Hero's Journey Part 4.
The Tower


Canvas with swirling paint has a gun pointed at a whirlwind, and a building with a figure in the window in the background.
Hero's Journey Part 4.
The Tower
Mixed media on Canvas 9" x 9"
Emily Schleiner, 2021

As a 26-year-old, I moved to New York City with a friend of mine. We had grand ideas of creating an art cooperative. We and 2 roommates moved into an affordable apartment on a rundown street. After a short period of calm, we understood that the super of our building was an abuser who raged at his family. One night, I woke to a crowd swarming and yelling in front of my building. I heard shots fired, and saw a crowd dispersing from my window. Within an hour, a detective visited my door asking what I'd seen. Days later, I was called into the DA's office for more questioning. During a sequence of calls and interviews, detectives were asking, then demanding that I testify in court about what I'd seen and heard. I was afraid. I told them no, I would not testify for fear of my violent neighbor. The detectives said they might issue me a subpoena, requiring me to appear in court. One day the detectives informed me that another neighbor had stepped in and testified in that case, and I was not needed. A few months later, I moved out of my apartment when the super of my building stabbed a guest at his party.

In Hero's Journey Part 4, Emily Schleiner focuses on a life experience called to mind by the Tower, a Tarot card that tears away solid sense of stability, indicating unexpected change and outer transformation. A gun is fired into a swirling cloud as an image of Emily Schleiner looks on from a window in the background.

A tower is on fire with people jumping out of windows.
The Tower card from the Rider Waite Smith Tarot deck was created by A. E. Waite and illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith (also called the Rider-Waite Tarot deck). It is now a part of the Public Domain.