If you are unfamiliar with the Enneagram, you might want to start here with the Introduction to the Series.
Hey everybody, it’s Anna. Welcome to the sixth installation of the series “The Enneagram and the Major Arcana,” in which I connect the nine gifts of the Enneagram to the first nine cards of the Tarot’s Major Arcana. This is the sixth installation in which we’re looking at the sixth gift of the Enneagram, often called Loyalty. But when I look at that gift I think it’s better described as Integrity. I’ll explain why.
Loyalty as Following Outer Authority
When someone has this gift of the Six and they are imbalanced or broken in their gift, they look for authority outside of themselves. That means they want to join a group, they want to have a leader, they want to have the rules and they want to follow the rules. They feel comfortable because they want to be part of the group. They want to be a good joiner.
But of course in any time you’re in a group you’re always going to have disagreement. You’re going to not completely agree with all the rules, or feel completely comfortable. When a Six experiences discomfort in that unbalanced place they don’t feel like they can speak out of their difference, and they typically end up projecting their dissonance on somebody else, creating a scapegoat. They’re trying to stay in the group and be a good member, but they don’t feel comfortable so they take that and they push it on somebody else.
The Dark Side of Loyalty
An extreme version of this would be, for example, a soldier on the battlefield. A general gives an order which is immoral, and the soldier feels very uncomfortable with this order, but they don’t feel like they can say no. Let’s say they’ve been ordered to burn a village. In their mind they decide the village is full of enemies, not civilians. They’ll convince themselves that this is the the right thing to do. They’ll project their insecurities or their dissonance on that group and then they’ll kill the group to kill off their own dissonance.
A much less radical but pretty common version of this happens in almost any institution where you have a very stable membership. They’re
getting along they seem like they’re all on the same page, but then somebody shows up who’s a little bit different, who has different ideas – and taps into all that insecurity of people who aren’t really on the same page. The crowd ends up taking that insecurity and pushing it on the outsider, banishing them and scapegoating them. This is one working out of Loyalty – following a leader or group to the point that we don’t listen to our own inner compass.
Shifting from Loyalty to Integrity
But when the gift of the Six is healed and matured it becomes the gift of Integrity. That’s when authority moves from outside ourselves to inside ourselves. We start realizing only we can be the authority of our lives. We are capable of making moral and just and true choices that actually match our calling.
When a Six stops looking for authority outside themselves and starts pulling it inside themselves, and taking responsibility to be their own
moral compass, they become incredibly stable and they have amazing Integrity. They cannot be swayed off of this place of perfect integrity. They
they don’t care about money, they don’t care about prestige, they don’t care
about glory. They are truly in this world to make the world a better
place and they will sacrifice themselves if necessary to follow that calling. If they’re in leadership, then, these are true servant leaders.
Introducing the Lovers!
The sixth card of the Major Arcana that corresponds to this gift is the Lovers. People often think of this card as being about partnership. But actually to me the lesson goes a lot deeper than partnership. The Lovers card has an image of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, which is a Genesis story from Hebrew and Christian texts.
People often characterize the story of the Garden of Eden as the fall from grace. Another way of reading the story is the moment that Adam and Eve get rid of their outer authority and become inner authorities to themselves. They let go of the rule that God gave them not to eat of the tree, and they ate of it anyway. They become their own moral compasses.
Some people who think that the Eden story is all about being banished an being punished. But they fail to recognize that it’s not until after Adam and Eve leave the garden, and take ownership and authorship of their lives, that they are able to have children. That’s when they become co-creators with God. So, from my perspective, their eating from the tree marks the successful completion of God’s test.
Becoming Co-Creators With the Divine
It is only when we move into that place of taking responsibility for ourselves as adults, and not as children following rules, that we become stabilized in our own Integrity. Our previous step on the spiritual journey was the Hierophant, which is the move from the household into the world. So we’ve moved into the world now, and now we’re faced with lots of choices. We’re faced with the question, are we going to follow someone else’s rules? Are we going find a guide or mentor? Or are we going to turn back into ourselves and say – I’m the one who knows what my path looks like. I’m the one who can find the path, and I’m willing to do things that don’t match other people’s ideas in order to claim my path and to own it.
My Own Struggle with Integrity
What’s interesting about this installment in the series has been very delayed. I started the series a long time ago and then I got stuck on this card and I didn’t really know why I got stuck. Looking back I realize that, when I was doing this series, I was working with a coach who was encouraging me to work with paradigms that didn’t match me – particularly about money, making money and creating money goals and stuff like that like. None of that resonated with me, but I was still working with them. I was letting her be my authority, telling me the right way to run my business.
At some point I finally said, this doesn’t work for me. I’m just going to set aside this theory that other people know better what I should do than I know for myself. I need to just really develop my business and my life according to my own compass. When I did that I discovered I became very stable. Suddenly I wasn’t affected by what other people’s thoughts about the right thing to do. And it didn’t bother me that other people had ideas and tools for their lives that were different from my own. It didn’t bother me because I was able to say – I have Integrity, you have Integrity, so let’s all just honor the fact that we’re all doing the best we can (instead of trying to tell each other what to do.)
That’s a huge step, where you stop taking responsibility for straightening everybody else out, and you don’t let anybody else straighten you
out, and you feel really comfortable and solid in believing in yourself. That’s this card. That’s the step of Integrity. And that’s the move of the Six, from the brokenness in. This is where you really start feeling yourself in your life in a powerful way.
I hope that’s helpful for you today and I’ll see you next time on the next
installation – which won’t be months away like this last one! Bye!