Hey everybody, it’s Anna. Welcome to the seventh installation of the series “The Enneagram and the Major Arcana.” In this series I’m connecting the nine gifts of the Enneagram with the first nine cards of the Major Arcana in the Tarot, to see how they inform and support each other.
Joy Makes the World Go Round!
The seventh gift of the Enneagram is the gift of Joyfulness. As is true, I believe, of all the gifts of the Enneagram each of us is born into one of the particular gifts. We have a natural capacity to emanate these gifts from our birth, but as children we have some kind of experience that tells us that maybe we don’t have that gift or it’s not going to flow naturally. And so out of the anxiety about not having the gift we begin to try to create or force it, and that forms the distortion around the gift.
With Joyfulness the natural gift is this flowing effervescence, this resilience, this ability to walk into a room and just light it up. But the distortion of the gift comes from the fear the person will have that the gift isn’t really there, or it’s not going to flow naturally. The result is they begin to avoid pain. They are afraid that painful world around them will steal from them their Joy.
When a person is living in the distortion of Joyfulness, and they’re avoiding pain, that means they might avoid deep conversations or deep relationships. They might avoid jobs or responsibilities they fear will bore them. They may not be very thoughtful or very reflective because they’re afraid of what will happen if they let themselves sink into some darker feelings. This often gains them often the identity of being flighty and shallow, non-reflective and not very responsible.
It’s easy for people in the distortion of Joyfulness to not take themselves seriously, and for others to not take them seriously. But the truth about the gift of Joyfulness is that it is actually quite powerful. It is so powerful that it will rise to the surface no matter what the circumstances are. A person with the gift of Joy that is flowing freely can walk into any tragic situation, any struggle, any blocked place. They can emanate their Joy and change the situation in front of them. Far from them being a “lightweight” or fluffy energy, it’s very powerful energy.
The Chariot: A Real Power Player
What I love about that is this gift is connected to the seventh card of the Major Arcana, which is the Chariot – definitely a power card. If you think about Chariots and the way they move in the world, they just blast across the land. Nothing can stop them. They are powerful and definitive in what they’re doing.
In this image we’ve got the Charioteer standing in his Chariot, looking out across the land. He’s deciding where he wants to go. We’ve just two creatures that are ready to pull the chariot. They’re not connected by reins; he doesn’t have to even direct them where to go. Once he makes up his mind where he wants to go these creatures will immediately jump to service to take him there.
The lesson behind the Chariot is, once you decide what you want, the universe immediately jumps to and makes it happen. But, and this is important, you decide from your place of Joy. So many times we make decisions in a heavy way. We weigh consequences and try to be responsible. What’s the right thing to do? These are questions that engage an energy different from Joy. Another option would be to say, what would be fun what, would be exciting, what would be energizing? That’s asking the question out of Joy, from a place of adventure and a willingness to be alive in this moment.
The Charioteer is thinking what would be fun right now, where do I want to go, or what would be a delightful place for me to visit. Once he gets clear in that choice, established by his Joy, immediately the universe jumps to motion to make that happen. It reminds us that not only is Joy the way we can make the best decisions for ourselves, it is actually the fuel that makes things happen.
High Octane Superfuel
Joy is not something that we occasionally should indulge in when it’s convenient. It’s something that we should really cultivate as a discipline in our spiritual life. You hear it coming up all the time with different spiritual leaders who talk about the Law of Attraction: cultivating gratitude and being able to enjoy the little things. These disciplines that tell us how to be
in this moment and discover the Joy in the moment. The intention is not just to make us happy – it’s because that is the way you access your greatest wisdom and the fuel for your life. Learning how to cultivate Joy in any circumstance is something that is completely worth our time and effort.
Some of us are born into the gift of Joy, and our work is to learn how to get out of our own heads and learn to trust whatever comes up they have the power of Joy to buoy and serve them. But the rest of us have to actively build this up in ourselves. So that anytime we’re feeling dark or heavy we know how to get in touch with our Joy. One of the best devices I use when I’m feeling dark or heavy is simply to ask the question, “What else is possible?” It’s an invitation to show me something new or elevated.
Whenever we ask that question in a way that’s really open and ready, we experience a lightening, a shifting into possibility. So be mindful as you move forward in your spiritual journey, especially at this point in the trajectory, that your Joy that is now key to making the best decisions for yourself and the key to taking power and moving forward. I hope that’s helpful for you. See you next time. Bye!