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Guide to the Enneagram Personality Types: Origins and Influences

Enneagram with Arrows

Enneagram Personality Type Origins and Influences

What's often not made clear when looking at where the Enneagram types came from is that the Enneagram symbol and the Enneagram types have separate histories. The Enneagram symbol begins with G.I. Gurdjieff, but the Enneagram personality types begin with Oscar Ichazo and Claudio Naranjo.

Although Gurjieff was purported to learn of the symbol from a Sufi brotherhood, the first record of the Enneagram symbol as it appears today comes from the writings of Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way.

The first record of the types as they appear today come from the teachings of Claudio Naranjo. Naranjo's personality types, which he called enneatypes, evolved from Oscar Ichazo's teachings of proto-analysis.

There has been a good deal of speculation over the years linking the Enneagram types to more ancient teachings, but it's just that, speculation.

You may hear that the Enneagram is an ancient system of understanding personality. That's very misleading. A more accurate way to state it is that elements of the Enneagram types may have been borrowed from some older, even ancient, traditions.

Click on a topic below to learn more.

  • Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way
    Although G.I. Gurdjieff introduced the Enneagram symbol to the world, he used it very differently than the Enneagram personality types.
  • Oscar Ichazo and the Ego-Types
    The Enneagram personality types find their roots in Oscar Ichazo's five enneagrams which together described nine ego-types.
    • Enneagram Fixations
      Our habits of mind constrict and limit how we interpret and interact with the world around us.
    • Enneagram Traps
      The trap is the false remedy for our fixation, perpetuating the fixation instead of resolving it.
    • Enneagram Holy Ideas
      The holy idea is the true remedy for our fixation by allowing us to see through the fixation.
    • Enneagram Passions
      The passion represents the emotional energy that supports the corresponding ego-type fixation.
    • Enneagram Virtues
      Developing the type's virtue allows us to move beyond the passion supporting our ego fixation.
    • Enneagram Sins
      The seven deadly or capital sins of Christianity are sometimes correlated to the Enneagram passions.
  • Claudio Naranjo and the Enneatypes
    Today's Enneagram personality types come directly from Claudio Naranjo's enneatypes which evolved from Oscar Ichazo's ego-types.
  • Karen Horney and the Stances
    The Hornevian groups or stances come from Karen Horney's three types (compliant, detached, and aggressive).

Click here for the Complete Guide to the Enneagram.

This free guide explains
  • the nine Enneagram personality types
  • the many type variations within type
  • where the types came from (origins and history)
  • how the types use the Enneagram symbol

Click here for Enneagram tests.

These free tests help you find your
  • primary type
  • candidate types
  • preferred wing
  • intinctual subtype
  • instinctual variant stacking
  • center types (gut, heart, and head)
  • tri-center with wings

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