Major Arcana: XVI. The Tower

A variety of explanations for the images depicted on the card have been attempted. For example, it may be a reference to the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, where God destroys a tower built by mankind to reach Heaven. Alternatively, the Harrowing of Hell was a frequent subject in late medieval liturgical drama, and Hell could be depicted as a great gate knocked asunder by Jesus Christ, with accompanying pyrotechnics. The Minchiate version of the deck may represent Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden. To some, it symbolizes failure, ruin and catastrophe. To others, the Tower represents the paradigms constructed by the ego, the sum total of all schema that the mind constructs to understand the universe. The Tower is struck by lightning when reality does not conform to expectation. The querent is advised to think outside the box and warned that truth may not oblige schema. It may be time for the querent to re-examine belief structures, ideologies, and paradigms they hold to. The card may also point toward seeking education or higher knowledge.
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