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The Wisdom, Power & Gifts of the Enneagram

The Wisdom of the Enneagram
is that it recognizes nine very different yet inherently valid views of reality.

The Power of the Enneagram
is that it is a profound and comprehensive tool to harness and transform self-defeating behavior into life-enhancing personal empowerment.

The Gift of the Enneagram
is that through self-discovery, one can create and sustain meaningful and lasting relationships.


Learn About Our Enneagram Test
and Instinctual Subtypes Test

The Enneagram Explorations Online Enneagram Test & Instinctual Subtypes Test are based on over 30 years of combined study and research in the fields of personality testing and the Enneagram. Through extensive trials the Enneagram test and the Instinctual Subtypes test have been shown to be highly accurate in determining both Enneagram Type and Instinctual Subtype. These testing instruments combine both traditional testing inquiry with the cutting edge use of archetypal visual imagery and key words used by each Enneagram type found through extensive research.

The Enneagram test and the Instinctual Subtypes test were developed by world renowned Enneagram and Instinctual Subtypes author, researcher and image designer, Katherine Chernick Fauvre and Enneagram educator and web applications developer, David W. Fauvre MA, these tests are designed to quickly, easily and accurately determine your most likely Enneagram Type and Instinctual Subtype online in only a few minutes.

Average testing time is 20 minutes. At the end of the Enneagram test on Enneagram type, your results will indicate the three most likely candidates for your Enneagram type in ranking order. At the completion of the Instinctual Subtypes test, on Instinctual Subtypes, your score will indicate the most likely Instinctual Subtype stacking order.

The Enneagram (any-a-gram; ennea is Greek for nine, and gram means drawing) is a circle enclosing nine equidistant points connected by nine intersected lines. This symbol has its roots in the Middle East in ancient spiritual traditions.

As we know it today, the Enneagram is a vital link between the psyche and the spirit. It is a conceptual system, a theory of personality types that is complex and sophisticated, and yet is a sensible and easily understood tool for self-discovery. The nine points represent the ways in which the nine different personality types perceive and defend their realities.

The Enneagram types are distinguished by unconscious motivations and preoccupations which produce patterns of perception, feeling, and behavior which can be gifts or obstacles to the personality.

What is the Enneagram Tritype?


Sixteen years of research has shown that we each have not one, but three primary Enneagram Types used in a preferred order. These three Enneagram Types always occur in each of the three centers of intelligence: head, heart and gut.  The Enneagram Tritype combination identifies these three Enneagram Types, adding significant precision, accuracy and scope to the Enneagram Typing process.

One of the three types in one’s Tritype is dominant and represents the ego’s preferred defense strategy. However, when the strategy of the dominant Enneagram Type fails, the ego then uses the strategies of the other two types within the Tritype in a repeating, descending order. In an attempt to solve a problem, the primary type will continue to deploy the other two types in the Tritype until the issue is resolved.

The defense strategies of the types within the Tritype combine, creating a unique focus of attention with a shared world view. Research* suggests that the common theme found among the three types within one's Tritype identifies one’s archetypal life purpose and a critical blind spot to self-awareness. In addition, the shared view by the types in one’s Tritype gives important clues as to what is needed to live a more conscious and meaningful life.

The high side of the intersection of these three Enneagram Types is that they define what gives life direction, focus and purpose for the individual with that Tritype combination. The low side of this intersection is that the defense strategies collude, narrowing one’s ability to accurately self-assess. This collusion is both an asset and liability. One’s strengths are a result of these three types working in concert. One’s weaknesses are a result of this collusion as well, limiting self-awareness and spiritual growth, creating what we term an egos ‘blind spot’.

Making this blind spot conscious often releases neurotic symptoms just as aligning one’s self with the archetypal energies found in the three types in one’s Tritype can align one with their life purpose and mission.

*Booklets: Enneastyle: The Nine Languages of Type in 1995, The Enneagram Instinctual Subtypes in 1995, Articles: The Enneagram Instinctual Subtypes and Intimacy research with Victoria Ruderman and Kit Snyder in 1998, The Enneagram and Spirituality in 2007, Tritype in 2008 and 2009.

Enneagram Background

The Enneagram is a dynamic personality system that combines sophisticated modern psychological tools with ancient wisdom.  The Enneagram (any•a•gram; ennea is Greek for nine, and gram means drawing) is a circle enclosing nine equidistant points connected by nine intersecting lines.  This unusual symbol has its roots in the Middle East in ancient spiritual traditions and research suggests dates as far back as Plato.  The nine points represent the ways in which the nine different personality types perceive and defend their realities. As we know it today, the Enneagram is a vital link between Eastern spirituality and Western psychology.  It is a conceptual system, a theory of personality types that is complex and sophisticated and yet is a sensible and easily understood tool for self-discovery.

The wisdom of the Enneagram is that it recognizes nine very different yet inherently valid views of reality.  The power of the Enneagram is that it is a profound and comprehensive tool to harness and transform self-defeating behavior into life-enhancing personal empowerment.  The gift of the Enneagram is that through self-discovery, one can create and sustain meaningful and lasting relationships.

The Enneagram is a useful tool in determining personal patterns of relating and in understanding differing styles of communicating.  Through deeper insight, one can more fully understand one’s own communication style, as well as the styles of others. With this knowledge, one can observe the core triggers that influence one’s ability to successfully respond to any given situation and avoid ineffectual, self-defeating reactivity.  Ultimately, the Enneagram is an invaluable tool that defines nine distinct life strategies which, when understood, can give crucial insight into developing critical self-awareness.

Enneagram Centers of Intelligence
The nine Enneagram Types are grouped into three triads. There are three Enneagram Types in each triad. Each triad represents a different center of intelligence. In human nature, we use all three centers but tend to overuse one of these three centers. In the center that we overuse, there is an Enneagram Type that is dominant. This is one’s core Enneagram Type.

The instinctual or gut center (8-9-1) is body-based and can be seen as having a desire to take action in the world. They are gutsy, instinctive and visceral. Their primary issues are judgment, denial and resistance. They struggle with being asleep to their true self.  Whether or not they overtly express it, they are motivated and take action when they are angry.  Fearing neglect or being overlooked, they seek acceptance. As a child, they often felt they lacked the space to be or exist.  They want to be respected for who they are.

The emotional or heart center (2-3-4) is feeling-based and can be seen as having a desire to focus on others’ needs and to positively affect others in the world. They are heartfelt, emotive and adaptable. Their primary issues are of craving attention from and wanting to be attached to others. They may struggle with being identified with their image or ‘false’ self.  Whether or not they overtly express it, they are motivated by and take action when they have strong feelings.  Fearing grief, shame or being ignored, they seek attention and affirmation.  As a child, they often felt they lacked accurate mirroring.  They want to be seen and valued by others.

The mental or thinking center (5-6-7) is thought-based and can be seen as having a desire to give greater importance to the interior world of ideas. They are knowledgeable, intellectual and visionary. Their primary issues are aversion, avoidance and projection with a focus on authority. They struggle with preconceptions that can manifest as prejudices, and the fear of being alienated. Whether or not they overtly express it, they are motivated by and take action when they feel fear and anxiety.  Fearing chaos and their ability to cope with it, they seek reassurance, whether in a theology, a philosophy or a kind word.  As a child, they often felt they lacked trustworthy and consistent guidance.  They want to be clear-minded and certain.
 

Wings
Another Enneagram Type flanks each Enneagram Type on either side.  These two types are known as the primary Enneagram Type’s ‘wing’ types. One’s Enneagram Type is a result of the tension between these two adjacent types; your dominant type emerges to manage the conflicting needs of the types on either side. Your dominant wing influences the expression of your primary type.

Both wings are always present, however, one of the wing types may be more expressed and influential. For example, all 5’s are focused on gathering information to be safe and secure in the world. A 5 with a 4 wing may be more romantic and creative, than a 5 with a 6 wing may be more scientific and focused on loyalty.

Intersecting Lines of Connection
Enneagram Types are not static. They have depth and dimension with a dynamic association to other types within the Enneagram symbol. Each Enneagram Type is connected to two other types by lines on the Enneagram symbol.  These connections are also known as “stress points” or “security points” or “heart and defensive points”.
The lines on the Enneagram symbol also represent the way the types function in relationship to one another. When a type encounters a difficult situation it will employ the strategies of the two types along its lines of connection. This happens is both directions. This is known as the inner flow within the Enneagram symbol. A type can utilize the positive and negative aspects of its lines of connection to solve a problem. One may use one line more than others, but both lines are available at all times.
For example, the Type 4 is connected to Type 2 and Type 1. When the 4 is trying to resolve a problem, it will employ aspects of Type 1 and Type 2. The 4 will remain dominant but use some of the strategies of Type 1 and Type 2.


 

Enneagram Explorations has over 25 years of combined experience in Enneagram research, training, and study.

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