Manga Tarot: The Tower


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Alan Ross  Alan Ross is offline
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Manga Tarot: The Tower


Seasonal Glyph: Winter

The Manga Tower departs from the traditional image of a couple of figures falling from a tower that has been ravaged by lightning. Instead, in the Manga version of The Tower, the burning tower has been recessed into the background while a female warrior stands defiantly in the foreground waving aloft a broken sword.

The traditional image calls to my mind the aphorism "pride goeth before a fall," especially in those versions that show a crowned figure. The figures falling from the tower are obviously going to come to a very unpleasant and messy end. The impression I get from the Manga Tower is completely different. There is still the same sense of calamity, but this warrior is still standing tall, ready to fight her way through whatever obstacles or misfortunes the Universe throws her way.

I really like the sense of personal empowerment this version of The Tower conveys. The LWB provides a typical interpretation of "Ruin, destruction, things that go up in smoke," but it adds "Reconstruct from the ashes, let things go. Pick yourself up after defeat." This is an optimistic spin on a typically unpleasant card.

Alan
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Mellifluous  Mellifluous is offline
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I like this one because one of the situations I associate with the Tower is having to make a decision about yielding to someone else's 'authority' (when they might be in the wrong), or maintaining your own personal power and sticking with what you know is right or real. It's often the external authority you believe in that's exposed as faulty with the Tower card.

It also goes with the activist sense of the Tower, to me. She might be directly responsible for the destruction of the tower in the background. We just don't know for sure.

I don't find the Tower all bad though, and I don't really care for the booklet meaning because of that. (I don't care for most booklet meanings because of that. lol) I don't think 'defeat' is exactly the right word. It's more like battle... you're a bit shaken up, but you haven't necessarily been defeated.

I do wonder though if changing the image so much omits the fear meaning that usually goes with this card. As we discussed, that seems to have been moved to the Devil card in this deck. I'm not sure if I'd ever feel fear or not looking at this card, if this was my first deck and I had no other associations with the Tower. Maybe the dread of doing battle... depending on one's state of mind when drawing the card.

However, I've always hated that about Tower cards, so on the whole it's probably a very good thing. For a long while I was wishing there were more decks that didn't scare the crap out of people with this card, so I guess this is one.

I wonder, too, about the sexual meanings. They seem to be a bit lost with this one. Well... maybe. lol

I also like how the sky is a bit weird, but it's not all dark and gloomy or filled with smoke. It's more like strange, disconcerting weather (shades of green, plus lightning). Also, the ambiguity of whether that's snow or hail or ash and bits of the tower's roof falling all around. It's open to interpretation, I think. To me, it's sort of a gentle effect, contrasted with everything else. Maybe even celebratory, like a stand in for confetti.

The mountain being behind her seems to represent getting past insurmountable problems, survival, victory... and also solidity and reassurance. It's still there, same as ever, while the Tower isn't faring so well; and she is on that side of the picture. It's 'got her back', so to speak. lol Seems to show there are older, more reliable things in the world than certain man-made institutions.

Yeah, I really like this one.
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Alan Ross  Alan Ross is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mellifluous
I don't think 'defeat' is exactly the right word. It's more like battle... you're a bit shaken up, but you haven't necessarily been defeated.
I don't get the sense that "defeat" as used in the LWB significance refers to feeling defeated or acknowledging defeat. Certainly, the female warrior pictured in the card looks anything but defeated. I think I might have worded that particular significance differently. instead of "Pick yourself up after defeat," I think I would have said "Pick yourself up after being knocked flat on your... backside ." It calls to my mind the movie "Batman Begins," where Bruce Wayne is asked first by his father, then by his butler and personal attendant, Alfred, "Why do we fall?" The answer is "so we can pick ourselves back up."

Quote:
I do wonder though if changing the image so much omits the fear meaning that usually goes with this card.
I don't have a problem with this because I never really associated this card with fear. I've always associated this card with the type of calamitous or shocking events or revelations that leave one feeling stunned or devastated, but that occur so suddenly - a bolt from the blue - that fear doesn't have a chance to set in. An oppressive sense of fear is something I've always associated more with the Devil.

Quote:
I wonder, too, about the sexual meanings. They seem to be a bit lost with this one. Well... maybe. lol
I think this card actually does pretty good with that. The woman certainly seems to have had her world rocked. And is ready for more. Also, that's a pretty phallic symbol she's waving overhead, but I'd rather not think about the significance of its being broken (major cringe reaction!).

Alan
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Mellifluous  Mellifluous is offline
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Cool


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Ross
I don't have a problem with this because I never really associated this card with fear. I've always associated this card with the type of calamitous or shocking events or revelations that leave one feeling stunned or devastated, but that occur so suddenly - a bolt from the blue - that fear doesn't have a chance to set in. An oppressive sense of fear is something I've always associated more with the Devil.
Interesting. I've always put it with the Tower.

To me, the fear associated with the Devil - if there is any - is the fear of being bad, as in morally deficient. Or, at times, the fear of encountering someone who may be. Over time my perspective has changed so much I don't even really see that in it anymore. (Also, it's not the only card that points to that possibility.) A Tower experience of fear is more like panic and terror, very 'real world' or external, not like the Devil card at all (to me).

As I've said before though, I'm not in favor of having any tarot cards spark that kind of reaction or dread in someone. It's incredibly bad for people's health and well being.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Ross
Also, that's a pretty phallic symbol she's waving overhead, but I'd rather not think about the significance of its being broken (major cringe reaction!).
This made me laugh. I figured chances were good that men might see this card as a bit more sexual than I do.
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Alan Ross  Alan Ross is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mellifluous
To me, the fear associated with the Devil - if there is any - is the fear of being bad, as in morally deficient. Or, at times, the fear of encountering someone who may be.
I see the relationship between fear and the Devil a bit differently. Fear can lead one down very dark pathways, pathways where we are likely to fall in the clutches of the Devil. It is a fertilizer that can nourish the growth of many destructive mind states, such as anger and hatred, and the destructive behaviors arising from those dark passions. It is common to find a strong undercurrent of fear whenever destructive, or self-destructive, behaviors are present. Fear is also one way (addiction, of course, is another) that the Devil can keep us in bondage.

I agree that some Tower situations can inspire terror or panic. However, I'm rather thankful that this deck has a Tower that is a bit more positive than most. The somewhat positive Tower and the not very fearsome and rather silly looking Devil help give this deck a fairly mild-mannered personality. Even the more painful minors (i.e. 3 of Swords, 9 of Swords, and the 10 of Swords) seem more mild in this deck than most. I think that makes this deck very suitable for use with sensitive querents.

Alan
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Mellifluous  Mellifluous is offline
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Yes, so am I! I really like this deck. At this point, the gender switching of the court cards and the Emporer and Empress still throws me off at times, but that'd be my only real quibble with it - if I were to quibble which I don't feel like doing. lol

Actually what you wrote above about the Devil card is what I put under the general heading of a 'fear of being a bad person'. So, our views there are not so different.
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