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Join Date: 07 Apr 2010
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21 Ways - Step Eight, part two


Step EIGHT, part TWO - Dark Carnival Tarot, The Hierophant

8-2-1. List as many metaphors and sayings as you can that relate to your chosen card.
It's showtime
Ace up your sleeve/ace in the hole
Keeping a secret under your hat
Earning your stripes
Born to wear the purple
I hold all the cards
Tears of a clown
Not worthy to touch the hem of your coat
Look but don't touch
Eye on the prize
As above, so below
What goes up must come down
All up in the air
Smoke and mirrors
Smoke gets in your eyes
Reading the back of my eyelids
They have eyes but see not
Head in the clouds
None so blind as those who will not see
Blowing smoke in someone's face
Reach out and touch someone


8-2-2. Finish the following statements in as many ways as you can
"I am _______ "

I have an ace up my sleeve.
I am keeping a secret under my hat.
I have earned my stripes.
I am holding all the cards.
I am up in the air.
My head is in the clouds.
I have eyes but see not.
I am dazzled by smoke and mirrors.
I am not worthy to touch the hem of your coat.
I can look but I can't touch.
I am reading the back of my eyelids.


"The situation/figure in the card feels like ______ "
I tried phrasing things exactly like that but it got really stilted and awkward, so I did it this way. (Which is apparently not how anyone else did it, but I didn't read the thread before doing the exercise.)

The situation in the card feels unsettled - everything's up in the air.
The situation in the card feels suspenseful - what's gone up is going to come down, but when, where, and how?

The Ringmaster feels secure - he has an ace up his sleeve.
The Ringmaster feels powerful - he's holding all the cards.
The Ringmaster feels confident - he's earned his stripes.

The clown on the left feels humble - he's not worthy to touch the hem of the Ringmaster's coat.
The clown on the left feels frustrated - he can look, but he can't touch.
The clown on the left feels ambitious - he's got his eye on the prize.

The clown on the right feels suspicious - he thinks it's all smoke and mirrors.
The clown on the right feels stubborn - he refuses to open his eyes and see.
The clown on the right feels threatened - someone's blowing smoke in his eyes.

8-2-3. What do these metaphors suggest about your own situation?

All these steps and I still can't directly identify with the Ringmaster...maybe it's that I still don't want to, he seems so foreign to who I am or think I am. The metaphors that fit for me are the ones about the situation and the two clowns. I feel like my life is completely up in the air, like I should be somewhere by now but I'm stuck looking up at other people who are more successful. What's their secret? What have they got inside (under their hat, up their sleeve...) that I don't? It's easy to feel like the whole idea of the "success story" is just smoke and mirrors. Like it isn't meant for me...I can look but not touch. Sometimes it's easier to close my eyes to it all, go deep inside and do only what feels safe and comfortable. But that's NOT the way to make it any better...I have to reach out, listen and learn, ASPIRE. The only person blowing smoke in my eyes is me.

So, why can't I get into the Ringmaster's skin? Why is it threatening for me to feel secure, powerful, and confident? I picked this card out of the three I drew in Step One precisely because it was the one I least wanted to work with...it made me the most uncomfortable, and I figured that was what I needed to work on. I'm still that clown on the left, the one with his eyes open and looking up at where he wants to be, but afraid he's not worthy. At least I'm not the one with my eyes closed...
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