Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Key 16: THE TOWER & The B.O.T.A. Tarot key 16: THE TOWER
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Key 16: THE TOWER & The B.O.T.A. Tarot key 16: THE TOWER

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth Key 16- The Tower:
The universal principle of renovation and restoration.

This card is often misunderstood and seen as a doom and gloom -Armageddon end of an Aeon symbol. It's  actually more about your own man-made personality, which is static and has crystallized thought to the point where you repeat the same thoughts and expect different results. There is insanity in such a process.
The Tower is a hallmark image of the Tower of Babel brought down by God the Destroyer (Shiva in Hindu). In less archaic language, the personality de-constructed and reconstructed by enlighten thought.

  1. The fire breathing dragon at the base, is the Spiritual and/or Life force that transforms life constantly in order to keep evolving the living. It symbolizes the Roman god of destruction-Dis.
  2. The four figures falling out of the tower symbolize the crystallized thought of the "wanna-be", i.e. yesterdays'  thought formed people who seek only comfort and fear change. These are thoughts that hold us back from our impeccable performance in life motion. Evolutionary Life is all about performance rather than conformance. Essential Self is progressive thought; not enslaved thought.
  3. The open eye at the top represents the Eye of Horus, the Egyptian god of perception; the perceptive state of awakening and seeing the deeper/inner authentic self that is not human defined but is God made.
  4. Awakening people are required to come into alignment with the Greater Self, which is symbolized by the Oriental fire breathing dragon. We are Dragons! ( the union of Angel, animal and daemon---i.e. "those who are not bound by laws but expand and liberate laws from states of stasis by transubstantiation").
  5.  The haloed serpent, reminds us that by shedding old ways of thinking we become expanded and liberated. Expanded consciousness requires expanded definitions of self.
  6. The dove represents the inner peace that we have when we become the authentic god-made being which comes from shedding the outer definition of man-made being.


The Hebrew letter Peh-means Mouth, which links this Thoth Deck tarot card to the Tower of Babble of Biblical lore. It defines the difference between the Word of God and the languages of mankind. The Word of God is the Logos, or a foundation vibration of energy that is the Root of all Creation. Unless spoken with the Power of Mars (willful force), mankind's words are merely definitions of what has already been created and but shadows of Truth.

The Planet associated with the Tower Card is Mars, a driving force that connects the center of Reasoning (Hod) with the center of intuitive- desire nature (Netzach). Peh, is the balancing path of the Personality that equalizes reason and desire. Peh is also a double letter meaning that it has two possible directions of passage; the mouth is an orifice that takes in nourishment to the system as well as expresses words out of the system.  Through breath and even a more powerful breathing- Pranic Breathing, (yoga breath), the higher energies of Spirit can enter the human system and by the power of chanting (vibration control) these subtle energies can aid in creation. Thus the term of the Mars speak of the Magician was developed to imply the power of willful intonation.

The Tower itself represents the literal world of human language that blocks expansive thinking and which must be toppled in order to evolve the personality. This Spiritual growth in understanding and perspective is not always fun, in fact it can be devastatingly unpleasant. The more we are walled in by the "brick and mortar" of our thoughts, the more force is needed to topple our errant understandings of Self; often "Serpent Force" and/or Kundalini, in a fiery blast will do so. This is not to be sought, for it is better to disassemble the personality "one brick" at a time that one huge destructive moment; a moment that few personalities return from.
With a great blast of lightning (Fiery Will of Spirit) our personal self conceptions (survival based definitions) are brought down, so that we can see the True Ego (Whole Self) who manifests us. We wouldn't be able to "Know Ourselves" when our identities are walled up in a Tower of Language. So this card is a deliverance but in a necessarily harsh way as our own personal "I" [our Towers of identity] are limited by man made institutions, and false concepts which we believe to be reality.

The Higher Self, is the original "I", as shown in this card as the "All seeing Eye", is the Real Ego, who will step in and bring down our world of self deception of our reality-egos, whether in the destruction of man made institutions (War) or man-made definitions. Hence, The Tower is a card of Transformation, brought about by destroying the old to build the new.

It is interesting to note that the Planet Mars maybe the symbol for the Roman God of War and destruction, but it is also the god who rules over the fertility of crops. Yes it is a Phallic symbol and that line of reasoning requires a greater investigation in our feelings about sexuality. Crowley described the "Blasted Tower as a phallus shooting forth the "lightning seeds" of a new era. Male and Female forces are implied here.  Crowley also stated that the deflating of the tower is also symbolic of a male phallus going flaccid after it has "shot its seed".

The Thoth Deck Tower card is full of occult surprises, the Serpent and Dove images, according to Crowley, represent "..the will to live and the will to die" and are also "the Masculine and Feminine impulses".

The geometric forms above the Tower, symbolize the straight lines used in man-made construction, while nature is not constructed of straight lines. This implies that seeking perfection[straight lines] leads to nothing, and as Crowley states," all manifestations, however glorious, however delightful, are stains." which I have called ,"The color of reality". The Tower Card is then the wiping clean of our inner mental pallet of self, that we use to paint our outer reality.

In this card, the all seeing Cosmic Eye observes and directs the disruptive process of the Towers destruction while the Flaming Mouth of the Roman god of the dead, Dis, belches flames a the base of the Tower. If pursued, the student will find deeper and deeper meanings to this Tower Card, going all the way back to the Kings of Edom who are the two figures falling from the Tower and who represent the dual modes of lower personal consciousness [self-conscious and sub-conscious].

Initiates in to the Mysteries of the Hermetic Qaballah, may spend up to a year meditating on this card and it can be a very "hard year' indeed! It is a kind of self immolation, in order to consume the lower personality and rise up on the smoke of its destruction phoenix like into Higher Self realization. This may deter the weak of heart but this Path is necessary to develop the Hard Desire that is a driving force behind our Divine inheritance of perfecting the Self.

As in most Thoth Tarot cards of the Major Arcana, The Tower Card-key 16, has many layers of meaning, so let's go over it again.
We have:
  1. War.
  2.  The Changing of the Aeon.
  3. Personality annihilation, reconstruction of the person via Soul "I" sight and even the deeper occult meanings of:
  4. Universal deconstruction as the dream of God  is abolished by the Awakened God.

The many symbols on this card represent all of these meanings. We have the All Seeing eye of the Awake Shiva, the Haloed Serpent Force, the Lion-Serpent Abraxas, the Dove of Peace that is the Holy Spirit (also the Venus influence) and the crystalline humanoid shapes of the falling figures, who because of their indoctrination have become indistinct geometrical expressions that are unrecognizable as individuals.

The Lion-Serpent Abraxas (or Xnoubis) and the Dove of Peace, represent two forms of Desire" The Will to live and the Will to die.,


There is yet another layer in meaning here, as the former is the feminine and the latter is the masculine impulses. Some may see these two as in contradiction, but in all actuality, "the will to live" and the "Will to die" are the inseparable "Wife and Husband" of all creation. Life and death are a single manifestation, Life/Death, of all energy forms. It behooves us to remember, that no matter how great the creation, it is going to "proceed from order to disorder". Entropy happens to energy, when it is made to manifest as form. Form is a Ruled and Controlled environment that causes a Static motion within parameters. Whereas, eternal motion, requires the statics parameters and/or oppression of energy, to degrade back into motive energy as a Universal dynamic. Energy transformation requires transformation of transformations, in order to constantly transform. Hence the term,"life eats itself to stay alive".

The Tower, may seem all doom and gloom, but in reality, our Soul is merely bringing us out of slavery to the definitions of self depredation (the Child of Man) and back into the Original Identity of our Creation, The Child of the Divine Creative. This may cause some "internal turmoil", but it won't be long-lived; it's just a Tower Moment.
The B.O.T.A.Tarot-Key 16: THE TOWER, represents the same Hermetic Doctrine that the Thoth Card does.

This cards art represents the flash of awareness (an ah-ha moment), a clear vision,  which reveals to the search their true nature of SELF, which has been previously hidden by the bondage of self-consciousness.
Here, Spiritual Comprehension  is emanating from the Sun of Pure Being, as a lightning strike blasting apart the towering ignorance and error of the "man made man".

The Crown, blown from the top of the the Tower is indicative of Will Power, but in this case it is a faux will power of the personality; a reality that has no existence in the Real.
Right knowledge begins with an inner comprehension which reveals to one the True Nature of Will ( I AM). What causes all human suffering and limitation on this "Ruler described Planet", is the false idea of separation,(Divide and conquer). This is a delusion destroyed by the Greater Self. For we all are "another way to be Life" and/or " all that I see is another way to be me". None of us are separate from the Universal Collective Unconscious, as each of us is another way to be a fractal creation (self-reflection) of that very Divine Creative.

The two falling figures are generally two modes of personal consciousness, called the self-conscious and the subconscious.  The flash of Super-consciousness (The Divine Creative) turns all of our conceptions of personal consciousness upside down, utterly destroying these false conceptions of self.
Shown  also, are 22 Yods (flames of spirit) and represent the 22 modes of consciousness symbolized by the 22 Tarot Keys of the Major Arcana.
As you may discern, all the meanings previously explained in the Thoth Card, apply to the B.O.T.A. card.

When this card is thrown during a reading, it is representing:
  • Ambition, war, courage and fighting.
  •   In certain card combinations the Tower can represent destruction, danger, ruin and fall.
  • However, it is mostly about the universal principle of reconstruction and renovation and is often seen  to mean that the Querent is a healer, restorer and renovator who aids in or is experiencing  the breaking down of the 'self absorbed individual self (often called Ego") and eliminating what is false-to fact (supported by denial), artificial and no longer of use to the progressive individual.
  •  A breakthrough in self thought that shatters the old structures of belief.
  • The deconstruction of  self-definition necessary for Enlightenment.
  • That the querent will be experiencing an ego- personal process of eliminating all that is artificial, false-to-fact, and no longer useful to them; usually in a 16 week or month process.
  • Healing, and restoration comes from this process.
  • This is much like a doctors axiom of ,"This is gonna hurt a bit, but it will feel better soon".
  • Deep psychological, emotional and physical changes are being predicted for the querent.
  • A personality change or re-configuring of personal definition is on the Horizon that is necessary for further progress.
  • It could be the destruction of illness for the rebuilding of health.
  • The destruction of an Institution (work, religion etc.) so that the querent can proceed in creating their dreams. 
  • This is a very meaningful card , and the surrounding cards must be taken into consideration when interpreting this Card!


You may also email me with any questions {info@eli-lsmerchantile.com] and I will email the answers back to you. May you and yours live long and prosper!


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