Season of the Tower

tower card from Rider-Wait-Smith deckOnce a month I’ll be doing a post related to the study of Tarot. If you are interested in a reading, contact me at!

I am right smack in the middle of my 40s. I have a daughter who is about to learn to drive and then go to college, all my health issues hit a low point at once, and everything in my house broke at the same time, making the body/house metaphor both overly literal, uncomfortable and expensive. The nature of everything, from my garbage disposal, to my bank account, to my physical abilities, to my marriage, to my parenting, is changing. ‘Tis the season of the Tower.

The Tower is a card that signals not just massive change, but a crumbling of something that was already built – a career, an actual building, a relationship, or anything else a person has spent a great deal of time making and felt safe within. Midlife is famous for Tower moments. People get divorced in midlife. Their addictions peak in midlife. People move. They look into the rest of their lives and say, “Fuck this shit.” They make drastic choices. The nature of the choices we make when confronted with The Tower determines whether the Tower card is a positive or negative card.

The idea behind the Tower card is that the Tower is a strong building on a faulty foundation (think of all the divorces in which onlookers say “They seemed so happy together!”). Perhaps the original foundation was always flawed, or perhaps it was fine a first, but over time it developed cracks that weren’t attended to because they seemed so small.  Now a single bolt of lighting can bring the whole edifice down. That which seemed safe and stable became an illusion, and is now a wreck.

Tower card from Zombie Tarot

Zombie Tarot, by Paul Kepple and Stacey Graham: Looks like someone forgot to lock a door!

The Tower is a disaster card, but also an opportunity card. Knowing that the foundation was based on something dishonest or unstable, how will you rebuild? Knowing that you’ve had half of your life to learn things, how do you want to incorporate those lessons into the last half of your life? The next card in the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot order is The Star, a card of calm, insight, and renewal.

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, The Star


My advice to those, like myself, who find themselves in the season of the Tower is not to panic. Breathe in and out. Put yourself in a Star frame of mind. Be honest about this season and how you got here and use that to make your next safe creation one that will last.

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