The Enneagram: 9 Paths to Personal and Spiritual Growth

The Enneagram is a system for identifying which path your soul is on in its journey toward Oneness. There are 9 possible paths that a human soul can take (“ennea” is Greek for “nine”), and once you know which path you’re on, the Enneagram can point you in the right direction for your own personal and spiritual growth.

Here’s a very brief overview of each of the 9 paths.

Path #1: The Jewel in my heart is Goodness. When my Jewel shines clearly, I reflect Goodness into the world like Gandhi, in service of rightness and justice. When my Jewel is obstructed by judgment, especially harsh judgment against myself, my essential Goodness can come across as self-righteousness or nitpicky perfectionism. I’m trying my best to find my essential Goodness, and I need to remember that I can’t get that by living up to my impossible inner standard of rightness; I can only find true Goodness by learning to be present with myself as I am.

Path #2: The Jewel in my heart is Unconditional Love. When my Jewel shines clearly, I reflect Unconditional Love into the world like Mother Teresa, embodying kindness and wholehearted generosity. When my Jewel is obstructed by my own need to feel appreciated for everything I give to others, my essential Love can come across as codependence or passive-aggression. I’m trying my best to find Unconditional Love, and I need to remember that I can’t get that from helping others or being needed; I can only find true Unconditional Love by being honest with myself about my true motivations.

Path #3: The Jewel in my heart is Value. When my Jewel shines clearly, I reflect Value into the world like Oprah Winfrey, using my own gifts to inspire others and help them realize their own value. When my Jewel is obstructed by my desire to perform, my essential Value can come across as deceit, manipulation, or self-centeredness. I’m trying my best to feel worthy and valuable, and I need to remember that I can’t get that from achieving success in the world; I can only find true Value by being open, vulnerable, and authentic.

Path #4: The Jewel in my heart is Depth. When my Jewel shines clearly, I reflect Depth into the world like Alanis Morissette, diving into my own heart to unearth the treasures buried within, helping others know themselves more deeply through my own vulnerable self-expression. When my Jewel is obstructed by envy or melancholy, my essential Depth can come across as moodiness, self-consciousness, and haughtiness. I’m trying my best to find my essential Depth, and I need to remember that I can’t get that from escaping into my emotions; I can only find true Depth by being the eye of the hurricane, centered in myself.

Path #5: The Jewel in my heart is Clarity. When my Jewel shines clearly, I reflect Clarity into the world like Albert Einstein, exploring an area in exquisite detail until I grok it in fullness. When my Jewel is obstructed by fear of being unsafe, my essential Clarity can come across as aloofness or detachment. I’m trying my best to find Clarity, and I need to remember that I can’t get that from the outside; I can only find true Clarity by being willing to jump into life and experience it as a participant, not just an observer.

Path #6: The Jewel in my heart is Guidance. When my Jewel shines clearly, I reflect Guidance into the world like Ellen DeGeneres, building connection so we can all work together for the common good. When my Jewel is obstructed by anxiety, my essential Guidance can come across as skepticism or blind obedience to authority. I’m trying my best to find my essential Guidance, and I need to remember that I can’t get that from any person or organization outside myself; I can only find true Guidance by learning to trust the inner wisdom of my heart.

Path #7: The Jewel in my heart is Freedom. When my Jewel shines clearly, I reflect Freedom into the world like Jim Carrey, bringing a childlike joy and playfulness to everything I do and everyone I meet. When my Jewel is obstructed by fear of missing out, my essential Freedom can come across as franticness, planning the next exciting experience instead of being fully present in the moment. I’m trying my best to find Freedom, and I need to remember that I can’t get that by enjoying as many things as possible; I can only find true Freedom by savoring the joy in the present moment slowly and thoroughly.

Path #8: The Jewel in my heart is Strength. When my Jewel shines clearly, I reflect Strength into the world like Martin Luther King, protecting those I care about. When my Jewel is obstructed by fear of being taken advantage of, my essential Strength can come across as aggressiveness or vindictiveness. I’m trying my best to find Strength, and I need to remember that I can’t get that by seeking out intensity for intensity’s sake; I can only find true Strength by being strong enough to be vulnerable.

Path #9: The Jewel in my heart is Wholeness. When my Jewel shines clearly, I reflect Wholeness into the world like the Dalai Lama, seeing all sides and using my empathy to promote peace and understanding. When my Jewel is obstructed by disconnecting from the world, my essential Wholeness can come across as disinterest or laziness. I’m trying my best to find Wholeness, and I need to remember that I can’t get that by daydreaming; I can only find true Wholeness by taking action.

In other words:

Goodness and love brightly shine, Value and depth are divine. Clarity sees, Guidance brings ease, Freedom, strength, wholeness make nine.

Listen to my podcast all about the Enneagram!

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