Of all the “bad cards” in tarot, the Tower is something I am comfortable with. Maybe even a little too comfortable.
The 16th card from the Major Arcana, the Tower is traditionally seen as the representation of disaster, sudden change, significant disruption and chaos.
Those are enough reasons for people to not want to see it in a reading.
It makes sense. We, human beings, tend to seek stability in our lives. I am no different. As I write this on top of my picnic rug, in the park soaking the sun, eating the cheese and getting a bit buzzed from the wine, I too don’t wish for the rug to be pulled from under my feet. Both metaphorically and literally.
But it didn’t start this way for me.
I came from a somewhat traditional Indian family. I say somewhat because my parents are smart people with kind hearts who want nothing but, what they think, as the best for their daughter. But at the same time, they are bogged down by society and at times dated and jaded traditions. Growing up, it had always been a constant struggle between following the social values and just being a child, and later, a teenager. For example, they would let me wear whatever I wanted, which was more than most Indian girls growing up in a traditional family could ask for. But at the same time, I wasn’t allowed to date.
I did both. With that, I turned into the rebel of the family and started what I called as my Tower moments.
My Tower moments started when I, as a teenager, laughed on the face of the priest who told Amma that he could magically make me stop rebelling. A major tower moment was when I cancelled my wedding a couple of weeks before the day. Another one, when I moved to Singapore without a job and proceeded to live there for almost a decade before uprooting the somewhat comfortable life I had built for myself to go back home because I wanted to heal my relationship with my parents. Again without a job. I also summoned The Tower when I migrated to Melbourne, and again when I married someone from a different background in Bali. This time without any priest.
The Tower is a shadow self that I have accepted. It taught me to be calm throughout chaotic periods in my life. From the period when my dad stopped talking to me to being bullied; even when I was made redundant. I went through these with a zen-ish outlook.
And I know I can go through similar shit moments in the future because I had deliberately chosen to walk through worse things, either because it aligned with my values or to chase my dreams.
I also learned that even though I always have plans for my life (Virgo baby!), sometimes the Universe grants my wishes in different ways. And based on my past experiences, it could just be in the Tower mode.
It’s good to remember that fundamentally the Tower is about radical changes. A reminder to:
“Be positive, it is time to replace the old foundations of the past with something that is more genuine and will serve better in what is to come”–Labyrinthos.
Not gonna lie, knowing that — if tomorrow, something happens and I have to uproot my life yet again — I can do it, feels pretty empowering. And I blame my semi-traditional Indian parents for it. They shouldn’t have instilled the value of resilience in the young rebellious me.