The Tower Card – Who Rules?
Going back to the days of Aleister Crowley, the individual Major Arcana cards have been assigned to specific planets.
As a student of astrology and the Tarot, I do not always subscribe to the traditional correspondences. For example, to me, the energy of Uranus is a much better fit to The Tower than Mars.
The argument for making Mars The Tower’s ‘ruler’ is that The Tower’s edifice, described as some as the Tower of Babel, represents man’s hubris and a structure of lies.
The Tower image shows lightning striking the crown on the top of the tower edifice, the crown being false materialism and the lightening bolt, the flash of truth striking down the edifice and violently displacing the crown.
Mars represents ego well. Mars is dignified in Capricorn where its ambition is transformed into concrete structure. And the flames emanating from the tumbling structure is consistent with the symbolism of Mars and its sign, Aries.
Lastly, Wald Amberstone, co-founder of The Tarot School, likens the card’s image as a representation of a phallic symbol at the time of climax.
Certainly this is Mars.
But the lightning, the sudden flash of awareness, the crack as the structure tumbles, are hallmarks of Uranus.
Arthur Edward Waite in The Pictorial Key to the Tarot describes the preceding card, The Devil, as “the fall into the material and animal state, while the other (The Tower) signifies destruction on the other side.”
Uranus’ energy is depersonalized. It is completely a product of the intellect and the lightning bolt is its hallmark.
The sudden bolt of lightning describes the operation of Uranus as anyone who has experienced a transit of Uranus can testify.
Uranus is the first planet discovered that is too far away to be seen by the unaided human eye. For centuries, astronomers assumed that no planet extended beyond Saturn, hence that planet’s association with limits and boundaries.
Then in 1781, astronomer William Herschel discovered Uranus with the result that the prevailing world-view of the Universe was upended much in the same way that Uranus transits result in upset and breakthrough on a societal and personal level.
Uranian energy is a bolt out of the blue, coming from somewhere outside of our individual selves like the bolt of lightning from above that upends The Tower and its crown.
In my view, while Mars is a good descriptor of the Tower in the card, Uranus better describes the actual energy of the card.
Submitted by: Ellen Zucker