Once a soul has mastered the survival level, the focus shifts to the power level where the emphasis is on the polarities and the contrasts we encounter in life. The solar plexus or third chakra is associated with this level, and the issues found here are tied to trying to be a “winner.”
Once again, this level is a vital part of the human evolutionary experience, and it is only when we get stuck here that problems arise. Power here is “power over” someone and/or something because the consciousness feeds the polarities of right/wrong, good/bad, have/have-nots, winners/losers, etc. There is an inordinate amount of time and energy spent on judgments and choices because “playing by the rules'” is the only way to succeed. The person stuck here believes that there isn’t enough of anything, and so must compete for love, attention, wealth, fame, etc.
Martyrs and masochists are born here. Self-effacing behaviors and false humility are seen as valuable strategies at this level, and so the inner critic who judges and labels everything frequently sabotages individual efforts. Happiness is conditional; “if only . . . ,” is a frequently heard theme song at this level. The tarot gently attempts to warn seekers when they are stuck here and by expanding their consciousness, remind them of the bigger picture.