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Observations placeholder

Correspondences between The Enneagram and the Tarot – Enneagram No 8 and the Devil



Type of Spiritual Experience



Enneagram number eight has a controversial equivalent in the Major Arcana of the Tarot, the closest card that may describe this Personality is the Devil - the opposer of the status quo,  and the critic.

In the tarot, the Devil does not signify evil, it signifies the opposition - the opposite side of an argument, the cutter away of the extraneous, the enemy of entropy, the force for change and possibly the person who introduces something extreme and even frightening in order to force change.

" The Great Adversary (Satan in Hebrew) is the Prince of the material World ……. He is the one who differentiates, the enemy of unity. He sets the worlds against the World and living people against each other. "

In the Trinity used by the Hindus, there are three great forces - Creation, Destruction and Maintainance and the Devil is the force of Destruction and needed.

Creation of anything new becomes impossible unless Destruction has taken place, and it can cause pain seeing the values and beliefs, buildings or structures, systems and dogma, dashed to the ground.

Many will of course oppose change as such the Devils of the world have to be ruthless, powerful and hard.  And people either support them if they want the change or be paralysed with fear if they wish to defend the status quo, until there is a battle, between the forces of dark and the Forces of Light.

And as such the Tarot cards associated with this very principle card and also the Enneagram type 8 are the Knight and the Chariot - both take up the cudgels and fight.

The Chariot shows a knight in action.  Knights are mundane fighters, the Chariot is intended to be a spiritual fighter.  Someone who has reigned in his sensory and bodily functions and got them in control enough to be able to fight - on one side or another.

Crowley's card to the left of the Devil, shows that he regarded the Devil as part of the team - third eye open with wings, he has clearly entrapped many, but the connection via the tree behind him is there.

Crowley himself played the Devil's role.

A description of the experience

The eight is the opposite to the seven, they see only the problems in things, the dark side.  As such sevens and eights balance one another, if the seven is the most positive of all types but the one least able to admit of the dark, or evil or problems; the eight is perceived as the most negative of all types because that is about all they can see. 

The eight is defined by oppositional energy, he or she gets his kicks by opposing you, by fighting you.  When they are afraid of direct confrontation,  they do it indirectly – Facebook, Tweets – all grist to the mill of the eight.  In the end, the eight is constantly angry and aggressive, spoiling for a fight.

They swear a lot, not mild swearing either, and they only respect people who give as good as they get.  So people who swear back, or as aggressive and frankly unpleasant as they are.

they just love it when you say four-letter words - oh now you're a man, now I can take you seriously”.  This is very masculine energy and generally speaking it is men who are like this. “They oppose you but they like it when you oppose them back”.

But much of this bravado – all the huffing and puffing and complaining and criticizing and blaming and attacking  - is because they actually feel immensely vulnerable.  To a large extent they have faced what the seven has not without any safety net to help them in the face of such perceived ‘wrongness’.

In other words, underneath the huffing and puffing, the obscenity and the cruelty, the rudeness and unkindness is a g person who is  demanding that people help them to overcome all this ‘wrongness’.

All they are actually shouting is ‘’DO SOMETHING for I am unable to do it myself or alone’

Richard Dawkins was a slightly politer version of an eight.  He didn’t swear, but he was aggressive and confrontational  in his pursuit of the wrongness he thought he saw.  And he attracted eights just like him.

The key to dealing with an eight is not to take the attacks personally, but give them the sparring match they so long for, countering the ‘blackness’ they perceive with any lightness you can muster [not frivolity], acknowledging where possible that they may actually have a point and you have taken note.

They like to shock, and they get an extra kick if they can face you and see you are shocked.  Frivolity is an absolute turn off for an eight, so never make fun of them, joke about them or ridicule them.  They are wanting a serious discussion, longing for someone to come back with an argument that actually, logically, does counter theirs.  If no such argument exists and black it indeed is, then they want you to help with solutions – a path away from the Darkness.  Their world is appallingly bleak, few realise it, there is nothing in their lives to relieve the blackness and wrongness they perceive.

Their arguments have often been repeatedly thought through and mulled over incessantly and they will go for the jugular if there is a chink in your armour.  But they are entirely Black about what they perceive ‘the truth’ to be, and that their truth may not even be a truth – particularly in times of fake news and manipulation. 

what they think is the truth - their truth-  is an exposing of the powers that be whoever the powers that be might be”.  Conspiracy theories emerge from eights.  “they don't like being Vulnerable, it's very hard for an eight to be vulnerable very hard for them to admit they're wrong,  the power is everything, it is important to look powerful and to present a powerful persona - their motto? ‘don't trust anybody’”

Because the energy of an eight is masculine energy, they like to be seen as hard men and they are hard in their dealings with many – unempathetic, unsympathetic.  Their overall line of thinking is that if they can take it, then so should others. 

they often don't even feel or admit that they're feeling physical pain, their ability to endure pain and face pain is phenomenal and they're attracted to high intensity and dangerous sports as well as the warrior archetype anything that's pushing the self to the edge.

Ignatius of Loyola the founder of the Jesuits was an eight.

It's very hard for an eight to go for an hour without being upset about something, without dismissing some foolish rule or some ridiculous custom or some arrogant person.  Of course they see arrogance everywhere and they don't realize they are themselves, you always see your own faults in other people

But the gift of the 8 is passion, pure and simple and when you learn to admire that passion and like that passion and give it back to them and relate to the problem they see and either explore it or help them tackle it, then you help them and you help yourself.  As it might take this amount of passion and aggression to get something that is genuinely wrong changed.  As the 6s stubbornly fight for the status quo – blinkers on, head down – the status quo may be the road to the abyss.

Spain exemplifies eight energy, always trying to kill the bull, facing their own energy.  They're facing their own arrogance and killing it and the cockfight represents the same thing ; the Hispanic culture created the word macho for the rest of us and the eight is the macho man.”

Unless they meet vulnerability the eight is unlikely to be converted.  And all great reformers and revolutionaries - Fidel Castro,  Che Guevara were eights, had to be , as they need to be larger-than-life people who take on the whole system, who else would do it?  None of the rest of us would

The source of the experience

The Enneagram - The Discernment of Spirits

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Science Items

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