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Join Date: 07 Apr 2010
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
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21 Ways - Step Eleven


Step ELEVEN - Dark Carnival Tarot, The Hierophant

11-1. Benefits and liabilities for each of the following cards

Nine of Pentacles
Security vs. insularity
Domestication vs. captivity
Self-assurance vs. self-importance
Tranquility vs. catatonia

Page of Swords
Inquiring vs. demanding
Naive vs. sophomoric
Childlike vs. childish
Precocious vs. "growing up too fast"

The Chariot
Direction vs. coercion
Commanding vs. commandeering
Leading by example vs. leading by intimidation
Balanced vs. blase

11-2-1. Move my arm along the arc between best- and worst-case scenarios for my card.
First I'm going to list some benefits and liabilities of the Hierophant here so I have something to move my arm about.

The Hierophant/Ringmaster himself
Faith vs. fanaticism
Spiritual vs. holier-than-thou
Education vs. indoctrination
Respecting tradition vs. fearing innovation
Setting an example vs. setting an impossible standard

The acolytes/clowns
Humility vs. humiliation
Obedient vs. brainwashed
Admiration vs. hero-worship

My absolute best vs. absolute worst (for the arm-moving thing):
A bridge between earth and heaven that brings age-old wisdom to those seeking a spiritual path vs. outdated traditions crushing the spirits of a vulnerable captive audience.

11-2-2. Where am I on the arc?
I'm exactly halfway between the extremes, a position I'd describe as:
Attempting to connect with the divine but held back by embedded "I'm not worthy" personal philosophy.

11-2-3. Where would I like to be on the arc?
Maintaining a spiritual connection with a Higher Power without being reduced to asocial navel-gazing.

What could move me from where I am to where I'd like to be?
If I knew that I wouldn't be stuck, would I? (Bad answer.) Okay...well, stop thinking negatively about myself; when I catch a negative thought, turn it into a positive one. Notice when I do something well and internalize that, rather than dwelling on my mistakes all the time. If I feel better as a person, I'll be better able to accept the Higher Power. It's hard to think of myself as a spiritual vessel when I feel like a broken pot that can't hold water!

What aspect(s) of the card do I need to align myself with?

The "as above, so below" indication of the Ringmaster's upward and downward-pointing hands could certainly be useful to remember. That all things on earth partake in the divine, in the realm of the spirit, and have inherent worth. I'm not unworthy, and if I feel like I am, I'm dismissing the spiritual element that I've been gifted with. I can't look down on myself if I'm looking up at my inspiration.

Is there an image on the card that could help me? How could I use that?

The one that immediately struck me was that the Ringmaster is throwing those cards over his shoulder...he's still got two in his hatband, but I think he's telling me "lay off reading and re-reading the cards for a while, don't abandon them but get out there and DO something to make the changes you need." (And I did - I maintained my daily draws from two decks, which I think is what the two cards in the hatband represent, but otherwise I didn't do any self-readings and only a few exchanges. Now I'm back feeling refreshed and ready to forge ahead with this study!)
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