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Observations placeholder

Correspondences between The Enneagram and the Tarot – Enneagram No 1 and The High Priestess



Type of Spiritual Experience



A description of the experience

Number one of the Enneagram generally best describes the High Priestess, who interestingly enough is number 2 in the Tarot, being a sort of Peacemaker, and a quiet and effective form of mediator.  It also includes something of the attributes of Temperance and even Justice.  It is possible that the Tarot designers thought it helpful to split the Tarot cards into the role itself and then the various aspects of the role.

High Priestesses never appear to do much, in the sense of producing reams and reams of output or action, but they may be one of the most effective members of society because by using feminine energy and simple clear ego less language they create the conditions needed for positive change.  They are the foil to the Devil.

They merge into the group they are guiding or the society they belong to and are often over-looked , their gentle advice and calm collected sense of guidance simply isn’t noticed.  Some dismiss their advice once given as ‘common sense’, when sense it usually is, but common it is not.  They can diffuse conflict and generate activity in others with very few words.  But their words are usually carefully chosen apt and on target.

Their role spiritually is to guide others on the spiritual path to help them find the direction they need to go, and to motivate them to want to go.  She has an army of knights and fighters round her so she has no need to fight.   Practically all ones are women or gentle men, without ego and charismatic in some way.

They will listen to arguments, summarise and re-express perhaps in a simpler calmer way, diffuse tensions then provide guidance – no orders, guidance.  And it might be expressed in the form – ‘on the one hand we have this’, ‘on the other hand we have that’ and so on, so that people are able to see the logical progression of any argument.  They have the gift and the open mindedness to see the many sides there may be to an argument.  They may be the only ones able to combat the Devil - the eight

Most Peacemakers are themselves at peace, content and needing very little to be happy.  They tend to be kind but have integrity.  They aim for harmony.  Peacemakers believe in the power of forgiveness, tolerance and acceptance.

They do not dominate any group, nor are they loud or needy.  In fact they are often very softly spoken.  As High Priestesses they are all deep seekers of meaning and have a fond appreciation of spirituality and a sense of connectedness with the universe.

When things go wrong and the High Priestess drifts away from her high point, she can lose focus and start to procrastinate; the contentment and wish to stay away from conflict takes over and she will gradually distance herself from her former colleagues and start to sink into a world of reclusivety and comfort.  The effort required to keep egotistical men on track starts to seem a burden too far and she may even give up the struggle.  Only her colleagues and admirers are then able to bring her back by giving her a break and acknowledging her help.

On long difficult projects the apparent lack of progress can deeply disturb her unless she is reminded that progress has indeed been made, but the project has been so long that it simply seems that there is none.  Opposite her are egotistical gut instinct people who think they are running the show and they can be exhausting.  She may have tearful illogical twos, intransigent 6s, aggressive belligerent 8s, ‘why are we even worrying about this problem’ 7s, enthusiastic but money making 3s, and one – just one - genius , a bipolar 4/5 combination unable to express any ideas on paper in an understandable way, but who is key to the whole project. 

And not one of these will fully comprehend the role the High Priestess has.  The sixes will accuse her of not saying enough [a fault they would never be accused of!], the eights will want her to be more gutsy and belligerent [like them].  The Twos will go on and on and on about not being understood and how hard life is, the threes will be saying but where’s the money in all this?  The sevens will be saying that she is just making a mountain out of a molehill and we make our own reality.

The sixes will have dug their heels in months ago and will keep on repeating the same phrases and refusing to even look at evidence –‘ I don’t normally watch videos’, ‘that is not a recognised source of academic research’.  And we will hear about ‘consensus science’ and the’ commonly accepted theory’, but not about evidence and proof.  In the end her only real helper is the Magician - the number 9 and he will remain an enigma - a jester and a harlequin - Black and White.

Friar Richard Rohr

they are natural peacemakers, this is the heart of their gift, along with their decisive action.  They harmonize the very room; if you have a few ones in the room, the energy will stay placid, it's really lovely, they won't let it go too far, if you have one or two 1s on your staff you can just feel them at the meeting and they start harmonizing all the conflicting energies that all the rest of us who are doing our thing and our little dance you know and …. what they're almost saying is ‘I am Who I am’ and in that sense they hold their ground , they stay there in their space and let you do all your crazy dances and arguing and very often they'll wait till the end of the conversation when you finally notice they will come out with just two sentences that solve it all.


The source of the experience

The Enneagram - The Discernment of Spirits

Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



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