The Tower on the Path of Initiation

The Lightning Struck Tower XVI represents the seemingly catastrophic destruction of The Magician who reached the heights of Power and Control in the last phase of his metamorphosis as The Devil (Atu XV). From Gnosis and Praxis he constructed his fortress but the process of Alchemical Transformation moves on relentlessly and the Adept must now be willingly reduced to rubble.
The falling figures, male and female are symbolic of the left and right hemispheres of the brain and any other as yet unresolved dualism.
The Aspirant is thrown from his exalted position as Baphomet and forced to confront The Dweller on the Threshold before he can ‘cross the Abyss’. Few get this far, even fewer can face the mighty Choronzon and remain sane.
The Lightning is the potentially devastating power of the Kundalini energy. If the Adept has not been transformed in the crucible of Art XIV, experienced the derangement of The Hanged Man XII and been stripped of everything unnecessary to the Great Work by Death XIII, he will retain the negative features of The Devil. He must submit to the process and be almost utterly destroyed. His humanity is stripped away and he becomes naked and wretched on the precipice of madness.
Shiva destroys to rebuild in the image of the divine, Sekhmet laps like blue flame at all that has not been transformed.
We are also reminded of the Tower of Babel, which the Demiurge destroyed lest men become gods without Initiation and purification. This card is also called ‘War’ and is of Mars and therefore the great warrior Heru-Ra-Ha, the avenger and destroyer of the Osirian cults and modes of grovelling before the Divine. “Get up off your knees!” the Hawk Headed one demands.
The Ordeals that began with Death are almost complete, as the figures fall from the Thoth image they are no longer human but crystalline, geometric forms, The Flesh and Blood of the Mage becomes carbon in another form, the diamond.
After the storm comes the tranquil and beautiful purity of nature restored, The Magician must await the ‘One who Comes Next’ The Star XVII…
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