The card has many meanings, but most of all it signifies sudden change.
At first glance, the tower looks a violent scene with lightning, explosions, fire and people falling. The explosion could one of many major events - family and friends turning on us, losing job, violence - the list goes on.
However, we should not see this as life punishing us. Looking carefully at the imagery of the card, the drops of fire are shaped in the Hebrew letter yod, the first letter of God's name. They symbolise grace, not anger. Life does not let us stay imprisoned forever in our own towers of illusion. If we cannot free ourselves peacefully, eventually something gives, and then boom! A bit like a volcano exploding.
These experiences can be painful. We may not see any benefit, the process may not result in freedom. In fact, sometimes a series of disasters can bring the strongest person to their knees. The point is, without any outlet, the unconscious will eventually erupt. It's life's way of saying "wake up!"
We can use this process to find a better balance. It is how you respond to events that will make all the difference. Try to find the positive in it.
This is not a card welcomed by people who dislike change. Indeed many recoil at the sight of it. But we must learn to use this experience, in fact all experience as represented in all the cards in order to grow.
In readings, it refers to a period of violent upheaval. The explosions are carrying away some pent up situation that has built up to an intolerable pressure. It can lead to new beginnings.
Reversed, the card is tempered. The violence and storms are still there, but are milder. We do not allow ourselves to undergo the full experience, we keep a tight control on our reactions, our emotions. This also means we do not release all the pent up emotions, fury, anger etc. By shielding ourselves, we become prisoners.
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