The Center Pole: Circus Card #1

May 05

Yes, I’m back from my fauxcation!

And yes, I dreamed up a gazillion brilliant ideas while sipping fauxgaritas.
And no, I don’t remember most of them.
Dammit, Janet!

But one idea did survive the time-off fog, and I’m still pretty enamored of it. The plan? Develop a deck of cards based around the imagery of The Circus Serene.  Cool metaphors. Wacky explanations. Strange drawings.

So I’m setting up a challenge to myself to post a rough draft of a card each week – with the emphasis on rough. But if all goes well, this will lead to a loverly printed deck in the end.

And the very first card?

Yepp, that’s it up there above, featuring  a circus tent interior and center pole.

The center pole of a circus tent is the tallest of the tent poles, and (I believe) usually the first to be erected. (Cue juvenile giggling. Go on, get it out of your system). It determines the height and overall dimensions of the tent, and provides the core support.  And centering is a core concept around here, so how could I pick anything else?

Symbolically, the center pole is the axis around which our world, lives, and  businesses turn. It’s the touchstone that holds it all together, supporting the whole-shebang. It’s the Axis Mundi, the place where all of the directions and dimensions meet, where every possibility exists. begin.  The pole is planted in the earth, and reaches up through the canvas to the sky, open to inspiration and sunlight,  connecting sky to earth, feminine and masculine,  acting as much as a bridge as a support.

In my head, this center pole is decorated with symbols and phrases, incantations and inspirations that declare it’s core purpose.   The messages shift and change over time – and the pole itself is moved and often replaced as the circus travels. But what doesn’t move is the idea of a center, the place that all the roads meet.

So here’s your challenge:

Because a card like this has to have a challenge, right? Close your eyes, and picture the pole at the center of your Big Thing – your business, project, venture, mission.  What’s written on the center pole? Is it a guiding value, a specific product or service, the names of your perfect people, a mission statement, indecipherable doodles?

If you’re feeling brave, share your center-pole thoughts in the comments.

If you’re feeling shy, share anyway. The elephants are feeling very curious these days, and they promise not to laugh.



  1. Love this!

    Gotta think for a bit on the center pole thoughts (duh?) because what’s coming up doesn’t feel central, it feels more peripheral. But, then, perhaps that’s a clue that I’m working more on the sidelines and not getting to the core of the enterprise, hmmm?

    Glad you enjoyed your fauxcation & glad to have you back blogging 🙂

    • Tori Deaux /

      My original version of this card included part of the circus ring visible behind the pole… maybe those “more peripheral” thoughts you’re getting belong written along the ring itself?

  2. Leave it to Emmit to put graffiti on the center pole. And leave it to you to find philosophical meaning in it! You two make such a great team!

    My first thought was that my giraffe doesn’t have a circus pole. But then I decided that a safari-adventure still needs a camping tent.

    My next thought was that my name and face were on the pole because I feel dumb as a post sometimes. But then I decided you wouldn’t let me get away with that.

    So I decided, after some serious thought, that my post simply has one word: faith.

  3. Loved the RHPS reference! So, I’m not alone 🙂

  4. Carol Albers /

    My center pole would have to be the greatest gift my mother ever gave me….


  5. I love this idea. I groove to metaphors more than “reality” I totally get the center pole, strengthen your core thing. Looking forward to more!

  6. Maureen /

    I just did some work with Archetypes.
    Major Archetype: Explorer
    Supporting Archetypes: Hero followed by Ruler
    I would have those three words written on the pole.
    Explorer+Hero+Ruler= Story