Snake on a Plain-- And Psychological Projection

The state of Ohio is home to an important and mysterious snake effigy that archeologists have said is "arguably the most recognizable icon of ancient America."  Built by the Indigenous people of North America, the 1300-foot long undulating serpent has been declared "the largest survivng effigy mound from the pre-historic era" and National Geographic listed it as a "Great Wonder of the Ancient World". 

In my research for this blog post, I also

Artist as Leader

In North American Aboriginal culture, artistic ability was highly prized and considered a quality that showed potential for leadership.  The Western tradition, on the other hand, has arguably rewarded rationality and fluidity of logic over artistic abilty -- at least before the Dark Ages and after Enlightenment-- and there is a glaring

The Pentad

There was a question online from someone in one of my groups who was afraid of death- how do you deal with the fear?  When questions come up about death, I think of the pentad with its arms outstretched because the ancient Greeks associated the number Five with life, self-renewal and fecundity.  As an Enneagrammer, I see it also associated with generosity, giving and receiving, vulnerability and openness, qualities associated with a healthy Type Five individual.

Social versus Sexual

I love comedy, and College Humour is one of my favorite Youtube channels for a laugh.  If you had to take a big marker and divide their history into two big chapters, it would be 1) Before the 2008 recession, and 2) After the 2008 recession.  The first chapter was pure Social genius.  There were tons of actors on staff, and the vast majority of them were social.  The energy was bubbly, improvisational and refracted. 

What are the Pentacles?

In piecing together the rosetta stone of the tarot cards and how they correspond to the ancient wisdom of the Egyptians and Greeks, I am still stuck on a major piece of the puzzle: the pentacles.  The word "pentacle" is a fancy word for money or coin.  Tarot readers today interpret pentacles generally as slow but steady movement forward, groundedness, money, our finances, our practical foundation in life.  I'm trying to figure out the pentacles' correspondence to the Enneagram, which is a personality system that goes back probably just as long ago to ancient times, albeit in a much more rustic form.

The Ace of Pentacles

I have been realizing how indebted I am to one particular tarot website for the interpretation of the Ace of Pentacles in the tarot deck.  All of the other cards-- and I'm particularly interested in the Minor Arcana here-- I have come to an understanding of through the Enneagram, particularly thanks to Sandra Maitri's in-depth explanation of the nine Enneagram types' psychological patterns, but the Aces don't lend themselves that easily to transfering meaning from the Enneagram to Tarot.

Too similar

 Does anyone remember this  commercial  for ABC laundry detergent from the 80's?  Someone always said the line, "I can't see a difference, can you see the difference?"

Does anyone remember this commercial for ABC laundry detergent from the 80's?  Someone always said the line, "I can't see a difference, can you see the difference?"

Someone in my Facebook Enneagram Type 4 group asked how other Fours dealt with people who are constantly reminding them of how much they were similar.  She said she had a friend who was always pointing out their similarities.  My first guess is because this poster is a Four, that the other person is too.  Generally people who are the same personality type aren't super attracted to each other- they'll be polite, but there's nothing to project onto, so on an egoic level, they're just taking up each others' space.  Especially because they're both image types, they're fighting for the same response from others- and from each other, which makes conversation a bit stilted.  

The question reminded me of when I went to my first Enneagram workshop at the Enneagram Institute, and I met a Type 8 who said that by the middle of the week, all the 8's were evenly spaced out along the room- they were all defending their territory; none of them wanted to get close to each other.  I mean, this is a generality- the same type can be attracted to each other sometimes, and even marry.  At my second Enneagram workshop, I met two married couples who were composed to two Fours each, and that is a rare combination among married couples of the same type.  There aren't many 4-4 couples.

The other night I went out for drinks with another Four and I tried to be aware of my tendency to point out our similarities.  He didn't know the Enneagram and I was trying to just let him be, trying to be non-reactive to my craving to jump in and do a Type Four intervention on his life.  Fours especially need to feel unique, and nobody likes being put in a box- they want to feel like the other person is being present to their whole self, not just the characteristics that are consistent with the archetype.  I took it as an opportunity to see what triggered me.   We don't like being reminded of our shortcomings, and when we see them in another one of our kind, we want to push them away or "help them change".  I think the only way to learn to get along with someone with the exact same personality as you is to learn to love yourself. 

The Fours in Tarot

I have made the case on this blog before that the Enneagram and the Tarot had similar origins back in Ancient Egyptian and Greek days.  The Tarot has become, in my mind, a powerful tool for explaining the different mental, emotional, and instinctual reactions for each Enneagram type.  Maybe someone figured somewhere back in the day that if we could see our neuroses depicted as harmless cartoons, we could feel more comfortable accepting how we went off course and became "blocked from the divine".