What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is an ancient symbol that consists of a circle, a triangle and a 6 pointed figure. The philosophy behind the Enneagram contains components from mystical Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, Buddhism and ancient Greek philosophy (particularly Socrates, Plato, and the Neo-Platonists). The symbol resurfaced in modern times in the work of Gurdjieff.


It was Oscar Ichazo who, in the 1960ies, introduced the Enneagram of the 9 Passions, 9 Virtues, 9 Fixations and 9 Holy Ideas out of which developed the Enneagram of 9 Personality Types. Each type is made up of patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving as well as Essence qualities. There are particular avoidances, defense strategies and strategies to get what we want. It is depth psychology, a map of human relating and a tool for spiritual growth. The Enneagram is universal and the 9 Enneagram types can be found in every culture. Furthermore, countries have the characteristics of the Enneagram types; art and music can express them and the higher qualities of the 9 types are needed in every well functioning organization.


On a personal level, the Enneagram is a map of our blind spots. It is a mirror in which we can clearly see what truly drives our thinking, feeling and behaving, helping us uncover the places within ourselves against which we have built intricate defense strategies because they are too painful or frightening to face. It helps us to reconnect with parts of ourselves we have suppressed or split off from, allowing us to know ourselves in a new, intimate way. It is the map that leads us back to wholeness.


In our relationships the wisdom of the Enneagram reveals to us the extent of which we relate with one another through our habitual reaction patterns and how this oftentimes causes conflict. Understanding what drives these patterns and why they are so difficult to change allows us to see each other in a kinder, more forgiving light. Furthermore, it gives us the choice and the ability to relate to one another without these patterns and discover true intimacy, connection and support.


Using the Enneagram for spiritual growth shows us our greatest obstacles to realizing our true nature and to finding lasting fulfillment. By working with the Enneagram, in a Workshop or One on One Enneagram session, we are guided to new insights, a deeper understanding and provided with a supportive setting in which to face and unmask our inner demons which paves the road to lasting peace, freedom and fulfillment.


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