|Thoth, Crowley & Harris|
The mouth looks like the maw of a terrible fish. The lips and jagged teeth, horrific. Everything about this particular image is completely nightmarish to me. Why a mouth? The Tower card is associated with the Hebrew letter 'Peh', which means 'mouth', that's why. (I learned this in DuQuette's Chicken Qabalah.) Of this change, from lightning striking from above to a mouth breathing fire from below, DuQuette's Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot says only, 'The Tower is blasted from below by flames belching from the mouth of the underworld. This is a most significant reverse in symbolic imagery.' Frustrating! Why is it 'most significant', one wants to ask DuQuette. Care to share?? Grrr. I'm not sure why Crowley seems to have wanted his Tower destroyed from below, and his acolyte doesn't seem intent on telling what he seems to know, either. The mouth can be a force of supreme creation, or of great destruction, being the source of words, which of course contain so much power. Words are responsible for everything, ultimately. I'm not sure there is any intentional implication here of talk or words leading to destruction, but the visceral knowledge of the power of the mouth is invoked here, I feel.
I guess my lesson for today is, watch my mouth. Right then. Mum's the word. I don't want anything I say to accidentally blow someone's house in -- least of all my own!
[ETA--A thought. If in other Towers it is God Above who has supreme and inscrutable power to knock our little house of cards over, in Crowley's tarot is it Satan from below who has it? DuQuette is very coy about Crowley's Satanism. The closest he gets to addressing it is quoting his friend as saying, 'It doesn't matter if Crowley was a Satanist, he was a good kind of Satanist. You'll just love him! Trust me.' Oh, ugh. No wonder that mouth freaks me out. Well, if you'll excuse the phrase, to heck with Crowley's Satanism. I like my interpretation better.]