightening. Realizing that to make the world a better place we have to sometimes become warriors is not an easy task for everyone. Without it though, we can not become the fires that bring the wrongful institutions down.

And I personally would rather burn to destroy them than burn to keep them warm.

Change is hard. Changing a wicked world is even harder. And even harder still is seeing that change needs to happen and breaking out of the chains of tradition to try to start it. Our duty during The Tower Time is to do our best to do that.

Not all of us are fighters. And that’s okay. But all of us can do something to make it through the darkness that is The Tower. We can love. We can support. And we can be there for those that are working to change the future. We can be there for those who are victims of the actions of darkness. We can be the light, even if we feel dimmed. We all have a stake in what is to be. We just have to get there.

I know things are fucked, you guys. Nothing makes sense and that drowning feeling is everpresent. But if we come together we can win this. It will take more than just love and light. We will need more than just thoughts and prayers.

Now is the time for action.
Call forth your power. Call forth your shields. Be the change you want to see. Be the future you want to live in. Take back your time and destiny.

Reclaim your Tower.

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