Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Tower Card: Shifting Paradigms


The Tower Card in the Tarot deck, one of the Major Arcana, reveals that a certain upheaval is coming. This disruption is in the form of realizing that all that one has believed is wrong, flawed, misguided, or just plain credulous. Imagine the Western world at the time of Copernicus, when he was about to reveal a cosmological theory that the world isn’t flat with 3 heavens above and 3 underworlds below, as had been held for millennia by the people’s of earth, not as a theory, but as unquestionable fact.

The Tower Card -- signifies the arrival
of paradigm shifting information.

Here comes information that tells us that our conception of reality is not even close to being accurate. The Tower card portends to this level of upheaval, of information so unexpected and yet so irresistibly compelling that, though still retaining our choices, we see that continuing to hold onto the old paradigm, while comforting and familiar, will not serve us as well as we had always believed, and that some kind of reordering, some kind of palingenesis of self is necessary in order to continue to make sense of all that we are and all that the world is.

A Flat Earth--was at one time the accepted,
unquestioned understanding of the cosmos.

While I admit that the Tower card coming up in a reading rarely portends to a pleasant experience, it does foretell a more accurate and more robust theory of the world, a more holistic and more encompassing philosophy of life. However deep we go into the deconstruction of all that we have known, and however devastating the circumstances leading to it may feel, in the end, we have a greater, more expansive, wiser view of our life and with it know a greater number of possibilities and awaken to choices we may not have been aware of previously.

I go so far as to say we ought not only to welcome the Tower Card in our life, but to invite it, make way for it, search for opportunities to give it space to come in and rearrange the furniture of our thinking. Journeys in life—whether they be to some geological destination, a spiritual journey, or to other realms as in dreams or altered states—offer such opportunities to us to challenge ourselves. Travelers travel for many reasons, and while traveling necessarily come upon values, customs, beliefs, morals, and behavior that are different from their own. Such opportunities give us the space, if we are open to it, to reevaluate our own understanding and make adjustments.

Travelers necessarily come upon values, customs, beliefs,
morals, and behavior that are different from their own.
A spiritual journey is a road to transformation, one of a thousand and one paradigm shifts that get us closer and closer to knowing our authentic self and where we fit in the universe. And on journeys to other realms, in dreams, in altered states, in psychedelic trips, in trance, in meditation, we come to understand reality, ourselves and the universe in a different way. Again, if we are open, we come to find a deeper, wider, more expansive sense of what is true, and our relationship to that expanding reality.

The next time you are hit with a reality check wherein you find yourself reeling from a sense of your paradigm shifting, I encourage you to take the time to accept what this great lesson is teaching you and to live your life from a greater sense of knowing what is true.