'TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY (A CLOSER LOOK AT THE TOWER)
Updated: Dec 10, 2020
Well, we're now in December and heading inexorably towards Christmas, when emotions are often very heightened (and not always in a good way!). Given the events of 2020, I thought it apt to talk about one of the more dramatic cards from the Major Arcana - the Tower. It represents a scenario that all of us experience at certain times in our lives - the sense of the whole structure of our current life somehow unravelling (sound familiar??!). You know what I mean: it's when one thing after another, after another, just keeps going wrong - and that's certainly been the case for so many people this year.
I had a bad year in 2018 and wondered what had hit me. First of all I had proper flu from February to March (proper influenza isn't the two day virus that many associate with flu!), then my 21 year old cat Angel had to be put to sleep at the end of March. In May I got Shingles, then at the beginning of June my little 18 year old black cat Twinkle had to be put to sleep. In July my car burst into flames and was completely destroyed (luckily I'd just got out of it with the dog I walk) but it took the Fire Brigade half an hour to put the fire out and I had to be treated for shock (I've spent two years getting over the post traumatic stress disorder that ensued). In October, my 16 year old cat Tom had to be put to sleep. All of this caused me to feel pretty much knocked sideways emotionally, plus the cat health problems had cost me a bucket load of money on top of having to have a new boiler unexpectedly, so there was a financial problem as well. Has this year been worse - well, different and certainly worse financially!
The above example though, perfectly encapsulates what the Tower card in tarot is all about: the collapse of old forms. It represents structures (both inner and outer) which we ourselves build as defences against life. The underlying lesson is about our attitude to dramatic changes, which will determine how difficult or painful they are to deal with.
I was obviously very upset with what happened to me, but ultimately it made me look at myself closely and what I was holding on to - that I needed to just let go of. The Tower had fallen anyway (metaphorically speaking) but I found that my willingness to learn from it all helped me to grow more - which is what the Major Arcana is all about of course - a series of moral lessons. The tower is about trusting that there's a reason for the changes that just seem to drop from a great height and again, it's from hard times that we learn the most, not from easy situations.
I'd love to hear about your own experiences this year and what you've taken from them.