The Enneagram Symbol and History

The Enneagram symbol is a geometric pattern discovered by mystic mathematicians. The symbol has been found in ancient temples throughout the East, but no one knows how far back the teaching goes.

George Gurdjieff, a Russian mystic, brought the Enneagram to the west at the beginning of the 20th century. Oscar Ichazo, a Bolivian philosopher, developed the first modern interpretation and applied the symbol to the psychology of the human being.

Basic Structure and Centers

There are nine primary numbers or points - three centers with three points each. The 8, 9, 1 are the body or instinctual points, the 2, 3, 4 are the heart or feeling points, and the 5, 6, 7 are the mind or thinking points.

The center triangle represents the core points of human identity - 9/body, 3/heart, and 6/mind.

Each center relates to a primary emotion: anger/body, sadness/heart, and fear/mind. Each center repeats three ways of responding to the primary emotion: internalization/absorption, avoidance/adaptation, and externalization/projection. 

The body/anger center sits at the top 8, 9, 1, the heart/shame center on the right 2, 3, 4, and the mind/fear center on the left 5, 6, 7. 

The center points 3, 6, 9 avoid the primary
emotion of each center. Points 2, 7, 8 externalize and 1, 4, 5 internalize the emotion of each center.