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HP Tarot - 16 The Tower

By Ellygator
(2008) 5 1/2" x 10 1/2" Pencil on Paper. Processed and framed in Photoshop.

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.
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© 2008 - 2021 Ellygator
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Ryua's avatar
These are fantastic cards. Really well thought out.
Ellygator's avatar
Thank you so much! It feels like a very rewarding project.
Ladylarablack's avatar
Ellygator's avatar
Thanks so much and for the fave as well! I am glad you like it.
Disneylyric's avatar
Dumbledore is reborn and remembers his past and gains imprints of the 6 most powerful DE, one who drags him into depression, and another, the one he's at, who accidently saves his life. Now they're friends.
Ellygator's avatar
It was amazing to me how the chapter "The Lightning-struck Tower" was just JRK tapping into this card full-force. Loved it!
Disneylyric's avatar
And it ties to Albus's future fear of thunderstorms.
zanephiri's avatar
So I just made the mistake of showing my mother (who's more obsessed with HP than I'd ever imagined) these Tarot Cards... let's just say it was 4o min before she'd stopped raving about them, so I thought I'd pass on the compliment ;)
Ellygator's avatar
Wow! Thanks so much! I am so glad to know other people are into them as well!
zanephiri's avatar
Trust me, she was :O And it's always nice to hear your work is loved :)
Snowy-Ninja's avatar
So much thought and research has gone into the design of these i can really see how it works out (as i sometimes use tarot cards myself. i would say this would be a stunning deck to own!
Ellygator's avatar
Thanks so much! It was truly a labor of love!
dolphin64575's avatar
beautiful detail and concept
Ellygator's avatar
Thank you! It was JKR's chapter heading that did it, but it also illustrates the concept so well, both the scary aspects of the card as well as the liberating ones...
you draw very well with the greyscale. Your pictures have nice composition. The charachters are easily recognizeable from the movies. Good work!
Ellygator's avatar
Thanks so much! I am glad you like this art.
Magialuna's avatar
I love how you explained this card.
Ellygator's avatar
Thank you! I had settled on the idea before DH and was a little doubtful, even though I didn't loose faith in Snape after HBP. Then when we found out the whole story of the tower scene in DH I just new I'd made the right call.
Nathaniel-Keys's avatar
Oh and beautiful job on the art by the way. It's incredible. I'd love to have a deck like this.
Ellygator's avatar
Thanks! I've added you to the list of people to note if there are any developments with getting it printed.
Nathaniel-Keys's avatar
I love how this card's subject just fits so perfectly. I always did see the tower as a sign of upheaval, but upheaval so you could begin to build something new on the site. If you look at the story of Harry from this point on he definately will be building something new. "The Tower" I think and the card "Death" have alot in common.
Ellygator's avatar
Thank you, I think that's a very insightful interpretation, and I couldn't agree more.
magpie-poet's avatar
Guh. Your spectral face is, I suppose haunting is the obvious word but I'm not finding another readily available. ANd the shading on the tower is fantastic.
Ellygator's avatar
Thank you! It was odd to have the figures so small in a card for once...
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