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The Tower/Resistance

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caridwen  caridwen is offline
Join Date: 13 Jan 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 8,419
The Tower/Resistance

I've been reading some stuff about the Ontological Development of the Tarot.

According to this the first four Arcana are Fool/World/Wheel/Tower.

The Fool literally steps into the World and produces a movement containing its own resistance. Aleph, beyond signification, is followed by the primary triad of Bayt, Ghimmel, Dallet or Saturn, Jupiter, Mars. This action sets the stage for the appearance of life in the universe with the next letter, Hay (5), The Emperor, the first zodiacal aut (sign) in the Hebrew alphabet and the Tarot.

In the Sepher Yetsira, Dallet, the fourth letter, "forms" Meadim (Mars), and has twin aspects of Wisdom and Folly. The number 4 has always symbolized stability and resistance to the movement of the previous letter/number, Ghimmel, 3, just as 3, movement, is the logical consequence of establishing the relationship, Bayt, 2 of a container and that which is contained and not contained, 1, Aleph.

In the traditional tarot, while mis-assigned to the wrong alphabetic value, The Tower has always been associated with disaster and change, interpreted in both material and psychological/spiritual terms. The resistance/response of the human psyche to the adaptive challenges of life is structured in the energies of Mars/Meadim and experienced in the Cube of Symbolic or Formative Space as the on-rushing uncertain future from the rising sun of the East, the 7th Sephira. The unconscious patterns of the past structure our response to the future, and whether we resist/adapt to life wisely or foolishly. Life can be "turned upside down" by forces "outside" our control.

The falling figures suggest both the Aleph and Yod of Meadim, Mem-Aleph-Dallet-Yod-Mem, on either side of the resistant Tower of Dallet -- Adam in the Waters of Life, Mayim. Thus they will land in Mem, the Hanged Man.

This seems to make sense because sudden change, disaster, conflict are traditional astrological associations for Mars. The Tower is the best-fit card to represent the concept of force/resistance, and to imply its wise and unwise uses.
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