The Tower Card-Key 16, is the Path of Peh, meaning Mouth. The Hebrew letter Peh, is shown on both the Spiral Tarot (upper left) and the Thoth Deck Tarot (in title block). Paul Foster
Case calls the Path of Peh,"The Exciting Intelligence",
excite matter and the Mouth sends forth vibrations as sound or words.
, the eighth Sephiroth, ( Splendor), is the center of the reasoning process that is connected to the
center of the intuition-desire nature, Netzach (Victory), by the Path of
Peh-THE TOWER. This Path of the Personality brings into balance what is
out of balance and is related to Mars, the Roman god of War and the
Traditionally the North was the quarter seen as the
"greatest place of darkness", for when the Mysteries where initiated,
the North side of King Solomon's temple was the darkest side. But all is
not doom and gloom here, as any initiate in the Mysteries knows, it is
from the darkest night that comes Light and that "enlightenment has its
origin in the hidden sources of power which terrify the minds of the
ignorant".( Emerald Tablets-Golden Dawn)
To us moderns who are familiar with Quantum Physics Theory,
it is said that from the Dark Energy and Dark Matter are the birth
places of the Light-energy- electromagnetic spectrum.
Peh, the Hebrew word, is called a double
letter, for it not only means -Mouth but also-Grace-Indignation, a union
of opposites. Double letters, are considered "gateways of the Soul",
that have two possible directions of passage. It is also a fact that the
mouth has two passages as well. One passage takes in nourishment into
the organic system and another expresses speech. Thus, we can see the
similarity between the two actions of the Path of Peh. For it not only
is a devastating Path of the Higher Vibrations (Word of God) that burn away the dross
of our Personalities, it is also the entrance that nourishes the
consciousness with the Spiritual knowledge,( enlightenment) from the
Real Personality (Soul).
Many of us are familiar with chanting and the
effects of the power of visualization on the physical body. Many
Mysteries espouse the use of "god names" or "Words of Power" to
effect the destruction of "negative energies", in body and
environment. (Relative to speech, we know that the Logos, is also called the Word,)
These "negative energies" that The Tower card represents the
destruction of, are our own personal towers of false concepts and
institutions that are commonly believed to be reality. By the tearing down of the false,
room is made for something new.
Now I know that Mars is the
symbol of the war god of destruction but few remember that Mars is also
attributed with the power of crop fertility. Again the process of
destruction to build anew is seen here as the peace and calm of the soil
is distributed in order to plant healthy crops. This really is the
core of the message of The Tower-Key 16.
In the Thoth Deck version
of THE TOWER, we see stylized lightning or energy strikes knocking
off the geometric shapes of human forms which symbolize the man-made
personalities that see reality as a world of straight lines; straight
lines as in 'black and White" or "good and bad". The Spiral Tarot Card, THE TOWER, shows lightning strikes attributed to Zeus, knocking off the top of the Tower and dislodging a King and Queen. Both imply that the rule of the Man-Made
personality (man-made constructs) sees a linear reality foreign to Nature and the Universe, which is
circular and/or spiral in nature, and is known for its lack of straight
lines.Therefore, the rules of man must be destroyed before the True Will is known.
Both the Spiral Tarot and Thoth card,The Tower, symbolizes the construct that most people call
"I" or Self, where perspectives of the Personality are being shattered by
the influx of the Fiery High Self, as place is being made in the
consciousness for higher Knowledge. The toppling Tower also represents
the destruction of man made institutions, government, religions, or any
Yet this striking down, is not to be construed
as the destruction of evil, rather it is a process of change, as
"stepping stones" of perspective are built that contributes to the
continual building up and striking down of concepts that lead into the
Inner Realms of Higher Self; Kind of like the building up and striking
down of miles as one travels. Another way to understand THE TOWER'S
process, is that upon first approach to these 'Higher Planes" of
reality, many people anthropomorphize the States of Conscious Energy, as
Archangels or "Spiritual Beings", as that is how they "realize" them;
However, these Creative Forces are formless, so in order to incorporate
these forces into our own anthropomorphized "reality", we must grow past
the previous false concepts of these angelic beings and know them as
states of I Am Me. This is a necessary process of progressive and
expanding Self-Awareness as we journey on the "Above all things, know
thyself" Paths of the Tree of Life. Just to travel in the present, we
must destroy the perspectives of our past!
The Higher Self, is our
True Ego which is not ours alone, so The Tower's solitary destruct also
represents the eradication of the false ego made by the survival
consciousness of the animal body. The lightning flashes are
representative of sudden inspiration, or flashes of perception , that
occur when we realize our Real Identities. This inner conflict is why
A.Crowley subtitled THE TOWER as WAR. But this is not a new perspective
on the inner conflict of survival persona and the Higher Self, as
throughout esoteric literature are depicted these moments of "inner-war". For instance, in the Bhagavad Gita,,
there is described symbolic battle of self perspectives, and/or
component parts of Self: The Higher Genius is portrayed as Krishna
(Solar Logos), guiding Arjuna (lower personality) onto his inner, and
personal field of conflict.
In Western literature, we have Christ,
going through his days in the desert, solitary and alone, while being
continually tempted by the lower personality of Satan, which relates to
the survival based ego trying to usurp the Rule of the True Ego.
I mentioned that this card is about the destruction of the old order.
the Thoth Deck Tower card, the all seeing eye (I) observes and directs
the destruction of the Tower, representing the old order, while Dis, the
Roman god of the dead, belches flames against the tower base. The path
of the Tower, is often considered to be an affirmation of the Primal
Will that it alone is the True Crown that brings into balance the pure
positive or male Chokma and the pure negative or female Binah. Neither
of which are man-made definitions.
On one side of the Thoth card is the
dove, representing one of the two forms of desire,"The will to die". On
the other side of the card, is the Sacred Serpent, which represents the
other form of desire, "The Will to Live". These are ancient symbols of
Life and death, as the serpent sheds its skin, as a kind of resurrection
and the dove flies towards the heavens as a "Holy Spirit". The Dove is
also considered to be a Feminine symbol and the Serpent a Masculine
one, as She is balanced peace of magnetism and he is the
serpentine-lightning-electric force that is the "motion in all
There are obvious sexual connotations to this card, in
the past, these were broadly suggested so that "polite society" would
not be offended. However, "God is Sex", the Tower itself is a phallic
symbol, the Mouth, is the opening of the male reproductive male organ
from which the Yod (seed of life), ejaculates. This ejaculation of Yods is shown on the Spiral Tarot as 15 small flames on the left, and 7 on the right, falling from one Great Flame. In Crowley's 1923 diary,
he states that,"...the Blasted Tower which is really a Phallus shooting
forth lightnings of seed". The forced transmutation of energy from one
form to another is done by Fire's destructive nature. This initial
activation of transformation ultimately leads to fruition as energy is
released to be restructured into another
As a practicing Tantric and
Qabalist, I know the Physical Male body is a type of capacitor of
Positive electric force and the Physical Female body is a crucible
(womb) of Negative Magnetic Energy (female Shakti), that captures the
electric discharge of the Solar Logos (Male-Shiva),eventually producing
active form, subtly or physically. As in Tantra, Qabalah understands that the Tree of All
Life, is a balancing of opposites; a balancing of Force and Form.
the Tower card, the Mars force is presented as the sexual energy of the
Microcosm ( Microprosopus), and the image of the Tower is in some ways
the phallus. all of which points to the all important understanding
that, it is the Higher Sexual Energy ( that at first flows from Chokma
to Binah, in the Upper Trinity of Kether, Chokma, Binah that is called
the Supernal Triangle.) that destroys the perception Personality about
the nature of sexual function. There is a kind of destruction of the
male sex organ itself in orgasm which relates to the destruction of the
Singularity in the "Big Bang" (no pun intended)!
There is an
interpretation here, that the fall from the Tower, enables the
sacrifice of one's perception of the sexual function is continually
required by human kind, in order to maintain the given Path by which
one may return to the Source of All. However, the Path is initiatory as
it prepares us for the Knowledge and Conversion of the Solar Logos of
Tiphareth. What should be noted here, is that when you "ejaculate"
electric energy into the magnetic crucible, you get electromagnetic
energy; a place where the,"... male and the female one and the
same..." ...a partial quote from the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas:
Here's the whole quote, when asked by the disciples when they shall enter the Kingdom of God (The Supernal Triangle), : (22) "Jesus
said to them,' When you make the two one, and when you make the inside
like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the
below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so
that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion
eyes in place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in
place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then you will
enter the Kingdom." This completely explains the Qabalistic Tree of
Life and will require in depth study, skrying of the Tower card, and Self
Knowledge to understand. However, I'll give you some clues, "eyes into
an eye" refers to changing perspective of the reality of sight, from the
separatism of eyes, to the All seeing eye (I)......the turning of a
hand into a hand refers to the Hebrew word Yod--meaning Hand and also
called the Seed of Spirit. The male female transformation has already
been explained, in this blog. It should be noted that the Higher
Mysteries are sexual, but in perspectives far beyond the libido of
hormone besotted bodies and the divisions of sexes.
Path of Peh, The Tower, may be symbolically phallic, but this does not
make it a "male only Path" as this Path exists prior to the
differentiation of the sexes necessary for multiple and diverse
incarnation. This Tower path is an amalgamation of both male electric
and female magnetic force. However, on the path of Peh, one must focus on
the male electric force, sexual force, that resides in all of us, as on
other paths one must deal with female components. Only in working in
groups are the different polarities of the physical male and female
bodies considered as they both experience the Path differently,according
to their polarities.
To the querent, the Tower Card means:
Ambition, fighting, war and courage.
- Unexpected events that require us
to let go.
- The necessary toppling of existing forms to make way for new
life and new ways.
- Liberation from complacency, a shaking up of events to get us moving.
If ill dignified by the cards accompanying it, the Tower can mean destruction, danger, fall and ruin.
Thank you for your interest, support, and comments. May you live long and prosper!