If you are unfamiliar with the Enneagram, you might want to start here with the Introduction to the Series.
Time to Bring Good Things to Life!
Hi! Welcome to the third video in the series the “The Enneagram and the Major Arcana.” In this series I’m looking at the nine gifts of the Enneagram, particularly at the distortion of the gifts; and holding up the corresponding card of the Major Arcana corrects the distortion. The Major Arcana has its own trajectory, which tells us that even though we made identify with one of the gifts of the Enneagram, we have to actually pass through all of the gifts to have a successful creative life.
Today we’re on the third gift of the Enneagram which is the gift that I call Potency. Potency is the gift to make things happen, to actually take charge and change the world around you. The distortion of the gift of Potency comes when a person who actually does have Potency is afraid they don’t. They want to appear powerful so they make themselves look successful. They will create a facade of success so that other people will think they’re successful even though they might not be. They might have a great house and have a great car and have nice clothes, but if you could see beneath the surface you would discover that they’re not paying their mortgage or they’re having some interpersonal relationship problems, or they may even be having a nervous breakdown. There is a degree of dishonesty in the distortion of the gift of Potency which makes it very difficult for people in the distortion to have truly intimate connections with other people.
Another problem with the distortion is that, because people are afraid that they are not really powerful, they avoid anything that might result in failure. Which means they’re not really challenging themselves. They have Potent energy, which means they can do awesome things, but they don’t allow themselves to be challenged because they’re avoiding failure. Their energy stagnates and goes to waste.
The Empress to the Rescue!
The third card in the Major Arcana which answers the distortion is the Empress. In the trajectory of the Major Arcana we have the number one card, the Magician, which is the conception card. We have the number two card, which is the High Priestess, the incubation card. And this is the three card, the Empress, and this is the birthing card. This is the place at which what we’ve been dreaming about and incubating finally comes into the physical world as new creation.
The Empress card has a field of wheat and a forest in the background, and water flowing. It’s a scene of pure verdancy. She’s the source of life. The crown of stars on her head suggests that she is the queen of all she surveys, because she’s the mother of all she surveys. This is an important correction to the distortion of the gift of Potency. The Empress is reclining which implies that her act of creation isn’t coming because she’s working at it or trying to look busy or successful. She creates because she’s relaxed. She’s naturally creative, and that’s an important thing for creators to understand. You create things not because you are working at it, but because you are a channel of energy from your spiritual energy field. If you allow it to flow through you, things just naturally arise.
Fear of Failure: Solved!
As I mentioned before, another distortion in Potency is the fear of failure. Anyone who’s creative has to somehow wrap their mind and their heart around the fact that “success” or “failure” is a judgment placed upon us either by our own expectations or by the expectations of others. “Success” and “failure” has no objective truth. When we’re creating something we have to get used to the idea that what we’re creating has its own integrity – whether other people understand it or not. Consider a painting by Picasso. Someone might look at it and consider it a failure because it’s not realistic. But another person looks at the painting and sees pure genius.
When we’re being creative we have to agree that whatever’s flowing through us has a purpose and has a meaning. After all, the Empress is going to be the mother of rattlesnakes and koala bears. You may prefer a koala bear over a rattlesnake, but the Empress doesn’t have that preference. She knows that all of it is good, all of it serves. Preferences aren’t as important as being a channel of energy, flowing into the world. Trust yourself to be that channel, and trust your spiritual energy field to know what it’s doing when it’s bringing these things through you. It’s expanding and improving and enhancing the earth through you. The more we can become that channel the more Potent we discover we are- and the more we are able to create and manifest the world that really matches who we are to called to be in the world.