Can you talk about what jealousy is energetically - its roots, purpose (or lack thereof), how it connects to us and why?
Jealousy is one of those emotions which is made up of components of several of the more direct emotional energies, a shade of each in a way that takes on a life of it's own.
Jealousy is also interesting in how the people suffering through the emotion are in denial about being jealous at all.
Jealousy is often about control, but it's control in an angry way. Usually, it is made up of shares of grief and love as well. Jealousy is really interesting in the way it can manifest in or through people into something which usually ends up destroying the very thing they are jealous over or of. Hence, becoming a self-destructive mechanism programming people for failure as well. It really is one of the grab-bag emotional offshoots. Jealousy can only be defeated in the self when one becomes detached, but getting there is the problem. Each of us has had experience, I'm sure, with jealously, deserved or not.
Usually, jealousy is rooted deeply in issues which helped form us as individuals, from childhood, and it is often watered into full-bloom as young adults or even adolescents. As people become more self-contained and more comfortable with who they are as individuals and their place in the world, they are usually able to overcome most jealousy. But without fully understanding where it comes from in the personal history of an individual, it can't be rooted out entirely. Jealousy is also interesting in how the people suffering through the emotion are in denial about being jealous at all. It can go all the way to extremes such as spousal abuse, which is most often excused by the perpetrator on the grounds of some imagined injury.
For the shamanic practitioner, jealousy is a problem coming both from other people and something that must be guarded against in the ego, which is where it usually first is triggered. It surrounds the heart area, usually, but it is not connected in the ways physical disease usually is, unless it has become pathological.
Jealousy comes from the vine of fear that grows up through us. It's a tendril that causes us to react from a basis of fear, but with a mixture of other emotional energy which can make it seem like so many other things. The real way to deal with it is for the person to center themselves in healthy ways and look at what is really important to them in relationships and associations. If you can get them to do that, you have a good chance of them being able to accept the basis from which the jealousy has grown over time and the ways in which it has manifested.
Jealousy is a tendril that causes us to react from a basis of fear, but with a mixture of other emotional energy which can make it seem like so many other things.
Centered as in balance?
Well, more in terms of being able to be centered emotionally; but yes, that's balance too. Being centered in the emotions, not overblown or prey to patterns, allows a person to create a detachment that is both compassionate and yet apart from being affected by their life history to such a great degree.
Very insidious and the vine can strangle.
Yes, it can and become a virtual part of a person's life to the point it strangles all their interactions with people.