The Tower remains one of my favorite cards in the tarot. Often when I'm doing a reading the Tower will come up and their eyes widen. The Tower you see isn't a bad card, it's an eye opening one. Many times in our lives we hold onto a situation that isn't healthy for us because we've created or been fed a lie. In those moments everything comes crashing down when we realize this has happened. It can be extremely painful BUT on the other hand we are left with truth on which to rebuild on.
When the card started to tap at my forehead, I thought, the only person that could relay the real message of this card is Amanda Palmer. Sxip called me later that day and asked if I had thought about putting Neil and Amanda into the deck. "I have." I replied, "But I need an introduction, I've only spoken to them briefly at parties." And so the Magician raised his wand and an introduction was made.
I chose Amanda because of her ability to see through bullshit and tear down her own personal towers. I thought about her struggle with the record company and from that rising above and into a better path. I thought about Neil's piece on Amanda and the Dresden Dolls show, how an amazing musical and sometimes physical relationship must crack, must fall in order for something else to emerge. I knew other people would identify with her story and finally understand the actual meaning of the card. The Tower brings immense clarity.
On the Fool's journey he tore down his resistance to change and sacrifice (Hanged man), then came to terms with Death (Death); he learned about moderation and synthesis (Temperance) and about power (The Devil). But here and now, he has done what was hardest: he destroyed the lies of his life. What's left are the foundations of truth. On this he can rebuild himself.
I started the Tower during my 40 days of madness, where I channeled the muses no matter how they came or who they came as. This was all part of a bigger Project 40. I started off creating elaborate images and long stories, as the days became longer I began struggle. Day 20, the halfway point I broke. You see, I had gotten on a high horse. Everyone was writing to tell me how brilliant this project was going. I started to think I could do no wrong with imagery. Days 17-20 were rough. I had created images that were sub par to the ones before. I was, am, and will always be a perfectionist. I looked at these terrible images ruining my beautiful blog and cried. I mean cried, deeply with sobs and filled with anger. I thought about quitting the entire project.
In my hissy fit I opened one eye to a kitten rubbing against me. "Was I really crying over an image? Had I built everything up so much that I thought one wrong picture was going to bring my entire project down? Was I really that vain?"
This was not my Tower moment but it lead to the Tower card. I needed to paint. I had been dealing with only words and photographic curves. I started to brush strokes and lost time. It was around day 36 or 37. I don't remember it at all which means I must have been painting. Day 39 brough last minute rubble and by the time day forty had reared it's head, the Tower was covered in glaze and ready to be presented. I finished it exactly as day forty hit noon.
Forty days symbolizes the death with oneself and the spiritual rebirth. It corresponds to the Arcane 13 of the Tarot and the thirteenth Hebraic letter, mem. Jesus's fast in the desert lasted 40 days as did the time from which he died to the time he was resurrected. Forty may not always mean "40" but rather a period of time. The Hebrews wandered forty days in the desert, the flood of Noah lasted forty days as well. According to R. Allendy "It is the achievement of a cycle in the world, or rather the rhythm of the cyclic repetitions in the Universe". I could go on and on.
The Tower breaks down what is no longer of use, what holds us back, even if it's something that meant the goddamn world to us. Let it in, let it break, and build on that truth.
As always flower photos by the wonderful and talented Jim Shirey who has the best stories to tell.
Impatiens capensis. A forest of them have grown up in the spot where we had our old strawberry bed. This one was low and I had to crouch for it and not move. Something took advantage of that and fed off my foot. while shooting, I heard seed pods popping, the last bumblebees making their rounds, and a few hummingbirds. This one is gentle and reminds me of an adult about to help a child cross through a place that holds danger. - Jim Shirey
Hypericum. This is a St.john's wort, but it is the deciduous variety. St Johns Wort is a symbol of invincibility, courage, power and fertility. Welsh called this plant the "leaf of the blessed" It was considered to be an ideal combination of water and fire, the ultimate healing essence.