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Aleister Crowley: Atu XVI: The Tower

Instead of unity, there is dissolution, as the structures of the old aeon are destroyed


‘Atu XVI: The Tower’, from Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot. Painted in a Modernist style by Lady Frieda Harris at the outbreak of the Second World War, the card - which Crowley also called War - represents the catastrophic opposite to the conflagration on this month’s cover. Instead of unity, there is dissolution, as the structures of the old aeon are destroyed. Beneath the Eye of Shiva - which only opens at the end of the universe - humans, reduced to mere abstractions, are flung from a toppling tower. However the card, Crowley said, should be understood dialectically: the fall from the tower is also an escape into freedom. Courtesy of the Ordo Templi Orientis

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