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The Diagram

The enneagram diagram is laid out much like a clock, with the number nine at the top, and the remaining numbers arranged around a circle, equidistant from each other.2 The line work of the diagram consists of three main shapes:

The perfect circle, which is said to represent the whole self, as a certain “oneness of life.” An equilateral triangle, which connects the numbers three, six, and nine. The triangle represents the Law of Threes, which consists of the active, passive, and neutral parts of one's self. Lastly, there is a six-pointed figure that connects the numbers together, in a shape called a hexad. Many times, these lines are shown as arrows (see Directions).

The Personalities and Their Traits

The most widely used test to determine your personality is the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator test (RHETI).3 You can usually find this test online in various formats. It is important to note that people do not change their dominant personalities, so taking the test multiple times will not yield different results. Also note that listed here are only some basic traits; there are many unique levels of a person’s psyche beyond the surface.

1 The Reformer: principled, self-controlled, and purposeful. 2 The Helper: generous, demonstrative, and agreeable. 3 The Achiever: adaptable, excelling, and driven. 4 The Individualist: expressive, creative, and romantic. 5 The Investigator: perceptive, innovative, and secretive. 6 The Loyalist: engaging, responsible, and suspicious. 7 The Enthusiast: spontaneous, versatile, and scattered. 8 The Challenger: self-confident, decisive, and willful. 9 The Peacemaker: receptive, reassuring, and complacent.

The Continuum

If you picture the enneagram as a pizza pie, it can figuratively be sliced into thirds. Each third will then tell you the most basic level of mental being in which you identify. These levels work together in harmony to create the many nuances and states of being. It is important to note that no one number is any better or worse than the others.

The three categories of these levels focus on which part is activated the most. They also illustrate your biggest vice. These categories are The Heart, The Head, and The Gut. Respectively, the vices are Shame, Anxiety, and Anger.


Once you find your type, you can look to each number on either side; these are your “wing” numbers, and therefore you will most likely have several of these traits as well, to a lesser extent. It is widely accepted that most humans have one dominant personality trait. The wings are usually the most telling, however, because they describe your level of being in the overall continuum.

Numbers have been significant sources of spiritual direction for centuries. The enneagram is no exception to esoteric practices. Numbers have long been highly regarded on a spiritual level. As you work your way through the meanings attached to your personality type, you can begin to open your mind to new pathways of thought and action. The enneagram’s main goal is to give you the gift of self-awareness, affecting your personality and ultimately the vices and virtues in the way you live. Moving forward, you can apply these discoveries to future endeavors. The enneagram is complex, much like people, and so you must allow it to guide you into your own mind to set you on a path to positivity. +



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Positive Negative Magazine Volume 9  

Positive/Negative Magazine is the result of a powerful collaboration between senior graphic designers and photographers in the College of Im...

Positive Negative Magazine Volume 9  

Positive/Negative Magazine is the result of a powerful collaboration between senior graphic designers and photographers in the College of Im...

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