THE TOWER CARD IN THESE TIMES
by Katrina Wynne, M.A.
Inspired by a story challenge from Catherine Chapman’s weblog “Tarot Elements”
This is a story about the “Tower” card. Whether we were reading this card or it was reading us is yet to be determined. It started when I was teaching a workshop titled “Tarot Magic and Transformation” at an American Tarot Association (ATA) conference on September 9th, 2001 in Portland, Oregon.
In this workshop I had the participants randomly select a Tarot card from my deck for the purpose of exploring a one-card reading for one’s self. The point of this exercise was to show how to work deeply with one card in a transformational way. This is a psycho-spiritual approach that I teach my students.
We went around the room to get different impressions of the cards from the students. One student in particular was disturbed by pulling the XVI Tower card and could not focus on her intuitive impression for the traditional meaning was so overwhelming negative for her.
There is not enough room here to go into all the details of our exchange, but here is a significant part. I told the story of a reading I had conducted years past with a 20-something man who was trying to decide whether to stay in New York City (NYC) as a fireman or move to Los Angeles, California and become a plumber. Using my intuitive style of working with him and the cards, he pulled the XVI Tower card, which for him confirmed that he should stay in NYC. He told me the story of how he had been called to the World Trade Center for the 1993 bomb threat and how that was a high point in his life, feeling very proud of his work. So in that reading, the XVI Tower had a positive association for this man, although it was an association with fire and destruction that you or I may not choose to engage in. I trust each client’s process and do not impose my will or interpretation.
This class had been on a Sunday. The next day I flew to New Mexico to visit my mother, who happened to have a television (something I did not have at home). The next morning on 9/11/01, she urgently called me to the television where I watched the smoke from the jet that hit the first World Trade Tower, then the live coverage as the second jet impacted the other tower. My heart went out to the people of NYC, that NYC fireman and his co-workers engaged in their finest and most challenging moment, as well as the sorrow and pure terror that must have been in the atmosphere. I watched people choose to jump out of windows rather than burn in the building. The XVI Tower card was truly coming to life.
Of course we were horrified, as the world was in shock. But my objective mind began to read this event much like I would a Tarot card, bringing in my intuitive impressions and knowledge of the Tower card. What was the card trying to prepare us for in that ATA workshop? What was that participant’s specific relationship with this event? What message is being sent to the collective since the power of the Tower card is being broadcast and felt all over the world?
I then began to revisit the sequence of the Major Arcana of the Tarot and the position of the XVI Tower in that story, the “Hero’s Journey” or what I’ve always called, “The Sacred Journey of Your Soul”? The Tower is often associated with purification, burning away impurities identified by the XV Devil archetype of attachment that preceded it.
This inquiry lead me to question what do the World Trade Towers represent? Here we have a center of international trade and business sitting in NYC, the most powerful symbol of commerce, culture and diversity in the US. If the “Hero” on the world level is the US or capitalism or focused on all people of this planet, something of that nature, what needs to be purified? Where are we heading and how is this an important step in our evolution? I began to look into other metaphysical and spiritual systems with their wisdom on these times and the significance. At the top of my list are the Mayan calendar, Hopi prophecy and the Kali Yuga of Hinduism.
There is much that could be written on this subject, but I’d like to leave you with these questions so you can find your own answers. The Tarot is a powerful tool of self-exploration, but please remember that each of us has our little self while we are all part of a larger Self that is on a transformational journey through life.
Thank you to Frankie Albano, wherever he is, for the use of the Albano Waite/Smith Tarot card. World Trade Center photo from wikipedia.org
For comments or further explorations on the transformational power of Tarot and how to read for oneself, please contact Katrina Wynne, M.A. at: mail@TarotCounseling.org
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