The word Enneagram derives from the Greek words ennea (“nine”) and gram (“something written or drawn”) and refers to this nine-pointed figure inscribed in a circle. The enneagram symbol conveys a great deal of knowledge about the nature of change, both in the human psyche and other natural systems.
The Enneagram system of personality types situated around the enneagram symbol offers profound insights into the way people think, feel, and behave. It lays out nine distinct personality types and the patterns and habits that characterize them. Its great power lies in the accuracy and depth of the personality descriptions and the transformational path it offers those who wish to grow to reach their fullest potential.
The Enneagram describes three centers of human intelligence — the head, heart, and body — nine interconnected personality types, and 27 subtypes — three versions of each of the nine types, based on whether a person has a predominant drive toward Self-Preservation, Social interaction in groups, or One-to-One bonding. I’m describe Claudio Naranjo’s most recent articulation of the subtypes in detail in my book, The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge. I believe these subtype descriptions offer an even more nuanced view of the possible manifestations of the human personality, shedding light on our most automatic functioning so we can become more self- aware.