The Dark Tarot...

XVI. The Tower


"Tears of the feeble,
Hands of the slaves.
Skin of the mothers,
Mouths of the babes.
Building the towers
Belongs to the sky.
When the whole thing
Comes crashing down,
Don't ask me why."


- Soundgarden, "Limo Wreck"


Imagery: Rearing into the violet twilight of a benighted horizon, the darker bulk of the Tower symbolizes the purpose of both life and death, order and chaos… and It is falling.  Great cracks mar the perfect dark of it surface, cracks through which spill crimson light, and these fissures resemble veins of pulsing fire throughout this daunting edifice.  From the topmost parapet two figures can be seen embracing as they prepare to leap from the falling Tower.  Dark waves lap the eroded cliff-face on which the Tower stands, as if the sea herself hungers to quench the flame of the falling structure once and for all.  Blue fire spills through windows spiraling up the Tower’s sides, the entire scene eerily resembles a dark slit in a blue eye, threaded through and through with arteries of flame.


Meaning: The Tower signifies upheaval, chaos, and oft-times destruction on a grand scale.  It is nothing less than the reduction of the known and the intrusive presence of the unknown or unforeseen, the penultimate moment when tradition must be thrown aside if one is to grasp the wheel with pure determination, unfettered by previous conceptions or outmoded beliefs.  Darkly aspected, the Tower represents one of the most vital and misunderstood elements of the metaphysical journey, it is the harbinger of much-needed change and denies the stagnation of the safe, easy, or wholly traditional path.  The Tower always falls, and always rises anew only to fall again and again.  Its sacrifice enables the wayfarer to become what they must.



XVII. The Star


"Deep down in the universe I see...
Love, it comes and goes.
Bad moods have tortured me,
No matter who you are, love seems like a star
Shining in the hostile galaxy.

Deep inside my universe,
once upon a time.

My star became a supernova... blasting.
It was so adorable, but selfish;
After the explosion... it hurts."


- Behind the Scenes, "My Star"


Imagery: The sky is clear and unobstructed; a bright, cold pinpoint of light washes the scene in its brilliant color, bringing a sense of calmness to the ravages that have passed.  Arrayed around this glowing light are seven lesser points, each one glowing in a different light of the spectrum’s hues.  Lives are spun through this loom in the vault of the heavens; fate is woven upon her many spindles and destinies spelled out in strange alphabets on her careworn face.  Two indistinct figures stand hand-in-hand atop a nameless rubble and look skyward, a silent gesture of thanks to unseen eyes that watch them.  The ordeal has passed them and they still live, there is silence and the healing light.


Meaning: The Star offers its light to heal and to comfort following the upheavals and travails of the journey, the clearing in the forest where one may rest their weary legs free of the thorns that the path has offered them.  After every change comes the time of reflection, a moment where what has happened is taken in at length, a time to come to an understanding of the passing of the old and the acceptance of the new.  The Star brings neither focus nor true illumination; the light it offers is of the spiritual world, and one cannot discern the truth by it but it will ease one’s worry and allow them brief respite.



XVIII. The Moon


"The ocean is full cause everyone's crying,
The full moon is looking for friends at high tide.
The sorrow grows bigger when the sorrow's denied.
I only know my mind...
I am mine.

And the meaning, it gets left behind.
All the innocents lost at one time.
Significant, behind the eyes,
There's no need to hide...
We're safe tonight."

- Pearl Jam, "I Am Mine"


Imagery: Two spires flank the Lady of the Thousand Shifting Veils, upon one of them is the bristling muscle and compact power of a snarling wolf and upon the other is the poised menace and silent lethality of a meditating scorpion.  The Silver Lady is garbed in a vestment of gray shrouds, a hundred different emotions play across her unknowable features at any instance.  In her radiance the truth can seem as a lie and any lie can resonate with truth, the landscape twists and the shadows grow long and substantial.  The Lady offers with one outstretched hand a secret whose name cannot be uttered, but in the hand behind her back she holds a secret whose utterance can visit one with the clarity of madness.


Meaning: Madness, inspiration, insanity, and illumination all are offered by one of the many faces of the Moon.  Simultaneously the Silver Door through which the greatest mysteries can be attained, the Moon is also the ultimate trap on the path to realization.  The Moon offers both illusions and the ultimate reality; but the danger of these things is that, in the moon’s silver radiance, it can become difficult if not impossible to tell the illusion from the real.  The Moon portends both great internal disruption as well as the potential to grasp the inner mysteries, and bathed in her light both things can seem as one.  The Moon guards the path, offering the seeker two routes; through the night of the soul and the scorching light of the outer marches.



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