Tower, announces a long life and a happy old age; but if it surrounded by clouds, it announces sickness, and in certain circumstances, even death.

Original Instructions

More than any other card, the High Tower has seen its traditional significations eroded. So much so cartomantes will state that associations with legalisation and bureaucracy are “traditional.” However, a quick perusal of the original instructions dismisses such confusion.

To understand the High Tower, we can note two things from its traditional iconography. Unlike other cards, the High Tower is never illustrated as being of the same period as the other cards. This is no Biedermeier or Belle Époque structure. Secondly, it is a tower-house or sentinel that offers panoramic views.

As such, the High Tower is a card age and distance. When the card appears, there is a long-term quality. You need to look out into the distance and think about the long-term.

The combination with the Park card (below) can be read as a historic landmark or significant building. If we reversed the two, it would be a belvedere.

I would not read the High Tower alone as the government. Government is a group of people (Park), with invested power and authority (Bear or Birch Rod). If authority exists in the High Tower, it is singular. The authority of an elder or head of a family.

The High Tower requires careful consideration in matters of love. In certain contexts, it can indicate a solid and stable partnership. After all the High Tower offers from protection. At other times, it is a solitary prison. The circumstances determine which side we see:

If the enquiry concerns the long-term outlook, the High Tower is positive. In the modern vernacular, you are “end game.” But the High Tower is an isolated structure; the relationship can be claustrophobic. If you are single, the High Tower is far a likelier indication that the solitary status will continue.

If the High Tower falls between the Significator and the Partner Card, it can be seen as ‘rising between’ the two people. The person on the left often pulls away. The one on the right is the outsider. This can be understood when we remember that the card is a look-out post.

In my younger days, the High Tower often indicated a widow. I do not see that as much these days, and it does not regularly appear to describe someone as a divorcee.

Traditionally, the High Tower promised a long, happy life. Despite this association frequently being ignored, you will still repeatedly be told in combination lists that with Tree it promises longevity! Care should be taken when it is near either the Coffin or Clouds, as it can signal serious illness.

Paired with either a Person Card or Social Card, it can denote an older relative such as a grandparent or community figure.

The High Tower at a Glance:

Essence: Distance.

Playing Card: Six of Spades.
Polarity: Neutral.
Category: Personal Sphere Card. Health Card. Person Card.
Keywords: Historic, Age, Protection and Isolation, Sentinel, Remoteness, Goals.

Pace: Slow.
Timing: One Year. Also: Michaelmas.
Health: The pine. Can indicate that something is terminal or incurable, as well as illnesses associated with age and longevity.

The Petit Lenormand © abCartomancy 2010 – 2020

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