What does the tower tarot card mean?

Main image for The Tower

The tower is part of the Major Arcana deck of tarot cards.

Card XVI

As the name suggests, this card is represented by a tall tower, often perched at the top of a mountain. Lightning has struck the tower, and there are figures falling from the windows. It is an unsettling scene, one that suggests chaos and pain. The lightning bolt is indicative of a surge of power which has caused the change in the scene from calm to one of panic.


Drawing The Tower in a reading tells you that you are currently facing or are about to face a period of great change and upheaval. This change will likely come suddenly and unexpectedly and may be quite painful. Usually, these changes come in the form of a breakup, a death, health problems, or loss of a job. This change will hit you hard and you may feel like your world is crashing down around your ears. Though this is obviously not a pleasant experience, it will be one that will teach you a lot about yourself and your life. These events will open your eyes and cause you to completely reevaluate where you are and what you want to do. Eventually, you will be stronger and wiser thanks to this period of painful growth.

Reverse Meaning

In reverse, the Tower still represents a big change in your life, but this time it is you that has decided to make this change, not the universe. Your eyes have been opened to the truth and you are bringing into question everything in your life and whether it is good for you. You are having a spiritual awakening and are deeply connected to your innermost self and desires. You are excited to make big changes in your life, and you have no qualms about cutting out those things or people who do not bring value to you.

Other Major Arcana Cards