Ruh Roh, The Tower!

I like to start my days checking in with the tarot to see what could be good for me to think about, to ponder, to put into motion, and help to inspire me that day. I had to LOL darkly when The Tower came jumping out at me as I shuffled. It landed upside down, and as I went to put it into my handy-dandy card holder, I decided to leave it that way.

I don’t often read reversals–which is what you call a card that presents itself upside down, or inverted–and I can’t really explain why. I’m not afraid of them, and it’s not for a lack of understanding…I think as a pragmatic Virgo, I prefer the more straightforward approach. Personally, I feel like you can get the ‘shadow’, or other-side-of-the-coin perspective, with any upright card.

But today, as I sat in front of my altar for some quiet time and this card flew out, I immediately read it as a foundational support that is crumbling and about to fall not coming out of the blue, as you would typically read this upright card, but as something that may need to shaken up of my own volition.

This is one of the many things I love about the tarot. Most written meanings of The Tower will tell you that when it shows up in reverse, it’s about a transformation that happens internally, vs externally. That you may be resisting some change. While I completely agree that these aspects of its meaning are valid and on point, I also think that when upon drawing a card you get a flash of interpretation that comes to you without overthinking, that’s the one you go with first and foremost.

After all, the tarot isn’t here to tell you what to do or think, it’s a guide for you to explore what’s lurking in your own magical mind.

Now, I’ve had some serious shaking up going on in my life lately, and it has NOT been of my own volition. Sending my son off to London to study abroad–his first time ever flying alone, and overseas–and, although the trip itself went wonderfully, he immediately lost his phone on the Tube and came down with COVID within 2 days of arriving. During those few days of worry, my daughter fell and broke her wrist. And then, days before she and I were supposed to head to London ourselves for a visit, I was visited by an obstructed kidney stone that had other plans for me.

Now all of this is very upright Tower–things beyond your control that send you crashing down–but here’s the thing. A lot of good came out of all of this. Someone found my son’s phone and took the time to sleuth out how to get a hold of him to let him know. He is a lovely man from India who happened to be in London for a visit, working at the Google office there, that just happened to be around the corner from where my son is staying. My son’s COVID symptoms were pretty mild, and he got through it all with good spirits, even after being whisked off to a lonely hotel room for over a week. My daughter had her mishap staying down the street from us, so we could get her right to Urgent Care, and her break was so slight that she’s already getting her cast off after a mere couple of weeks. You could call that damn kidney stone terrible timing, or you could say it was excellent timing–better to have it before I left, than on an eight hour flight, or keeping me from enjoying my London stay and having to figure out health care there.

That card immediately made me think of my phrase I always say: 

Things don't happen for a reason, they happen for an opportunity.

An opportunity to be reminded that despite the surmounting ugliness, there are still lovely people in this world.

A chance for my son to get hit with two very difficult and stressful things with no one familiar around to help him through, but to prove to himself that he is strong and capable. I’m positive those experiences will help him remember that when other life challenges arise.

An opportunity to laugh at our mishaps, to feel grateful that we have the resources around us to help us through things, and for our bodies to heal.

Not one but TWO damn kidney stones that will now be removed so they can’t bother me in the future, and a reminder to do all I can to take care of my body.

The reverse Tower tells me that I’ll still fall down sometimes, but I can look where I’m going. I can choose to fall up. I can see the light that is setting things afire, and look at it to illuminate the possibilities. This perspective doesn’t necessarily make things easier, but it can make things feel more purposeful. It can remind us that even though we can’t control many things that happen to us, or around us, we can choose to see these things as a chance to learn and grow.

Next time you notice things around you are going to shite, how can you choose to fall up? How can you instigate that fall, knowing deep down that it is truly what’s needed to build a new and better foundation?

Writers–how can your character do this very thing at a turning point for them in your story?

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