Each of the nine points on the symbol corresponds to one personality
type. Everyone in the world is one of these nine types. Though
people can grow and transform during their lives, a person's type
never changes. The system describes the nine different default
behavior mechanisms that humans develop as a way of coping with
growing up. Learning a few simple concepts—centers, wings,
arrows, passions—will get you started.
The nine types are divided into Three Centers. Three types are
centered in the Heart, three are centered in the Head and three
are centered in the Belly. Those in the Belly are referred to
as body-based types.
Types on either side of a person's own type are called Wings.
Each type will share some of the characteristics and perspectives
of the Wings on either side at certain times and to varying degrees
A key aspect of the system is the fluid movement of energy around
the symbol along the lines that connect the types together. These
lines are referred to as Arrows by most authors.At certain times
we "go to" the types connected to our own type by the
lines on the diagram, meaning that we then behave in certain ways
like the type pointed to by the arrows.
Each type has a "Passion" associated with it. Each passion
is based on the most common emotional concern or issue of that
type. And each type is initially unable to grasp the lessons that
their type's passion has to teach them about their own life. Striving
to understand, resolve, and integrate the dilemma the passion
presents in your life is the dynamic that leads to personal growth.
Understanding the passion of each type is the key to understanding
the motivations and actions of that type. It is also the key to
the greatest gift that the Enneagram offers--the wonderful transformation
that occurs in people's lives through its study.