The card of the Tower opens against a black canvas of the night sky, as a lightening bolt strikes an obelisk of falsehood, thus casting illusions to the ground. In front of the Tower laying on the ground, we find a green djed which represents the backbone of Osiris. The green color suggests the possiblity of resurrection. The dove of Isis circles the destruction as it is occurring.

The solar eye, or Udjat eye, also known as the eye of Horus, can be seen near the top of the tower. This eye recalls the power struggle which ensued upon Osiris' death. Set, brother of Osiris, and Horus, son of Osiris, both claimed possession of the throne. Even though a court of the gods decided that Horus was the rightful heir, Set and Horus fought a battle in which Horus lost an eye. (Set lost something too, but I am not one to gossip!) The eye of Horus was later found and restored by Thoth. Horus then presented the eye to Osiris, which represented the restoration of royal power.

Likewise, we see the defaced images of royal figures on the Tower. This brings to mind the Egyptian pharoah Akhenaton, who ruled Egypt from 1380-1362 BC. Within 6 years of taking the throne, Akhenaton instituted his own religion combining all Egyptian gods into one, named Aton. During Akhenaton's reign, he defaced the names and images of Amon (Trump IV) and his consort Mut, throughout all of Egypt. Some claim Akhenaton's actions constituted the first documented example of monotheism. Akhenaton was succeeded by Tutankhamen, who restored the Egyptian religion and then defaced Akhenaton's images.

To me, this sums up the entire meaning of this card. The eye of Horus is concerned with restoration of power, as are the defaced images. The Tower asks, to whom, or what, do we give power and honor?

Do we honor the illusive Towers we have built for our ourselves? If so, we will be as the priests on the ground, running away as fast as we can, never to look back and finally see our illusions for what they really are. In this, we will fall for the same illusion again and again, until we finally break it. The dark skies become a very, very long night in this case.

Or, do we follow the dove & honor the lightening bolt of truth as the light-bringer, which shatters our illusions, thus freeing us from them? If we make this choice, the dark skies will end quickly, being right before the dawn.

My only question concerning this card, is what does the mouth on the Tower represent to you? Clive Barrett says it represents "the entrance to the Underworld," which relates to the Opening of the Mouth Ceremony performed on the ancient Egyptian dead.

For me, the mouth represents the illusion or falsehood itself, saying "Uh oh!"


Isn't it tacky to reply to your own thread in order to bump it?


Tacky? Perish the thought SweetIsTheTruth. I loved your take on The Tower. I will look at the card from your description and post tomorrow.~Rosanne


XVI Tower

Just out of interest I looked though the few books I have on Egyptian history and mythology to see whether the concept of Tower by chance appeared anywhere but I couldn’t find anything, and then I remembered that Barrett is making a Tarot from Egyptian mythology not the other way around. I was able to see that the Egyptians were good at scrambling the images of their predecessors. Now that is a very old political strategy isn’t it?

I guess anyone who build a Tower in the Egypt of the Osirian period would be setting himself up for a fall. With that srtoke of lightning, it is almost as the Gods themselves are destroying the Tower.

I really like your question To whom and to what do we give power and honour? It is a new twist for me on the Tower. Power for me has almost always been something we lose. Or we give it away, which is not the same as honouring.

Sometimes we need to have the Tower collapse, everything around us collapse so that we can discover the power within. It is because we lack that power that we construct a false edifice to protect us or to hide behind.

This scene is really gloomy and frightening. Something to do with the smoking pyramid and the black sky beyond. The eye and mouth of Horus almost look brassy, a quirky aspect of the destruction.

Tower is my shadow card so I am quite familiar with it, but not this one. I have never drawn the Tower in this deck. which does give me pretty accurate readings most of the time. I love the image of Isis floating around as if to say that she is there to be called upon if necessary


makes me think of the Tower of Babel, now that sure was headed for a fall ;)

Moongold I love your "Sometimes we need to have the Tower collapse, everything around us collapse... we construct a false edifice to protect us or to hide behind." How true :)


The history of the obelisk is interesting:

Called a TEJEN. It was thought they could dispel negative forces. Usually they were erected in pairs in front of temples and used to protect. Associated with the power of the Sun god Ra, they were generally inscribed on all four sides with hieroglyphs which paid homage to the gods.

Interestingly it is thought that they may represent the primeval mound where the first rays of sun hit. This links back to Horus (Fool) as the child Horus in the form of Harpocrates.

I have also found a site in which it stated that the pyramid-shaped top and monolithic shaft could represent the phallus and seed of Atum!! Now, is Atum the same as Amun? Also I find the link with orgasm quite interesting, I have a feeling I have read something similar in another thread.

Now I know we are not concerned with crystals but whilst researching the obelisk on the internet I found an interesting site about crystal obelisks which can help extract and dissipate negative energy. They can also be used to heal and to store knowledge. In fact they likened the hieroglyphs of the obelisk to the store of knowledge or the telling of a story. Probably not relevant but interesting none-the-less!

I really love the colour of the sky in this card! When you think about the size of pyramids and obelisks, the enormity and colour of the sky gives a feeling of awesome power.

Great thread!


I have had the Tower on a stand today to look at for extra insight. I now see the Mouth aspect as in a 'Oh no sudden change' as if yelled from this tower. I also see the capped top that is blown off- it is a ben ben stone, yet another allusion to the primeval mound. I have also realised a reading I did where I saw a sudden change was required- to give up smoking- I had had that impression but did not speak it out to the querent. Me second guessing again. That tower has the sculptured look of the personal jewellry of a cigarette. I too love the thunderous clouds and the circling Dove (Isis). This way of discussing each card has enriched my perceptions. I wonder what it is that gives this Deck its accuracy?
MoonGold stated '......we construct a false edifice to protect us or hide behind'. I have seen that in me and I have been so relieved when the walls crumbled. More than the Tower of Babel, I see the walls of Jerico. I had never considered the aspect of ' to who or what do we give the Power and Honour' I have in error attributed that concept to the wrong Card; it makes perfect sense with the Tower and that is a stand alone concept I am grateful for. Great Thread SweetIsTheTruth. ~Rosanne


Rosanne said:
yet another allusion to the primeval mound
I have never seen the connection to the primeval mound until the threads wherein this has been discussed. To me it has great importance. The primeval mound is found on the Fool, underneath the embryo, and so connected to birth.

Sometimes the circumstances we are born into will require us to begin building a Tower not long after birth. This happened to me. It took many years of work, beginning at age 21, to finally reveal one of my own primeval towers. Finally, at age 32, that Tower fell. I completely understand why the symbolism of the primeval mound is found on this card, but such a connection never occurred to me before reading the responses to this post.

Rosanne said:
Great Thread SweetIsTheTruth. ~Rosanne
Thanks. You know, this website has tarot experts, along with publishers and designers of various decks. I felt WAY out of my league in participating in this. My knowledge is little, in spite of daily study extending for months. I had hoped I would be able to come up with something that would fit with the level of discourse found throughout this website. Your comments give me hope.


Greetings all ~

This group is proving so useful to me.

Thank you Jewel_ry for pointing out that the Tower is an obelisk not a tower. I looked through the rest of the deck and can see that the Devil card also has an obelisk.

I noticed this morning when doing the Sun card that the primaeval mound is present throughout the deck, It's on the Fool card, the Lovers card and the Sun card as well. The Sun itself is another constant theme and I keep seeing little symbols of the major gods in the Major cards but also in the minors.

The Eye of Horus is another common theme and appears also on the obelisk in the Devil card. I could not see the mouth any where else, SweetIsTheTruth, and I can't really answer your question about what it means to me. It looks almost as though Horus is smiling at the devastation being caused by the Tower strike.

It was only this morning that I was able to see the vague outline of something in the cosmic egg on the Fool card. so evidently, the process of revelation is a slow one for me .