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The shadow of our wings and arrows

PurpleSymbol border“How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also if I am to be whole.” ~ C.G. Jung

There are so many shadows in our lives, ones that offer growth opportunities if we use them as such. The Enneagram system, specifically the diagram, can also help us with that. In particular, the shadow elements of the enneatype directly before our own type casts a large shadow for us to integrate, as does the arrow line that points toward our core type. In other words and as an example, if you are a type 1, there is shadow information for you in both type 9 – the type before type 1 – and in type 7, the type with the arrow that points toward type 1.

Enneagram One
From the wing before (type 9), there is the deep shadow of laziness and passivity. So how are you, as a 1, both lazy and passive? And what about the 9’s lack of certainty about their own opinions and their openness to the ideas of others? As a 1, you need to be and think you are right all the time, but are you always right? How open are you to a differing viewpoint?

From the arrow line of 7, there is a deep shadow of licentiousness and hedonism. So how are you, as a 1, licentious (decadent) and hedonistic? And what about the 7’s spontaneity and ability to innovate? As a 1, how often are you spontaneous and innovative, daring to think and act outside conventional rules of engagement?

Enneagram Two
From the wing before (type 1), there is the deep shadow of judgment and rigidity. So how are you, as a 2, both judging and rigid? And what about the 1’s need to be right and to control? As a 2, you think of yourself as accepting and flowing, but pay attention to how often you judge and how you are, in fact, controlling in your own way.

From the arrow line of 4, there is a deep shadow of anger and despair, anger for not being seen and not getting your needs met, and despair over the hopelessness of it all. So how are you, as a 2, angry and despairing, even as you are hiding behind a smile? And what about the 4’s creativity and ability to be different from others? As a 2, how could you be more creative, more daring to be yourself even when these defy societal norms?

Enneagram Three
From the wing before (type 2), there is the deep shadow of emotional sensitivity and volatility. So how are you, as a 3, both highly emotional and unpredictable or even explosive? And what about the 2’s need to orchestrate and control the interactions of those around you? As a 3, you think you can put feelings aside by focusing on work and maintaining your image, but you pay a big price when you do this, which is not knowing who you are and what you feel deep inside.

From the arrow line of 6, there is a deep shadow of anxiety and fretting. So how are you, as a 3, anxious and uncertain, even when you are trying to hide the angst inside, even from yourself? And what about the 6’s incredible insight and depth? As a 3, how can you integrate this keen ability to experience, analyze and understand the complexity of the world around you?

Enneagram Four
From the wing before (type 3), there is the deep shadow of conformity to social norms and not being your authentic self, even “faking it.” So how are you, as a 4, both conforming and inauthentic? And what about the 3’s ability to be highly flexible and to manifest results? As a 4, what if you were able to integrate more flexibility or adaptability and to manifest more of your dreams into reality?

From the arrow line of 1, there is a deep shadow of judgment and resentment. So how are you, as a 4, critical and deeply angry and resentful? And what about the 1’s sophisticated discernment and ability to exert self-control? As a 4, how could you be more discerning and more choiceful regarding your boundaries and choices regarding self-control?

Enneagram Five
From the wing before (type 4), there is the deep shadow of emotionality and sensitivity to rejection. So how are you, as a 5, both deeply emotional and highly sensitive to rejection? And what about the 4’s creative ability and willingness to step into new territory? As a 5, what if you were able to access and express your fully creative spirit and to also embrace what is new?

From the arrow line of 8, there is a deep shadow of enormous personal power and the ability to take up a great deal of space, even more than most people can inhabit. So how are you, as a 5, with the amount of deep and rich power that is potentially yours? And what about the 8’s ability to move into a larger space and fill the territory? As a 5, what if you could be big rather than keeping yourself small?

Enneagram Six
From the wing before (type 5), there is the shadow of self-containment and the desire to withdraw. So how are you, as a 6, able to be self-contained and do you honor your desire to withdraw and observe, rather than always being “part of the movie?” And what about the 5’s ability to organize and structure the mind? As a 6, what if you were able to organize your ideas and feelings into groupings so that they no longer swirled when you became anxious?

From the arrow line of 9, there is a vast shadow of peace and flow. So how are you, as a 6, with peace, flow, and relaxation? And what about the 9’s ability to allow the uncertainty of multiple perspectives with no clear answers? Can you?

Enneagram Seven
From the wing before (type 6), there is the shadow of anxiety and awareness of limits and choices. So how are you, as a 7, able to acknowledge your anxiety rather than avoid it and to what extent do you recognize that limits do exist and that they have some value? And what about the 6’s ability to persevere in the face of obstacles? As a 7, can you shift your lack of focus to a path of persevering when something matters to you?

From the arrow line of 5, there is a rich shadow of stillness. So how are you, as a 7, with being still? And what about the 5’s ability to conserve his or her resources for the future? Can you?

Enneagram Eight
From the wing before (type 7), there is the shadow of joy and lightness of being. So how are you, as an 8, able to let yourself go, enjoy being spontaneous, and savor the moment? And what about the 7’s ability to enjoy experience with a childlike innocence? As an 8, you may feel as if you grew up too soon or never were allowed to be more childlike. Can you enjoy the freedom of youth now?

From the arrow line of 2, there is a large capacity for generosity as well as a deep concern for how others are impacted or react to you. So how are you, as an 8, with being purely generous and acknowledging that you do care a lot about your impact on others and how they perceive you?

Enneagram Nine
From the wing before (type 8), there is the shadow of anger and action. So how are you, as a 9, able to get in touch with and express your anger and take big and immediate action? And what about the 8’s enormous need to hide their vulnerability? As a 9, how do you hide or mask your vulnerability? What price do you pay for this?

From the arrow line of 3, there is unapologetic ambition and an intense need to take action leading to results. So how are you, as a 9, with your own ambition that slides below the surface and your desire for recognition for the action you take?

Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of six best-selling Enneagram-business books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs for professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications, and is past-president of the International Enneagram Association. Visit her website: TheEnneagramInBusiness.com. ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.com

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Kirin
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Kirin

As a 9 who has completed many enneagram workshops including the core requirements for teaching, I want to repeat a correction that was made by the Narrative Enneagram folks. They no longer use lazy or sloth to describe the 9. It’s not accurate since the 9 can be very busy and enduring. They think the accurate term is self-forgetting. Self-forgetting of their own needs in favor of prioritizing the needs of others, or in puttering away on non-essentials because the priorities arouse conflict over decisions, and/or because of the overwhelm from perfectionism. Here’s another theory – someone said to me… Read more »

Donna
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Donna

Any type can be lazy call it self forgetting, withdrawning, etc. it still boils down to the same thing.

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