The "Tower" card is called "The House of God" on the Marseille decks. Round objects are shown "floating" around the Tower.
On old Italian decks it was called "The Lightening", "The Thunder", "The Arrow" or "The Fire".
On the Vieville deck and Belgian Tarots, a figure stands, with goats or sheep, beside a tree and objects fall from the sky.
When doing a search for House of God, I noticed that the name was the same as "Beth-El", and thought that was very intriguing, and then discovered that Bethel was also the name for meteroites... voila! Back to the Tower card again.
So, with *my* understanding that the images from the Tarot de Marseille existed before the titles and numbers were added, I tend to think of the titles as what the "title-maker" thought was being pictured.
THE question: Is what is being pictured on the Tower card a Meteorite Shower?
Are we looking at "Bethels"? Does the "House of God" refer not to the tower, but to the "Thunderballs" in the sky? Would this explain why the "tower" itself isn't on several related cards, because the tower isn't really the subject? Does the alternate titles support the idea that it's the event in the sky that matters, not the tower itself?
It got even more interesting to me when I started working based off of Jean-MIchels images of the "Flight to Egypt" and the "Fall of the Idols", as carved in medieval European churches such as this:
That's an image of the Fall of the Idols, and it looks very similar to the Tower of the Tarot.
Jean-Michel as found these images of comets and events in the sky:
Marco added this one:
Here's a page that talks about the flight into egypt, and has another version of the Tower image :
Which looks like the same as the one Jean-Michel posted from the Abbey Church of St Peter in Moissac, circa 1130s.
This image connects the Fall of the Idols with the Flight into Egypt.
Another site from Egypt about the "Holy family in Egypt":
With this image which I find really interesting showing the Flight, and an object in the sky (supposedly from "Coptic Museum, Old Cairo":
So... there's nothing to really tie this all up together. It's a bunch of interesting "six degrees of separation" that could mean something, or nothing at all.
One more little piece to go back to the question of a connection between the Devil and the Tower, is to look again at the Minchiate with the image that might be the "Expulsion", but could also be the "Harrowing of Hell"
So it could be that here the Tower is connected with Hell, that's one that comes to my mind.
As much as I love Jean-Claude Flornoy,I'm not convinced at all that the Vieville is somehow connected with the "stone cutters", it's a nice fable, but I've never seen anything to argue the point. The faces on the devil have always been explained (as far as I know) as showing his "appetite", his "insatiability". It's easy as well to imagine, especially with the eyes often shown on the wings and body, that it is also his being "always on the watch" for an opportunity to mislead and tempt.
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