For thousands of years, philosophers, mystics, and ordinary men and woman have been struggling with the question “who am I”?
Whatever answers they may have come up with, they have all realized the importance of knowing, understanding and accepting yourself in all your facets.
The enneagram is an ancient but newly discovered and revised system that can be used for looking at many aspects of life. It is well-known as a personality assessment tool, but is also used in spiritual work to connect closer to Essence or Soul as well as shadow work in Jungian therapy.
Shadow work involves looking at aspects of ourselves that we were not aware off, but may have a negative impact on ourselves and others or paradoxically provide a new pathways of growth of previously neglected parts of self. The Shadow aspects may contained what is called, your “Blind spots”, the things other people may notice about you and even give you feedback about, but you vehemently deny or simply ignore.
Understanding your own patterns help you be more aware of the ways in which you will operate, especially when not awake and aware. Without awareness, your personality type may “run the show” and your behaviors and thinking may be on auto-pilot. The power of the enneagram lies in our ability to be aware of our patterns and to be in choice.
Although we talk about Enneagram personality types they can be more broadly seen as different points of view, or diverse worldviews with their own distinct hierarchy of values. This is why I see the types and subtypes as energetic archetypal patterns or archetypes that manifest in Persona and Shadow aspects within an individual.
#Enneagram #Personality #Ego #Shadow #archetypes #patterns #personalitypatterns #consciousness #whoamI? #selfawareness #choice
The “Descent of Inanna” is one of the oldest myths of journeying to the underworld where, through death, an initiation takes place and, ultimately a rebirth.
Inanna was an ancient Mesopotamian goddess of love, beauty, sex, war, justice, and political power. She was originally worshiped in Sumer and later in Babylon as Ishtar. Inanna/Isthar was the ‘Queen of Heaven and Earth’. Inanna’s possession of the divine powers of ‘me,’ which encompass all aspects of human civilization, made her very powerful. Through shrewd trickery she was given these by Enki, keeper of the ‘me’ and god of creation, water, wisdom, magic and mischief. Enki helped her to return from the underworld, bringing her back to life.
This myth of Inanna’s decent concerns the meeting of the Queen of Heaven with the Queen of the Underworld - Inanna’s sister, the Dark Goddess Ereshkigal. Individually the sisters symbolize the goddess’s dual aspects and jointly they represent the primordial polarity and full spectrum of the feminine. The underworld is symbolic of the unconscious. This can be seen as a story about an encounter with one’s shadow, necessary in the growth towards wholeness and consciousness. Jung’s journey of individuation involves an integration of the conscious, upper world aspects with the unconscious, shadowy underworld aspects. Being from the ‘Great Above’, Inanna’s has only partial awareness and “Until her ear opens to the Great Below, her understanding is necessarily limited.” Wolkstein (1983) wrote that those who return from the Great Below “carry within them the knowledge of rebirth and often return bringing to their culture a new world view.”
However this is a perilous journey. Inanna was a queen in the Upper World. Instead of being treated as such she was stripped of her royal garments and jewels, her outward symbols of power, beauty, and success. Suffering, humiliation and loss are the only powers able to affect the ego’s belief in its invincibility. Stripped of her persona and naked, Inanna is confronted by her shadow, the dark goddesses, and is turned into a corpse, ‘a piece of rotting meat’, hanging on a hook. Sounds like a familiar feeling?
Image credit: "Queen of the Night" Relief (left) and color reconstruction (right),
1800-1750 B.C.E., Old Babylonian, baked straw-tempered clay,
49 x 37 x 4.8 cm, Southern Iraq and reconstruction
© Trustees of the British Museum
A social media post I wrote for @jungsouthernafrica
#jungsouthernafrica #jung #carljung #jungpsychology #jungianpsychology #depthpsychology
#analyticalpsychology #unconscious #consciousness #innergrowth #archetypes #individuation #shadow #darknightofthesoul #nightseajourney #katabasis #nigredo #descent #initiation #death #depression #goddess #inanna #ereshkigal #descentofinanna #queenofheaven
Early one morning during lockdown a Verreaux's Eagle visited my garden. The magnificent black bird was perched high in a tree visible from my bedroom. I was in awe of its presence. Eagles represent illumination of spirit, healing and creation according to Ted Andrews in “Animal Speak” (1993). They have often been seen as symbols of power, nobility and higher perspective. Eagles are seen in many cultures as messengers from heaven and an embodiment of the sun energy. As with other solar animals and apex predators, such as lions, eagles help to maintain balance in the world.
Eagles “teach a balance of being of the earth but not in it” (p.139). Their powerful grip and ability to utilize what they have grasped is symbolic of their connection to the Earth. It is an invaluable part of their great hunting prowess, which ensures their survival. The message is to keep oneself grounded, laying a foundation for yourself while expanding your vision of what is possible. Eagles conserve their energy when hunting. They do not waste their resources and bide their time, waiting for the right moment to strike. With tremendous control of their powerful wings they glide slowly and silently so as not to alert their prey. They sometimes hover for a brief moment for a more accurate strike. The image of the Eagle inspires us to strengthen our wings on the winds of life while developing an acute sense of timing in terms of when to hover and when to strike when opportunities present themselves.
The eagle’s magnificent ability to fly and soar to great heights with its keen sight and hearing represents a more expansive perspective of reality. A visit in a dream or a sighting may signify the opening of a new vision within the present moment, reaching far to the past and into the future. An eagle’s sharp beak and powerful jaws are designed to cut, tear and crush. In humans the jaw is important in digestion, but also in speech. The eagle’s message may be the need to develop discernment in when to speak, how much, and how strongly in order to not inadvertently hurt and rip the other person to shreds.
Photo Credit: Derek Keats
#Dream #Dreams #dreamwork #Dreamappreciation #Dreammeaning #dreaminterpretation #dreamanalysis #symbolism #symbols #eagle #eaglemeaning #eaglesymbolism #Eaglemedicine #eagledreams #eaglesighting #jung #carljung #jungpsychology #jungianpsychology #depthpsychology #analyticalpsychology #unconscious #consciousness #archetypes #individuation
Humanity is in a Dark Night of the Soul, a time of global crisis ushered in by Covid19. People around the world are suffering devastating loss and trauma –the death of loved ones or loss of income as economies threaten collapse. During this time of uncertainty people may experience feelings of despair, loss of meaning and deep insecurity.
St. John of the Cross, a Spanish mystic and poet who lived in the 16th century, initiated the term “Dark Night of the Soul”. Having experienced his own dark time while imprisoned, he wrote about painful experiences as a process of “purification” in the spiritual journey towards connection with the divine.
An experience of the Dark Night is almost always precipitated by a crisis: a dreadful disappointment; a terrible heartache; a distressing illness; or, the loss of a loved one. What follows is a difficult, but significant transition to a deeper perception of life through a painful shedding of the beliefs and conceptual frameworks we use to give meaning to identity, relationships, career, etc.
Jung referred to the Dark Night as the ‘night sea journey’ or ‘nekyia’, believing that our sorrow and suffering serve the individuation journey. As an archetypal pattern or process it involves a basic restructuring of the psyche, transforming our individual or collective values and attitudes. Jung metaphorically compared alchemy (transforming lead into gold) to the psychological process of navigating the Dark Night of the Soul, equating it with Nigredo stage.
The Dark Night symbolizes death and initiation. The individuation journey must include a meaningful psychic descent into the underworld, a facing of our shadow aspects. Mythology describes many such descents in the tales of Inanna, Persephone and others.
The Dark Night of the Soul can be a painful, chaotic, frightening, overwhelming and disintegrating life crisis. It can also be a time of transformation, renewal, rebirth and finding deeper meaning in life. Our collective response to the current coronavirus pandemic has the potential to reframe, renew or even completely change our belief systems which may bring a shift in consciousness and alter the future of humanity.
A social media post I wrote for @jungsouthernafrica
Image credit: Michal Karcz
#jung #carljung #jungpsychology #jungianpsychology #depthpsychology #analyticalpsychology #unconscious #consciousness #innergrowth #archetypes #individuation #shadow #darknightofthesoul #nightseajourney #katabasis #nekyia #nigredo #descent #initiation #death #depression #capetown #capetownlife #capetownliving #southernafrica