Tarot XVI La Maison Dieu

The major arcana number XVI of the Tarot de Marseille is called la Maison Dieu, the House God. Not the house of God, not God’s house

Tarot XVI La Maison Dieu

The dream of Christian Rosycross [1] takes place in a tower. In his dream, he sees himself as an active participant in a group of struggling people at the bottom of the tower, at ground level. With great effort from the outside, the lid of the tower is slid off and a limited number of residents are lifted up and freed. Then, immediately, they themselves, at the higher level, participate in the work of liberation to come.

The major arcana number XVI of the Tarot de Marseille is called la Maison Dieu, the House God. Not the house of God, not God’s house. In the English Tarot it is called The Tower. Something gets lost in the translation. This shift in meaning is reflected in the images.  The Tower depicted is often thoroughly destroyed by lightning and you see the men fall. The card is part of the third group of seven in the series of 22 major arcana.

Looking at la Maison Dieu from the Tarot de Marseille, clearly only the roof is off. A roof in the shape of a crown. There is no scene of destruction. The opening here makes two movements possible: something, a cloud-like, colourful bundle gains access to the tower. We do not know whether this collection of forces has previously lifted the crown. The House God then spits out a rain of coins or sweets or manna in different colours, for everyone who comes into the wide area, without distinction of persons. At the foot of the tower, two men tumble. Are they artists attracting attention on the square in front of the cathedral? Or have they fallen from the tower? One of them seems to be crawling out of the gate. They leave a few golden footprints in the earth.

We can analyse the image. Psychologically the tower can be seen as an efficient shell, a protective structure, within which human consciousness can move up and down and, after opening the tower, dispense wisdom or love or energy.

What follows is a more intuitive reflection on a possible meaning of the print, a playful reading. It only wants to invite the reader to think along. The tale starts with desire.



XVI The Tower


A need, a lack, my desire.

An unmet need can create a shortage.

A shortage hinders the desire.


The need will appear to be relative

in the light of the consciousness that knows the desire.


The consciousness that remembers,

that remembers the brother who stayed behind in the land of light.


The desire and the will to search for that land of wonder

and meet again the lost brother there,

a brother is another son of the father.


Maybe, but I am almost sure.

Maybe, my brother will come from the land of light

to find me and help me

in this reality of darkness.


In any case, it is not up to me

to open the roof of the tower of my being

and knock the false crown of my self from my head.

All that is the work of the breath of God.


I can only live the desire,

the desire that is but a reflection of my soul,

and be prepared to deconstruct

and the falling down of the partial personalities who, like me,

have to live their lives on the ground floor.


Only the open tower, filled with the breath of God,

will have the power to spread force and light

for all who know the desire.


When the time comes,

he who is will leave the tower

to find again his lost brother.

His brother,

his angel,

he who is.

Golden footprints in the earth.


[1] J. van Rijckenborgh, De alchemische bruiloft van Christiaan Rozenkruis [The alchemical wedding of Christian Rosycross], Rozekruis Pers, Haarlem 2017

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Date: November 12, 2021
Author: Eric Op 't Eynde (Belgium)
Photo: Pixabay CCO

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