‘Shakti’ is a sanskrit word which means energy/ life force.
It can be turbulent or steady; rushing or electric, subtle or stormy. The point is, it moves us! The Tower card has much shakti.
For instance, in the lightning bolt is high voltage shakti which strikes the tower and causes all our plans to fly out the window. This force of nature shocks us into submission by destroying in an instant the power structure we built up.
It’s said that in the Kali Yuga our patriarchal civilization has advanced by destroying, controlling, or suppressing mother nature (which in fact is never ‘separate’ from us.)
This patriarchal mindset or phallic intelligence must now be offered to the supreme force of the cosmos- Kali, the goddess of time (sometimes known as the wrathful goddess of destruction) who, in a brilliant act of balance, obliterates what’s unnecessary in order to continue a soul’s evolution toward unconditional love.
This collapse of the phallic structure and ejecting of the royals from the tower symbolize life force being expelled from the ego and all its projections, revealing only raw reality- a force much more powerful than our human power constructs and hierarchies.
This is also represented by ejaculation of the life force/ semen during the sex act in which a man is said to lose himself/ his consciousness or be pulled down/ absorbed back into the earth by the yoni/ divine feminine to realize a deeper truth.
Truth, symbolized by the intense light of the lightening bolt, leaves us knocked off balance, thrown out of our comfort zone. But also it throws off the shackles that keep us in separation/ self-deception.
The wrath of Kali is the kind that shatters illusions. Literally, she devours our metaphorical head- from infantile fantasies to masterfully built creations- and forcefully brings them down, then re-integrates us into pure being/ existence.
This ‘breaking down’ initiated by the wild feminine, brings us closer to the heart- symbolized by the water which surrounds the tower. Water represents emotions, subconscious, and healing.
To be naked/ vulnerable, exposed, dropped into uncertainty, falling, with nothing to hold onto, no protection- is terrifying. But also liberating.
With everything out in the open, the veil is lifted, our disguises seen. Transformation is quickened, and instead of leaving us to burn in the intensity of the fire, heat of resistance, or battling ourselves; Kali Ma’s mercy takes us to the cooling water of surrender.
We emerge with the gifts of detachment, wisdom, and a newfound intimacy with reality.
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(Photo by Clay Farris)