Drawing ‘The Tower’

Each morning, before I rise from bed to begin my day, I consult the oracle.

I take a stack of seventy-eight cards,

Shuffle them five times,

Cut the deck,

And draw.

One card, face up, to provide an inkling of the day ahead.

I began this little ritual a little over a month ago and was immediately surprised by how often the same cards came up.  Day after day after day, I draw the same card, only to see it replaced a few days later, by a different (if thematically similar) card.  A day or two pass, and it’s back to the first card.

In one respect it has been reassuring.  The oracle certainly seems to be representative of the patterns in my day to day.  Even if my days have a certain “sameness” to them, what are the odds of pulling the same card again and again, from a throughly shuffled deck?

Check that.  I have no doubt that somewhere, someone is busy calculating those odds exactly, determined to show that the likelihood is actually much greater than I think, and that the whole exercise is a waste of time.

Spare me, oh statisticians, I have better things to do than to listen to you explain that pulling any single card out of seventy-eight, repeatedly, over multiple days, does not represent a pattern.

The pattern, I am afraid, is there to see, and all your calculations be damned.

I wish it were otherwise.

As of late, almost every card I have drawn speaks toward my need to overcome the challenges and adversity in my daily life.

Yes, thank you.  I hadn’t noticed.

My regular readers may remember that a couple weeks ago I mentioned that both my refrigerator and clothes dryer were on the blink.  Additionally, my work days have been exceedingly hectic;  money is tighter than ever;  I’ve had to rule out any vacation plans until sometime next year;  My kitchen sink is thoroughly clogged;  Some unknown animal has been trying to dig up the grave of a lost pet in my backyard;  and on top of all that, Winter is on it’s way and up in my attic there is a furnace that stubbornly refuses to light.

I was ticking off a few of these points to a friend the other night.  I also mentioned that I had arranged to have the refrigerator and dryer serviced the following day and that perhaps, with that done, things might begin looking up.

“Yeah, until you have a car accident,” she joked.

I asked her to refrain from jinxing me.

Actually, I may have shouted.

In any case, the repair guy came and went, and the dryer is now happily fixed.

The fridge?  Yeah, not so much.

Oh, and I was rear-ended on my way to work on Saturday, and only narrowly avoided being plowed into the back of a bus that was stopped in front of me.  My car seems to have taken little damage (remarkable considering what happened to the front bumper of the Ford F-150 that slammed into it), but my body feels like…,

Well…, it feels like I was hit by a truck.

If anyone dares suggest that, “at least I still have my health,” I will surely punch him in the nose.  It’s been that kind of week.

Which brings us to this morning.



Cut and Draw.

The Tower card of the Rider Waite Tarot Deck

Screw that!  I’m staying in bed.

For those unfamiliar with the Tarot, this is the “your world is crashing down around you” card.  No kittens and kisses here folks.  This card is all about watching whatever castles you’ve carefully built up, go washing away with the tide.

Now my rationalists friends are, I have no doubt, already coughing politely into their fists.


“You can’t possibly believe in the Tarot,” they will say.

And I don’t.

Or rather, I should say that I neither believe nor disbelieve in the Tarot.

Much in the same way that I neither believe nor disbelieve in a barometer.

These things are tools, and handy enough when we know how to read them.  The choice to use them, or not, is ours, but their functionality does not require our belief.

Even so, when the barometer drops suddenly on a spring day in Texas, one would be wise to seek shelter – whatever your beliefs.

The same may be true of certain cards.  In my experience, The Tower is the card that says, “stop pushing against the wind, find a hole, and just ride out the freaking storm.”

And so here I am, hunkering down and waiting for this particular squall to blow itself out.

— Work – Bills – Furnace – Fridge – Sink – Car – Whiplash —

It’s okay.  I can wait.

Because, the good news here, is that the storm always passes.  The Towers that we build up may get blasted into smithereens by lightning sent down from the Fates or the Gods and just blind, stupid luck, but when the smoke clears we may find that we have a stronger foundation upon which to build again.

We are mistaken when we measure our lives by the bricks that we lay down one upon the other.  A better gauge, I think, is our determination to start stacking those tumbled bricks up again, knowing all the while, that eventually we will draw The Tower yet again.

When I start building again, I think I’ll find a way to work in some flying buttresses.

I like them because they’re both functional and attractive.

Now then, where are those cards.


 ADDENDUM:  It did not occur to me, until I had already written this piece, that this is my 78th post on this blog.  That’s seventy-eight posts and seventy-eight cards in a standard Tarot deck.  Simple random chance at work, I am sure!  😀


Filed under Divination, Modern Life

4 responses to “Drawing ‘The Tower’

  1. Useful for when we can’t see meaning in the fluid and more diffuse experience of living – to have a condensed set of imagery that will just highlight what we need to see. Have you read “The Chymical Wedding” by Lyndsay Clarke? Apart from being a gripping novel, the mystical theme of Tarot runs inventively throughout and features The Tower at one point too – so I’m well aware what this means. Enjoyed this post! (Tower notwithstanding)

    • Thank you for the comment and the reading recommendation. Sounds like an interesting read. I’ll add it to my ever growing list. Along similar lines, you may want to check out ‘Last Call’ by Tim Powers.

  2. I hope drawing the Tower card was simply an explanation of what you are currently going through. I am no expert on tarot by a long shot, but considering what you relate in this post, it is another possible explanation. Regardless, is there much you can do other than ride it out?

    I had a tarot deck more than ten years ago that seemed to give the same reading repeatedly. It kept predicting that I would be a teacher, and that the solution to poverty was in recognizing what my real needs were. I eventually got tired of this reading and gave the deck away.

    Recognizing what my real needs were and helping my family recognize (teaching) what real needs are helped us survive the crash of 2008… so far. As you seem to be quite aware, it does not appear to be over. I realize now that the deck spoke of a much greater time frame that I realized then. I wish I had not given it away now.

  3. heehee. Well last year I drew the Tower about every time for about three months. Its a bit wearisome because you think, “Okay, that must have been the Tower event” and than something else happens – and you go “ugh okay that was It!” Needless to say I went through several rounds of falling Towers until we finally decided that it was time to realize we were not going in the right direction.

    The fascinating thing about the Tarot is the questions about the why behind them: are the cards absorbing information from you to reflect what is happening or going to happen, do they have precognitive power separate from yourself, are they reflecting the cosmos?? For whatever, reason, when you find the right deck it seems answers fall into place.

    On the practical side, I find Craigslist a great source for used appliances (if you buy with wisdom) and Youtube a great resource on how to fix something. 🙂

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