Hey everybody, this is Anna. Welcome to the final installment in our series “The Enneagram and the Major Arcana.” Today’s gift of the Enneagram is the gift 9 and that is the gift of Peacefulness.
The Calm in the Storm
As you might expect people who are born into the gift of Peacefulness have a very calming, anchoring effect on the world around them. They’re able to walk into drama and the drama just dissipates before them because their influence is so profound and gentle.
In addition people who have to give of Peacefulness are able to understand multiple perspectives at once. They can see where people are coming from, and because of that they don’t engage in the conflict. They engage in the understanding of different perspectives and they can actually operate as a bridge, a way to create Peace between people. So often in a group where you have a Peaceful person they are the glue that helps to translate different perspectives and ideas to each other. The group becomes more solid and more cohesive because this person is influencing them to see and understand each other.
The “9” in Anxiety: Hiding from Conflict
As is true for all the gifts of the Enneagram, every gift comes with a distortion. The distortion is based on a fear or anxiety that we’re going to lose this gift. We lose track of the fact that the gift flows naturally from us and we begin to think we have to somehow make it happen or protect it. The distortion for the gift of Peacefulness is avoidance of conflict.
When a person who has Peacefulness is afraid of losing their Peacefulness they begin to avoid any kind of turmoil they fear might endanger their Peacefulness. The conflict might be fighting with other people, but it can also be challenges in growth and healing, anything that’s disruptive to the status quo. They begin to associate being Peaceful with maintaining the status quo and the result can be slothfulness and stagnation.
They end up not being able to make clear choices or move forward in their action steps. They end up getting stuck in the status quo because they’re so concerned with protecting their Peacefulness that this becomes the way they cope with that anxiety. Part of the lesson for all of us in Enneagram is understanding that we’re distorting to create the gift but actually our distortion is messing up the gift. If we can learn how to let go of our fear and our anxiety the gift will restore itself and it will flow naturally into the world.
The Hermit: In the Flow of Peace
The same is true for the Peaceful person. They must learn that the conflict they’re avoiding is not a match for their gift, that their gift of Peacefulness will always solve the problem and actually expand and get stronger when they allow it to flow into the world in any situation.
The card of the Major Arcana that’s attached to the “9” in the Enneagram is the Hermit card. It depicts an elderly man with a lantern walking into the wilderness. We understand in this card he is walking away from the drama of the world so that he can get in touch with his own inner wisdom and inner peace. This is so he can get clear on his intuitive truth separate from the drama of the world. This is important because in the distortion the “9” can be so tuned into other people’s perspective that they don’t always know their own. They don’t take the time to delve deeply and allow themselves to get in touch with it.
The Journey Inward, and Back Out
The gift of the Hermit is to see the truth is within you, and it is very important that you step away from all these other people and all this drama in order to to find it. The purpose is to bring it to the world. The Hermit is not going into a cave to stay there and hide and become slothful. That’s the distortion of the gift. The Hermit is going into the cave to spend time alone to find his own truth so that he can return to the world and gift it to the world.
This is the wonderful experience of walking a labyrinth. The labyrinth will take you into the middle and then walk you out. Both of those movements are part of the spiritual journey. The Hermit is moving into the center of the labyrinth and then moving out of the labyrinth – and that is his motion. That is the truth for the growth of the Peaceful person – they need to be in motion, into themselves and out to the world.
They learn to relax into the challenges that come with growing and expanding, because they realize every time they do so it is always Peacefulness emanates from them. They don’t have to protect it or hide it or guard it from these experiences of conflict. This is what their Peace is designed to do – bring Peace into every situation.
The Hermit In Us All
The Hermit needs time by himself and that is true for all of us. We all need to develop all of the gifts of the Enneagram regardless of where we are born into the gifts. There are times and we have to separate ourselves from others’ perspectives and opinions and ideas and really get in touch with what our soul is saying to us. We do that for the purpose of getting clear and anchored in ourselves and because we come back and bring it back to the world. When we emanate that gift we do exactly the same thing that the “9” does. We create bridges of opportunity for connection and healing and anchoring, and that is just about the best thing you can do.