If you are unfamiliar with the Enneagram, you might want to start here with the Introduction to this Series.
The Righteous Magician: Our First Step
Welcome to the first video in our series “The Enneagram and the Major Arcana.” Today we’re looking at the first gift of the Enneagram which I call Righteousness. I’ll start by describing the distortion of the gift because that’s the problem we want to solve. The distortion of the gift of Righteousness is perfectionism or judgmentalism. People who are distorted in Righteousness are deeply concerned with doing the right thing. They carry a pretty heavy burden because since, not only do they want to be perfect themselves, they feel as though they need to help others be perfect too.
These are people that are likely to be crusaders or prophets, the ones picketing unjust practices and holding signs at political rallies. These people can be very serious and pretty unhappy a good portion of the time. They can also be really angry also because no matter how hard they work they can never be perfect enough – and other people just don’t seem to care as much as they care about doing things correctly. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of unhappiness that comes with a distortion of the gift of Righteousness.
Finding the Original Gift
First of all, although I like the word Righteousness to describe this gift, I want to use an alternate phrase since it might help us understand better. That is “Right Being.” Righteousness is often associated with “Right Living,” or doing the right things in the world. But “Right Being” is about realizing that you already are right. You already are good, which incidentally solves the original distortion.
The original distortion is the fear that we’re not good enough, which we try to remedy through conscientious action. But “Right Being” is the recognition that we are born good. If we will stop working so hard at doing good, we can finally reconnect with our original goodness, and our original power.
What is the Power of “Right Being”?
The power we find in our inherent goodness is the same power the Magician wields – the power to manifest new things. The Magician card’s the number one card in the Major Arcana. It is the card of manifestation. If you look at the image, this Magician is not working hard. He’s simply standing in his authority as he makes things happen. He stands at a table that bears all the elements he needs to manifest – a cup for emotional wisdom, a sword for intellectual acumen, a wand which for passion and confidence, and a pentacle for earthly wealth and well-being. Everything he needs is right there for him to use.
The Magician points one finger to the sky and one finger to the ground. I think of this as the ‘lightning rod’ stance. He is channeling energy from the spiritual energy realm into the physical realm, combining the two so that new things can be created. He can make this happen because he is the connection between heaven and the earth.
What Can We Create?
Just a reminder: the spiritual energy realm has within it no fear, no anxiety. It doesn’t carry any darkness. It offers only healing, expansion, abundance, etc. Therefore, when we stand in as the Magician we cannot channel negativity or darkness into the world. So we don’t have to be afraid of the Magician –and we don’t have to be afraid of ourselves.
That’s the original distortion for Righteousness- we’re not good enough and we’re going to mess something up. But this fear doesn’t live in the Magician. When you connect to your highest energy and bring it to earth only positive things happen. The Magician is also the conception card, where new life begins. The Magician shows up when something is beginning because we’ve decided we’re going to be the conduit for that energy to flow into Earth.
The question we’re left with as we look at the Magician, and the first step in this in the human journey, is what is it we want to manifest? What new thing do we want to create? Can we take our attention away from what’s happening outside of ourselves and instead direct our attention to ourselves, realizing that we are the true source of power and goodness in the world? If we want to do good in the world, we have to recognize that we ARE THAT GOOD, and take responsibility for that manifesting work. That is our first step on this journey.