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The Frog Tower and Smoke Signals
Tarot & Fable:
The Frog Tower and Smoke Signals(Key XVI)
(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2006


The Tower is one of the cards in the Tarot deck 
which most people can find quite unnerving. It 
often has a very negative, destructive or 
pessimistic outlook on the situations we may be 
facing in life. This is just one of the cards in
the Tarot deck which can seem very frightening.

The Tower can represent a bad argument, an accident,
a catastrophe, a destructive break-up or a serious 
illness. It is a card with a very strong sense of 
Cosmic Fatality associated with it. It also has
an association with the Tower of Babel which 
represented the egotism of people trying to build
a tower to take them all the way to heaven. After
the Great Flood, the people spoke one language.
The destruction of the Tower of Babel fractured
one language into many again. It is very much about 
the power of words.

We cannot discount the negative aspects of the 
Tower because they do represent the realities 
of life on our plane of existence. The Tower 
does have positive elements as well. It is a 
card that talks about a real conversation that
reveals all the old lies and any hypocrisy 
which may have been plaguing a relationship. 
This intense conversation clears the air and 
creates the opportunity for a clean slate. 
It frees all of the old feelings and ideas we 
had for the relationship that the day to dayness 
of living have made us forget. It can remind us
that no matter the circumstances of the relationship, 
there is love still present.

The Tower in this card is going to fall. We tend
to forget that this is a Tower made of stones
and that when those stones land, it is going to
create a new path for us. It also reminds us 
that when the walls come down, it is because 
it was built on a shaky foundation anyway. The 
remnants of the Tower become our stepping stones 
to those better days we are always looking for. 
The destruction of the Tower liberates our dreams 
and hopes that had become imprisoned in the walls.

The following two stories illustrate some of the 
important positive aspects of Tower activity 
in our lives and reminds us not to lose hope or 
to give up on our dreams. Very often, in order 
to pursue our dreams we have to learn to ignore 
and turn a deaf ear to those people, places 
and situations that tell us that we can't succeed. 
Just like this little frog.

Once there was and once there was not, a bunch 
of tiny frogs that organized a running competition. 
The goal of this competition was to reach the 
top of a very high tower. A large crowd gathered 
around the tower to see the race and cheer on 
the many contestants. No one in the crowd really 
seemed to believe that these tiny frogs could 
succeed in reaching the top of the tower. There 
was much nay saying in the crowd and people 
voiced their doubts and expounded loudly on 
the impossibility of the task.

The tiny frogs began collapsing from the effort 
of trying to climb to the top of the tower. 
Some persevered and kept climbing. The crowd 
continued to yell discouraging comments to the 
tiny frogs struggling with their enormous task. 
One by one the frogs gave up until there was 
only one frog who continued higher and higher 
and higher. This little frog was determined. 
He just wouldn't give up and he finally reached 
the top of the tower. Another contestant asked 
the frog how he had found the strength to 
succeed and reach the goal and it turned out 
that the winner was deaf. He had been unable to 
hear any of the discouraging comments from the 
crowd and was unimpacted by the negative power 
of the words.

People need to think about the power of their 
words, especially the negative, cutting, 
unspoken or pessimistic ones. We also need 
to consider the tone of voice we use when 
delivering them. Everything we see, say, read, 
hear or do will affect our intentions and our 
ability to take actions. We have to learn to 
turn a deaf ear to anyone who tells us that 
we can't achieve our dreams or navigate a 
difficult life circumstance. Don't let anyone 
steal your dreams. It is hard to be positive in 
the face of adversity and it hard to keep on 
going when you aren't sure where you are going.

The imagery of a Tower being struck by 
lightning and catching fire can stimulate 
the imagination into creating all types of 
destructive scenarios. It does remind us 
that life goes on and that better days 
will be ahead. This can be hard to imagine 
or to believe when we are in our hour of 
darkness and our time of great need.

We also tend to forget, when surveying the 
imagery of this card, that where there is 
lightning and then fire, there is going to 
be smoke. The smoke rising from the destruction 
of the Tower becomes a signal, both to God 
and to others who may be in a position to 
help us during our tribulation, just like 
the man in this story.

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed 
up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed 
wholeheartedly and desperately for God to 
rescue him. Every day he watched the horizon 
for help and everyday he was disappointed. 
Even though he was exhausted and discouraged, 
he built a small hut out of driftwood to 
protect him from the weather and to store 
the possessions that he had scavenged.

One day after a tiring day of foraging for food, 
he arrived home to find his hut engulfed in 
flames. The smoke billowed up into the sky 
and all of his meagre possessions and shelter 
were gone. He was overwhelmed with grief and 
anger and cried out to God, demanding to know 
how he could do this to him now when he was 
already struggling and weary. He cried and 
raged and cried some more until he fell asleep, 
drained, exhausted and without hope.

The next morning as the sun rose, he was wakened 
by the sound of a ship approaching his island. 
He was going to be rescued. He asked his 
saviours how they had found him and they 
replied , "We saw your smoke signal." He cried.

It is easy to get down and to lose hope and 
heart when life gives us one of its terrible 
hard lessons. It can be very challenging to 
remember that God, however you conceive God 
to be, is always working in our lives in ways 
that we will never understand.

Try and remember the next time you feel 
abandoned or you suffer a devasting loss, the 
story of the man and the smoke signal that 
summoned his rescuers and the little frog 
who conquered the Tower. They are both 
powerful tales of overcoming the negative 
and destructive situations, words and people 
that will cross our paths on our journey 
through life. 

Every dark night, ends in bright day.

About Cheryl Lynne Bradley
A prolific writer,creative photographer and webmistress.
She is the founder of Tarot Canada International.
Check out her website that is loaded with information.
Tarot Canada International

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