In the Harry Potter series Professor Trelawney repeatedly says, “No matter how I shuffle the cards…. the lightning-struck tower!” She is, of course, refering to Key 16, The Tower of Tarot, as a card of destruction and fear, thus predicting Harry’s demise. Some readers interpret The Tower as a key of dramatic, unforeseen negative change. I, obviously, see this Key in a different light.
Indeed, the image shows folks falling from a tower, flames leaping from windows, and lightning striking and crashing the tower’s crown. One interpretation of this Key is that The Tower represents our connection to materialism, and how that need for the material should topple.
Another way, however, to see the Key is to focus on the Yods falling from heaven. Yods represent spiritual gifts given to us that we don’t necessarily deserve, and certainly don’t expect. Yods appear in other “gift-giving” cards in Tarot – the Moon and three of the four aces of the Minor Arcana.
Yes, The Tower represents uncomfortable, maybe even catastropic, change. However, this Key also represents the potential aftermath of such change – we don’t change when we’re too comfortable. The point here is the building anew of who we truly are through our faith in the eternal divine.
The Tower’s number, 16, adds to 7, the number of mysticism in traditional numerology. Seven is a number of mystical completion of cycles in our lives. It is time to let go of the tower of our old selves and beliefs and to start a new cycle of connection and divinity.
I spoke with several Tarot readers after the horrible events of September 11, 2001, some of whom believe that this card was predictive of the fall of the World Trade Centers. My response was, “Even if that is so, then perhaps this is a lesson to us all to build a better, kinder, more gentle and peaceful world.” Therein lies the true message of The Tower Key.