What Tower Is This? Political Betrayal, a Volcanic Eruption, Both, or Neither?

I wasn’t expecting this, this morning. Samurai Tarot: The Tower, The Devil reversed, Five of ChalicesDrawing from the Samurai Tarot: The Tower, The Devil reversed, and tying the two together: the Five of Chalices. Among the major arcana, the cards are numbered so that The Devil is number 15, while The Tower is 16. In the Samurai Tarot, the Devil stands for deceit (though I tend to think of the Devil more generally as being strongly connected with addictions). Together, in this layout, I see The Tower and the reversed Devil as indicating something that was covered up, but is now revealed, in a great flash of light. It’s something that scares us or makes us feel anxious: the Five of Chalices, in the Samurai Tarot, stands for apprehensions, and looks like geese flying away in the middle of the night from something that startled them away from a nesting place. Doesn’t it look as though they are flying away from the Tower in great fright?

What could be revealed that would frighten us so much? These cards could be personal, but I have the feeling that they are national — we’ve had several national revelations lately that are very worrying. This feels like politics.

Further thoughts: the orange and yellow of the fire on the Tower card matches the colors on the Devil’s kimono almost perfectly. Interpreting these colors as related to the chakras, I see this matter as being about relationships, will power, and action. We have power in the world to act, but we don’t always act properly, particularly in regard to our relationships with others (and governance, I would regard as a type of relationship as well). If this is a betrayal, it’s a betrayal that brings to light something we would rather not have known, something disquieting. Yes, Edward Snowden is definitely coming to mind, but his revelations have already taken place. Is more coming? Or do these cards simply indicate fallout from what has already happened?

However, another thought is in the back of my head too, and that’s of volcanoes on the Alaska Peninsula, which have been rumbling lately (I saw this in the news, not in my cards, lol). Veniaminof is preparing to erupt, and, when I checked the news for further information, I found that in Mexico, Popocatépetl is becoming alarmingly active as well. These cards could be geophysical, not political at all. The activity of volcanoes is always hidden until almost the point of eruption — when what was happening beneath the surface is suddenly revealed, alarming us all.

So. One set of cards, two interpretations. Either, both, or neither could be right! Would love to know your thoughts on this! What Tower is this, do you think?


  1. Fantastic interpretation. I am unfamiliar with the Samurai tarot so will have to do some research and see whether I can obtain a copy. Thank you for using it and posting this piece! 🙂


    1. You’re very welcome. The Samurai Tarot is from Lo Scarabeo. I think it’s also available on Amazon. It’s a wonderful deck.


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