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Decoding the Enneagram System: A Comprehensive Guide

The Enneagram system is a way of mapping and gaining deeper insights into your personality, motivations, and habits. There are multiple ways to describe the human personality, and the Enneagram is one of them.

It is depicted a nine-pointed star surrounded by numbers, but what this all means can be puzzling to those new to the system.

So how does one read the Enneagram system? What do all those numbers mean? We’ll walk you through this approach to personality mapping, and help you read the Enneagram.


The Star Pattern


The Enneagram is pictured as a nine-pointed star-like shape inside of a circle. Each point of the star corresponds to a certain number, from “one” in the upper far right corner to “nine” at the top-most star point, going clockwise.

Each number reflects a certain “type” of person or character, and seeks to define and identify what motivates a person in life, and how they can best be described in general.


Personality Type or Number



Enneagram system


These numbers represent a primary motivator in a person’s nature and thought process. The Nine Personality Types are:

  • Type 1 : The Reformer
  • Type 2 : The Helper
  • Type 3 : The Achiever
  • Type 4 : The Individualist / The Artist
  • Type 5 : The Investigator / The Thinker
  • Type 6 : The Loyalist
  • Type 7 : The Enthusiast
  • Type 8 : The Challenger
  • Type 9 :  The Peacemaker / The Mediator


Direction of Stress


Now, each number is connected to two other numbers by a single line. These opposite numbers represent either a point of growth and personal development, or a point of misery and stress for that Type.

When a Personality Type is stressed or unhappy, they can begin to gravitate towards an opposing number. The Direction of Stress for each number runs like this : 1-4-2-8-5-7-1 and 9-6-3-9 in that the number following each number is its Direction of Stress.

So, a Type 4, at her worst, will take on traits of Type 2. A Type 7 at his worst will take on traits of Type 1. Understand that when upset or under pressure, your personality type can begin to take on the worst qualities of the Type with opposing traits.

 Dirrection of Stress

Direction of Growth


The opposite is true, as well. Remember, two lines connect each point to two other points within the star. The other number at the end of these two points will be your Direction of Growth.

In other words, when you’re in a mentally and emotionally healthy place and are not stressed or upset, your personality can begin to grow in another direction.

The Direction of Growth for each number runs like this :  1-7-5-8-2-4-1 and 9-3-6-9. So, an emotionally healthy and happy Type 6 will begin to take on the best traits of Type 9. A Type 8 who’s in a good place and growing as a person will begin to take on Type 2 qualities.




The Enneagram envisions human personality as a Type 1-9 based on what motivates and propels a person in life. Drawn out in a star pattern, each Type is allotted a point on that star, and has two opposing points.

Types on either side of a connecting line represent either a point of growth and progress when happy or a point of stress when unhappy and aggravated.

Understanding your Enneagram Type can help you comprehend what motivates you, and how to best channel your emotion energy is constructive and healthy ways, based on your Type, and its opposing influences.


If you want to know your personality type visit The Enneagram Queen as soon as possible and take the test! You will not regret it!