Libra is not an Archetypal Energy

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Libra is not about “peace” nor is it about avoiding conflict or being a pushover, trying to get along. It’s not actually about romance or wifey stuff either. None of that makes sense at all archetypically, nor does it mean anything.

Originally, Libra was not one of the constellations or signs. The stars now associated with Libra were the claws of the Scorpion. Later they saw it as two constellations, where one was “Chelae” – claws. That one was Libra.

Later on, there was a mistranslation. “There was a confusion with the translation of the words, zubana and zibanitu (meaning- weighing scale’ and ‘scorpion, respectively). The two translations of the words zubana and zibanitu led to the constellation the scorpion’s claws or Chelae Scorpionis. Therefore, in Babylonian Mythology, Libra started out as the claws of the Scorpio. Later when the Greeks looked at the constellation, they thought it looked like a set of scales held by Astraea or (Star-maiden).”

So Libra, if you take its full history and mistranslation into account – is somewhere between the claws of the Scorpion that killed Orion and the Virgin Goddess’s scales of justice, but it is not actually an entity unto itself.

Consider all these quotes, from various references:
“The zodiac (a Greek word meaning “circle of animals”) were devised by the Neo-Babylonians. 
““The fundamental factor in astrology is the identification of the heavenly bodies with the chief gods of the pantheon.”
“Libra is the only zodiac constellation that represents an object, not an animal or a character from mythology.”

Conclusion:
Libra is not an archetypal energy. It is an inanimate object wielded by forces of LIFE and nature belonging to the other signs. Its presence in astrology is the result of mistranslations and a need to force symmetry, but it is not inherently meaningful.

Sexual vs. Social – Enneagram Instincts

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Common Misconception: Sx = Intimacy. 

Here, I posted an exchange I had today on a forum, addressing this.

Question:
Interesting. I’m a bit confused, though, especially about the last paragraph. What’s the difference between So and Sx again? There was a site that said that So is “personal connection” and Sx is “intimacy.” Sounds like the same thing to me. When you say that he enjoys merging with the fascinating qualities about you, that sounds like ‘connecting’ to me. Connecting and merging sounds like the same thing to me. So, if you wouldn’t mind, what’s the difference between So and Sx?

Anyway, you make some interesting points, and maybe this could explain why so many people type themselves as Sx (because they’re perhaps under the impression that Sx is one-on-one relationship, depth, romance, etc. and that So is group interactions and communities and so on). I guess I tend to be under this impression myself as well.

Answer:
Thanks for the interest and the thoughtful question.

Social is, at root: bonding, warmth, interpersonal intimacy, relationships, love between two people, friendship, having each other’s back. It is also the human need that lies behind the sentiment of loneliness. (Any instinct type can feel lonely.)

If you think about it, not all your close relationships are sexual. You might have a one-on-one intense bond with your brother or sister, or one of your parents, or perhaps your teacher or boss who is elderly when you’re a child; but none of these bonds (under typical healthy conditions) would be sexual. You can bond deeply with your sister without there having to be ‘sexual charge.’ So what would you call your intense, trusting, loving relationship bond with your sister? That would be social. And this extends to your friends.

Sexual is, at root: heat, allure, transformation, sexual intimacy eros. There’s a sense that you want to penetrate and be penetrated by the other person entirely, as though being absorbed into their being; tearing down all walls. (This is often mistaken for intimacy, but it isn’t necessarily, unless the Social instinct is also at play.) It is also the human need that lies behind obsession, limerence. (Any instinct type can experience this.) There’s an addictive quality to it, whether or not you’re actually intimate with the person.. you want them to want you.

In French, orgasm is called “la petite morte” – the little death. This is because when making love, you’re naked, exposed, without walls. You spill your life seed into, or upon, another. Fluids are mixed. Boundaries are lost, and when boundaries are lost, it’s impossible not to transform; to be reborn.

The reason sex has been deemed ‘sinful’ and bad is because it’s too destructive to society – it brings unexpected changes. People who were otherwise loyal to their family, or their job, or “the state” – will suddenly throw it all away for the sake of passion. Or that is what they fear. Sx instinct has a transformative quality.. it is there to strip you down, expose you and entice you, leaving you wide open. In this sense, Sexual Instinct has a danger to it. It can be scary, overwhelming.

Sx dominants are tuned into enticement, allure; they can’t turn it off. There’s a sense they’re always penetrating into you, using some type of luring siren signal, like the way birds show off their bright feathers and sing to impress a mate. All of that is sexual signaling and humans do it very similarly – through dressing up, showing virtuosity to entice (music, art etc).

Now this does not mean that “Sx dominants are sluts.” Quite the contrary, in many cases. The Sx dominant is so deeply attuned to chemistry that they can tell whose chemistry mixes best with theirs. When this instinct is first, it can be very selective, holding out for the hottest person, some kind of Ideal Other who would attract them and allure and entice them for all eternity.

This can, of course, develop into a sense of intimacy very quickly- since there’s an addictive quality, wanting to get deep into every part of the lover’s psyche. But this is a very different type of intimacy than that which you experience with your sister. The type with your sister will outlast most of your sexual relationships. The intimacy with your lover is more penetrating and intense, but it is not in and of itself based on common interests, trust, deep bonding and so forth; until Social instinct comes into play.

And we must remember that people are whole – we are not “just one instinct.” So an Sx/Sp and Sp/Sx couple will become bonded on a social level. Just as an So/Sp and Sp/So couple will enjoy heat and intensity, and want to allure each other. The question is, where does your attention automatically lie? What is the primary call of your instinctual senses? Which instinct is on all the time, in all situations, constantly guiding you, alternately holding you back and propelling you forward?

The Limits of Typology Descriptions

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A type is a living breathing pattern that manifests through living breathing people. Once someone has years of experience with typology, the type starts to come to life. There’s more than words on a page; there’s a rhythm, a chemistry. This is what type really is. And once you understand that rhythmic essence of the types, then the descriptions become a ‘guide’ rather than scripture. Jung and Gurdjieff knew this – they were describing archetypes, not full people, and both were careful to explain that their systems (Cognitive Functions and Enneagram, respectively) were about a fundamental underlying gestalt which underlies the psyche of anyone that embodies that archetype.

If you can feel the types, and see them in motion in actual humans, it is clear that no description on its own is adequate. The various descriptions are maps and the people are the trees and the houses. The underlying gestalt of each archetype is clearly the same throughout each system, even if descriptions by different authors contradict each other – at least to my eye. Not everyone sees the world the way I do, but I certainly don’t gain much anymore from arguing about this description vs. that. It is a necessary stepping stone toward understanding what type is, but I don’t see how tit for tat cut-and-paste does anything to bring a type to life and make it breathe, so that a human may embody its essence. Once we get past that second-grade cut and paste, we graduate to the world of archetypes and rhythm of the world. Yacking about this definition vs that, is no longer relevant.

When you hear a piece of music, do you argue that someone else played the notes in a different syncopation? Fur Elise is Fur Elise, no matter who plays it. It can be to a rock beat, a jazz beat.. it’s still the same fundamental melody and chords. This is what makes it Fur Elise. You can argue that someone completely changed it, but if you heard that intro and you said “Fur Elise!” then your gut knew what song it was. This is the same for types.

Slytherin

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Some people love to hate Slytherin and all it represents.  Yet Slytherin is an archetypal necessity that possesses tremendous merit.

Without competition the world would stagnate.  Knowledge (Ravenclaw) and kindness (Hufflepuff) are both wonderful, but very localized.  What can you do with knowledge if there isn’t an ambitious Slytherin broadcasting it?  It just dies with you.

How do you get great ideas out in to the public eye?  You think the world just lets that happen?  No. Galileo and Jesus’s head are always on the chopping block. 

Ravenclaws can yap about knowledge but, when push comes to shove, it’s a Slytherin who is going to take their ideas and actually change the world with them. Hufflepuffs can be sweet and nice but when push comes to shove its Gryffindors fighting the war up at the front line to defend them. Otherwise it’s all North Korea and the rich powerful run everything.

You may not assume the Slytherin would want to broadcast your kindness and knowledge, but understand, that’s what Slytherins do to get ahead.  They take something that people need so that they buy it and thus they get paid.

Slytherins are shit heads, but they are necessary for the world. They may be broadcasting an idea because they want to make money or be famous. But they’re still selling it. While Hufflepuffs are resisting competition because they don’t want to hurt anyone, Harry Potters, Hermiones and Snapes are up front and center defending and fighting for what they believe.  Rowling is a Hufflepuff herself, but her book centered on Slytherins and Gryffindors for a reason: because thats where the world moves.

Still, Hufflepuffs are equally necessary to the world, because kindness is a thing worth defending. If that doesn’t exist, Gryffindors will go back to sleep and Slytherins will take over.

I am a thousand percent Gryffindor. I’ve always been ambitious, but my big heart defending what I believe is first and foremost and I’ll die in the fire of my loyalty and integrity. If there’s one thing that stops me from “making it big” it’s my big stupid heart.  I work hard, but I won’t sell a lie. That is the death of me. And it can be stupid, but it’s the way I’m wired. Still, I’m smart enough to recognize that without Slytherins, people like me would have no purpose and nothing in society would move.

This is not to say that (archetypal) Hufflepuffs utterly and completely lack ambition, but rather, that they are under the delusion that they don’t have to step on any toes to actualize it.

Villain Appeal

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People yearn to be seen for who they are – to suffer, scream and cry before someone else. They want to be seen naked, stripped of all their masks. They desperately yearn for someone who understands them.

This is why there’s nothing sexier than the image of a villainous character who reflects the darkness inside.  It fosters the illusion that “this person can understand my darkness” and admiration that “this person is honest in ways I cannot be.” Also the fantasy: “I could save tis person… I could make them change for me.”  The dark, lost, fucked up monster. “My love would save him.” This titillates the human ego.

Crown of the Enneagram

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People often mistype at 9, taking it literally. “My biggest fear is losing my loved ones, losing myself, losing my lifestyle.”  Sure.  That’s human.

9 is the crown of the enneagram because it deals with the central theme that enneagram exists in order to confront, which is that life is impermanent, and none of us know our true essence.  We have to build up defenses to survive in this world, as a necessity.  Those defenses form patterns, which can be understood as enneagram types.  Many claim enneagram is inborn and it is clearly observable in babies.  What this means is, the brain is programmed a certain way which lends itself to the emergence of a specific pattern.  The innate need for a survival pattern is essentially human, and that’s why everyone has an enneagram type.

So why do we have to “survive” through defenses?  Because people perceive themselves as separate entities, separated from one another.  People perceive “you against me” and “me vs. death.”  They see life as separate from death; thus, a fear of separation occurs.  You are separate from death, so how do you retain your life?  There’s a fear of impermanence and of the inevitability we all have to face: that one day, we will lose everything.

9s take this fear on at the deepest level: to combat this fear, they don’t hold tightly to anything, including their own ego.  This is the misty 9 vibe that people talk about – not quite “owning” their aggression, not owning their own self, going with the flow. This is their attempt to defend against impermanence and it can bring on a kind of ‘premature enlightenment.’  I’m not separate, combative. I am not even “just me” – I have a permeable ego, and nothing can hold me for long. The 9 is slippery.

This is the crown of the enneagram, as it is the purest manifestation of the defense against death, which reads to our mind as “impermanence and losing everything” since we see it as being separated from our life and our ego, rather than seeing ourselves as simply part of a grand cycle.  We need our ego in order to push ourselves to survive.  Without ego, why take care of our kid instead of every kid equally, regardless of the effects this has on our own offspring?  Life would fall apart without ego but, at the same time, it’s still a delusion. A necessary delusion. Since everyone believes it and lives by it, that, in a way, makes the ego very “real.”

So is it really a delusion? I don’t know. It’s more like a coping strategy that results from the reality of how the human mind works.

The other core types are additional defenses against losing yourself, impermanence, nothingness, dissolution.  Each type is a fixation on a different aspect of the human experience. We all have all these experiences and “sides” to us, which is why many of us can relate to many types, if not all, if we are honest with ourselves.  But each type gets fixated on a specific aspect of the experience of being human, thus forming a different core defense pattern.

Enneagram can’t be conceived of as a mere set of traits.  Motivations do not exist in a vacuum, and behavior should evidence the core motivation; but in order to spot a type, we need to understand what lies at its essence.  To truly grasp the meaning of enneagram, it has to be understood in terms of the egoic battle against impermanence.

“Why Can’t I find my Enneagram Type?”

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The ego resists seeing its own defenses.

We need our defense strategies (enneagram) and biases (functions) for a reason. These strategies give the mind a pattern that it can learn to protect itself from chaos.

The defenses work on automatic..so uncovering the truth about them weakens them and leaves the ego bare, exposed, raw.

Over time it helps to see ourselves, so that we may use our defenses but prevent them from using us …

But at first, exposing the truth about our automatic reactions and “inner settings” forces us to change. The ego resists changing because it is scared of exposure and chaos…rightfully so. Whether or not someone types correctly, it is only a strong ego that can digest the true meaning of its own type… and even then, the ego will continue defending itself by creating distortions around that idea, such as taking pride in your type, being ashamed, creating internal drama around it… all of which distracts from looking at the self objectively. Embracing the deep value of typology, on an egoic level, is a lifelong journey.