Let your light shine out

This post is part of the Tarot Blog Hop series for Imbolc. Each post looks to answer the question “How can I be a better candle?” If you are following this thread you will have gotten here from from a post by Amy of Hudson Valley Tarot. The link to the next post in this series can be found at the end of this post. Please take a moment to subscribe to my blog while you are here via email.

One of the greatest clues to be a better candle, or source of light in the world, comes from what most would think is an unexpected source, the Tower. If you ask people about the Tower card and what it stands for you will hear chaos, change, collapse, destruction, all things that speak of sudden change, often unexpected change. They are not wrong but none of these ideas tend to help people shine brighter in the world. However, in understanding the kinds of problems the Tower often speaks of we can also understand what is has to teach us about being strong, stable and shining our light into the world.

The Tower from the Thoth Deck

The Tower from the Thoth deck by Crowley/Harris

In order to build a lasting structure we need to understand why it is that the Tower falls in the first place. If we look at the card, we can see the lightning striking tower the Tower shattering it under the force. Lightning often represents the spark of the divine descending into the world – often to dispense justice. The movement of spirit – the very thing we appeal to in times of need – can often be too overwhelming to be sustained. In the Thoth deck we can see another disruptive force shaking the tower from its foundation. In this version we see Dis, a Roman deity of the underworld, spitting fire and shaking the tower from below. This flaming mouth of destruction represents the subconscious forces that are at work in each of us and bringing disruption to our lives. In each of us there are forces that undermine our foundation and threaten to bring us to the ground.

What has all this got to do with candles? Think about what happens when you light a candle. You apply fire, another symbol of spirit, and it consumes the candle entirely. Just as the lightning and fire consume the Tower. If the candle is not firmly set it will topple and bring even more destruction. Sounds pretty doom and gloom and if you are not ready to receive the flame of spirit it can be downright destructive.

If we create balance the lightning can become the light that helps guide those around us.

In the Qabala, the Tower, is usually placed between Hod and Netzach. These two spheres represent the energies of science, reason and logic on one side and the forces of emotion, creativity and art on the other. That is to say that the Tower represents the conflict between these two very different kinds of energy. On a more personal level we could say that the Tower represents the conflict we as humans face between our heads and our hearts. However, if we create a balance between our heads and our hearts, we can manifest a version of the Tower rarely talked about – the house of God.

If the Tower is built to receive the lightning strike; if its foundation goes deep into the earth so it cannot be shaken loose by the earth’s movements; if the structure itself is capable of flexing with the movement of the winds; it can become a building that can house the flame of divinity and inspiration and radiating its light back into the world. Then the Tower may stand and become as a candle, a beacon of light to those who surround it.

(Aside: I have subsequently painted an image of the Tower to reflect this post. You can find it here.)

So enough of the abstract. Let’s talk about what it might mean to be a living Tower as opposed to just trying to survive the the Tower’s influence. I suggest a three card spread to help you get on the right track. As you try this reading you might end up with lists of things to work on. If this happens, narrow it down to what is the first step. If you have trouble narrowing it down go with the first point on your list. I am sure your spirit will make it the right thing even if you have trouble deciding.

First is the foundation. Ask your cards what you need to work on to create a more stable foundation. This can be anything so be open to intuition. Common ideas that I see in myself and others are things like holding on to past, being reactionary, allowing fear to erode confidence, but everyone is different. Draw a second card to ask for suggestions about how to resolve this issue.

Second is becoming a better vessel. Ask the cards what you need in order to be able to receive more light(ning) from Spirit. This may show up as a practice for you to work with like yoga, or drawing a card of the day. It could be some action for you to take or something as simple as making time to be quiet and see what arises.

Repeat this process once you are feeling satisfied with your progress from the first run through. Good luck. Let me know how it goes. I look forward to seeing more beacons, more candles burning bright on the horizons of my life.

What is the Tarot Blog Hop? This sprung up out of an offhand remark made by Stephanie Arwen Lynch on her Facebook page. The Tarot Blog Hop is when a group of bloggers all blog on the same question/topic and link to the blogger before them and the blogger after them to create a Tarot Train.

 The Hermit’s Lamp is the blog of Andrew McGregor – Tarot reader, artist  and teacher. The Hermit’s Lamp is also a storefront in Toronto selling metaphysical and spiritual supplies. Please use the links above to navigate to our services and events.

Image: posterize / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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15 comments on “Let your light shine out”

  1. Pingback: Tarot Blog Hop: Imbolc Tour | Musings On The Tarot

  2. Arwen

    Wow. What a thoughtful post. I really enjoyed the Tower as a candle. The idea of becoming a better vessel really spoke to me. Thanks!

  3. Joanna

    Thanks Andrew for this perspective. You are so right. I often think of the Tower as a brilliant flash of insight or revelation, that irrevocably changes one’s life. And the aftermath of a crisis often leads to the illumination of the Star. Blessings.

  4. October

    Very insightful post! The depth is amazing! And I learned a lot of new things about the Tower and Qabala!

  5. Deborah Outland

    What a lovely post! I definitely needed to read this today! Thanks!

  6. Zanna Starr

    Powerful stuff, Andrew. I really enjoyed reading about “what it might mean to be a living Tower as opposed to just trying to survive the the Tower’s influence.” Thanks for this meaningful “hop stop” on the Tarot Blog Hop.

  7. Carolyn Cushing

    Thank you, Andrew, for this wisdom rich post. It is very timely for me as The Tower is the card of the week for my tele-meditations. I am adding the idea of constructing a Tower to receive into the lightning strike into my reflections for this week. I’ve heard a bit about you from James Well but it is good to meet your work in a bit deeper way on this Blog Hop.

  8. Donnaleigh

    Omigosh. I will never see the Tower the same way again. It is lighting my candle…so meaningful to me on so many levels. I think I just made friends with Old Man Tower.

    Thank you!


  9. Katrina Wynne

    Dear “Light of the Lamp”

    Thank you for shining your wisdom and insight about Tower power. Tower is my teacher this year and I appreciate the way you explored it’s lessons.

    Shine On!

  10. Pingback: Tarot Round Robin – How Can I Be A Better Candle? « Hudson Valley Tarot

  11. Amy Lamash

    Andrew, what a great perspective. For me this was a release from the rather negative connections I have with this card and allows me to see it in a whole new light!

  12. Pingback: Re-visioning the Tower « The Hermit’s Lamp

  13. Pingback: A strong foundation makes for a strong Tower! « The Hermit’s Lamp

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