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Oscar Ichazo and his Enneagrams: Roots of the personality types

Enneagram Ego-Types


The Enneagram personality types weren't passed down to us from some ancient source as may sometimes be suggested. They had their beginnings during the latter half of the 20th century.

The roots of the Enneagram personality types begin with Oscar Ichazo's ego-types and his related Enneagrams of fixations, traps, holy ideas, passions, and virtues.

While the Enneagram types are not ancient themselves, Ichazo apparently did borrow and find inspiration from a wide number of traditions he was familiar with. So although it can't be said that the Enneagram types are ancient, it can be said that elements of the types can be found in older traditions.

The Arica training

Oscar Ichazo hosted a months-long intensive training retreat in Arica, Chile around 1970 where he introduced, among other things, what he called proto-analysis. Proto-analysis identified a person's ego fixation so that work could be done on finding some freedom from it. This was incorporated into a much larger teaching of methods for working on the self, part of his Arica School, which in 1971 found its way to the United States through the Arica Institute.

John C. Lilly and Joseph E. Hart wrote about some things they learned at that retreat which is included in a book called Transpersonal Psychologies edited by Charles T. Tart. They mention nine ego-types and the fixationstrapsholy ideas, passions, and virtues associated with them. There was also mention of what later evolved into the instincts of the Enneagram personality types.

A psychiatrist named Claudio Naranjo attended the retreat as well. Naranjo took the ego-types down a different path than Ichazo and evolved them into the Enneagram personality types used today.

The ego-types

Each ego-type is represented by one of the nine numbers on the Enneagram symbol. The label for each ego-type combines the "Ego-" prefix with an abbreviation for the related fixation. Not only is each ego-type associated with a fixation but also a trap, holy idea, passion, and virtue as well.

  1. Ego-Resent
    • Fixation: Resentment
    • Trap: Perfection
    • Holy Idea: Holy Perfection
    • Passion: Anger
    • Virtue: Serenity
  2. Ego-Flat
    • Fixation: Flattery
    • Trap: Freedom
    • Holy Idea: Holy Freedom
    • Passion: Pride
    • Virtue: Humility
  3. Ego-Go
    • Fixation: Vanity-Go
    • Trap: Efficiency
    • Holy Idea: Holy Hope
    • Passion: Deceit
    • Virtue: Truthfulness
  4. Ego-Melan
    • Fixation: Melancholy
    • Trap: Authenticity
    • Holy Idea: Holy Originality
    • Passion: Envy
    • Virtue: Equanimity
  5. Ego-Stinge
    • Fixation: Stinginess
    • Trap: Observer
    • Holy Idea: Holy Omniscience
    • Passion: Avarice
    • Virtue: Detachment
  6. Ego-Cow
    • Fixation: Cowardice
    • Trap: Security
    • Holy Idea: Holy Faith
    • Passion: Fear
    • Virtue: Courage
  7. Ego-Plan
    • Fixation: Planning
    • Trap: Idealism
    • Holy Idea: Holy Work
    • Passion: Gluttony
    • Virtue: Sobriety
  8. Ego-Venge
    • Fixation: Vengeance
    • Trap: Justice
    • Holy Idea: Holy Truth
    • Passion: Excess
    • Virtue: Innocence
  9. Ego-In
    • Fixation: Indolence
    • Trap: Seeker
    • Holy Idea: Holy Love
    • Passion: Laziness
    • Virtue: Action

Enneagram Guide

This page is part of the Enneagram Guide available on this website. For more information about any particular Enneagram type or the many concepts and origins/history of the Enneagram types visit the Enneagram Guide main page.