top of page

16 - The Tower - Tarot Card Meanings

Key Symbolism


collapse, a forceful change, destruction, defeat, destructive outside influences, a shocking event, a crisis, a flash of inspiration, a revelation, the breakdown of old thought patterns, the desctruction of an illusion, forces beyond our control, danger.

tower tarot

Description and Symbolism

We see a tower on the tip of a craggy mountain. The sky is black and full of clouds. Lightning has just struck the tower and caused it to catch fire. A man and a woman in terror fall out of the windows. The crown that was on top of the tower is catapulted into the air, symbolising that this is the end of an era.


General Meaning

The Tower has the number 16, which can be reduced to number 7. It refers to the Chariot card and a reevaluation. The Tower is about a sudden - maybe even painful - insight or a sudden influence turning our world upside down. When a tower event happens, your current foundations are shaken to the core. Such events could be a dismissal at work, a sudden break-up or all kinds of bad news that mostly come quite unexpected. Maybe you feel as if you have been "struck by lightning" when you suddenly realize something that you have not noticed before. This realization probably brings big changes with itself.

Love Meaning

In a love reading the Tower could represent a sudden insight that makes you change your views about a person or a relationship completely. It could mean that you catched your partner cheating or you find out they lied about an important matter. The relationship is not what it once was. It could even indicate the shock after a sudden breakup. Depending on the position and question, it could also symbolize an event that affects you and your partner and therefore influences the relationship. 

As Feelings

If you ask how someone feels for you, the Tower can indicate that the person in question is shocked or dumbfounded. Their view about you might have suddenly changed. Normally, that is only the case if something traumatic has happened. They feel as if they have been struck by lightning. They might also feel helpless and as if something was suddenly taken away from them. They don't feel safe and secure anymore.  

Negative or reversed Meaning

If the Tower has a negative meaning or if it appears reversed, it can indicate that you avoid an inevitable event. Maybe you noticed that lately everything is going downhill, but you decide to carry on like before. Maybe you chose to just close your eyes and pretend that everything is fine. In that case, the Tower can ask you to accept a change that cannot be avoided. In the end, this can shorten a period of suffering and your energies can be channelled in a direction that can help rebuilt, whatever it is, that has fallen apart. 

© Illustrations from the Radiant Rider-Waite 2015 reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems Inc., Stanford, CT 06902. c. 2015 by U.S. Games Systems Inc. All rights reserved.

bottom of page