Enneagram Spirituality: What You Need to Know

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Jesse Williams

It may seem unlikely—a psychological tool like the Enneagram system having any sort of connection to something as abstract as spiritualism.

However, given that the Enneagram system is helpful in not only understanding ourselves but also our larger connection to the world around us, no psychological system is a more perfect candidate for spiritual ties than this one!

Enneagram spirituality has been embraced by several religious systems and representatives, with many places of worship holding workshops to teach its members about the system.

In spirituality, the Enneagram system is viewed as a sort of universal map that’s useful to everyone without bias, regardless of whatever individual beliefs the person may hold. The best part is that all traditions and spiritual paths are respected since the system is rooted in both spiritual knowledge and sound psychology.

Because of this, no one religion or belief system can lay claim to the Enneagram system—this isn’t Cinderella’s shoe, but a glove that fits every hand that wears it.

Here’s everything you need to know about spirituality, the Enneagram system, and the ties that exist between the two.

Enneagram Spirituality

The Enneagram system is often taught as a tool to increase self-awareness and support leadership development. When first introduced to the system, many people express shock at how closely and accurately the system can point out their personalities. By embracing the system, many people are even able to transform their lives.

Take Masters student, Teresa, for example. Teresa went through life being told that she was “too much”. From her relationships with her family to even her religious institution, she’d been told she was too dramatic, too loud, too over-the-top, and excessive, and was asked to tone this down.

Instead of celebrating a vibrant personality, Teresa felt and carried around shame for her identity, leading to bouts of depression and many one-sided arguments with her Creator about why she’d been created the way she was if it wasn’t doing anyone any good.

Often called controlling, aggressive, and loud, Teresa was bereft and just floated through life until she discovered validation in the form of the Enneagram type 8 personality.

You see, Teresa was a strong type 8, and learning this set her free, instilling in her the confidence that her personality was a gift and not the bane of her existence. Her leadership skills, strength, ability, and power were gifts to herself and those around her.

Learning her Enneagram type was the beginning of both a spiritual and personal transformation for Teresa.

As you can see from this anecdote, spirituality and the Enneagram system go hand in hand. Complementing practical knowledge of the Enneagram system with your chosen spiritual practice and a little bit of gentle self-observation can go miles in helping you recognize and own your personality while helping you let go of any reactivity.

It also helps you become more fully available to those around you, your spiritual guru, and most importantly, yourself.

What Is the Spiritual Purpose of the Enneagram?

The Enneagram system can help folks recognize and hone the spiritual aspects of their personalities and develop deeper relationships with these parts. To put it more clearly, the Enneagram system can help with the following spiritual tasks:

  • It can help you face your fears and vulnerabilities and work through both of these.

  • It teaches you and encourages contemplative methods, such as introspection and self-reflection, to aid spiritual growth.

  • The system can help you find new perspectives, including spiritual ones, through which you can view your past and present, from joyous occasions to challenges, and understand both.

  • The Enneagram system uses highly acclaimed somatic techniques to improve your resilience and presence.

  • The system builds upon any inherent spiritual tendencies and capacities that one may have.

  • The Enneagram helps you understand and respect the diversity of life around you, and develop compassion for the planet’s fellow inhabitants (regardless of race, gender, or species).

  • The system helps you develop a closer relationship with your spiritual guide while clearly distinguishing between automatic reactivity patterns and deep-rooted reactions.

Therefore, the Enneagram system can raise the conscious awareness surrounding various patterns and behaviors, encouraging you to pause and return to any religious or spiritual path from which you may have “strayed”, with a higher level of self-awareness.

The system can also clearly lay out your false self and true self, and act as a guide throughout for both while ensuring that you stick to your chosen spiritual path.

Apart from working wonders for your spiritual growth and transformation, the Enneagram system can also help you understand the journeys that other people around you are undertaking, and respect their transformations and challenges.

How to Get Started with the Enneagram

The Enneagram system is like a map, and as it is with maps, it helps to learn where you are first, before you start taking different routes.

The Enneagram system helps you identify where you are on this map. Identifying your Enneagram type is pretty easy—there are several online tests, both free and paid, that can help you identify your Enneagram type, such as the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator.

Once you know your type, several books, courses, workshops, and retreats can help you learn more about the system.

There are several books by renowned Enneagram authors such as Suzanne Stabile, Ian Morgan Cron, and Marilyn Vancil that make excellent starting points for your Enneagram journey. Many of these books explore the Enneagram system from spiritual and even Biblical viewpoints.

The Bottom Line

The Enneagram is a versatile system that aligns perfectly with spirituality and spiritual searches, whatever your individual belief system may be and may dictate, and whatever religious system you belong to or follow.

Spirituality seeks to make sense of the world around and understand one’s place in the larger picture, which is exactly what the Enneagram system also seeks to do—it’s no wonder, then, that both go hand in hand and that so many people use the Enneagram system to find spiritual growth.

Be sure to get your own Enneagram Results

Check out out best free enneagram tests to find out which one you should take!

Hint: For most people, the best test is from Truity.

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Written By Jesse Williams

Jesse has taken a deep dive into how personality effects our daily lives. After taking all the tests under the sun, she enjoys comparing her results with total strangers. It's fun for her.

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