HP Tarot – 16 The Tower
Artist Elly Pieper
Copyright © 2008
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"This is as canon as it gets: "The Lightning-Struck Tower" chapter from HBP as the Tower card. I don't mind, though, because it shows the dual nature of this card very well.
On the one side the Tower is life delivering a sucker-punch to the stomach, one of those jolts of fate that leave you flat on your ass, gasping for air, wondering where that came from and what you had done to deserve it. These are the catastrophes in life: the car wrecks, the betrayals of friends and partners you trusted, the sudden downsizing at your company that leaves you jobless, the bank repossessing your home, the medical diagnosis you didn't see coming. Once you've been through a true Tower experience, life will never be the same.
The killing of Dumbledore certainly qualifies as a Tower event - the heart and soul of Hogwarts destroyed, the last bastion of safety fallen, and with it the suddenness and the violence of it all, and the seeming betrayal of a trusted friend.
But there is a second dimension to the Tower. While for some the destruction of the tower is a terrible event, for others it may be a prison suddenly broken open. Tower events have an ability to relieve and release. You may lose the stability of your current life, but this may in fact be liberating, and once you've got over the shock and pain you have the ability to grow, to move beyond what you thought possible and to achieve more.
The killing of Dumbledore has this dimension as well. In DH when we learn of Snape's memories we find that Dumbleore begged Snape for this deed as an act of mercy, as relief from pain and suffering - in fact as release from the prison of his life with his old guilt, the curse of his withered hand and at the end the horrible effects of Voldemort's poison.
The Tower always is a difficult card to deal with, but it sometimes just takes a shift of perspective to not just see the destruction, but also the opportunities."
This card depicts, for many, the low point of the Harry Potter books: the death of the beloved Professor Dumbledore and the seeming betrayal of Professor Snape. This scene also causes confusion for many readers, particularly those who read the books long after they came out, over whether or not Snape is, indeed, a traitor and whether or not Dumbledore is actually dead.