The Tower

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about The Tower Tarot Archetype.

The Tower Tarot Card Meaning

Part of the tarot archetypes, The Tower is the sixteenth trump, or Major Arcana, card in most Tarot decks.

Checkout this detailed breakdown of the meaning of The Tower tarot card.

Upright Meanings

Rather than Death, as most people think, The Tower is the card to fear most, representing chaos, destruction and unexpected change of an unavoidable, frightening and life-changing nature.

Despite the magnitude of the trauma involved it will improve you as a person and is usually aimed at something based on a weak foundation, false beliefs or unrealistic goals and is followed by renewal.

The Tower can represent events like the death, divorce or relationship breakdown, assault, rape, abuse, stillbirth, miscarriage, bankruptcy, overdose, or job loss amongst others.

However, if surrounding cards are positive it can mean a non-tragic big change, such as moving abroad which, whilst overwhelming, will ultimately be positive.

Past placement indicates something already experienced whilst future placement warns of future danger which can be avoided and a need to be aware of your safety.

Spiritually, The Tower represents the destruction of old belief systems, either in a personal crisis or an external revelation which causes internal reassessment.

However, it also brings renewal so this may ultimately bring about spirituality based on more solid truths.

​The Tower can mean imminent relationship breakdown.

One partner may undergo a traumatic event which tests the relationship, requiring supportiveness, communication and honesty for the relationship to survive.

However, the relationship will be significantly altered by the change, possibly for the good and leading to a better foundation.

If single, the card may mean an imminent revelation about the root causes of being single, such as arrogance or ego which a destructive event breaks down. This can bring about new humility and improve chances of future, healthy relationships.

The Tower can also warn of assault and violence so safety should be exercised when meeting new people.

​The Tower can indicate lack of job security, pending redundancy, sacking or a big career change bringing undue stress but ultimately proving for the good.

Financially the card warns of the need for financial caution and possibly represents bankruptcy. Financial problems may be imminent so money should be saved for this.

​The Tower cautions of the need for safety and care for well-being due to potential illness and accident. It can warn of difficult pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion and stillbirth.

It can also signify mental health problems caused by emotional turmoil.

However, these will be followed by renewal, with resultant life changes ultimately for the best if embraced positively. For substance addicts overdose may be imminent so they should stop immediately.

Reversed Meanings

The Tower reversed signifies narrow avoidance of disaster and the need to learn from this. It can also signify the delaying of an inevitability, something which will bring pain but must still be dealt with to make a fresh start.

Those who have already experienced trauma should not try and rebuild but should start anew, letting the past go rather than holding onto the past or people who are no longer supportive.

The Tower reversed signifies recognition that old beliefs were false but also resistance to letting them go, perhaps not knowing what else to believe in and fearing the reaction of others if beliefs are broken with.

However, the truth should be faced to find one’s true spiritual path.

The Tower reversed recognising but avoiding the end of a relationship due to fear of pain. However, the truth must be faced so that something better can be found.

If a relationship has survived recent trauma, partners should not try to restore it to its previous state but accept it has changed and decide if it is what they want.

When single, the card indicates successful avoidance of a potentially dangerous partner and relationship or delaying or a painful breakup.

However, this must be faced to move on with life and leave behind emotional baggage.

The card can indicate successfully keeping a job in trying circumstances, even if this may not be the best outcome for the recipient in the long term. Losing a job can inspire amazing achievements.

Financially, disaster may have been avoided but again there may be value in dealing with a financial problem in order to move forward positively.

​The Tower reversed can indicate the recipient is ignoring symptoms or an illness which they must deal with if they are to successfully recover.

Facing this may avert something serious or turn out to be nothing major.

The Tower Keywords

  • Chaos
  • Destruction
  • Sudden upheaval
  • Trauma
  • Unexpected change
  • Disaster, loss
  • Tragedy
  • Revelations
  • Confusion
  • Pain
  • Divorce
  • Abuse
  • Violence
  • Bankruptcy
  • Natural disasters
  • Resisting change
  • Averting disaster
  • Avoiding tragedy
  • Delaying the inevitable
  • Avoiding loss

Learn About the Other Tarot Card Archetypes

The Major Arcana is made up of 22 cards (or trumps). Explore the other tarot archetypes here:


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