In the world of Tarot, there are a handful of cards that punch incredibly hard. The Major Arcana, the section of a Tarot deck that holds cards for the larger themes in life, includes a card that is the divinatory equivalent of ‘Rocks fall, everyone dies.’ That card is the Tower.
The polite interpretation of the Tower that I gave during readings when I was just a wee baby oracle was ‘a transformative change is about to manifest in your life. It will ultimately benefit you, but change can be challenging, and the waters ahead are choppy.’
I’m older now and I’ve been oracle-ing it up for nearly three decades. The interpretation of the Tower I give these days runs more along the lines of ‘you got a helmet? Shit’s about to get super real.’
Here’s the good news. The Major Arcana can be read as a story – the narrative is the Fool’s journey from jumping off the cliff of the unknown to standing on top of the World at the end. And the card after the Tower? The next chapter of the story? It’s the Star.
The Star is one of my favorite cards, possibly because I have lived through a fair few Tower-to-Star transitions. After the Tower falls and the dust settles, there’s space for something new to happen. The pain of loss, grief, and trauma shaped us into something new and when we see the Star, we know that the new Self is about to spread its wings.
I’m a deck monogamist and have been using Ciro Marchetti’s Legacy of the Divine Tarot since 2009 as my primary divinatory tool. Marchetti’s artistic expression of the link between destruction and recovery is one of the many things I love about that deck. In the background of the Star, you can see the ruins of the Tower being grown over with lush, green vines. That which was is no more, and the earth is recovering from it.
Tower times come to all of us, both on a macrocosmic and a microcosmic scale. Without question, the United States and much of the world is in a Tower Time right now and many good voices have written about it.
This blog is about the small scale, though. You see, a client recently asked me a question that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.
‘How do you know when a Tower in your life has finished falling?’
Following the Flow
I’ve written before about a wonderful Navajo word: ‘hozro.’ It translates roughly to being in harmony with your environment – to working with the prevailing conditions rather than against them. On a practical level, this would mean that rather than performing weather magick during a drought, one would find the lesson and rhythm of water scarcity.
When we are in a Tower Time on a personal level, there is resistance to actions that attempt to slow down, bypass, or cover over the fall of our particular Tower. The practical upshot of this is that plans tend not to work out. Fixes don’t stick. Well-intentioned attempts to help go sideways. Actions and activities that should be easy are needlessly complex and fatiguing. The entire experience is like a roided-up Mercury Retrograde on a destruction bender.
This resistance will generally manifest across an entire life – it’s not just an energetic or spiritual problem, it’s a life problem. When we are struggling through a Tower Time, we trying to swim upstream against a current of energy whose sole focus is tearing something down.
Then, one day, the resistance diminishes. The Tower fell. The dust is settling. In my own life, when this shift in flow occurs, I notice it because something I thought would be difficult…isn’t.
This shift is a little uneven at first since we are new to how our life moves after the Tower. When you notice a little more ease coming in, it’s time to do some testing to see if you are now in Star Time – the time of healing, new growth, and new direction.
Divination remains my go-to for getting answers from the Powers That Be. I developed this reading specifically for identifying where we are and what needs to happen next during a Tower Time.
Begin by shuffling out your Tower card. Don’t worry, it can’t actually bite your fingers. If you use a sortilege system other than Tarot, pull your ‘rocks fall, everyone dies’ card, rune, or what have you.
Place your Tower card to the left side of your working surface or casting cloth. Draw the following cards with the intentions listed, graphical layout below:
- The current phase of the Tower. Where are we in the fall, right now?
- What is the next step forward?
- What is the outcome of that step?
- What opportunities should I be looking for?
- What allies are available to help me?
- Which of my traits, skills, or experiences are most helpful right now?
Spellcraft comes in varying levels of intensity. Many times, when we think about casting a spell, we’re considering the larger, more elaborate efforts. If you think your Star Time is beginning, it’s time for a little ‘test balloon’ spell. These smaller spells require fewer resources because they are manifesting goals that are easier to reach. Consider trying one or two of the following magickal goals.
- Some quick, easy cash (a surprise $20 winding up in your pocket)
- A small lucky break (finding all your grocery items are on sale)
- Hearing from someone you love (a friend request from a long-lost childhood friend or unexpected phone call)
- An unexpected kindness (a family member dropping off some cookies ‘just because.’)
Be sure to specify a window of time in your working – you’re trying to figure out whether the flow of energy has shifted, so two weeks is a good window for manifesting something small. At the end of the two weeks, look back and notice if your spell or spells were successful. If they were, chances are quite good that you’re moving into Star Time.
When we are moving with the flow of energy, when we are in hozro, we experience useful coincidences. This gentle current of way-opening surrounds us and makes tasks a little easier. We find a parking space near the entrance of the grocery store on a rainy day. We have enough energy at the end of the day for a little yoga practice. Everyone likes the dinner we made, even though objections are common at home. Sometimes, this low-level luck spills into the category of serendipity – a feeling of divine hands or a big wave of luck making things easier. These larger waves in the current can take the form of the perfect job offer landing in your inbox, a problem roommate announcing that they’re moving to another state, or sudden joyous news from a family member. Watch for coincidence and serendipity to appear. Write them down when they do. Many times, by noticing a certain pattern and feeding it attention, we can increase it. Sometimes those little openings in the Tapestry are a clue as to the shape your Star Time will take.
Bounce the Ball
The last check is less magickal and more practical. Choose a medium-complexity task that has been on your to-do list and attempt it. Go into this one without a lot of attachment – if you’re still in the end of Tower Time, or in the ‘dust settling’ space immediately afterward, you may still hit resistance. That’s part of why this one is best to check after running some divination and a little bit of magick. Some examples could be doing your taxes, updating your will, repainting a room, adding shelves to a closet or winterizing your home for the cool season. As you go through the task, notice any points of resistance you hit. Reflect on the task afterward. Did it go smoothly? Star Time is here. Was it a shitshow from start to finish? Sorry, kiddo. Still in Tower Time. Put the helmet back on and wait a little longer.
We all deserve times of The Star. May healing, renewal, and new growth bless your life with their presence. May The Star rise for all of us. Got a question or observation about your own experiences with personal Tower Times? Hit me up in the comments.
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