Poetry of the Tarot: The Tower

The Tower

Without warning the walls collapse,
lightning strikes, flames burst forth
as the ego surrenders to Divine will,
the poet’s life falls down in tragedy.
Behold the sudden moment of truth,
when the immortal soul strikes back,
creating demolition and devastation,
shaking the foundations with wrath!

Bringing down the house is painful,
yet destruction brings forth creation
as we liberate ourselves from prison.
When destroyed we meet only truth
as we hit rock bottom and revitalise,
begin again, no way out but through.
She who bears the phoenix’s destiny.
He who plummets to his own death.

In reverse, while trump tower burns,
admiring jewels instead of escaping,
she surveys her gilded magpie’s nest
even as the world shakes around her.
Surrounded by civil unrest he tweets
infantile, hate-filled, arrogant words,
yet clings on with sheer desperation,
afraid to crash, afraid of losing it all!

What destroys the poet liberates her
as she recovers the courage to let go,
manifest space and go with the flow.
Yes, poets must create in the towers
that hover in the background of life,
yet they are forbidden to live within.
In darkness she is to seek out nature,
search within for her numinous Star.

Copyright © Deborah Gregory 2016

12 thoughts on “Poetry of the Tarot: The Tower

  1. Amazing, Deborah, but then you always amaze me. Thank you. I don’t have an association with this card like many do, but your writing and the comments give me clues. The tower has such an ominous feel–as in the Tower of London where the condemned were imprisoned or, in the US, Trump Tower–a different sort of prison which I visited (my husband begged me) on a trip to NYC about 25 years ago. Vic wanted to see what the shadow had materialized. I was glad I went along and saw the horrifying monument to the worst ugly materialism this country can create.

    Your depiction of trump and his tower is powerful and apt. You’re a brave poet to tackle that darkness.

    I also think of the Tower in the Fourth Labor of Psyche in “Eros and Psyche.” In utter despair and defeat, Psyche climbs the Tower to jump and commit suicide, but instead the Tower speaks to her and tells her how to survive the required journey to the underworld. Such a stark, cold, detached wisdom, but the voice that’s needed at such times. Now, because of your poem, there’s a numinous Star at the peak of that Tower in my imagination.

    1. Thank you so much Elaine for your truly amazing comment and insightful tower reflections! Whether we imprison ourselves inside an ivory, gold or dark tower, our life is essentially cut off … disconnected from source, others, and most especially ourselves. The tumbling Tower, and destruction must come, it must! … all must fall for us to see that the ego is not in control and never will be. Our lives, jobs, relationships, health, homes are lost as we hit rock bottom.

      I’ve never visited Trump Tower, yet for me, it symbolises everything that is totally wrong with the world today … bringing to light excessive wealth and power to new levels. One can only wonder at the latest refurbishments! I cannot imagine how nauseating they must be … on a planet where millions of people do not have enough food to eat today or for tomorrow! Vic was right, the shadow incarnate! Yes, the poets must write about that particular Tower!

      The mere mention of “Eros and Psyche” has my heart all-a-flutter! I shall reread the myth this week for sure! “The Tower speaks” that’s so commanding, love it! Yes, that detached wisdom, and objectively is much needed in specific situations. In fact, sometimes it’s the only approach that saves us. I could have written reams on this card because of the inner conflict, undertaking and symbolism involved. Many thanks, blessings always, Deborah.

  2. I fear that Tower with every fibre of my being – I fear that I will not have the courage to withstand its awesome power or sufficient faith to go through the flames. But how will we know unless we are tested is a question I often ask myself. I don’t mean to imply that I live in fear; I don’t – but I’m only too aware of the capriciousness of life.

    Does your post give me any hope dear Deborah? Well, I’m not sure of that but I do know that the Tower and its Power HAS to be articulated and that there is courage in the expression of it which you do in your beautiful and poetic way. And I also know from experience that the dark has to be faced and it is not a question of getting over it, but through it.

    Like Susanne, I pay attention to my dreams and look at them in the light of the day.

    Thank you dear Deborah – may your week ahead be bounteous and beautiful!

    1. Thank you so much Susan for your kind-hearted and wonderful commentary on the Tower. What would it look like to lose it all I wonder? To lose our relationships, jobs, and families or for some, all three … while others encounter losing their health, well-being, faith, or everything that is known to them, as they pack a few clothes, or none, to become overnight a refugee. Such a tough, arduous task! Beyond language … the capriciousness of life indeed!

      I feel it is often following such a “dark night of the soul” that we come to realise the true legacy of what we’re leaving to the world … in every life that we touch thereafter. In all those who experience our heart. How, despite our own pain and suffering, despite our own Tower collapsing, we use our life to be a light for someone else … how we use our work to become an expression of our art, our heart. Abundant May blessings, Deborah.

  3. I used to be despondent when I saw the Tower in a spread but now I am far more positive because I know I am about to embark on some new learning and personal growth. I know that when I come through that dark night of the soul that the Tower brings with it I can look forward to positive changes even though at the time it feels like going to hell and back.

    I have been guilty of staying way too long in a relationship and also in a job that drained me – in fact on both occasions as I struggled on I was brought to my knees before I held my hands up, said enough is enough and accepted that change was necessary. Once I made those changes I really did feel renewed and that I was moving more towards being the authentic me. I also found that withdrawing and nurturing my soul with nature and creativity supported me…once of course that I have realised that the change in my life is necessary!

    Thank you Deborah for taking me on another step of the journey – your words on the Tower describe if so succinctly with the opening lines really setting the tone of its meaning and effect.

    1. Thank you so much Sophia for your wonderful gift of words and rich comment on the imposing Tower card. It feels like your relationship to this card has gone through many changes itself. I fully understand the fear and trepidation when first working with these archetypal energies yet by integrating the light and shadow, new perceptions are found.

      I agree by staying too long in a dead-end job, relationship or situation we almost draw the Tower to us, as the immortal soul fights back! The freedom, ecstasy and pure relief we experience by leaving situations that no longer serve is incredible, life-changing … even when it’s taken us decades to even reach the point of saying enough is enough is enough!

      In many ways I find myself feeling really pleased to have reached this momentous point on my Fool’s (Poet’s) Journey today and incredibly happy to have shared my divine Tarot journey with so many wonderful friends, and tarot lovers. May blessings to you, Deborah.

  4. Deborah, I’m consistently impressed with you, for the lonely tower will always beckon the poet. True, poets can visit but mustn’t move in. I envision its spiral staircase as the same circular journey you’re taking from nothing to wholeness.

    Trump Tower wasn’t lost on me!!! Admiring her jewels and infantile tweets. Superb reversal. The Tower is an epic moment on the fool’s journey. Bravo, well done! Anna.

    1. Thank you so much Anna for your wonderful comment. I hadn’t imagined a spiral staircase within the Tower yet that makes perfect sense in relation to the Fool’s (Poet’s) journey itself. There’s more treasure there to be mined but I can’t quite get hold of it today … bit exhausted from a long bike ride earlier!

      The “lonely tower” makes me think of the “lonely mountain” taken from The Hobbit. Deep connections there too I feel. Hmm, yes how could I not mention “that” tower! … this is why I’ve termed it a magpie’s nest, and not an eagle’s, as the magpie is well known for his thievery, and love of shiny objects! May blessings to you, Deborah.

        1. I think she’ll be quickly discarded when the next shiny object comes along! Thank you once more for your constant encouragement and support Anna.

  5. Thank you for this post Deborah. “No way out but through”. This is so true. How many times did I have to struggle through the humiliation of divorce and of being kicked out of a job. And after the bitter tears of rejection have been cried, to see that it really was not right for me.

    Where the devil is the opposite of the lovers, the Tower is the opposite of the Chariot.
    The hero in the chariot has a goal and goes forward. Until she recognises that the world view she used to reach his goals has to be adjusted. The Tower is a symbol of the need for adjustment.

    And indeed as you say: a dark period. But no darkness without light. In the darkness you can seek out your nature. I always use the gift of the darkness: my dreams.

    Thanks again for taking me on this Tarot Travel, my dear poet.


    1. Thank you so much Susanne for your kind-hearted words and sharing more of your profound Tarot insights, greatly appreciated! The force and potency of this card can never be ignored … this archetypal vision means business, as change moves quickly and heavily upon our lives. It’s a heart-breaking scene to watch as we and others fall to our metaphorical deaths within our jobs, relationships and communities.

      Yes, I agree hindsight is a great leveller, as it is often only years later that we can begin to see that those “dark nights of the soul” were indeed not the endings we feared most of all, but new beginnings in disguise. The need for adjustment is upon us! Tis a chance for us to tear our old lives in two, and begin again … no way out but through! Warm wishes to you, Deborah.

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