Enneagram of Personality Types

An enneagram is a nine-pointed geometric figure.

The Enneagram of Personality Types was originally devised by Oscar Ichazo. It is in many ways a modern synthesis of various wisdom traditions.

Ichazo saw the Enneagram as a tool for looking at specifics of the structure of the human soul and how it becomes distorted by the developing ego.

"We have to distinguish between a man as he is in essence, and as he is in ego or personality. In essence, every person is perfect, fearless, and in a loving unity with the entire cosmos; there is no conflict within the person between head, heart, and stomach or between the person and others. Then something happens: the ego begins to develop, karma accumulates, there is a transition from objectivity to subjectivity; man falls from essence into personality."

[Oscar Ichazo]

As you can see from the graphic of the enneagram below, it is represented by a circle with nine equidistant points marked on its circumference, and each point is designated by a number from one to nine, and by convention with nine at the top. Each point represents one of the nine basic personality types.

In overview, the Enneagram can be seen as a set of nine distinct personality types, with each number on the Enneagram denoting one type. It is common to find a little of yourself in all nine of the types, although one of them should stand out as being closest to yourself.

According to the enneagram system:

  • We are all born with a dominant personality type, and this innate orientation shapes how we adapt to our early childhood environment

  • We do not change from one basic personality type to another

  • The personality types are apply equally to males and females

  • Because we fluctuate between the various traits that make up our personality type, not every detail of the description of our type will apply to us all of then time

  • Numbers are used to designate types in the enneagram system because they are value neutral

  • There is no significance to the numerical ranking of the types

For an introduction to the significance of the connections between the points and the personality types that they represent please see
The Enneagram System

Identify your basic personality type - please see the guide to Riso-Hudson [Enneagram] Personality Tests

Personality Quiz

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