The Enneagram and the Tarot Part Four: The Pentacles
As stated in the previous articles, the Enneagram and the Tarot both allow us to put language to our self discovery. The Enneagram categorizes your fears and desires in order to help you grow and become your best self. The tarot on the other hand is a tool for inner guidance and is used to uncover and name your deepest beliefs, challenges, and motivations. Combining the two is a powerful way to elevate their individual messages.
The Tarot is complex, but the cards have three general purposes:
1)The Major Arcana help you to examine the universal truths within your situation.
2)The Minor Arcana (ace through ten) allow you to explore your actions and choices.
3)The Court Cards assist you in understanding your fears and motivations.
The Enneagram is a set of nine distinct personality types defined by a person’s core fears and core motivations. All people display all nine types in some form, but we each have one core Enneagram number that drives us. By exploring the Enneagram, you can deepen your understanding of your reactions to the world around you. There is a clear parallel between the language of the Enneagram and the court cards within the Tarot.
Pentacles represent the element Earth. Typically, they symbolize everything made of earthly matter such as resources, money, bodily health, etc. When readings involve many pentacles, they speak of growth, hard work, and the fruits of your labor. In the Enneagram, sixes are focused on structure, stability, and safety. Both Pentacles and sixes are known for reliability, but struggle with change. Famous sixes include Ellen DeGenerous, Joe Biden, and Malcom X. Each Pentacle card displays some of the characteristics of a type six. They each also have a second number that they relate to individually.
The Page of Pentacles (6, 9)
The Page of Pentacles displays many of the same strengths of sixes and nines in the Enneagram. The page is focused on security, trust, reliability, and commitment. Since pages often represent new beginnings, the Page of Pentacles often symbolizes a new project or job. They are pragmatic and careful, willing to get their hands dirty for this new adventure. The Page will be sure to lay the proper ground work so that this new project is done safely and correctly. When balanced, the Page is grounded and focused on ‘what is.’
When in reverse, the Page of Pentacles can represent some of the characteristics of sixes and nines in fixation. Their biggest fear is being without support or being a burden. In reverse, the Page can procrastinate and be so unsure of themselves that they don’t know where to start. Sometimes, the reverse Page of Pentacles projects their own feelings of insecurity onto others, causing the conflict they so wished to avoid. They can be self deprecating and passive aggressive in reaction to argument or big changes. The Page might go along to keep the peace, even if they disagree. They find it difficult to let go of things they believe give them security (relationships, routines, etc), and will cling to them even at great personal cost. They might numb themselves and retreat inward in order to avoid difficult feelings.
The Knight of Pentacles (6, 1)
The Knight of Pentacles’ strengths often reflect sixes and ones in the Enneagram. The knight is in no hurry. They plan carefully, assess all options and then move ahead with certainty. They are willing to ask the hard questions to eliminate skepticism and doubt. They are honest, reliable and believe in doing the right thing. The knight is often able to identify the problem areas of a relationship or project and is eager to find ways of addressing them. The knight displays enduring loyalty and support and is strong under adversity.
In reverse, the Knight of pentacles is less sure footed. Their greatest fear is that they are not good enough and that they will be without guidance or certainty. Their anxiety can get the best of them, especially as they near success. The Knight can be overly critical, rigid, and judgmental, projecting their own fear of corruption onto others. They might feel resentment or anger toward those they feel aren’t doing things the “right” way. The Knight of Pentacles in reverse struggles with guilt when it comes to enjoying themselves. After all, there’s work to be done! Or so, they constantly tell themselves…
The Queen of Pentacles (6, 2)
The Queen of Pentacles can display some of the best characteristics of sixes and twos in the Enneagram. She is practical, nurturing, and independent. She is a self made queen and enjoys empowering others to reach the same state. This Queen represents security, reliability, commitment, empathy, forgiveness, and compassion. She loves helping others feel more secure and grounded. She is the epitome of a hard worker and a loving parent.
In reverse, the Queen is insecure. Her biggest fears are that she is unlovable and the world is too dangerous. She can easily get lost in helping others, to the point where she is no longer meeting her own needs. She can sometimes feel like the love she receives is contingent on meeting the needs of others’. Her work and home life are out of balance and she feels like she has lost touch with what keeps her grounded. She might be constantly anxious, worrying that every little mishap is catastrophic. She might act over protective of her loved ones, allowing her anxiety about the safety of the world around her cloud her judgement. At this point, she finds it difficult to recognize and meet her own needs.
The King of Pentacles (6, 8)
The King of Pentacles is strong and grounded, displaying many of the strengths of Enneagram sixes and eights. He is a faithful provider for those he loves. He is trustworthy, reliable and known for his strong commitment. The King is a leader and has full control of the material world around him. Resources are important to the King and he makes sure he and his loved ones have all they need, and then some. When well balanced, the King provides a comfortable home that feels safe and nostalgic. He is very concerned with what he thinks is ‘fair and just’ and is a pillar of strength under pressure.
In reverse however, the King of Pentacles isn’t so confident. His greatest fear is being left vulnerable without material support. He might be described as ‘miserly,’ clinging to his resources for fear of losing them. He gives off a sense of intensity, particularly when he feels his resources or safety are threatened. The King will often use denial to avoid feeling vulnerable and to maintain his self image of being strong and independent. Like most pentacles and sixes alike, the King strongly resists change, and might lash out in his attempts to keep the status quo. Because of this, the King in reverse might also be in a rut, losing his zeal for life because of his predictable, lackluster, routines.
The Enneagram is so much more complex than these explorations give it credit for. All people experience all nine types within themselves in completely unique ways. The benefit of this exploration is that it allows us to put language to those experiences in new contexts. The drawback is that it almost turns the Enneagram types into caricatures, particularly when Tarot cards are used to represent real people in our lives. Just know that the intention of these articles is to add depth to a tool already in place for self reflection and growth. It is meant to increase self awareness around our own fears and motivations, not to dilute the Enneagram or represent other people out of context. For more information on the Enneagram, I encourage you to look into the Enneagram Institute.
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