Friday, March 18, 2011

Tarot of the Sidhe - The Tower

This week we're going to look at The Tower from the Tarot of the Sidhe.  It actually decided to pop out at me while I was shuffling and it did come up in this week's tarot reading so I figure it has something it really wants to say, so this is a good one to work with this week!

In the book Emily Carding provides little rhymes for the minor arcana cards, which we saw with the first card we examined, the Dancer Eight card, but for the majors she provides a small description of the card, keywords, and then her insights as an artist creating this image.  The first portion of the description that she provides is really quite interesting.
I am the burning lightning truth of your innermost divine soul.  Strip away, blow away the empty masks of forgetfulness and know your sacred truth.  From my eyes, illusion is burned away.  From my voice are ripped all lies.  From my heart is torn all distrust, freeing the wings of my ascension.

Traditionally when we see The Tower we see it as an image of destruction and chaos, the ultimate disruption.  A lot of times we have a knee-jerk reaction to see it as such a negative card because of the fact that the thing The Tower ushers in is always something that is earth shattering and life changing.  But we often forget that with these sorts of things can also come the chance for great growth and opportunity, and this is the energy that is captured in The Tower within the Tarot of the Sidhe.
The very first time I looked at this card I thought immediately of Isis; the figure in the card looks so much like her to me that it becomes a card that really stands out since Isis isn't exactly a figure that you expect to see pop up with the sidhe.  One of the things that Isis is a patron of is childbirth, and in a lot of ways here we're dealing with a rebirth of sorts, so it's an interesting image to see here in The Tower.

The thing that stands out the most for me in this card is that the thing which is being destroyed and symbolizing this idea of release is a mask.  One of the things that I often see in The Tower is the need to release and let go of things in the physical or material world which are holding us back.  This is something that I also get from this version as well.  There is a need to let go of the falsehoods, the things that we pretend to be, the masks we wear to cover up our fears, insecurities, and so on.  

The wings are a reminder that we can fly and soar to great heights if we allow ourselves to be free of the extra baggage.  Her mostly naked body reminds us again of the need to just be free from things that cover up who we really are; they also remind me of the angels and spirits that are with us to guide and protect us when we are willing to work with them and call on them for assistance.  The sun makes me think of how we can shine if we allow ourselves to.  There is a feeling of victory in finally breaking free.  

Without a doubt there is a pain in making this transition.  This is a mask that you've always worn and that you have likely started to believe was actually part of you.  When you realize that it isn't and you make the change to being your true and authentic self it can certainly throw things into a bit of a tailspin.  The figure here is in a black and purple space of swirling energy with spirals of energy around her.  She stands on top of the Great Glyph of the Sidhe.  The Glyph, as presented by Carding, is a symbol that enhances one's connection to the otherworld and acts as a gateway or portal to the other realms.  Carding explains that in this card the Glyph is the foundation for the figure and is a reminder that with your strong foundation all other things can be stripped away and you can still have your strong footing.

I see The Tower in the Tarot of the Sidhe as a card that reminds us that we need to be our true selves in all areas of life at all times.  When we do things that are less than honest or less on point with who we really are this can be when we see a great deal of havoc and chaos in our lives.  This is when the ideas of the traditional Tower image can often come into place.  So here we have the sound of a shattering mask, echoed through this vast space.  Through the process of letting go of these falsehoods and being our true selves we can stand firmly on our foundations and stand with strength and confidence.  The process of letting the mask break away can be difficult, and it can be painful and disruptive, but once we are who we really mean to be, then we can expect to have less instances of chaos in our lives.

What are your thoughts?  What do you see in the sidhe's Tower?