Today I am using the Hermetic Tarot, a black and white deck chock-full of symbolism. The cards I threw are The Blasted Tower reversed, and The Lovers.
The Tower (Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive, energetic change), Mars (action, spontaneity, aggression, drive), Phe (mouth or speech), and the Path between Hod (which provides analysis and communication) and Netzach (which offers the stimulating factors of emotion and inspiration)) is one of the Major Arcana cards that talks of adjustments. This one tells of a violent or explosive correction in the way things are going that usually happens after more gentle corrections don’t bring the needed result. The destruction caused by The Tower is actually clearing away the old and expired, so new growth can begin, but it might not be fun to experience. The Tower also shows us what can happen if we cement ourselves into our beliefs. I love what Oswald Wirth says about The Tower in his book, Tarot of the Magicians: “[The Tower] . . . is less a temple, a house of God, than a sacred building of a body mistakenly identified with God.”
The image on this card is terrifying. Lightning bolts rip apart a tall, ornate building, sending people plummeting down. Even the sun in the upper right corner of the image is frightening. Instead of rays, we see sharp triangles like the multiple rows of teeth found in a shark’s mouth. It looks like a pyramid is being shot into the building amidst the lightning bolts; to either side of the building is a tree of life, one white and one dark. The building itself is tall, and kind of over-fancy. To be honest, it doesn’t look like it would be sturdy even on a good day, but it would be eye-catching.
The Lovers (Air, hot/separates and wet/adapts, quick and animated, intellectual, problems or challenges; Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, sociable, dual; Zayin, double-edged sword; and the Path between Tiphareth, the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify, and Binah, female receptive energy and the origin of form and structure) tells of duality, union, and personal choices. This card is about love, but it is also about our personal values and how they affect our choices, and the promises we make to others. The traditional image on The Lovers offers three people: a man, and two women (one representing virtue and one representing sensuality). The Lovers presents the two halves that when united with balance are greater than the sum of their parts; in other words, The Lovers is about a unity that is necessary for fertility and creativity to have an effect.
This is not your typical Lovers card. In this image we see Andromeda, chained to a rock and being attacked by a fierce dragon, being protected by Perseus, who is attempting to slay the dragon with a sword. There is a small bow and arrow at the top of this card, shaped like a heart. According to the LWB that comes with this deck, the bow and arrow shows a connection to the Temperance card. Interesting. In this deck Temperance is seen as the result of, or the fulfillment of, The Lovers.
My Tower is reversed and in this deck, a reversed Tower is warning of an ongoing entrapment of some kind. Yes, the card is reversed, but I am being told that danger is approaching. Without a willing rendering of balance, the ugly and uncomfortable adjustment will happen. In fact, it might happen anyway. But my reversed Tower is being paired with a card of love and connections. Perhaps this love presented by The Lovers will heal me once the adjustment has taken place. Or perhaps love itself will be my motivation to strive for balance so I can prevent the coming adjustment, and the possible collateral damage that could harm the ones I love. Now that is a reason to get going!