The Tower — Liberation Through External Intervention

The Tower — Liberation Through External Intervention
Tarot Major Arcana: The Tower
Liberation through External Intervention

Despite the faith in sanity we have been developing not all is roses. The ego, specifically the spiritually inclined ego, has no power of authorship, and this lack manifests as our inability to change the psyche at will during certain crossroads and thus we may get stuck in our path. For the majority of us, there is no other way to move forward on the path without some severe external intervention.

While the Devil represented suffering we cause to ourselves through ignorance, the Tower is suffering that life throws at us. Shakespeare’s “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

This is The Tower archetype. (Named The House/God from the French. The building is “the house”: us as body and personality; the “blow to the roof” is God.)

Some external event comes our way and shakes the prison walls and shatters the prison roof so light gets in. It could be an accident, a divorce, an illness, the death of a loved one, a stock market crash, whatever. The bottom line is that it is non-self-created; it comes from “outside”. It is a slap on the hand by god, so to speak. It is often painful. A painful gift which may propel us deeper into the path of self-realization. (In many cases, it is a tower archetype event that triggers the Hanged Man‘s understanding in the first place.)

The blow from god is symbolic of the love that creates such often horrific events in our lives. And then, if we are lucky to assimilate the episode without lingering resentments against such a god or his pawns, we leave the tower through the door, otherwise it is more like falling out through the window. Note the symbol of “three” on the door: we leave the prison through love, truth and beauty. There will be as many towers in our lives as necessary to obliterate the grips of the devil.

While in the arcanum Death the ego was actively involved in the cleansing process, here it is God doing the job without any ego interference. Later, in the Judgement, the understanding the Hanged Man has had will settle, once and for all, that the ego was also God doing the job all along.