The Tower of Destruction Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed (2023)

The Tower Tarot card represents the purifying power of fire. It comes with a bolt of lightning that will destroy old habits and ideas. Our ego will crumble to its foundations. Everything we hope to save will be destroyed, and everything we once thought was indestructible will be irrevocably shaken.

The Tower Major Arcana card invites us to understand that every life-changing experience comes with opportunities to learn. It is time to recognize that painful losses and disappointments also bring valuable gifts of wisdom.

Read on to learn about the symbolism of The Tower Tarot card in the Rider-Waite deck as well as how to interpret this card in a reading, both upright and reversed.

The Tower Tarot Card and Numerology

The number of The Tower Tarot card is 16, which is 1+6, or 7. 7 is also the number for The Chariot Tarot card. 7 is a powerful number and represents faith. In The Chariot, 7 signified victory and Divine Guidance, yet, this card seems to represent defeat.

The fact that the number of this card is 7, though, is a sign that the destruction shown on this card is necessary. Something needs to fall so that something else can rise in its place.

The ruling planet for this card is Mars, the planet of fire that bears the name of the God of war.

(Video) 16. The Tower - Upright and Reversed

Keywords for The Tower Tarot Card


  • Destruction
  • Problems
  • Situations that must change
  • Profound transformation
  • Warnings


  • Accidents
  • Confusion
  • Stormy weather
  • Egocentrism
  • Fights

Imagery and Symbolism of The Tower Tarot Card

The Tower Tarot card shows a high tower located on the top of a mountain. This tower has three windows and at its peak a crown that got struck by lightning, causing the two tower inhabitants to fall into the surrounding abyss. The tower ignites in flames, and 22 fireballs fly into a dark sky full of gray clouds.

The lightning destroys only the upper part of the crown, which represents the head. The two people who fall from the heights signify our knowledge and values. The 22 flames represent the 22 Major Arcana, which are 22 lessons that we must complete to build our own path. The sky full of gray clouds symbolizes misfortune. Sorrow, as well as death, are equalitarian experiences. We will all experience them at some point in our lives.

The Lessons of The Tower Tarot Card

The Tower is one of the most frightening Tarot cards. Along with Death, The Moon and The Devil, there are many misconceptions surrounding this card because it emanates mysterious and destabilizing energy. At first glance, it is clear that the change is imminent. This change will be unexpected and unpleasant, but necessary.

Without a doubt, it is a disconcerting image. In the darkest night, a lightning strike hits the top of a tower that burns into flames. The two inhabitants fell into the abyss without even a chance to stop the fall.

This card will mean problems for those who don’t like change. Usually we prefer changes to be gradual, but in this case, there is no time to adapt. It is unexpected, fast, and explosive, and it takes us out of our comfort zone, leaving nothing behind. Suddenly, an event breaks the structures that imprison us, leaving only the essential foundations on which we can rebuild our lives.

Returning to the earth: A time of drastic change

In human history, towers were built mainly for two reasons: to see into the distance, and to imprison the most threatening criminals in the kingdom. Therefore, they were structures of isolation.

(Video) 16 The Tower Tarot Card Meaning Upright & Reversed (Meaning of the Major Arcana Cards)

Height was traditionally seen as a connection with the Divine. Large churches with vaulted ceilings and great towers were built to establish a direct relationship with God. The Tower of Babel brought us closer to God, but it distanced us from our own humanity.

In this sense, the height of the tower supposes that we have moved away from the concrete reality, far from our earthly humanity to isolate ourselves. Yet, this can be disastrous in that we can lose the ability to communicate with the outside world and to perceive the needs of the society that surrounds us.

The Tower Tarot card is a structure that we built to protect and defend ourselves from hypothetical threats, from imaginary enemies that we have created due to experiences that have made us suffer. At a certain point, this protection may have been necessary, but the time has come to leave our refuge, to recover from our spiritual blindness and receive a “lightning of clear vision,” and “a ray of spiritual understanding” capable of destroying The Tower of isolation.

It is time to leave heaven and the realm of ideas and illusions. We must come to back to earth and live in the world.

How to Interpret The Tower Tarot Card in a Reading

Dark and threatening, The Tower Tarot card is the embodiment of complication and conflict. This card not only symbolizes change but also the need to cope with unexpected and unpleasant moments or with unforeseen and traumatic events.

In a spread, The Tower Tarot card is always a threat. Life inevitably implies tragedy, though, and you can decide how you want to face it. When this card appears in a spread, it means that we must rethink our ideas, material resources, and investments.

(Video) The Tower in 4 Minutes

This card symbolizes a relentless destruction that comes as a “gift” from heaven, a healing energy. It has an energy of destruction, yes, but it also has regenerative energy. Sometimes we need to be shaken in order to abandon painful relationships, situations or jobs that stop our progress. Nevertheless, change can be tough to manage. Keep in mind, however, that relief will come shortly afterward.

The Upright Position of The Tower Tarot Card:

The Tower of Destruction Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed (1)

The appearance of the Tower Tarot card in its upright position is a warning that your life is about to take a 180-degree turn. It could be at work, in love, or even in your beliefs, but the lightning will bring sudden changes that will be abrupt and transformative.

In a sense, The Tower Tarot card gives us a lesson in humility. It reminds us that everything that we believe is safe may not exist tomorrow. Everything can change, and we must be flexible in order to adapt. We must also do our best to let go and to welcome the challenges that life brings with optimism.

The Tower walls provide security, but also isolation, and they stop us from seeing the outside world. When they collapse, we will be free to try new things and find happiness outside of our comfort zone. You may have to pick up the pieces and restructure certain parts of your life. It will not be a pleasant process, but it is necessary for your growth.

In the same way, the Tower can represent your ego and egocentric delusions. When the tower of ego and illusion is destroyed, you become free to face truth and reality without blinders. Are you experiencing a change in consciousness? Are you starting to find a new perspective? Enjoy the opportunity to accept change and move towards a more positive worldview. You are free now.

(Video) (16) THE TOWER | Learn How To Read Tarot | Upright and Reversed Meaning | Major Arcana Keywords


  • Your family disapproves of your relationship, and it is essential to let them see the importance it has for you
  • Rethinking friendships and love relationships
  • Unexpected news from your partner can shake the relationship
  • For singles, it is a time of surprising events
  • A new energy comes to sweep away the past
  • Maybe Cupid is about to knock on your door


  • Possible health problems
  • Relapses
  • Accidents
  • Focus on prevention
  • Beware of excesses and carelessness that could cause an accident


  • Avoid making mistakes
  • Rethink your career
  • A change of opinion or job
  • Scholarships


  • It’s not a good time for investments or to start a business
  • Time to collect debts or pay them
  • A change in business policy is urgent
  • Avoid risk in commercial ventures

The Reversed Position of The Tower Tarot Card:

The Tower of Destruction Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed (2)

In the reversed position, The Tower Tarot card indicates all kinds of losses, suffering, and diseases that could have been avoided. It is a problematic card that urges us to take great precautionary measures.

In general, this card is associated with significant changes, risks, and transformations. When appearing reversed, its power is enhanced, and it tells us that not only are unexpected changes coming, but they will also be painful. It is essential to be prepared.

Another possibility is that it could indicate that the transformation, the destruction, or the change of paradigms and circumstances that you need to move forward are stopped because you will not give way to the new things happening in your life. This is not a necessary pause to change perspectives as we found with The Hanged Man. This stagnation involves clinging and resistance to change.

It can be challenging to adapt to changes but problematic moments can bring us spiritual lessons and growth. Sometimes, the best thing is to let go.


  • Breakups
  • This is not the best time to start a new love relationship
  • Divorce
  • Fighting
  • Disillusionment
  • A problematic love
  • Losing your spouse
  • A permanent separation
  • Ending a friendship
  • Pathological jealousy


  • Health problems
  • Relapse
  • Accidents
  • Broken arms or legs
  • A tough period, in which it’s advisable to undergo a checkup
  • The effects of a messy life are reflected in a state of fatigue, stress, weakness, alteration, lack of energy, psychophysical collapse, injuries, and traumas
  • Problems related to the heart and pregnancy
  • It is time to take great precautions and rest


  • Rethinking your work
  • Problems at work
  • Abrupt interruption of professional relationships
  • Forced early retirement
  • Dismissal
  • Contract termination
  • A serious disappointment in the office
  • Failure


  • Many excessive and unforeseen expenses at home
  • Poverty
  • Business closure
  • Bankruptcy
  • Collapse

Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems.

(Video) Learning the Tarot - The Tower, Card 16 - Rock Bottom & Rebuilding After Destruction


What does upright and reversed Tarot mean? ›

Usually upright Tarot cards represent people, energies, and situations that are happening around you, impacting your life from the outside. When a Tarot card is reversed, however, its meaning can change to one of internal influence.

What does the Tower card mean upright? ›

Upright Tower Meaning. The Tower represents change in the most radical and momentous sense. It is for this reason that the card itself visually looks so unnerving. But it doesn't necessarily have to be truly frightening or ominous. Because at the heart of this card, its message is foundational, groundbreaking change.

What does the Tower of Destruction card mean? ›

The Tower Tarot card represents chaos and destruction. It is the Major Arcana card of sudden upheaval and unexpected change. This change usually is scary, life changing and often unavoidable. A negative Tower event can be akin to a bomb going off in your life.

What does the Tower card symbolize? ›

The Tower is sometimes interpreted as meaning danger, crisis, sudden change, destruction, higher learning, and liberation. In the Rider–Waite deck, the top of The Tower is a crown, which symbolizes materialistic thought being bought cheap. The Tower is associated with the planet Mars.

How do you read a reversed card? ›

In summary, reversed Tarot cards can be read as resistance, a lessening or internalisation of energy, or a completion of the message in the card. They can also be read as the opposite or a more negative indication of their usual meaning if you prefer.

Can the tower be a positive card? ›

Besides the Devil and Death cards, it is one of the most feared cards found in the tarot deck, especially when it falls in the future position. But like all 78 cards, the Tower has both positive and negative aspects.

What does the tower mean in feelings? ›

If you are asking about how someone is feeling about you, the Tower can mean the person feels upset and on shaky ground. The person doesn't know where they stand and they are feeling very unsure about themselves and the situation.

Can you cleanse tarot cards? ›

That's right—to ensure the most accurate of readings, Magdaleno actually recommends cleansing your deck every time you do a reading. "Whether it's for someone else, or yourself," she says, "it's always best to start with a cleanse to clear the cards for your reading."

Is card destruction a good card? ›

None of the cards in either player's hand are destroyed. However, Card Destruction is a great Normal Magic Card with no cost. Just activate it to make all player's discard their entire hand and then draw the same number of cards they discarded.

What is a tower moment twin flame? ›

Usually in the twin flame journey, the tower moment signifies a time of intense upheaval and change, or even times of chaos, as suggested by the interpretation of the card, both upright and reversed.

What does it mean for a card to be reversed? ›

What does payment reversal mean? Payment reversal (also "credit card reversal or "reversal payment") is when the funds a cardholder used in a transaction are returned to the cardholder's bank. This can be initiated by the cardholder, merchant, issuing bank, acquiring bank, or card association.

What is the most powerful card in the Tarot? ›

In almost all tarot games, the Fool is one of the most valuable cards.

How long does a tower moment last? ›

Usually it's around six weeks, and someone runs/argues.

What is the full meaning of Tower? ›

: a building or structure typically higher than its diameter and high relative to its surroundings that may stand apart (such as a campanile) or be attached (such as a church belfry) to a larger structure and that may be fully walled in or of skeleton framework (such as an observation or transmission tower)

What does it mean to Tower someone? ›

to be much taller than someone or something else.

Is the tower a reconciliation card? ›

The Tower Tarot card meaning

Sometimes, it's because that relationship was never right, and was never meant to be. Other times, the relationship isn't what's wrong, but the timing. When this is the case, you may find The Tower comes up in your reconciliation Tarot reading.

What does tower mean in astrology? ›

The Tower Card Meaning

The Tower card in Tarot is all about the downfall of old ideas. A structure has suddenly and violently come crashing down, leading to chaos and distress, but it has also made room for something new to be built.

What do oracle cards tell you? ›

According to the author, the cards can be used daily for reflection, meditation, or in a tarot-inspired spread and are meant to help you develop your intuition, self-love, inner beauty, and emotional well-being.

When should you not read Tarot cards? ›

If your entire line of questioning is about another person and their thoughts and behaviors (like what your ex is up to), then a tarot reading is not the answer. Tarot is supposed to give you insight about *yourself*, not other people.

What happens if someone touches your Tarot cards? ›

I am often asked “is it okay for others to touch my Tarot cards?” There is a belief that if someone else handles your cards, their energy will be absorbed by the deck and mess up the accuracy of future readings. This is a legitimate concern and it is certainly possible.

How do you respectfully remove Tarot cards? ›

The proper way to get rid of Tarot cards is to , Pray to the Tarot Deck telling the reason why you want to get rid off and you are not going to use the tarot deck any more. With Respect, Pack the deck in a cloth and box and put it somewhere on a Holy place.

What is the most broken card in magic? ›

Black Lotus has earned itself quite the reputation among Magic: The Gathering players, and for good reason. Here's what this card is capable of.

What card does the most damage CR? ›

Hunter: Deals BIG damage, and he can counter Hog Riders and Mini P.E.K.K. As easily, as he deals x10 damage. Only for 4 elixir, but not really good in Hit Speed and Range. But, he is very strong!

Does destroying a card negate it? ›

Destroying a card is distinct from negating its effect; even if a card is destroyed, its activated effect can still resolve.

What is a false Twin Flame? ›

A fake twin flame is an individual that you will think is your twin flame but is actually not. A twin flame is someone that has a personality that essentially mirrors your own. You may have some of the same traits, weaknesses, and expectations.

What happens when one Twin Flame leaves? ›

Many twin flames will end up making their way back to each other, even if it takes years—but not all. It depends on the level of work the twin flames do individually while they are separate. Some twin flame relationships can be toxic, however, and they may never reunite—or shouldn't.

Are twin flames meant to fall in love? ›

Contrary to popular belief, the concept of twin flames is not the same as soul mates. Your twin flame doesn't even have to be someone you fall in love with (although it often is). "This kind of high-level, soul-based connection isn't about romance. It's about spiritual growth," says Vallejos.

What does the Tower card mean in Phasmophobia? ›

The Tower. Causes a ghost interaction. 20% The Wheel of Fortune. The player gains 25% sanity if the card burns green, or loses 25% sanity if the card burns red.

What does the upright Empress mean? ›

Upright Empress Meaning. The Empress shows us how deeply we are embedded to our femininity. Femininity could be associated with fertility, expression, creativity and nurturing among many other aspects. It therefore calls you to connect with beauty and bring happiness to your life.

What does the emperor mean upright? ›

Upright Emperor Meaning. It's all about control when it comes to the Emperor, for this card means authority, regulation, organization and a fatherliness. The Emperor represents a strategic thinker who sets out plans that he must see through.

Is Phasmophobia a phobia? ›

A persistent fear of ghosts is sometimes called phasmophobia, a type of specific phobia. It derives from Greek φάσμα, phásma, meaning "apparition" and -φοβία, -phobía, meaning "fear". It is often brought about by experiences in early childhood and causes sufferers to experience panic attacks.

What does the devil mean in Phasmophobia? ›

The Devil. Triggers a Ghost Event towards the nearest [verification needed] player to the ghost. Pink. 10% The High Priestess.

Can wraiths step in salt? ›

Wraiths will step in salt piles like any other ghost and leave an imprint, but will not leave UV-visible footprints. When they step in a salt pile, the Wraith will become "angered" and the level of ghost activity will increase for a short period of time.

What does the hermit upright mean? ›

​ The Hermit Tarot card in an upright position generally indicates that you are entering a period of soul searching, self-reflection and spiritual enlightenment.

What kind of person does the Empress represent? ›

The Empress Card as a Person

As a person the Empress speaks of someone who is loving, warm, sensual, and as charismatic as she is beautiful. People represented by the Empress tend to be very creative and highly intelligent, often enjoying successful careers in the notably competitive field of the arts.

What is an empress spiritually? ›

The Empress is representative of the productivity of the subconscious, seeded by ideas. She is meant to be the embodiment of the growth of the natural world, fertility, and what one knows or believes from the heart.

What does the strength upright mean? ›

Strength Upright

Strength is about knowing you can endure life's obstacles. You have great stamina and persistence, balanced with underlying patience and inner calm. You are committed to what you need to do, and you go about it in a way that shows your composure and maturity.

What God does the Emperor represent? ›

In the Mythic Tarot deck, the Emperor is depicted by Zeus.

Is the Empress Dowager higher than the Emperor? ›

Originally Answered: Why empress dowager are more powerful than real emperor? Because the Empress Dowager is the mother of the Emperor. And even an emperor will have trouble disobeying his mother. And no one knows better how to push a person's buttons than that person's mother so she will have control over him.


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