Moon Shine and Enneagrams
by Guru Rattana, Ph.D. - Issue #35, July 6, 2001
The Moon in our birth chart is typically associated with our acquired personality and our past. Our Moon indicates our inherited traits, karma, emotional attachments, survival instincts, and childhood programming. The Moon pulls us back into our past life imprints, connects us to our roots, and serves as a storehouse for our unconscious memory. The instinctual nature of our Moon helps us hold on to beliefs, behaviors and reactions that we have been conditioned to embrace for our survival.
The Moon also represents the mother principle. Like our attachment to our birth mother or primary mother figure, we unconsciously hold on to the habits, feelings and sentiments that seem to give a sense of security. The goal of working with the energies of our moon is to learn how to use the powers of the Moon, to pull us back to our soul essence, and to connect us to the nurturing energies of the Divine Mother. To achieve this mastery we must pass through the lunar territory. We must brave the muddy and agitated waters of our subconscious mind and emotional body.
Even the most elementary step toward consciousness awakens us to the stark reality, that much of our early programming is at best no longer relevant. The really bad news comes when we explore deeper. We become alarmingly aware that preverbal imprints burden us with patterns and habits that seriously sabotage our maturation process, success as adults, and the ability to be who we are and do what we came here to do.
Our human challenge is how to break the tenacious hold of these early imprints. Buried deep in our subconscious, they are not only difficult to modify, they are also difficult to identify. Living in a masculine dominated culture, it is understandable that we are often advised to use our will to change these patterns. "Just do it." "Just drop the old pattern." "Just don't do that anymore." Don't we all wish it were that simple! Sooner or later we realize that is not possible to force or command our subtle energies to change. Any commands will be interpreted as violence, and have the effect of burying our negative emotions deeper into our subconscious.
Emotions, feelings and related expressions of the Moon are feminine energies. We must deal with them appropriately. We must use feminine modalities to deal with these energies. We, of course, need to use our will to focus our attention. Beyond attention, we must gently allow these energies to be felt and expressed. It is only through acceptance and love that they reveal themselves to our conscious awareness, so that we can identify and work with them.
The Asleep Moon
The asleep individual has no conscious awareness of his emotional being. He actually identifies with his emotions, and is a slave to his impulses and feelings. The evolution of the soul requires us to become conscious of our emotions, and learn to use our subtle energies for the higher expression of our Soul.
Most of humanity is still powerfully influenced by mass consciousness, because our emotions are energetically integrated into mass consciousness. This connection reinforces and perpetuates our attachment to our "biological karma, instinctual emotional responsiveness, patterns of early family conditioning, and conformistic sociological behavior".(1) This fact also links our perception of our identity to the form that we experience through our five external senses.
At the unconscious, asleep level of being, the Moon is a storehouse for the past. It clutters our consciousness with self-sabotaging astral images and desires. Our emotional energy at this level of expression chains us to unconscious programming. The awakening process breaks the chains to the past behavior patterns and instinctual responses. Our goal is to detach ourselves from the compulsions and desires imprinted in us from past lives, childhood traumas and mass consciousness.
The Awakening Moon
The awakening process requires us to separate our identity from mass consciousness, and to individualize by becoming conscious of our own being. Instead of identifying with our material form, we become aware of the essence that lives within our physical body. It is by working with our subtle energies that the energy tied up in our unconscious emotional programming is transmuted to higher forms of expression. It is through conscious awareness that we get in touch with our primal energies, reorient their expression, and attune ourselves to our highest identity. As we awaken, we identify with our soul and the energy that enlivens our being.
Most of those reading this article are in the awakening stage. We are doing our best to become conscious of our past conditioning, so that it no longer controls our actions, reactions and projections. Our goal is to use our physical, mental and emotional energies to awaken us to our Soul identity, and then to use these energies to express our Soul and carry out our destiny path. As we are freed from past conditioning, we are able to use our emotional energy to express archetypes of wholeness, balance and love. The reflective powers of the Moon become available to pull us back to our essential being, and reflect the basic qualities of our Soul.
Shift from the Rational Mind to Intuitive Awareness
The transition from personality to Soul consciousness requires a shift from a rational mental focus to an intuitive awareness and perception of reality.(2) Our intellect becomes more refined and sensitive as it integrates more subtle energies and signals into our consciousness. The intellect becomes the foundation for a broader range of intuitive sensitivities. Similarly, emotional energy is freed up to embody universal expressions of cosmic energies. The emotional body is no longer controlled by the astral energies of fear, anger and sadness. Our emotional body is available to identify with and express more refined and highly evolved energies such as peace, serenity, grace and compassion. Over time the latter replaces, supercedes, and dominates the former in our consciousness and subtle energy bodies.
The question is, how can we facilitate the intuitive and emotional development in our evolutionary unfoldment? We develop our intuitive awareness by using it. The following questions can be asked and partially answered intellectually. However, our rational mind is very clever at protecting us from vital information that challenges our personality-based identity. It can also rationalize us out of every predicament that forces us to face the uncomfortable (yet liberating) truth. Our intuitive sensitivity gives us more complete, unfiltered information. Being feminine in nature, it is less confrontive to our ego. Therefore, a meditative, intuitive approach to the following examination could prove to be most fruitful:
- The first area of examination invites us to identify our past imprints, emotional attachments and areas of resistance.
- The second area of examination invites us to identify current emotional upheavals? Where are we being asked, or forced, to release the chains of the past?
- The third question is the most enticing. Where do we need to break old patterns in order to express our Soul identity and destiny?(3) This question shifts our emotional energy from self-sabotaging programs to exciting possibilities, and ones that we can actually manifest if we are ready and willing to jump into a new arena. Concentrating on the answers to this question can propel us into an expanded consciousness, of who we are and why we are here. If we choose to stay in the possibility long enough, it can become a reality. It is a question of shifting our emotional energy from the astral to the soul level of consciousness. Once our heart and soul command our emotional energy, our new life begins.
From Mass to Universal Consciousness
We must be vigilant to stay in our intuitive and subtle energy awareness. Normally we do not want to be this sensitive, because if we are locked into mass consciousness we become aware of the extent to which we are bombarded with the negative emotional projections of the lower expressions of humanity. To make this transition it is necessary to do some form of spiritual practice, which enables us to tune into and receive the positive projections from those emanating spiritual energy. This is why we practice Kundalini Yoga, and are grateful to all those who also do so. We are creating a powerful force field that we can all tap into.
Group consciousness greatly facilitates our transition to universal consciousness. As we are awakening our feeling-sensitive nature, we must have an alternative consciousness to relate to. Yogi Bhajan says that individual consciousness proceeds through group consciousness to universal consciousness. He has recently talked a lot about how the energy on the planet is now available for us to cultivate a highly sensitive intuitive awareness, which he calls our sensory system. Humans who achieve this consciousness are called sensory humans. (See Issue #24) Working with our Moon energy is most relevant in achieving this sensory awareness.
As we move from the illusions of the Moon into the higher expressions of emotional energy, we embody the reality of love and wisdom. We simultaneously achieve a sense of individualized selfhood (lower 3 chakras) and lose our sense of separateness (upper 4 chakras). As we merge in the universal waters of love, we experience the nurturing substance of the Mother as embodied in the highest expressions of Cancer and the Moon.
Cultivating Our Intuition
Many of my students have told me they want to develop their intuition. While the Sun is in Cancer, between June 21 and July 21, is a most appropriate time to use our intuition and not our intellect. During this time be conscious of letting your feelings be your guide. The more you do so, the more you will experience how you are using your energy, and be able to shift from your emotional reactive responses to your intuitive guidance. (We will have the mental energies and compulsion to figure things out soon enough when the Sun goes into Virgo August 22).
The Enneagram System
I have found the enneagram system particularity useful in working with Moon energies. It is interesting to look at the parallels between this system and astrological understandings of the Moon. The article I reference here examines the correlations between the different enneagram types and the planets. (*4) I will not cover these relationships here. What I find fascinating is how the nine types unveil the hidden patterns and potentials of our Moon.
The enneagram is a psychological typology system "that identifies nine distinct personality types, based on the core survival strategies that each type unconsciously formulates to protect against further pain and harm. These strategies are developed in childhood when our most fundamental needs are not met: love, power, and security".(5) Instead of experiencing our natural essence of wholeness and the universal truth of love, we are imprinted with self-protective fears, unflattering self-images, limiting beliefs and survival motivated strategies, the sum total of which becomes our personality. These survival mechanisms control our behavior and responses, dominate our attention, and limit our ability to express our true unique identity. The expression of our vast, creative and spontaneous essence, is co-opted by the unconscious dictates of our learned behaviors and beliefs, that block awareness of our Soul essence. (Sound familiar?)
The goals of the enneagram system are:
- To gain a deeper understanding of our self-protective strategies and the unconscious motivating factors of our personality by identifying the type of our personality structure.
- To detach ourselves from our conditioned patterns and unconscious compulsions.
- To open ourselves to reclaim and express the fundamental essence of our Soul being
The Nine Enneagram Types
There are nine enneagram types.(6) Each of the nine types is characterized by (1) a habitual emotional reaction, (2) an avoidance emotion, and (3) a virtue or soul energy.
- A chief PASSION corresponds to the HABITUAL EMOTIONAL REACTION that is activated when we feel challenged, threatened or under stress. (I personally don't like the use of passion in this negative sense.) Seven of these automatic reactions correspond to the seven deadly sins or vices in Christian teachings. Deceit and Cowardice were added to make nine:
- Anger or Resentment
- Pride or Ego
- Deceit or Vanity (added)
- Envy or Jealously
- Avarice or Stinginess
- Cowardliness or Fear (added)
- Gluttony or Greed
- Lust or uncontrolled desire, and
- Sloth or Indolence.
- Each type is also associated with an AVOIDANCE EMOTION that it attempts to cover up. These shadow emotions are disowned by our conscious personality, which tries to hide these feelings with a superficial self-image or mask. The avoidance emotions are:
- Weakness, and
- The VIRTUE (or soul energy) is the corresponding antidote or counterpoint to the emotional reaction and the avoidance emotion. By consciously cultivating the virtue, we can attain balance, wholeness and peace. The virtue is the essence energy of our Soul. The nine Virtues are:
- Innocence, and
Redefinition of Sin
Yogi Bhajan has taught us to replace the traditional guilt ridden definition of sin with the idea that sin is simply an absence of the experience of God or the Infinite. It is easy to relate to the fact that when we are repressing our avoidance emotion, and reacting with one or more of the habitual responses of the nine types, it is difficult or even impossible to experience a divine connection. It is not that these responses are inherently bad. Under certain circumstances they may be appropriate. The problem comes from the fact that they are automatic responses that are activated without conscious evaluation of our current situation. When these responses control us, we are not responding in present time; we are puppets of past programming. This means that our energy is blocked. We are not fully alive, present and available to experience universal energies, and to express our infinite ourselves in the moment. Call this situation a sin, the human predicament or a tragedy: it is not an optimal state of being.
The question then is "How can we experience the divine within us?" How can we optimize our existence, enjoy ourselves fully and experience peace? It is essential to recognize that energy is neutral. The enneagram, planetary and other archetypal energies all have both positive and negative modes of expression. Generally the less conscious we are, the more the negative expressions control us. The more consciously aware we become, the more we are able to cultivate, choose and attract the positive expressions or soul energies.
Identify Your Type
This means that we must identify the energy that we disown and repress. Actually this is very easy. Our conscious mind may resist, but we have our trusty intuition to reveal the truth. Simply go down the list and let your intuition tell you what habitual reaction and avoidance emotion you most frequently act out. Go for it.
Automatic Response, Avoidance Emotion, Virtue-Soul Essence:
- Type (1) Anger or Resentment, Anger, Serenity
- Type (2) Pride or Ego, Neediness, Humility
- Type (3) Deceit or Vanity, Failure, Truthfulness
- Type (4) Envy or Jealously, Ordinariness, Equanimity
- Type (5) Avarice or Stinginess, Emptiness, Detachment
- Type (6) Cowardliness or Fear, Deviance, Courage
- Type (7) Gluttony or Greed, Pain, Sobriety
- Type (8) Lust or Uncontrolled Desire, Weakness, Innocence
- Type (9) Sloth or Indolence, Conflict, Diligence(7)
I found that it was very easy to identify my type. It stuck out like a neon sign. Personally I resonate with type One - Resentment, Anger and Serenity. All the students in my yoga class also found it easy to identify their types. It can be uncomfortable and even embarrassing to admit our type, but it is also very comforting to be able to recognize our primary control trip (the avoidance strategy). It is also very liberating to identify how our compulsive reactions and behaviors use much of our psychic energy. Once we have this information we can simply make other choices in how we how we view life and use our energy.
The great news is that we each embody the energy of the virtue. It is already there. It is part of our Soul essence. We simply have to turn our attention to this primal characteristic of our being. It is interesting how others may recognize this about us long before we do. Being a type one, my essence energy is serenity. For years people have told me how peaceful they felt around me. I wondered why they would say that as I was experiencing my inner war, which was far from serene. However, even before reading about the enneagram system, I realized that I needed to cultivate inner serenity. We all know what we need to do and are already on that path. Systems like the enneagram and astrology are tools that help us gain greater understanding and clarity along the way.
Cultivating our essence energy also helps us get what we want. It is my observation in my own life that when I am in an agitated state I often don't get what I want. This includes over-excitement and enthusiasm, as well as anger and fear states. When I am peaceful, relaxed, unattached and connected to my inner state of serenity, I have better luck at attracting what I want.
Kundalini Yoga - Orange Meditation
The last week of June 2001, Yogi Bhajan taught the following meditation at Ladies Camp in New Mexico. Hold an orange between your hands at your heart and breath long and deep. Meditate on what you want for 11 minutes. Then eat your orange. Do this for 40 days.
I advise cultivating your soul essence energy into your orange as well. I have started doing this meditation. My initial experience is that what I really want is to experience my inner serenity. If I could have only one thing, serenity is IT. I am slowly adding my other destiny requests. This time I am making sure that my predominant energy is serenity. I add my other prayers only as long as I can maintain my soul essence experience.
Everyone should try this. A good day to start is July 20th - the New Moon in Cancer, otherwise let your intuition be your guide.
What we give our attention to grows and expands. As we shift our attention from our habitual sabotaging response to our soul essence, we alter our vibration. We magnetize to us what we vibrate. When we consciously vibrate our soul essence, it is much easier to operate in the attraction (feminine) mode versus the go after it (masculine) mode. Our soul essence mode is inherently relaxing and peaceful. Our soul essence is the feminine aspect of our being. This quality neutralizes the agitation created by our learned behaviors. As we relax, our life force, that was used up in stressful expressions, becomes available to us as vitality and aliveness. Instead of struggling and hassling (misuse of masculine energy), we can relax and attract to us (wise use of feminine energy) what we need to do and what we came here to do (wise use of masculine energy). Our active, masculine energy is freed up to use for creation and producing results.
The Moon reflects the energy of the Sun. Our Moon can reflect the true energy of our soul when we allow our emotional energy to flow in sync with our true essence. While the Sun is in Cancer is an opportune time to allow our feelings and emotions to become instruments of our heart. Take advantage of the Sun in Cancer to let your moon shine.
References and Footnotes
Alan Oken's Complete Astrology, Alan Oken, Bantam Books, New York, 1980. (Oken Astro)
Soul-Centered Astrology, Alan Oken, The Crossing Press, Freedom, CA, 1990, pp.192-199. (Oken)
The Astrologer's Manual, Landis Knight Green, CRCS Publications, Sebastopol, CA, 1975. (Green)
"EnneAstrology - the Nine Personality Types in the Horoscope," by Andrea Meek Winchester, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue 97, June/July 2001, pp. 16-78.
"What Is the Enneagram?" by Kate Sholly, The Mountain Astrologer, Issue 97, June/July 2001, p. 17.
1. Oken-Soul, p. 256.
2. Oken-Soul, p. 258.
3. Oken-Soul, p. 258-9.
4. Winchester, pp. 16-78.
5. Sholly, p. 17.
6. Winchester, p. 18.
7. Winchester, p. 18.
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