Card Type: Major Arcana
Card Number: 16
Star Sign: Aries
Other Names: Tower of Babel
Key Meaning: Dramatic Shock
The Tower Tarot card indicates a dramatic shock, often an unexpected bolt from the blue.
The Tower Keywords
😒Upright: Crisis, danger, sudden change, awakening
😒 Reversed: Slow change, premonition
The Tower Tarot Card Description
This description is based on the Rider Waite Tarot Deck. We see a tall tower, built on a narrow mountainous ridge, being struck by a lightning bolt. Lightning represents a surge of energy, or an insight or event which comes from out of the blue. The building is on fire and people are tumbling out of the windows, presumably having leaped to their death.
In a reading about world events, this card could represent a terrorist attack like 9/11, or a pandemic like Covid-19. It is also related to sudden change in government, as well as climate change, hurricanes (see the swirling clouds on the card), and rising sea levels.
On top of the tower a large crown, big enough to act as a roof, is blasted off the building. This crown can represent our status (what people think of us, or what we feel about ourselves) and worldly possessions. Everything comes crashing down.
The crown can also represent the crown chakra, which connects us to Higher Powers. A surge of energy to this chakra creates an Epiphany or spiritual awakening. This clears your psychic channel, enabling you to see, hear and understand more powerfully.
When the Tower Tarot card turns up in your reading, it can indicate forced and sudden change, like losing a job or home. It can foretell an accident, health scare or crisis of some other sort. It’s important to note that the Tower does not come to punish, but rather to force you to change or awaken. When I do private readings for people, and this card appears, I always say “just make the change now, or the Tower will do it for you.”
Classically, this card may be a reference to the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, where God destroys a tower built by men to reach Heaven. Some version of Tarot decks, like the Minchiate version, show an image of Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden.
Other keywords associated with this card include: reaching a breaking point, clearing of a channel, corrective force, crisis, disruption of routines, end of illusion, seeing clearly, nature reasserting herself, radical shift, reality check and paradigm shift.
Karina’s Tower Card Story
The Tower is the first card I ever drew from the Tarot deck.
I asked: ‘Tarot, how am I ever going to sell my apartment?’
You see, it was back in 2012, when the property market had crashed in Ireland, and no-one, was buying anything. When I shuffled the deck, the Tarot card flew out.
What a strange card, I thought. A tower block falling down. What could it mean?
A few weeks later, out of the blue, the foundations of my apartment block started to sink. Pretty soon, local authorities had issued a demolition order and the insurance company paid out. I was free!
Perhaps, now you can see how I got hooked on Tarot! 😍
The Tower is a Classic Wake Up Call
When it comes to spiritual development, the Tower card is a classic wakeup call. The lightning represents a clear flash of understanding, the hand of God. This flash, might come to us in a moment of crisis, when we beseech the Heavens for guidance or help. It could come when you hit rock bottom, and feel hopeless. All at once, you suddenly understand your path and what you must do to help yourself. The path ahead may not be easy, but suddenly you are not scared anymore. You have faith now and feel strangely inspired.
What Zodiac Sign is The Tower Tarot Card?
The Tower card is assigned the star sign Aries. Aries is the sign of leadership and action. People born under this star sign have strength in the face of challenges, which is why they eventually always land on their feet.
Mars, the warrior planet, is assigned to the Tower Tarot card. Mars is the planet of primordial energy; it represents our basic instinct for survival. It is the planet of action rather than reaction. Consider how Higher Powers have seemingly ‘forced’ you to act, when the Tower card appears.
In astrology, the Tower is assigned to the first house, which is ruled by Aries. The first house is where astrologers look for information on your physical appearance and what other people think about you.
The Tower corresponds to the element Fire.
Romance: What does The Tower Tarot Card Mean when You Ask About Love?
When the Tower turns up in a love reading, the meaning will depend on your question. For example, if you asked:
💖 Will I find love? This card can indicate a dramatic change occurring before you meet a suitable partner. This change will be unique to you, it could be something to do with your appearance or health, spiritual beliefs, living circumstances or attitudes. Occasionally, this card means finding love in a crisis or emergency situation, or with someone who works in this area.
💖 Does he or she like me? No, at least not enough. The gap between you is too wide.
💖 What is the future of our relationship? This card suggests a breakup or major change in your relationship is coming.
CAREER: What does This Card Signify when You Ask About Work?
If your question relates to work, business, career or study and you receive the Tower, then here is your guidance:
⭕ In employment, you are shocked by sudden changes in the workplace or the loss of your job.
⭕ In business, you are taken by surprise at sudden events. An unexpected problem occurs, which forces you to make quick decisions.
⭕ In education, you are disappointed by exam results and it acts as a wakeup call.
Careers associated with this card include: Any job that involves high levels of stress or deadlines, surgeon, midwife, anesthesiologist, military officer, construction manager, crisis management, mental health counselor, social worker, search and rescue, paramedic and firefighter.
If you are considering hiring a candidate and this card appears, it means:
This person is excellent in a crisis, pays attention to the rules and can deliver on time. If the role on offer is boring or mundane, however, this candidate won’t stick around for long.
MONEY: What is the Meaning of The Tower Tarot Card in a Money Reading?
If you asked the Tarot about money and finances, and you receive the Tower, it can mean:
💲 You experience a sudden change in your finances, occasionally bankruptcy. This card is associated with loss of income, medical bills or other bills piling up.
💲 Ending up without transport or a roof over your head, and this affects your ability to earn money.
💲 This card is associated with faulty construction, and the need to demolish or repair a property. If you asked, should I buy this property? Then the answer is, no way!
💲 A spiritual wakeup call frees you from your old life, and you now choose to focus less on material wealth or status.
Tarot Card Combination Meanings
“Tower combined with Lovers” – Relationship breakup
“Tower combined with Chariot” – Car or motorbike accident
“Tower combined with Judgement” – Near death experience
HEALTH: What does The Tower Mean when You Ask About Health?
In a health reading, the Tower card signifies a sudden change of health. This could be due to an accident, or health scare.
When this card appears, it means whatever happens now is supposed to help you ‘wakeup’. This may prompt you to make urgent lifestyle changes, or review your life in general.
Health conditions associated with this card include: Fever, fractures, heart problems, breathing problems. This card rules: Blood, male reproductive organs
YES/NO: Does The Tower Tarot Card Mean Yes or No in a Reading?
❓ When you ask a Yes or No question and this Tarot card turns up, then the answer is NO.
TIMING: Does The Tower Predict any Particular Timeframe?
🕔 This card is only a timing indication when you specifically asked a timeframe question. For example, if you want to know if something will happen, and when, then you need to draw two separate cards. These are in fact, two separate questions. This is a fundamental principle to understand if you want an accurate tarot reading – and it is core to my teaching in my book Tarot in 5 Minutes.
🕔 The Tower card represents March 21 to April 19. If the card is reversed, timing will be longer – perhaps up to a year later, same date.
Karina’s Timing Method:
I am using a traditional major arcana timing method here, based on the zodiac sign assigned to each card.
What is the Meaning of The Tower Tarot Card Reversed?
When the Tower is upside down then the people seem to fall in slow motion. This can mean:
✔️You can still expect change, but the change is more gentle and slower, rather than explosive or sudden. This is probably because you’ve acknowledged the truth.
✔️You are experiencing an existential crisis, losing interest in all that once you enjoyed. A reversal means, don’t fight the change.
✔️You have the gift of prophecy, the Tower reversed is like seeing the future in slow motion.
Video About The Tower Tarot Card
Coming Soon – my new video on the Tower card.
Complete List: Tarot Card Meanings
Karina, author of Tarot in 5 Minutes.