The Tower.

Number: 16.
Astrological correspondence: Mars.
Keywords: solidity, quality, patience, destruction.
The Tower beyond tarot: the Tower of Babel, the rook in chess, the Wall in Game of Thrones, the RMS Titanic.

On a stormy night, a tower is being hit by lightning. Its crown-like top is falling off, and it is in flames. A man and a woman are falling off it, with a look of terror on their faces. In other decks, there are shrubs at the bottom of the tower, representing new growth among the destruction.

The sixteenth card in the Major Arcana comes after the Devil, who represents truth coming out to the surface, no matter how painful it is. Its number reduces down to 7, bringing us back to the Chariot and the idea of speed and of rushing. Fortunately, the Star follows the tower, and with her comes a much happier message: that of hope, protection, and blessings all being present no matter where you are in your journey. 

The Tower shows the consequences of what could happen if you try to move too fast in any kind of endeavor, throwing away precaution, choosing instant gratification over quality and solidity (there are countless situations in which this can apply, including renting an apartment from a slumlord or buying a house or car that will turn into a money pit). 

But, as always, tarot is anything but one-dimensional. So the message of this card (which, honestly, I was terrified of when I first embarked on my tarot journey) isn’t about destruction and collapse, but about solidity. Whenever you build something, make sure it has the strongest foundations you can provide it with, even if that means shedding the unnecessary (remember, the Chariot). You can then avoid having to rebuild from the start by editing as you grow. Always ask yourself whether this is the best and most durable thing you can do. And remember, competition for the sake of competition is going to bring you down no matter what. 

However, sometimes we throw caution to the wind because our intuition tells us we are doing the right thing for us. In that case, the Tower can also be a representation of our fears and apprehensions. Examine them one by one, and for those that are realistic, come up with various plans to handle them should the need arise. 

There will be times you can reach for the sky faster if you’re 1000000% certain that what you’re building won’t collapse on you. In any case, no matter how certain you are, make sure to remain level-headed in your decisions. Don’t take anything for granted: even things that are extremely solid can, with improper care and too much haste, collapse.