View Full Version : Cosmic Tarot, XVI Tower
Loshe has streamlined this card without sacrificing any of the original symbolisim, in fact he has merged symbolism from the traditional waite/pre-waite tower with Crowlys Thoth interpretation. Lets break down the symbols.
The tower, or castle, is from the waite/pre-waite style of deck, although the angle is a different pov than usual. This is a grand Tower, it takes up more than the card can handle, the detail is very good and creates a useful focal point.
The Figures falling, like the traditional tarot there are two. They are falling on one side though, fire has engulfe the destroyed sections of the tower, the figures have been forced off due to the sheer force alone.
The Eye, This is shared from the Thoth tarot, whereas that card does not show the tower well. The eye is adorned in egyptain style and is basically blasting the tower with its "Cosmic Vison" in at least three places at once. the eye of God (or a god if you prefer) and its vengence, but not emotion is shown through the eye, only the "Cosmic Vison."
The Crown, also shared from the traditional tarot, although this crown is more detailed than the rider waite and marsilles designs. The Cross atop the crown alludes to the power of the vatican, although that is subject to personal interpretation.
I'm not sure why, but this is one tower card that really doesn't bother me that much. The meaning: Things happen that are beyond our control, by no means are we in charge of everything, and so we really need to step aside and let things just happen so we don't end up falling with the people on top.
I have a different view on the Tower.
Like others, I see the Tower itself and the Crown as the hubris of humanity. Our vanity builds large edifices and elevates ourselves, improperly, above other creatures. Call it the Tower of Babel if you will, but the interpretation need not be biblical; because the result is the same.
Fate, Karma, destiny, whatever you call it, evens things out. Our vanity will encounter the sudden, countervailing force which restores the natural balance of the universe.
The revealing eye is an old masonic symbol. It is present on the back of the dollar bill. The eye in Losche's Justice card, which is distinguished from the Greek Godess of Justice (Themis), has an open eye.
It is not God that strikes down the Tower, it is Justice. It restores balance by striking down the proud, the boastful, and the ordinary person. It is neither kind nor cruel. It has no feeling, rendering its power in exacting measure.
I don't think its the Christian God, because the eye bears the symbol of Horus, and God would never share the spotlight with another deity.
The tower of Babel is very apt as Babel can be identified as the world's multicultural aspects.
Our views are nearly identical, it is our interpretations that are different. I was, however, unaware of the term "revealing eye," and that does mean a lot to me since you refer to the Great Seal of America's reverse side.
My birthday is shared with Americas Great Seal's Day, June 20. My birth took place 199 years after the "Symbolic Birthday of America (the interpretation used by the Franlin Institue)", my numerology, both by birthday and by name equal nine and i have 9 sylables in my name. There are 9 feathers balancing the eagles tail.
Also, on my left (receptive) hand is an interesting palmistry configuration in the combined form of the reavealing eye (as there are 'rays' above the 'eye') and the eye of horus (the stylized design below the eye), I am not really sure if the eye is open or closed, depends on how my hand looks i suppose. The information that you just provided divinerguy has helped me put some pieces together.
Back to the card:
This may or may not be the place for this topic but here goes:
The symbolisim of the WTC attack and the Tower card are too predominant to ignore. This deck's tower is no different, a powerful structure being destroyed by, as you say, justice/karma. All is god (including what may not be considered xtian) and thus justice and karma are aspects to god. They are seperate energies and yet part of a greater whole. However, it is the two figures falling that are connected to the WTC attack, perhaps too much. I'm not sure if anyone remembers, but there were people jumping off the tower, two i believe, before the collapse. Two, just like the card. I did not start to buy any tarot cards untill after the attack, but the site of seeing that is forever in my memory and thus present in my tower interpretations, first expressed in this deck.
Quite appropriatly too, it is the eye of Justice, whom is displayed prominantly in American Symbolism as a person, that is taking care of the business at hand. It is stylized with egyptian designs, marking the disrepect that teh US has recieved (most of it justly so) from the middle east area's including Egypt. The falling crown reminds me of Britain's royalty (our prime ally in most of these transgressions).
I don't mean to bog down the meaning of the card with current events, but the tarot is timeless, and thus can provide a point of view unparalleled for any time or event that comes across mankinds destiny.
Its not bogging anything down, its a keen observation.
There's an interesting thread about the Goddess Nemesis being Justice instead of Themis. http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?s=&threadid=16176
Nemesis smacks down the arrogant and the undeservedly wealthy. This could explain the "eye" thing in the Tower.
The arched shape of the windows makes it look like this Tower is the same building as the one on the Hierophant card. So it would especially be spiritual ideas and certainties that are overthrown in the Tower card. The base of the building is square symbolizing the earthly and material. The next two levels are octagonal: still squarish but tending in a rounder direction. More points of view are possible since each of the eight sides has a window. It isn't shown but I wonder if the tower had a rounded dome top to indicate a spiritual view.
The eye. It looks like an Egyptian Eye of Horus. Egyptian symbols are so complicated because of that land's very long history. I gather that this symbol of the eye was first associated with the sun (uadjet) and later with the story of Horus' eye being torn out by Seth and restored by Thoth the god of knowledge and magic. Somehow, for me this adds up to knowledge of truth, the sun, spiritual truth. So the intensity of this light of truth destroys the ediface of spiritual ideas which is where the Heirophant lives. You can't depend on your teachers or spiritual leaders any more at this point as it is about direct experience.
Astrologically the card refers to Mars, fiery and destructive. If I am reading this right about a spiritual ediface being destroyed by truth and direct experience, the destruction is ultimately for the best. Look what comes of it: the Star card.
Another thing: The crown that is falling has red and yellow stripes on it. The Fool is wearing a red and yellow striped garment (and socks!). These strong red and yellow stripes show up again and again in the majors. They aren't in every card but look at the Chariot, the Hanged Man, Temperance (her necklace) the Wheel of Fortune, the Hierophant. I think this is showing the Fool going through the majors. The people in each card don't look like him but the stripes sort of indicate his presence. Maybe I'm reading too much into it.
I see on this card a solid structure with ornate decorations, reaching up to the heavens. It is the representation of the things we have built up in our lives, the things we believe to be important in our lives. That might be our jobs, homes, reputations, or anything. The eye above, whose gaze blasts the tower, represents a higher power, the existence of which we recognise more and more as we travel the Fool's path. Whatever name that higher power has, as we open our minds to it our dependence upon our earthly, material "structures" must necessarily be shattered.