Peter Montgomery wrote:
> The tarot cards are obviously relevant and revalentto this list.
> Perhaps it is appropriate thistime to consider the TOWER
> card in the tarot. Has there been any discussion ofthat on this list?
> That card is referred to inTWL, line 373, as part of the Unreal City.
A.E. Waite wrote "The Pictorial Key to the Tarot" in 1910 and had
illustrations of the cards.
This page has Waite's text and an illustration of The Tower card as
done by Pamela Coleman Smith. It shows a tower beginning struck by
Here is Waite's description of "The Tower:"
Occult explanations attached to this card are meagre and mostly
disconcerting. It is idle to indicate that it depicts min in all its
aspects, because it bears this evidence on the surface. It is said
further that it contains the first allusion to a material building,
but I do not conceive that the Tower is more or less material than the
pillars which we have met with in three previous cases. I see nothing
to warrant Papus in supposing that it is literally the fall of Adam,
but there is more in favour of his alternative--that it signifies the
materialization of the spiritual word. The bibliographer Christian
imagines that it is the downfall of the mind, seeking to penetrate the
mystery of God. I agree rather with Grand Orient that it is the ruin
of the House of We, when evil has prevailed therein, and above all
that it is the rending of a House of Doctrine. I understand that the
reference is, however, to a House of Falsehood. It illustrates also in
the most comprehensive way the old truth that "except the Lord build
the house, they labour in vain that build it."
There is a sense in which the catastrophe is a reflection from the
previous card, but not on the side of the symbolism which I have tried
to indicate therein. It is more correctly a question of analogy; one
is concerned with the fall into the material and animal state, while
the other signifies destruction on the intellectual side. The Tower
has been spoken of as the chastisement of pride and the intellect
overwhelmed in the attempt to penetrate the Mystery of God; but in
neither case do these explanations account for the two persons who are
the living sufferers. The one is the literal word made void and the
other its false interpretation. In yet a deeper sense, it may signify
also the end of a dispensation, but there is no possibility here for
the consideration of this involved question.