The next step on our journey to awakening is The Tower. Lightning strikes a tower and flames fill the building. A golden crown is dislodged from the top of the tower and people fall to the ground. This is card number 16 which reduces to 7 symbolising power and positive action.
The Tower is the reverse side of the previous card. The Devil as Dionysus is lord of darkness and irrationality, but The Tower is Apollo, lord of light and reason. Instead of Satan, we have Lucifer, the light-bringer.
Lightning is also related to Zeus, and to Mahayana and Tantric Buddhism where it symbolises the truth blasting falsehood and duality out of the mind. It is the inner illumination which brings the freedom of enlightenment.
The crown falling from the top of the tower represents the peak of consciousness, the crown chakra shattering open in awakening. The lightning is the primal energy of the psyche, the fire of divine consciousness, destroying the structure of the ego and freeing the hero from his bonds.
The hero has seen and accepted the true nature of the Devil, which then transforms into Lucifer who embodies the purity of divine truth. Lucifer then shatters all previous concepts and splits the hero’s mind wide open. The gift of Lucifer is the fire of enlightenment which descends in a flash, destroying everything which isn’t compatible with its own nature.
The hero has finally made contact with the hidden mystic Centre, the goal of his quest. But this isn’t the gentle light of intuition that has been guiding him from the depths so far. This is the full glare of God-consciousness, felt as a surge of power when all psychological blocks between the lower and higher selves are removed.
The alchemists saw this fire as the water of life, combining the opposite symbols of fire and water into one essential wholeness. This fire frees the mind from its attachments but only if the conscious mind is prepared. If the hero hasn’t built strong foundations, the lightning bolt may end in catastrophe causing the mind to dissociate and divide against itself.
The hero’s mind is irradiated in unity. All concepts are blasted away leaving him free to see the truth of who he really is.
Keywords for The Tower:
- Bolt from the blue
- Death of illusion
Next step on the journey to awakening: The Star