Waning Moon in Scorpio: XVI The Tower

The Tower depicts the Divine bolt of lightning piercing the heavens to strike down any structures we have built in attempts to elevate us over larger powers. At this time, unexpected catastrophes  occur that serve to level the ideological constructs that we form of ‘the way things are.’

The Tower started as one of my most dreaded cards. When I saw it in a reading, I would prepare the seeker for the worst possible outcome. Now, I certainly still consider it to herald a life-changing, probably unfavorable event, but I work to emphasize the potential that comes with this event: a blank slate. Everything that existed before this is swept away, allowing for the seeker to rebuild their life on a true foundation, based on honesty, trust, and love. This is not to say I downplay the disaster implicated by this card. The most extreme devastation occurs when a person is strongly invested in a certain outcome, but even when loving non-attachment is achieved, such widespread destruction and magnificent suffering are painful to watch. The Tower card says nothing if not, “This event will be radically different than what you expect, or even desire…”

With the destruction that the Tower depicts, we have a chance to let the reality soak in: nothing is permanent. Everything is subject to change in some form or another. To practice non-attachment is to invest in the ways that our Spirit grows as a result of our activities; those are the things we can always carry with us. The Tower gives us the impetus to depart from our material values into the realm of Spirit.

What has been destroyed, was built on a false foundation. It can be a powerful blessing to have something like that removed all at once, rather than the structure standing over time, crumbling slowly, to collapse after even more trust has been poured into it. Combined with Luna’s transit through Scorpio, this card amounts to a breakdown of structure in terms of secret codes being exposed, sexual liberation, and violent passions breaking through the surface. Incidentally, February 13th brought riots in Greece resulting from a vote by its government for further austerity measures (see http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/jan-june12/greece1_02-13.html).

What structures in your life no longer serve you? How have secrets been exposed, today? How are oppressive structures breaking down around you? Are you suffering because you built something on that false foundation, or celebrating your newly found liberation?

Up for Discussion

An insightful exercise in self assessment is to go through the Tarot and pick out your favorite and least favorite cards. So you know what I’m looking at, I’ll be using the Rider Waite Tarot for this exercise.

For this exercise, it helps if your cards are sorted by Major Arcana, then by Suit and in all order (it’s up to you which order: I usually place Major Arcana first as the deck faces me, then behind them, Swords, Wands, Cups, and Pentacles, in that order, but I think it’s okay to use any order as long as it is something significant to YOU). It also helps to be consistent. If you change your technique, wait a while for that method to settle with you before you change your mind again. Having the cards in order as you perform this exercise will help your subconscious mind keep in touch with the story arch of the Major Arcana and each suit.

Side note: if you perform this exercise repeatedly and record your efforts, patterns will emerge in your choices, and you can bring hidden preferences into consciousness and gain a stronger connection with your power. If you decide to balance out your preferences, you can intentionally choose a favorite and a least favorite from the Major Arcana and each suit.

Gaze at the cards as though seeing them for the first time, if you can. Forget any meanings or symbolism you have read or memorized, and simply look at the figures in the cards.

It’s okay if you end up with two groups of favorite and least favorite cards. If you have two or more of either your favorite or least favorite, you can shuffle each packet of cards and pick one of them at random.

The exercise for myself, today:

Over time, I’ve grown to detach from labeling cards as good or bad. For me, the least favorite cards are images that stir up anxiety in me or seem to reflect current obstacles in my path. In some ways, that makes it harder to select a favorite and least favorite. I pick out between 6 and 8 and select one, for each category.

Least Favorite Card – the Queen of Pentacles. Maturity, generosity, stability, nurturing energy, motherhood. (Reversed – withholding, smothering, laconic, anxious, unhelpful.)

I’ve been doing a lot of work to embrace my impending maturity, but I still hold some fears about growing older. I feel anxious about closing the door on my twenties. I fear that this will have been the best time of my life, and that it will soon be over. It’s a husk left over from my upbringing, of behavior that glorified youth and scorned old age. The Queen of Pentacles embraces all that she is, and loves herself and the people in her life without relenting, but sometimes I see this smug look on her face, as though she knows what is best for everyone because she has so much figured out for herself. In her reversed aspect, her love is tainted by envy, greed, and bitterness because she has not learned to love and accept herself and so makes her life unacceptable. She overeats, withholds affection, and puts off exercising of any sort because her energies are stuck.

Favorite Card – the 3 of Cups. Cooperation, harmony, diversity, emotional and spiritual accord, creating and celebrating friendships. (Reversed, artistic differences, false connections, superficial or fair weather friends, cliquishness). The image of three women dancing stands out to me, reminding me of when I’ve entered into fellowship with other women. I tend to feel more secure in life when I have at least two people I know I can call at any time for any sort of help (not that I do so all the time). Over time, I have seen some friendships that I thought were tested and sturdy erode away like old cobwebs. I still remember those friendships with fondness, and have been blessed to count the friendships I have had. This card also invokes the triple Goddess for me: Maiden, Mother, Crone, dancing together in a spiral, marking the cycles of life, death, and rebirth.

What are your favorite and/or least favorite Tarot card, and why?