The Tower tarot card can be an alarming card to receive in a reading! It often indicates sudden and disruptive change coming your way. However, while the Tower tarot card often catches people off guard, it also offers valuable opportunities for growth and rebirth. By understanding the deeper the Tower card meaning, you can better navigate the transformations this Major Arcana card brings.

In this post, we’ll explore all aspects of the Tower tarot card. You’ll learn about the card’s symbolism, its upright and reversed meanings in different life areas, and how to interpret the Tower when it appears in a reading. Whether you’re a tarot beginner or a seasoned reader, read on to deepen your understanding of this intense and transformative card!

The Tower Key Facts

Upright Meaning Sudden change, disruption, breakdown of old structures
Reversed Meaning Avoiding necessary change, false sense of security
Yes or No Yes
Numerology 16
Element Fire
Planet Mars
Astrological Sign Aries

The Tower Tarot Card Description

The Tower tarot card shows a stone tower being struck by lightning, with two people falling from the structure. The crown at the top of the tower indicates its great height and sense of authority or structure. Yet despite appearing formidable, the Tower is destroyed by a lightning bolt representing sudden, divinely-inspired change. The people falling from the tower show humanity being cast down from positions of power.

Some tarot decks portray the Tower crumbling due to fire rather than lightning. Fire brings the same sense of rapid, transformative destruction. While the classic Rider-Waite illustration shows the Tower as a castle, in other decks it appears as a lighthouse, office building, or other structure. Whatever its form, the Tower represents rigid structures in the querent’s life crumbling and creating space for new growth.

The Upright Tower Tarot Card Meaning

The Upright Tower Tarot Card Meaning
The Upright Tower Tarot Card Meaning

When the Tower appears upright in a reading, it signals a time of powerful transformation through external events that feel beyond your control. Change is arriving abruptly and dramatically in the area of your life represented by the card position. This sudden shift is meant to free you from restrictive mindsets, belief systems, relationships, or situations holding you back.

While the Tower can feel catastrophic as it’s happening, this Major Arcana card is an agent of positive change in the long run. By removing structures that limit your growth, the Tower nudges you toward enlightenment and freedom. However, refusing to accept the changes the Tower brings can lead to a meaningless repetition of old patterns.

Here are the most common upright Tower card meanings:

Love Relationships

In romantic relationships, the upright Tower foretells going through a significant, disruptive change as a couple. This could indicate a breakup, infidelity coming to light, moving in together too quickly, or other unexpected news rocking the foundation of the relationship. If single, the Tower can show meeting someone who completely disrupts your usual “type” in dating.

While breakups are painful, this Major Arcana card reminds you that removing relationships which limit your growth is necessary. It may be time to release attachments preventing you from creating true intimacy. Expect deep conversations and revelations that forever alter the relationship.


For career, drawing the upright Tower signals unexpected professional upheaval. This could indicate job loss, a company restructure, shift within an industry, or your role changing drastically without warning. While it may feel like the rug is pulled out from under you, the Tower reminds you to see this as an opportunity to build career structures that better serve your soul purpose.

The upright Tower can also show the sudden failure of a business or career path, especially if the venture was based on ego instead of passion. Let the Tower break down unsustainable career paths so you can discover work more aligned with your truth.


In financial readings, the Tower foretells unexpected expenses, financial loss, or complete upheaval of your monetary structures. Events like market crashes, failed investments, or fraud can cause drastic money problems. Look for underlying financial issues the Tower is exposing so you can rebuild on a more solid foundation.

While the financial downs turn of the Tower is stressful, know that this Major Arcana card is protecting you from larger losses down the road. Manage the financial changes mindfully but understand the changes are necessary.


For health, the upright Tower signals unexpected injury, accidents, or health conditions arising without warning. Events like car crashes, sports injuries, sudden surgeries, or quick hospital stays often correspond with this card. Mental health crises like breakdowns or substance abuse issues can also occur.

Healing sometimes requires breakdown before breakthrough. While Tower health events cause chaos initially, they can propel you toward radically improved wellbeing in the long run. Heed any wake up calls around your lifestyle.


In spiritual contexts, the Tower represents sudden spiritual revelation and awakening. Ego structures, limiting orthodoxies, and previous belief systems may be shattered as your inner truth emerges. Expect mystical insights and unraveling of mental paradigms that no longer serve your spiritual growth.

While the spiritual Tower experience is intense, this card signals a positive regeneration of your relationship with faith and inner wisdom. The structures that fall away weren’t built on solid footings anyway. New understanding will soon replace outdated spiritual frameworks.

The Reversed Tower Tarot Card Meaning

The Reversed Tower Tarot Card Meaning
The Reversed Tower Tarot Card Meaning

When the Tower appears reversed in a reading, you are resisting necessary change and holding onto limiting structures despite their toxicity. You may be in denial about relationship problems, career stagnation, financial issues, health concerns or wavering faith. Out of fear and attachment to illusion, you ignore the problems the Tower seeks to expose and transform.

In its reversed position, the Tower suggests you feel anxiety about your world crumbling. However, by avoiding the difficult but liberating destruction the Tower brings, you remain stuck in unhealthy patterns. Hiding from the truth only delays the inevitable reckoning. When the reversed Tower appears, understand dramatic change is required for your highest good.

Here are the most common meanings of the reversed Tower tarot card:

Love Relationships

For love and romance, the reversed Tower indicates that despite relationship problems or incompatibility, you remain committed on the surface. You may avoid expressing your needs to keep the peace. This card suggests emotional immaturity, denial or codependence prevents you from making necessary relationship changes.

If single, resisting the Tower’s message can lead you to cling to a toxic ex or repeat damaging relationship patterns. Suppressed emotions will eventually force a crisis. Allow relationships unserving your growth to transform now instead of later.


In career readings, a reversed Tower points toward career stagnation, dissatisfaction and feeling trapped in an unfulfilling job. However you resist making a necessary career change out of fear, attachment to status or financial practicalities. Unexpected professional shakeups loom if you ignore problems.

The reversed Tower suggests reluctance to step outside your professional comfort zone. You may need to release limiting beliefs around your career path. Change will arrive, ready or not – better to pursue inspiration now.


For finances, the reversed Tower reveals you are turning a blind eye to money problems despite warning signs. Avoidance could cause increasing debt, catastrophic loss if investments fail, or even bankruptcy. False optimism allows poor financial habits to continue unchecked.

This card cautions that Tower events destabilize the status quo whether you prepare or not. Control issues worsen the damage. Adapt financial structures now to avoid a more painful reckoning later.


In health readings, a reversed Tower points to conscious denial of health problems and physical symptoms. You repeatedly hit the “snooze button” on the wake up calls your body sends. Eventually this causes a health emergency as your body cries for help.

The reversed Tower is a sign you must change neglected areas of your wellness. Don’t numb pain or double-down on harmful habits. Make different lifestyle choices before you’re forced. Your health can rebuild stronger after the Tower’s necessary deconstruction.


For spirituality and personal growth, the reversed Tower flags that you resist profound spiritual insights threatening your current belief system. You dismiss mystical experiences, signs and synchronicities to cling to limiting but comfortable spiritual paradigms.

Eventually this stagnation causes a crisis of faith. Doubts multiply as your inner truth diverges further from outdated beliefs. Prepare for the spiritual awakening the Tower brings rather than avoiding it.

The Tower Tarot Card in Yes or No Readings

In yes/no tarot spreads, the Tower generally signifies a “yes,” since it signals major change arriving in the situation. Even if the change brings initial chaos, in the long run the Tower reveals that transformation is happening.

However, always read the surrounding cards to understand the specifics of the situation. Rarely does the Tower indicate smooth sailing – change arrives through disruption. Prepare to navigate intense events that ultimately facilitate rebirth.

The Tower and Numerology

The Tower tarot card is connected to the number 16 in numerology. This number reduces down to 7 (1 + 6 = 7). As a result, the Tower shares numerological meanings with the Chariot tarot card.

Both cards draw on 7’s symbolism of analysis, seeking deeper truth, and skill mastery. The Tower and the Chariot teach us that sacrificing the inferior for the superior leads to victory. We must shed false layers of identity to reach empowerment and self-knowledge.

Interestingly, 16 also reduces to 7 (1 + 6 = 7). This links the Tower to the spiritual awakening represented by the Star. The Tower’s deconstruction of limiting structures prepares the fertile ground for the Star’s divine inspiration to take root.

The Tower Tarot Card and Astrology

The Tower Tarot Card and Astrology
The Tower Tarot Card and Astrology

Within the tarot deck, the Tower correlates astrologically with the planet Mars and the zodiac sign Aries. Both Mars and Aries represent raw masculine energy and the fires of passion.

As the god of war in Roman myth, Mars rules over battles and destruction. Similarly, the Tower card shows structures being utterly demolished so new growth can emerge. Aries also shares this symbolism of burning down the old to make way for the new.

The Tower and Aries remind us that we must be willing to courageously destroy parts of our lives holding us back from self-actualization. Through boldness and determination we cultivate authenticity.

The Tower Tarot Card Combinations

The Tower combines with other cards to modify its intense energy. Here are some notable combinations with the Tower in a reading:

  • Tower + The Devil: breaking free of restrictions and unhealthy attachments. Deep transformation of shadow side.
  • Tower + Death: fundamental transformation on a deep soul level. Total rebirth.
  • Tower + The Star: spiritual revolution and awakening to higher truth after breakdown of limiting beliefs.
  • Tower + Strength: finding courage and resilience to overcome life’s hurdles during difficulty.
  • Tower + Three of Swords: heartbreak, betrayal and deep emotional pain leads to personal growth.
  • Tower + Five of Pentacles: financial hardship teaches important lessons.

The surrounding cards add additional context to your Tower experience. Soft cards like the Star and Strength suggest you’ll summon inner wisdom during chaos the Tower brings, while intense cards like the Devil or Three of Swords point to dramatic reckonings on deep levels.

The Tower Tarot Card Designs

The Tower is the 16th card of the Major Arcana, falling after the Devil and before the Star. As one of the tarot’s most iconic cards, it includes symbolism and imagery in every tarot deck. Here are some common Tower designs:

  • The stone tower struck by lightning, with two figures falling, in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. A crown at the top of the tower signifies its false authority being destroyed.
  • A lighthouse with a shining light being toppled by waves in many modern decks. This illustrates the Tower as a structure meant to guide others being rendered powerless.
  • A office building imploding and collapsing to dust in urban-themed tarot decks. This conveys the dramatic destruction of modern workplace power structures.
  • The Tower of Babel struck by lightning in biblical decks. This links the card to the Genesis story of humans arrogantly building a tower to reach heaven before God humbles them.

No matter the exact imagery, tarot decks integrate the Tower’s core meaning of demolition of limiting structures that appeared permanent. The Tower shows the impermanence of the material world.


Does the Tower mean breakup?

The Tower can indicate a breakup when it appears in a love reading, since it signifies sudden, disruptive change in relationships. However, the surrounding cards provide more context. And even if a breakup occurs, the Tower reveals it’s meant to lead toward deeper understanding.

Is the Tower a bad card?

The Tower is often viewed as a “bad” or scary card due to its association with catastrophe turned upside down. However, the Tower ultimately brings positive transformation even though the process involves turmoil. By dismantling limiting structures, it sets you on the path toward enlightenment.

Does the Tower mean physical death?

The Tower rarely if ever symbolizes literal physical death. Instead it represents transformation on a psychological or spiritual level. Something about the querent’s perspective or prior beliefs “dies” so their truer self can be reborn without restrictive structures.

Key Takeaways

  • The Tower tarot card signifies sudden, disruptive changes arriving in your life. Expect upheaval of stagnant situations through forces beyond your control.
  • In its upright position, the Tower is an agent of positive transformation. By deconstructing limiting structures, it sets you on a path to spiritual awakening and enlightenment.
  • Reversed, the Tower indicates avoidance of necessary change. Clinging to toxic relationships, careers, or beliefs puts off but intensifies the inevitable reckoning.
  • Despite its unsettling energy, the Tower brings breakthroughs by revealing what is unsustainable in your life. With courage, you can build anew on solid ground after turmoil passes.

The Tower card points to a powerful spiritual metamorphosis unfolding. By releasing false securities, you make space for your highest truth to emerge. Face the changes ahead bravely and patiently – a brighter future awaits. The view is incredible once at the top of the Tower!


The Tower tarot card may initially seem frightening or negative, but in reality, it is a catalyst for positive transformation and spiritual growth. By dismantling limiting structures and forcing us to face uncomfortable truths, the Tower paves the way for a deeper understanding of ourselves and our purpose in life. With courage and determination, we can emerge from the rubble of our old identities and build anew on solid ground. The Tower teaches us that sometimes, breakdowns are necessary for breakthroughs. Embrace the changes ahead and trust that they will lead you to a brighter future.

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