Pop Tarot: XVI The Tower

In this blog series I’m going to relate a moment in pop culture history with one of the 22 major arcana cards in the tarot. The major arcana, or trump cards as they are often called if you are not living in the US here in 2018, tell the tale of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth AKA the Hero’s Journey. There are 22 cards starting from 0 The Fool and ending with XXI The World.

Card: XVI The Tower

Ruling planet: Mars

Number vibration: 16/7

Symbols: lightening, a tower, people falling, the eye of shiva, a dove and serpent, the Mars symbol
But what the hell does this all represent?  Four words: Britney Spears in 2007.

Let’s take a quick look back at 2007 because it truly was a strange time for all. I mean, Shrek 3 was released in 2007, need I say more? Well too bad because I am indeed going to say more. It was a time when it seemed like mass media was striving for a sense of nostalgia and any semblance of the fairly recent past. Desperatly clinging onto the good ol’ days, we were forced to watch multiple Spiderman movies as well as Shrek and High School Musical. And the Spice Girls were back on tour with a new vengence, now that their fans were old enough to buy their own tickets.

But then we also had Paris Hilton getting in trouble with the law, Lindsay Lohan in and out of jail and rehab, Valdamir Putin was Time magazine’s Person of the Year, and Anna Nicole Smith died of an overdose. To say it was a confusing time for all would be an understatement. 

The OC also went off of the air in 2007 and we’d be lying if we said that that didn’t have a cataclysmic effect on waking life.

Now let’s bring our attention to sweet innocent Britney Spears. We should have known that trouble was on the way as soon as she dyed her hair brown. No woman rapidly changes the color of her hair unless a break up or mental instability is involved. I have never been a part of the enteraintment industry, but from what I’ve gathered, Brit had little to no control over her life then. She was a product to sell in large quantities to masses of people. She was less a person and more a human Barbie doll to be packaged and posed and photographed. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it was to be her in 2007. Thankfully I will never be a celebrity because I barely made it through my early twenties even without the paparazzi up my ass.

When she wan’t forced to say and do what the crusty white men who rule over the entertainment industry told her to do, she was being hounded relentlessly by paparazzi. So much so that Chris Crocker became an over night media sensation when he posted a tear filled video screaming for people to leave Britney alone. Sidenote, Chris Crocker is fine as hell and funny as all hell, too. Go follow him kn IG right meow.

Britney barely had control over her own life and when she did have free time to herself she couldn’t even be alone. She was 26 and had been working her whole life to be the popstar that she was. Can you think of a moment in your life when you realized that maybe you no longer wanted everything you had been working for? A time when you achieved a goal only to realize that it wasn’t actually what you wanted at all?

That is what XVI The Tower is about.

A woman’s hair is the center point of her beauty. This is something I know all too well. I had always been afraid to have short hair because I thought certainly that it would make me ugly, that my beauty came from my long mermaid hair. Shaving her head was like taking away the thing that controlled her, her beauty, her face, her appearance, the shiny package. I can only really guess, as I do not known Ms. Spears personally, but the decision to shave her head was a big fuck you to everyone. It was a fuck you to the record execs, the paparazzi, and us the consumers who had indeed been eating away at her.

XVI The Tower is ruled by the planet Mars which dictates our aggression and anger. Though she was smiling as she shaved her head, we can see that it’s the kind of manic smile that comes from rash action. It’s the smile of release when you scream fuck you to your agressive lazy boss as you finally quit. It’s the kind of smile that creeps on your face when you put up your finger and get ready to lean into an agrument with your soon to be exboyfriend that you have been holding back from for weeks.

XVI The Tower is about abrupt change. It is each strand of Britney’s hair as it fell to the saloon floor on that fateful day in 2007. 

XVI The Tower is about how we tend to create things upon faulty foundations, and how eventually those foundations crumble and leave us in the wreckage. You see, most things in Britneys life was wrong. She needed change. She needed to start over but she didn’t have enough control over her own life to take a different path, so she gained control the only way she knew how. She shaved her head. She took away her girlish beauty. She took away the foundations.

7 is a number with loss inherent in it because this number is deeply spiritual. If the number 7 is prevalent in you life at any given time it is a symbol to go inward, realign yourself and become attuned to your soul. So it’s no suprise that the number designated to this card adds down to 7 (1+6=7). This is a number that asks us to look beyond the physical and material world, and sometimes that requires sacrifice. 

XVI The Tower, as well as the number 7, can be scary but it is a blessing in disguise. For when we reach our lowest point, there is no way to go but up. After we’ve shaved our heads the hair will grow again. This time you will have to power to shape your life into something new.

So here’s to you Brit, 11 years later and you’re happy and healthy. Keep doing those strange little videos on IG where you dance around like a cartoon character. Keep painting in the backyard with your kids. Keep shaving your head if you have to, we love you.

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