Enneagram Diagram

Discover The Enneagram

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Type One is the part of us that strives to be good, to do good in the world and tries to live up to the highest ethical standards. Fairness, truth and the wise use of resources are of the utmost importance to the One. However, in the less healthy levels the type One personality expects not just ourselves but everyone else to live up to our exacting standards.


Type Two is the part of us that is other oriented, that brings love, compassion, joy, graciousness and forgiveness to others and is also self – nurturing. However, in the less healthy levels the type Two personality can get caught up in people pleasing, ingratiating and clinginess which can lead to possessiveness, seduction, self -importance and self – deception.


Type Three is the part of us that desires to be the best. Ambitious and organised, goal oriented, highly adaptive, diplomatic and charming. However, in the less healthy levels the type Three personality becomes excessively driven, competitive and self – promoting, becomes appropriate and tries to exemplify whatever the values of the ‘current’ group they are in, adapting course when necessary to ‘fit in’.


Type Four is the part of us that is creative and impressionable, introspective and romantic, emotionally honest and self – aware. Fours have great taste and seek out poetry, music and other expressions of beauty. However, in the less healthy levels the type Four personality can become moody and self – absorbed, emotionally demanding, dramatic and pretentious.


Type Five is the part of us that is innovative and objective, pioneering, visionary, compassionate and non-attached. It is the part of us that strives to arrive at deeper insights about reality. However, in the less heathy levels the type Five personality can become, detached and isolated, highly strung, impractical, uncompromising and extreme.


Type Six is the part of us that is courageous, disciplined, grounded, secure and faithful. Sixes desire to create a stable safe environment and to be adequately prepared for all eventualities that life presents. However, in the less healthy levels the type Six personality can be troubled by angst and anxiety and can live in a constant state of worry, be pessimistic, defensive, suspicious and blaming.


Type Seven is the part of us that is grateful, bountiful, accomplished and passionate and can make life seem like a celebration. Sevens desire freedom and variety of experience, we are enthusiastic and upbeat, spontaneous and extroverted. However, in the less healthy levels the type Seven personality can be scattered, restless and distracted, thrill – seeking, escapist and overextend ourselves.


Type Eight is the part of us that is honourable, heroic and empowering, initiating, decisive and inspiring. Eights are passionate about life and meet it head on with self-confidence and strength. However, in the lower levels the type Eight personality can be blunt, forceful and domineering, bad – tempered, rageful and vengeful.


Type Nine is the pat of us that is self – aware, pro – active, dynamic and inclusive, imaginative, serene and engaged. Nines desire peace and harmony, wholeness, are easy – going, emotionally stable people. However, in the lower levels the type Nine personality can be emotionally unavailable and complacent, ineffectual, inattentive, passive – aggressive, resigned and stubborn.

Discover your Enneagram type here by taking the RHETI test.

This will bring you to the enneagram institute website

The 9 Personality Types

What Type Are You

Russ Hudson, co-founder of the Enneagram Institute, explains the essence of the 9 Enneagram Personality Types.

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Three Instincts

Instincts are raw, basic and animalistic behaviours. They can be seen in the animal world and throughout nature. They are expressed through our body and when honoured they can be very beautiful. However we are only honouring our instincts when we are present.

There are three types of instincts. Self-Preservation instinct, Social Instinct and Sexual Instinct. It is not a case of which one am I. All three Instinctual energies operate within us. However there is usually one that is dominant and one that is least powerful, a ‘blind spot’. Our dominant instinct is what we give most of our time energy and attention to. The blind spot is the instinct which is most neglected but when we do it we feel best about ourselves. When we see it being acted out in others it bugs us. The blind spot is our biggest learning curve. The Instinct in the middle either supports our dominant instinct or is like a vacation from ourselves.

There is no one Instinct better or more desirable than the other and it is not good to try to be more of one and try to get rid of another. It is important to try to bring all three Instincts into balance. The secret of balancing the Instincts is cultivating the blind spot. We need to become aware of our relationship with our Instincts rather than make a ‘value’ judgement on them.

One way to think about the Instinctual energies is: Dominant, what we say YES to again and again in our lives; The Blind Spot is what we most avoid in our lives, the NO; and the middle Instinct is the place that holds the YES and the NO. The Passion of our type drives our dominant Instinct. In our fixated structures we overplay one instinct and underplay another. Presence will help to bring balance to our Instincts rather than behaving from fearful reactions.

Self Preservation

Self Preservation – Survival Instinct of Self (Staying Alive). People of this Instinctual type are concerned with money, food, physical safety and comfort. They seek stability and comfort as a priority, a steady home, a partner, having enough food and having enough money. They are the most introverted of their Enneagram types.

Social Instinct

Social Instinct – Parenting (Need for humanity to thrive). The Social Instinct is a sense of being related to what is around us. What brings us mutual benefits in bonding, how do we know who to bond with. It is about ability to bond and affiliate and how we get value and esteem from our collective activities. The Social Instinct in animals is seen as herding. It is about a shared purpose and can include things like work, family, hobbies and clubs. It is about humans needing human contact. If we are plugged into the web of life we live longer. The Social Instinct can sometimes be misunderstood and believed to always be about groups but it can just as easily be about two people sharing something. If you are thinking I do not want to be with anyone right now, that is also social.

Sexual Instinct

Sexual Instinct – Survival of Species (Attraction Instinct). Sexual Instinct is the capacity to be turned on, for sustained energy, to be taken out of our comfort zone. It’s intensely participating, the charge in the battery. It’s the drive to go beyond myself. Life is about trying new things. It is the energy of attraction and repulsion. There are some people we are drawn or attracted to (not necessarily for sex) and some people repel us. It feels like an adrenalin rush, we’re alive, we become magnetised by people or situations and move towards them. It makes us more competitive and aggressive and we put ourselves on ‘display’. We feel more comfortable living on the edge.

One other thing to bear in mind with the Instincts is that the levels of development play a big role with them. If we are higher average to healthy levels we would be taking care of health and security whereas if we were functioning at lower levels we would be producing the opposite of its normal function so we would be destructive around health and security. Social types in the lower levels may become anti – social and Sexual types may have difficulty expressing their sexuality, perhaps becoming promiscuous.

Levels of Development

The Levels of Development are an internal structure within each personality. This vertical dimension reflects the complexity of human nature. First discovered by Don Riso in 1977 the Levels of development have been further developed by Don and Russ Hudson. The Levels of Development are a continuum in a spiral pattern from healthy Levels, Level 1, all the way down to Level 9 in the unhealthy range.

The Healthy Levels are;
Level 1: The Level of Liberation.
Level 2: The Level of Interpersonal Control
Level 3: The Level of Social Value

The Average Levels are;
Level 4: The Level of Imbalance / Social Role
Level 5: The Level of Interpersonal Control
Level 6: The Level of Overcompensation

The Unhealthy Levels are;
Level 7: The Level of Violation
Level 8: The Level of Obsession and Compulsion
Level 9: The Level of Destruction

The Levels of Development highlight our capacity to be present to our experience, not the circumstances. All ego patterns have the function of taking us out of the direct moment. The Levels of Development help us to become aware of the transformation within us and to see the developing and collapsing processes In us. As we go through life we are imprinted with experiences. Some of these are more traumatic than others. These experiences cause us to set up structures and self-images which moves us away from presence. We move around our lives jumping from one experience to another as we are activated and triggered. We become victims of whatever force is hitting us. This is not presence.

Through our personal development work we find a place where we have more presence. As we move towards our centre, the light shines a bit brighter and begins to shine on other levels and our identifications and self-images start to melt. This does not mean we no longer have troubles or we lose anything it’s about learning to hold them with a little more presence. As we come out of hiding from the constructs we see we don’t need them anymore. They have fulfilled their purpose.

Centres Of Intelligence

As human beings we have three Centres of Intelligence: The Instinctive (Body) Centre, The Heart (Feeling) Centre and The Head (Thinking) Centre. There are three types associated with each centre however all types contain all three components.

We all have instincts, we all have feelings and we all think. Types in the feeling triad don’t have more feelings nor are types in the thinking centre more intelligent. Understanding the triads helps us to see the central dynamics of the type. We are driven primarily by an imbalance in one of the centres and the personality is formed to compensate. Understanding the imbalance holds the key to discovering our personality structure.

Instinctive Centre

The instinctive centre is concerned with the intelligence of the body and survival.

Types Eights Nines and Ones are the types associated with the Instinctive Centre, the direct experience of existence, of being alive, of confidence, a feeling of solidity. To whatever degree we are not present we lose that sense of confidence, aliveness and solidity.

People in this triad are looking for autonomy and clear boundaries and are concerned with maintaining resistance to reality. The types in this triad are known as the ‘I don’t want to be messed with’ types. Anger and rage are instinctual responses to being messed with. All three types however have a different way of coping with anger. Type Eights will act out their anger. When Eights feel anger rising in them they immediately act out physically, with movement or voice, giving themselves full permission to use their instinctive energy directly.

Type Nines deny their anger and are the type most likely to be out of touch with their instinctual energies. It is not that Nines don’t get angry it is more that they stay away from it by focusing on their idealisation of their world. Type Ones repress or control their instinctive energy. Their ‘inner critic’ would have them stay in control at all times. Often the anger of the One is directed inwardly towards themselves.

Heart Centre

The Heart Centre is concerned with self – image and our capacity to be Present to Love.

Type Twos Threes and Fours are the types associated with the Heart Centre, the ability to know who we are, to feel loved and valued, to love and value, the knowers of truth. To whatever degree we are not present we lose that sense of openness, compassion, sensitivity and the ability to be affected. People in the triad are looking for attention and validation and are concerned with issues of self – esteem and personal value. The types in this triad are known as the ‘See me how I want to be seen’ types. When my self – image is not validated I feel empty and worthless which results in feelings of Shame. All three types in this triad have different ways of coping with their shame.

Type Twos reject many of their true feelings in order to keep their self – image of loving, kind and generous intact. Two’s look to others for validation of their selfless self – image, seeking specific responses from others to let them know they are loved and appreciated.

Type Threes are often driven relentlessly in their pursuit to become what they believe to be a valuable successful person. They learn to perform well and create and sustain a consistent internal picture of themselves.

Type Fours attention goes inward creating a self – image on feelings and fantasies. They focus on being ‘different’ and as a result can feel estranged from other. They succumb to feelings of inadequacy and often use romantic fantasy as a way to distract from the ordinary and mundane in their lives.

Head Centre

The Head Centre is concerned with finding a sense of inner guidance and support – ‘Who or what can I trust’?

Type Fives Sixes and Sevens are associated with the Head Centre, the ability to perceive reality exactly as it is and to be receptive to an inner knowing that can guide our actions. To whatever degree we are not present we lose contact with our quiet mind, our inner knowing and support. People in this triad are looking for real guidance support and security. The types in this triad are known as ‘Who or what can I trust’ types. Fear is the emotional response to not being able self – image to know what or who to trust. All three types in this triad have different ways of coping with the fear.

Type Fives use their minds not just to understand their world but to escape from reality. For many Fives the inner world of the mind is more real and vivid than the external world. Fives have the capacity for concentration and can spend many hours tinkering around with ideas and concepts with no practical results.

Type Sixes are troubled by an undercurrent of doubt and anxiety. They constantly worry and do not trust themselves. They look outside themselves for something or someone to trust, an authority figure or a belief system, but jump between depending on others and trying to prove they are independent and tough.

Type Sevens may be full of ideas and planning activities, anticipating the future. The fear that they are missing out on other pleasures and experiences can cause them to become less discriminate about the experiences they pursue, losing their sense of priorities and becoming hyperactive.

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