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The Tower (XVI): Major Arcana Tarot Cards Meaning

Find out the meaning of the sixteenth Major Arcana card: The Tower.

A woman spreading out some cards
The Tower (XVI): Major Arcana Tarot Cards Meaning | iSTOCK

The Tower (XVI), also known as “La Maison Dieu” in French, is like a ticking time bomb, according to some cartomancers. Destruction is described as something negative, but it is actually essential if you want to start building on safer ground. It is fine to let things break down, so you can put them together again: that is the main meaning of this tarot card.

Why doesn’t this Tower have doors? Why do the people who fall from the Tower look impassive? What is its interpretation in a love, money or health reading? Here you can find all the hidden meanings of this powerful Major Arcana card. 

Main characteristics 

The tarot card depicts a dreadful scene, which shocks you at first: there are people falling from the tower, which is struck in half by a lightning bolt and the colours are not exactly cheerful. Besides, it seems mysterious because it is impregnable since it does not have a door! It is impossible to gain access to its knowledge. That is why it needs to be knocked down! However, this happens by chance, due to fate’s unknown paths, which lead to its destruction by a lightning bolt. You must pay attention to the uncovering of its message. 

Major Arcana tarot card meaning

This tarot card represents liberation. Due to his desire to climb higher, the human being risks falling into the abyss. But it was necessary to begin that quest because, even though you are lying on the ground now, you can understand things better. It is good to let yourself fall in order to start from scratch on better foundations. 

This is the tarot card of defiance and great challenges, which help you become aware of things. It points out those specific, unexpected events that shatter you, since they can make you change your point of view. This is how innovation and renewal occur.

It encourages you to demolish in order to rebuild, and not to endure for much longer those situations that are meant to break down. May fate proceed and end what is supposed to end, you should not object.


The Tower reversed indicates that recklessness and pride lead to great misfortune.  Excessive ambition overwhelms you. It represents the beginning of demolition or wilful construction, but has the human being evolved enough to be reasonable? All doubts are allowed: once the outset of the Tower is turned on, the fall can be quite harsh.

Tarot card interpretation

In a tarot reading, when this card turns out in the querent position,  it means that you are someone who takes calculated risks, which is something positive. It also represents people who work in the construction sector (architects, builders, etc.), firefighters or even psychologists, since they deal with “knocking down” mental structures that no longer serve you.

This tarot card refers to all the situations that you consider to be critical. If it appears as an answer to your question, it means that you are going through a difficult situation which is necessary for your spiritual development.

If you wonder when things are going to happen, they may be happening at the exact time of the tarot reading! The Tower is fulminating, it speeds up fate and everything that is meant to happen takes place before your eyes.


In a love reading, this tarot card points out a sudden infatuation or love at first sight. If you live with your partner, it is very likely to begin your cohabitation or to built or purchase a house together. This is also the tarot card of starting over with a clean slate, since some problems of the past are left behind and your affection is renewed. In a consolidated relationship, it suggests that the union is long-lasting; it may even be the love of your life.

When this tarot card appears in the reversed position, it indicates a break-up (if it appears together with Death) or that the relationship is just about to end. There appear all kinds of arguments, because you are not on the same wavelength as your partner. Domestic problems are frequent and quite violent, so be very careful.

  • Find out more about the most misunderstood tarot card: Death (XIII)!

Money and work

In an upright position, the Tower predicts that betting is worth it. Changes for the better are possible.  There appear health problems related to the workplace or your personal economy, which make you open your eyes and improve your ability to adapt to reality. Your creativity helps you. As for money, it is invested in solid goods that will provide you good results in the future.

The tower reversed suggests accidents at work and total bankruptcy.  This tarot card does not deal with half-measures.


It symbolises the health conditions that need to be taken care of as quickly as possible. Events may be predicted in most cases, but you will need to see which tarot cards are related to the Tower in order to focus your attention on a particular area. 

For example, combined with the Pope, it indicates an urgent surgical procedure; with the High Priestess, it suggests an altered manly vigour; and with the Hermit, it points out memory loss and mental problems, in general.

Tarot card meanings and spreads 

The polarity of this tarot card is negative. The destruction often ends with principles and achievements that were difficult to support. As mistaken as they might have been, this shocking moment is never a pleasant experience for those who are going through it.

That is why this Major Arcana card is so important in a past or present tarot spread, when destruction is triggered or risks are willingly taken. Sudden revelations about the past and the present can appear, even from the future! You just have to pay attention to the tarot spread.


Your ambitions may settle on unstable ground. That poor planning from the past affects your present. As you did not do what you had to do in the past, now, you are suffering from the consequences. Try to minimise the damage by acting without further delay in the present, because, even if the past cannot be changed, it can always be mended with the right action!


The time has come to face the conflict. You should be pleased, for this will make your life move forward and you will no longer have the feeling that the same things happen over and over again. However, it can be a conflict, a challenge or a trial (such as a blind date, a new job, etc.). In the reversed position, a problem that has been weighing on you for a long time is going to blow up. When this happens, you will have to reconsider things and make important decisions.


What energy does it arouse in you? This tarot card makes you reconsider the path you are taking, because you may be ignoring a very important part of yourself that you will need in the near future.

Fun facts

  • Clearly, the Tower card refers to the Tower of Babel, which was a tower built by humans to reach Heaven, but was knocked down by God so that men learnt that ambition has its limits. However, as with the Tower card, not everything is negative. After this event, all the languages of the world emerged, which lead to a rich cultural diversity that expands our mental horizons. It would be very boring if we all talked and thought the same thing, wouldn’t it?
  • Number 16  is repeated many times in the Bible: there are  16 prophets in the Old Testament and the same number in the New Testament.
  • The Tower is linked to the red colour, the musical note “C”, the Hebrew letter “Pe” (which means “mouth”), the planet Mars and the iron ore.