People who are stuck at the Power level frequently impose a moral dimension on all choices and hold strong opinions about what’s right and what’s not. They constantly judge themselves and others in an effort to control, have power over, their own lives and other people. They are goal-oriented and value “doing” over “being.”
Martyr/Masochists are experts at manipulating others using guilt. Since they believe there can be only one winner or one person on top of any situation, the rest of the participants are labeled “losers.” They constantly ask for help but do it in a passive/aggressive way, e.g.” I think the hot water heater just broke, but I don’t want to bother you, so I’ll just boil some water on the stove and pour it in my bath.”
Parents who are stuck here let all their friends and family know how they have sacrificed their own happiness, time, energy, resources, etc. for the “sake of the children.” Ironically, the children rarely, if ever, want or need what that parent has given, and the children bitterly resent being constantly reminded of their parent(s)’ sacrifice. All giving, including love, has strings attached, and there are ongoing balance/debit totals that the martyrs keep track of and parade out as fuel to manipulate behavior on the part of the “takers,” as they tend to view any who have been recipients of their largesse.
The tarot attempts to expose such role-playing and remind us that nobody can give anything unless there is someone or something to receive it. The cards also encourage the use of discernment to replace judgment and emphasize the concept of win-win to replace both the win-lose of the power level and the lose-lose of the survival level.