The Enneagram is Astrology!

by E. Alan Meece

http://philosopherswheel.com/enneagram.html

The Enneagram is a system of nine psychological types. The word enneagram is based on the Greek word for nine. It has become useful and popular because people can recognize their behavior and personality in the description of an Enneagram type, or perhaps in two or three of them. The goal of working with the Enneagram is to know the strengths and weaknesses of your personality. Each type has certain styles of behavior, both healthy and unhealthy. When a person recognizes the unhealthy aspects of their type, (s)he discovers self-imposed limits and ingrained reactions, and (s)he can go beyond these limits and reactions to become more healthy. People can also recognize the healthy aspects of their type, and awareness of this also helps them maximize this positive behavior.

People use astrology in very much the same way. Clients or students can see the predominant zodiac signs and planets in their horoscope, and thereby familiarize themselves with self-imposed limits or automatic reactions associated with those signs and planets, in just the same way as people do with Enneagram types. Astrology is in fact the oldest system of psychological types in the world. It makes me wonder, then, whether more modern typing systems (Enneagram, Jungian/MBTI, etc.) in fact owe something to the most ancient and venerable such typing system.

The most interesting question I've had about the Enneagram, is not so much whether it works, or whether it's true; if it weren't true and useful, it probably would not be so persistently popular. The same is true, of course, of astrology. My question is, what is the Enneagram based on? The types are described to the student, who then is supposed to be able to identify with one type or another. But why these nine types, and not others? Why does each type have that particular character, and not some other character? Why nine, instead of seven (like the chakras), ten (like the kabbalah), twelve (like astrology), or sixteen (like MBTI)?

Ironically, of course, people ask the same question about astrology (what is it based on?). Astrology, of course, has an answer: on the planets and their movements through the zodiac. But skeptics are not satisfied with this; they ask, "how could the planets influence human behavior?" What force do the planets exert over human beings, and how is it transmitted? Astrologers have answers for this, which I won't go into here; I gave a rudimentary answer in my book Horoscope for the New Millennium, and others have given answers too. But however unsatisfactory such answers may be to scientifically-minded critics, at least astrology postulates a source for the nature of its types. Astrology is based on a metaphysical law: the cosmos is reflected within each individual. Each person is a microcosm or "hologram" of the solar system and the universe. Therefore the nature of the planets and signs are found in each person. The Enneagram has no such source for the nature of its types. It simply lays out its nine types, plus other rules, and their source remains a mystery.

My explanation is quite simple; the nine types of the Enneagram are really astrological types. The creators of the Enneagram kept their source hidden, probably because astrology was no longer reputable as a system of psychology. Since it was created, moreoever, the Enneagram has undergone its own line of evolution, developing its types and sub-types in isolation from its original source. They also could not use too many other astrological methods, or the secret connection would have been exposed more quickly. Therefore there are some minor differences between astrology types and Enneagram types, which serve to further hide the connection between them.

All the various philosophical, psychological, esoteric, and scientific systems of human knowledge have things in common, and things that are different. Through their differences, each system adds to our knowledge, and to our personal liberation and health. But the differences also point out the limitations of each system. They all claim to describe the same reality; therefore, they need to be integrated. Through their (mostly hidden) commonalities, we can find what is the most true within all of them, and thereby develop an integral view of ourselves and the cosmos. We can look at astrology and the Enneagram in the same light. They are essentially the same, but each can add to the other, since although they apparently have a common source, they have been developing in isolation from each other, just the way evolving species of living things develop differences when isolated from one another, and so offer some different insights. When comparing systems, or when using one to describe another, it is important to remember the differences as well as what they share in common.

So, how do the two systems coincide? How are the two typing systems "the same?" For the answer, we must first recognize that the most essential basis for astrological types are not the signs, but the planets. Astrologers point out that the planets are the "actors" in a horoscope; they are the carriers of energy; the signs only modify them. The signs of the zodiac are, in fact, each said to be "ruled" by one or two of the planets. That should answer your first question: how can enneagram and astrology types be the same, if there are nine enneagram types, and twelve astrology types? Because there are nine planets, and thus nine planetary types! So if we shift our focus from the zodiac signs to the planets, we are on the right track. If the enneagram and astrology are the same, then the nine enneagram types are the nine planetary types.

Interestingly, without attributing an actual correlation, Enneagram therapist Mary Bast says, "Goldberg (The Nine Ways of Working) suggests the nine styles might as well come from different planets." On her website I also read an article by Tom Flautt and John Richards, who write, "the origins come from obscure esoteric "teachers of wisdom" who've been secretive about this system." The chances seem rather good that these "esoteric teachers" who originated the Enneagram would have used the queen of the esoteric sciences! Since the 9 Enneagram Types have no recognized basis, I wonder if in the future they might simply be converted to the 9 planetary types.

Two further clarifications need to be made, however, before we can compare them. In astrology, the Sun and Moon are treated for typing purposes as "planets," and the Earth is not. That makes ten planets. These are: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. However, when the Enneagram was developed, there were only nine of these "planets", because Pluto had not been discovered. Even today, Pluto is not always considered a planet, and although astrologers contend, on the basis of research, that Pluto is extremely significant when looking at the cycles and trends of nations, peoples and civilizations, it is not always seen as so significant on a personal level. Of course, it is also true that Uranus and Neptune, two other invisible and distant planets, were unknown before the 18th and 19th century. However, in systems such as Vedic astrology their natures were accounted for through the positions of Rahu and Ketu, based on the nodes of the Moon. Again, we can't go into the details of this here; but it is possible that the Uranus and Neptune types hidden in the Enneagram were derived from the influence of Vedic astrology. I surmise, however, that the Enneagram, though probably derived from ancient astrological sources, was mainly developed in the early 20th century, but before Pluto was discovered in 1930; and was secretly based on the planetary types known at the time. Some say that it was developed at this time by Gurdieff.

As we will see, each visible planet "rules" two signs (except that the Sun and Moon rule only one each), and each planet is also "exalted" in another sign, which brings out its highest qualities. The invisible planets Uranus and Neptune only rule one sign, which is also ruled by one of the other visible planets. A definite pattern will be apparent, which I will comment on after reviewing the types and how they correspond to the planets. You can peak ahead to see the table that summarizes the pattern.


THE NINE TYPES

Type One is Mercury

Type One is described as the perfectionist. Anxious and restless, Type One often evaluates, analyzes and judges people and surroundings in order to feel more in control. Type One compares reality to a set of standards, and can see what measures up and what doesn't, whether in its own life or others. Type One can act as a reformer, proposing suggestions on how things can be better. Ones are good critics, but strive to be objective and fair in their analysis. They are very discerning, observant and well-informed. They are natural teachers and communicators, anxious to share their observation, knowledge, values and suggestions. Ones have high ideals, and can be sticklers for rules and regulations. They are good workers, hoping to live up to their own high standards and puritanical morals. They may dedicate themselves to worthy causes, and be effective advocates for them, but may also become arrogant and self-righteous in their role as crusaders and missionaries. Tom Flautt and John Richards describe them as the "Reformer: rational, idealistic, reasonable, principled, orderly, perfectionist and self-righteous."

Fast-moving Mercury is a mental planet, and the best match for Type One. It rules communication and seeks knowledge. Mercury people are often teachers, thinkers, analyzers and critics. They are anxious and restless by nature, and love change, novelty and variety. They love to learn and to travel. Mercury is usually described as objective, rational, curious, and interested in practical facts. It is evident to many spiritual teachers and psychologists, however, that it is our mind that judges. Our thinking is the source of our ideals of right and wrong, good and bad. Healthy, balanced thought creates the healthy side of Type One: fair, accurate, objective, idealistic, ethical, and full of helpful information and new ideas. Mercury rules the signs Gemini and Virgo. The latter sign seems to fit Type One the best. Virgo is famous as the perfectionist, the critic, the analyst, the puritan, the good worker-bee, the apprentice, the dedicated and humane server. Mercury is also said to be "exalted" in Virgo, which means Virgo is the sign which brings out Mercury's and Type One's qualities to their greatest and highest extent.

Type Two is The Moon

Type Two is known as the helper. Twos are dedicated to nurturing others and ministering to their needs. Their self-esteem depends on how much their generosity is appreciated. Twos are loving and giving and find satisfaction in being of service to others. They are compassionate and sympathetic to a fault. They identify with others' emotional needs, yet are tenacious in caring for their own emotional needs as well. They are very sensitive, intuitive and emotional; able to sense what others feel. Family and close ties are everything to them. They often become too dependent on others, giving only so that others will return their love and satisfy their own needs. They insist on how giving and how wonderful they are, hoping others will appreciate and love them for what they have done for them. They can become whiners or even stalkers. Flautt & Richards use these keywords: Helper: caring, nurturing, concerned, generous, well-meaning, possessive, and manipulative.

The Moon represents feelings and emotions. It represents catering to basic needs and nurturance. It is the great Mother. Moon-ruled people, including those born under its sign Cancer, are indeed very sensitive and caring, but can become like the Mother who won't let go, exactly like Type Two. Sometimes shy, whining and self-effacing, the Moon lacks confidence compared to other planets, being mainly the reflector of the greater light. It may also be too tied to memory and tradition. The Moon is intuitive, imaginative, sensitive and very aware of others' feelings. Cancer is the sign of home, family and ancestral heritage, and is known as clingy or miserly. Type Two and The Moon is a very strong match, but Cancer is also the poet's and artist's sign, an aspect usually not emphasized as much in the description of Twos. Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, where Jupiter's qualities are raised to their highest expression (including its religious and "ministerial" traits), thereby adding them to Type Two.

Type Three is The Sun

Type Three is the achiever. Threes seek success and a high profile in society. They are confident and ambitious, and they make good leaders and role models. They set high goals and master many skills. They have a tremendous sense of honor. Energetic and cheerful, they are open to new challenges. Threes are most concerned with creating and maintaining a successful image, and identify with the role they play in the world. Threes often see life as a performance in a play or a game, and winning the game is important. If less healthy, a Three may try to achieve in order to cover up their sense of inadequacy. Sometimes the image they portray of themselves is more important to them than the reality of who they are. They may be out of touch with themselves, seeking victory and recognition at all costs, even if it means deceiving and using others. Flaut and Richards said Type Three is the "Motivator: success-oriented, pragmatic, adaptable, ambitious, goal-oriented, image conscious, and arrogant," and also entitled Type Three as "the performer."

The bright, shining Sun in astrology is closely related to the Three of the Enneagram. Sun people are the most successful and confident in society. They are also known for their big egos. They are proud, arrogant and boastful, eager to be the center of attention. Sun people are known for their great energy, which seems to flow from them. Very charismatic, Sun-ruled people make good leaders and organizers. Leo, the zodiac sign ruled by the Sun, is known like Type Three as the performer. Leo represents drama, acting and theater, and is also the sign of gaming, romance and amusement. Leos are also known for their loyalty. Neptune is exalted in Leo, which can sometimes add Neptunian qualities to the sign, and thus to Type Three, and this often takes the form of "glamour." Neptune brings more flexibility and adaptability to Type Three, which Leo by itself is not always known for, and it explains Three's tendencies to deceive itself and others with an image that is considerably more inflated than the reality. But Neptune's exaltation in Leo also means that a Three, when most successful, has the potential to demonstrate high spiritual wisdom, but more by their courageous actions and charismatic style than by their teachings.

Type Four is Neptune

Type Four is the romantic who lives on feelings and imagination. Fours are artists and non-conformists at heart. They feel uniquely endowed with a creative gift to share, and this leads them to seek life's deeper meaning. They are sympathetic and compassionate. But when reality is not all it should be, Fours may live in a world of their own. Sometimes the anti-hero, they may feel their special talents are not recognized. Fours are ultra-sensitive to beauty in all forms, and everything is grist for their artistic and mythical mill. Masters of multi-media, they experience life in many ways all at once, sensing intimately the connections between things. Their ability to idealize often leads Fours to dissappointment, so they may become isolated and alienated, punishing themselves and others for their failings. Lost in self-destructive melancholy, they may feel exempt from society's rules and expectations. According to Flaut and Richards, Type Four is the "Individualist: sensitive, withdrawn, intuitive, artistic, aesthetic, self-absorbed, and depressive."

Neptune is a perfect match for Type Four. The farthest planet from the Sun (apart from Pluto), Neptune is the dissolver of all boundaries. It signifies limitless imagination, idealism and romanticism. It is the ultimate symbol of those who prefer the ideal to the real, and who thereby may be deceived. Neptunians are escapists and non-conformists, and sometimes drop-outs from society. When disillusioned, they may follow paths of self-destruction and addiction. Neptune feels keenly the sufferings of the world, and is highly compassionate. Psychic and visionary, it conceives grand plans and utopian dreams. The idealism of Neptune may blind it to obstacles and rules, and this can lead to deceit and scandal. Neptune is ultrasensitive and rules all the most imaginative arts, especially music. And since artistic, beautiful Venus is exalted in Neptune's ruling sign of Pisces, it signifies the emphasis on the arts and beauty that is so prominent in the description of Fours. Neptune is also associated with socialism, which its critics deride as a form of "envy," the deadly sin probably associated with Type Four.

Type Five is Uranus

Type Five is the thinker and innovator who detaches or withdraws into the mind. Fives guard their independence so as not to be engulfed by the world. In order to avoid being hurt, they may hoard and save eccessively so as to need less from other people. Fives are a storehouse of wisdom, knowledge and ideas, which leads some of them to be ingeneous innovators, inventors, or weavers of holistic visions. They are altruistic and idealistic, hoping to share their knowledge with the world. They are able to rise above personal quarrels to take a non-attached, compassionate, impartial view of things. Seeking to understand everything, Five is known to lean toward science or philosophy, in contrast to the artistic or spiritual Type Four. Their independence and withdrawal into their own minds may lead them into lonely isolation and disassociation from their own feelings. Unhealthy Fives may act out aggressively their imaginary fears of rejection or their elaborate mental hallucinations. They may be known as anti-social, or carry a superior or controlling attitude, alienating others with sneering comments. Fives are the "Thinker: cerebral analytic type; perceptive, original, innovative, provocative, and eccentric." (Flaut and Richards)

Uranus is the best planetary match for Type Five. With its axis tilted at right angles to the Sun, Uranus is primarily known as the planet of independence, liberty, rebellion, and individuality, and is strongly intellectual. It represents the capacity to think outside the box, which means invention and innovation; but can also symbolize everything strange and shocking to the establishment. People ruled by Uranus may be, like Fives, very knowledgeable and rational, but can also be very magnetic, sexual, charismatic, electric, and eccentric; perhaps more so than indicated by the withdrawn tendencies described in Type Five. Uranus is the "higher" or invisible ruler of the sign Aquarius, whose nature matches Type Five in many ways. Aquarians are famous for being detached from others, and sometimes their eccentricity can be anti-social. They may have many friends but few intimate or romantic attachments. Very scientific, their motto is "I know," and this not only means that they really do know more about a lot of things than other people, but that they think they know it all too! Uranus and Aquarius represent altruism, idealism, and utopian hopes for the future; as in the myth of "the Age of Aquarius". No planet is exalted in Aquarius, but the mental planet Mercury is considered very strong when placed there. Type Five is described as being potentially an intellectual genius, but Thomas Edison is included in the list of examples, which shows (like Uranus) it is also capable of more technological genius as well. And Type Five's association with "greed" (its desire to hoard) is not out of place, considering how Uranus is also associated with the distorted version of "liberty" that is so prevalent today in the form of free-market or "trickle-down" economics, a justification for greed and inequality in society.

Type Six is Saturn

Type Six is careful and cautious, and they are known as doubters or skeptics; fully aware of life's hazards. Their ability to plan and anticipate makes them wary and often fearful of the unknown. Type Sixes are dedicated, loyal, hard workers committed to doing their duty to society. They serve high ideals and fulfill their promises. Sixes are careful not to offend authority and to observe social rules. When relaxed, Sixes have a good sense of humor and are full of good ideas. Quite ambitious for recognition, healthy Sixes often reach positions of power, which they exercize fairly and to the best advantage of all. They may be champions of the less fortunate. More than other types, Six is said to range between two extremes: phobic and counterphobic. Phobics remain dominated by their fears, being either very practical and cautious, or downright cowardly and submissive to authority in exchange for its protection and approval. They may become workaholics, and prejudiced against those who question the status quo. On the other hand, counterphobic Sixes deliberately court the dangers they see before being mastered by them. They are competitive and adventurous risk takers. Instead of submitting to authority, they may rebel against it and come up with original ideas of their own; or they may work to improve the tradition they believe in. When unhealthy, counter-phobic Sixes are belligerent, paranoid and vengeful. They attack others in the George W. Bush mode of "we'll fight them over there before we have to fight them over here." Type Six is the "Loyalist: (a) committed, traditionalistic type; engaging, responsible, hardworking, cautious, and anxious" (Flaut and Richards).

Saturn fits Type Six very well, because the ringed planet represents the ability to set limits. Much more than any other planet is it cautious, careful and fearful. It serves authority, but also exercizes it, being the planet of ambition, hard work, determination, and the power of government. When at its best, Saturn represents integrity, honesty and endurance, respectful of tradition. At its worst Saturn is reactionary, repressive, intolerant, rigid and undiplomatic. Saturn rules two signs, the very conservative, pragmatic and ambitious Capricorn, but also (along with Uranus) the rebellious, original and eccentric Aquarius, and the stark contrast between these two signs may account for the two extremes of Type Six. Counterphobic Six may seem to have even more of the revolutionary traits of Uranus than does the more reclusive Type Five. But there's another explanation too, since the assertive, aggressive and adventurous Mars is exalted in Capricorn. This adds the strongly "counterphobic" properties of the red planet to the pragmatic Type Six.

Type Seven is Jupiter

Type Seven is generous, optimistic and well-rounded. They focus on the positive and like to imagine new possibilities, always seeing the glass as half-full and able to move on from reversals of fortune. At its best, Type seven is multi-talented, active, enthusiastic and adventurous, and knows how to appreciate and enjoy life. Sevens are far-sighted, enabling them to make future plans and keep longe-range commitments as well as to find infinite variety in life, and they are always interested in new horizons. They love to tell stories, and sometimes can't stop talking. When less healthy, Type Seven uses its hyperactive versatility as a way to escape from pain and responsibility, skimming over the surface of things and jumping from task to task instead of completing projects. They may feel helpless because they can't face difficulty or routine. They also tend to excess and indulgence. Confusing their grandiose visions with reality, they may be wild, impatient and anti-social because they can't control their cravings. Type Seven is the "Enthusiast: hyperactive, uninhibited, enthusiastic, accomplished, versatile, excessive, and manic" (Flaut and Richards).

Jupiter is a perfect fit for Type Seven. The giant planet is known as the symbol of optimism, good fortune and generosity, and is famous for tending to excess. It sees possibilities, makes plans and envisions the future, but often forgets to take limits and problems into account (leaving this part to Saturn). Jupiter is the planet of adventure, variety, and far travels, and rules diplomacy, publishing, story-telling. Jupiter is always enthusiastic, jovial, and looks on the bright side, but fears being closed in or pinned down. Its impulsive escapism and impatience leads to indulgence, just like Type Seven. But as with Types Two, Five and Nine, there is more to the planetary type Jupiter than to the enneagram type Seven. For example, Jupiter has a loftier side, ruling philosophy, universities, organized religion and the higher mind, which may be implied by some of Seven's traits, but are not usually stated explicitly. Jupiter also loves to join clubs and churches and can carry the superior or condescending attitude of their group. We can expect that, if the correspondence with Jupiter is correct, that at its best Type Seven engages in its adventurous activities in order to learn about life and gain wisdom. Jupiter rules the two signs Sagittarius and Pisces, both of which are known for all the traits common to Jupiter and Type Seven, as well as for the scholarly, intuitive, religious and "clubby" aspects of Jupiter. The fact that Venus is exalted in Pisces, one of Jupiter's signs, emphasizes Type Seven's famous love of pleasure and its tendency to gluttony and indulgence, and might explain why Jupiter's pursuit of higher learning is not as prominent in Type Seven's profile. But Jupiter and Type Seven as the "enthusiast," definitely describes the zealous eagerness of traditional religions to convert people and proselytize.

Type Eight is Mars

Type Eight is strong and powerful and seeks to defeat obstacles. Courageous and independent, Eights are often energetic, dynamic, inspiring leaders, protecting the underdog and striving for progress. Honest and forthright, they bring a natural innocence and lust for life to everything they do, able as they are to see every day as a new beginning. Healthy Eights are strong enough to be open and generous, and they work tirelessly for the causes they believe in. When less healthy, Type Eight is selfish, arrogant and overbearing, ruthlessly dominating others in order to shield its own vulnerability. They hate weakness in others, and especially in themselves, refusing to admit mistakes and covering them up with more aggression, unaware all along of how their bullying affects others. Eights may also burn out with overwork. They provoke conflict constantly in order to test their limits, and may destroy others for fear of losing their own power, whether real or imagined. Type Eight is the "Leader: powerful, dominating, self-confident, decisive, challenging, authoritative, and combative" (Flaut and Richards).

Mars is such a perfect fit for Type Eight that it makes the overall planetary correspondence to the enneagram very hard to deny. God of War, the red planet is the symbol of combat and aggression. It is lusty, enthusiastic, inspired, energetic, assertive, and tireless on behalf of causes. Mars may generously defend the weak, or hate weakness in itself and others. Just like Type Eight, Mars is prominent in the horoscopes of dictators and tyrants, but also of athletes, construction workers and adventurers. It rules the aggressive Aries, the first sign of the zodiac, known for its innocence and pioneering ability to lead new ventures. Aries has a strong sense of identity and is self-centered. It also rules Scorpio, which indicates not only the combative temper of Type Eight, but also its determination to defeat obstacles and its power to look at life more deeply in order to gain self-renewal. The Mars and Type Eight approach of "getting them before they get us" is similar to the counterphobic aggression of Type Six, where as we saw Mars is exalted. The Sun's exaltation in Aries emphasizes the ability of Type Eight to wield power and inspire others.

Type Nine is Venus

Type Nine is self-effacing and accomodating. They are very sensitive and receptive to their environment, repressing their anger instead of expressing it. Nines are kind, loving, even-tempered, flexible, cheerful and easy-going. They love peace and harmony, and make great diplomats and mediators. At their best they improve the lives of people they care about through their calm, focused activity and their ability to see beyond themselves. Some even make great spiritual teachers or gurus. Weaker Type Nines, however, fall asleep to their own inner needs and desires and let others shape events, going along to get along. They see all sides of an issue, which gives them a balanced perspective that fosters cooperation among different people. But this means they can also be indecisive, scattered and unfocused, wasting time on irrelevant details. Their famous modesty leads them to minimize their own importance, thinking their actions have no consequence-- thus providing them an excuse to be irresponsible. They may give up on life instead of risking rejection, thus lapsing into indolence, apathy and passive-aggression. They need to find themselves and be more assertive. Type Nine is the "Mediator: easygoing, phlegmatic, receptive, optimistic, complacent, tolerant, and disengaged" (Flaut and Richards).

If Mars the god of war epitomizes Type Eight, then its opposite Venus, the goddess of love and bringer of peace, is a great symbol for Type Nine. Venus rules Libra, whose natives are well-known for their love of peace, harmony and justice for all, and their abundant diplomatic and mediating skills. Libras are also famous for weighing all sides of an issue before making decisions. Venus also rules Taurus, another sign of peace and love, but also of calm and focused determination ("the strong, silent type"). Type Nines are also said to be stubborn and apathetic, and this fits Taurus to a "T." Both signs may sometimes neglect themselves and their responsibilities, and Libra can do this by using its diplomatic skill to take advantage of people. The indolence of both signs is well-known, and Librans are especially good at blending in or losing themselves in other people. As with some other Enneagram types, there appears to be more contained in the symbol of Venus than in Type Nine, which is rarely described as "artistic" like Venus. But its love of beauty and nature is also implied by Nine's description as "sensitive and responsive to the environment." Saturn's exaltation in Libra may explain this difference too, since its more pragmatic and depressive influence may tamp down the Venusian aesthetic interests. The greatest work by famous Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer was called "Melancholia," and according to the artist expressed the influence of Saturn exalted in Libra. The Moon is also exalted in Type Nine (since it is exalted in Taurus), like Saturn perhaps emphasizing the more mundane, and also the passive/receptive, traits of Nines.

The following table shows the relationship between the enneagram types, planets and signs. The last column shows the corresponding chakras, the 7 energy centers along the human spine, which in alchemical tradition are aligned with the planets in the same order. I have also added Uranus and Neptune to this order.

Enneagram TypePlanetRuling SignsExalted Planetschakra
OneMercuryVirgo, GeminiMercury in Virgo5
TwoMoonCancerJupiter6
ThreeSunLeoNeptune7
FourNeptunePiscesVenus6
FiveUranusAquariusMercury (strong)7
SixSaturnCapricorn, AquariusMars in Capricorn1
SevenJupiterSagittarius, PiscesVenus in Pisces2
EightMarsScorpio, AriesSun in Aries3
NineVenusLibra, TaurusSaturn in Libra, Moon in Taurus4

As you can see (if you know a little astronomy), the sequence of the Ennneagram Types corresponds to the positions of the planets in their orbit around the Sun. The Sun and Moon are the archetypal pair, the Father and Mother principle. They correspond to Types Three and Two respectively. From there, if you count backwards from Type One (Mercury), to Type Nine (Venus), Type Eight (Mars) and so on out to Neptune (Type Four), the types line up exactly with the planets as you move out from the Sun. You can also count forward from Neptune and Type Four, and the planets correspond in order as you go inward to the Sun and Moon. As you can see from the table, these positions of the planets are also related to the sequence in the zodiac of the signs they rule.

Why was the Mercury type chosen as Type One? I have a theory. In alchemical and hermetic tradition, Mercury represents Hermes himself, who is reputed to be the author of that tradition. He is the magician and teacher who gave us the system on which in all probability the Enneagram is based. In alchemy, the element named Mercury represents the key to the transformative work, and in fact is used in metallurgy to separate gold from its impurities.

Remember, your sun sign might not correspond to the Enneagram Type you identify with. This might be due to the slight differences between the two systems, or perhaps that one system is wrong. More likely, it is because another factor or factors might be more important in your horoscope than your sun sign. For example, in my own case I most likely identify with Type Five, with a Four wing. In some tests on-line, Three and Nine also get high scores. I am a Libra (Type Nine), but the strong Uranus rising in my chart corresponds to Type Five, and Neptune's conjunction to my Sun indicates Type Four.


Other aspects of the Enneagram

Most authorities on the Enneagram go further to describe how the Types relate to each other, and describe subtypes. Let's see how these are the same or different from astrological methods.

WINGS

Each Type is supposed to be influenced by a type next door to it, on one side or the other. For example, if you are Type Nine, you are either a Nine with an Eight wing, or a Nine with a One wing. So, people say (using a different example), "I am Type Five wing Four" or "Type Five wing Six." They thus are described as having some of the traits of their wing, along with their main type.

As you can see, in astrology the wings correspond to the planet next to it in its orbit, except in the case of Three and Four (and even then, notice that the ruler of Type Four is exalted in Type Three). In most cases, this means that a Type's wing corresponds to the sign next door too. So having a wing is like being born on the cusp of a sign. For example, if you are an Aries, then if you were born early in the sign (March 21-25) then you are on the cusp of Pisces. This would be like being Type Eight with a Seven wing. On the other hand, if you were born at the end of Aries (April 16-20), then this is like being a Type Eight with a Nine wing. But this only applies to those born at the beginning or end of a sign, whereas with Enneagram types everyone has a wing. This leads me to suspect that most people might not really have a wing at all.

Astrology determines a person's subtypes in other ways. Instead of simply saying that you are also like the type next door, a horoscope has several other important factors. It may be that the Moon, Ascendant, or several other planets are located in several different signs elsewhere in the zodiac, not just in the signs next door to your sun sign. On the other hand, it is true that the planets close to the Sun (Mercury, Venus, and often Mars) are often found in signs close to the sun sign. This means that the sign before or after your sun sign might be your wing if one or more of these planets are located there. If the wing type you identify with is similar to another neighboring sign emphasized in your chart, that might lead you to identify with that wing rather than the other one.

CONNECTED TYPES

It is often said that each type is related to two other types besides their wing. One represents the "direction of integration" and the other "the direction of disintegration." Thomas Condon says that this characterization is basically meaningless, and that these relationships might not always apply, and I agree with him. But he lays out how each type is, at least, connected to both of the others, without the usual approach of saying one is healthy and the other one is not. There is no correlation here with astrology, since it determines its subtypes by which signs the other planets and the Ascendant are in. Another basic method astrologers use is to look at connections between the planets themselves. These are called "aspects." It might be that if in your horoscope, your Sun or other important planet is strongly connected to another planet, that planet might correspond to the type you are connected to. But your horoscope might also indicate that you are most connected to a totally different planet or sign than one that represents a type you are connected to in the enneagram.

Again, in astrology, your subtype might be shown by any of the other signs or planets, depending on your chart. The Enneagram doesn't use the horoscope, and so must attribute the same subtypes to everyone who identifies with one of the main Nine types. In this respect, again, astrology seems more flexible and accurate.

PERSONAL, SOCIAL, UNIVERSAL

There are three other subtypes. The first is preoccupied with personal survival (self-preservation), the second with one-to-one relationships (intimate), and the third with relating to a lot of people (social). Astrology makes the same distinction. In this case, however, you can be any Enneagram type, and still have any one of these sub-types; while your astrology sign places you in one of these types and not the others. The Zodiac is divided into 4 personal or primordial signs (Aries through Cancer), 4 relationship-oriented signs (Leo through Scorpio), and 4 signs oriented toward the larger society and universal concerns (Sagittarius through Pisces).

Of course, in astrology (as already mentioned) your horoscope contains several other important factors besides your sun sign. That means that, much like in the Enneagram, you might be born under a primordial sun sign like Aries, but if your Moon and Ascendant are in a universal sign like Aquarius, you might be considered a "universal-oriented Aries;" much as you might be considered a "universal Eight," if your sign corresponds with your enneagram type.

AROUND THE WHEEL

Like the signs, the enneagram types are often arranged around a circle. There is usually a gap depicted between Types Four and Five. Some authors attribute different traits to the types depending on their position on the circle, and these may correspond to the signs. It could be that types such as Two and Three are more personal, and Types Six and Seven more oriented to society. This would correspond to the axis from the Moon to Saturn, which corresponds to the axis running from the personal, inward and family-oriented sign Cancer to the ambitious and status-oriented sign Capricorn.

If you take a tour around the types, it is clear that active types alternate with passive ones; or masculine/assertive with feminine/receptive. In Chinese philosophy the term for this is yang and yin, respectively. In astrology the signs also alternate in the same way. Starting with Six and ending with Five (since these are both yang types) we have:

Enneagram authors don't attribute yin and yang to the types. Instead they are divided between "harmony" "power" and "ideals."

Harmony is of course equivalent to yin, and power to yang, but what about ideals? The explanation for this is more complicated, and interesting.

As I said above, the chakras are also associated with the planets. As I developed the philosopher's circle, I found it appropriate to line up the chakras with the vertical axis of the circle, running from the base of the spine at the bottom (the physical-oriented 1st chakra) to the crown at the top (the spiritual 7th chakra). I had even already, without thinking about or referring to the chakras, divided the philosophy circle into six layers. The chakras and planets naturally fit into these layers, including putting chakras six and seven on the right and left sides of the top layer, which aligns with the alchemical custom (depicted in Burckhardt's book). When I later perceived the connection between the enneagram and the planets, as well as between the planets and the chakras, it was easy to place the enneagram types within the philosophy wheel.

In addition to the vertical axis, it of course has a horizontal one, running from right (or West) to left (or East). To this I attributed the difference between yin and yang; or more exactly the intellectual (yang) from the experiential (yin). In accordance with today's awareness of "left-brain vs. right-brain" approaches, I placed the intellectual or assertive on the left, and the experiential or receptive on the right (though this is opposite from esoteric tradition, which refers to the left hand as yin and the right hand as yang). So I took account of this when placing the enneagram types on the philosophy wheel. But this locates the types on the circle in a different way than is customary. I found that the enneagram types alternate (switch back and forth) between left and right as they go up the wheel.

As you can see from the chart above, I placed Type Six (Saturn) in the first chakra (survival-oriented), and since Type Six is yang I put it on the left side of the circle.
I put Type Seven (Jupiter) in the second chakra (enjoyment, desire), and since it is yin I placed it on the right.
I placed Type Eight (Mars) in the third chakra (will, energy), and since it is yang I put it on the left.
I put Type Nine (Venus) in the fourth chakra (love), and since it is yin I placed it on the right.
I placed Type One (Mercury) in the fifth chakra (speech, purification), and since it is yang I put it on the left.
I put Type Two (Moon) in the sixth chakra (vision and intuition), and since it is yin I placed it on the right.
I placed Type Three (Sun) in the seventh chakra (divine knowledge), and since it is yang I put it on the left.
I put Type Four (Neptune) also in the sixth chakra, and since it is yin I placed it on the right.
I placed Type Five (Uranus) also in the seventh chakra, and since it is yang I put it on the left.

It is also true that, in hermetic and other occult traditions worldwide, the Sun has a more general meaning representing the entire yang polarity, and thus has a more general connection to the entire left/yang side of the philosophy wheel. The Moon has a corresponding link to the right/yin side of the wheel. This means that the types most typical of the upper chakras (6 and 7), are actually types Four and Five. If we include the fifth chakra as one of the upper chakras, then its Type (Type One) as well as the types associated with the sixth and seventh chakras (Types Four and Five) are the "idealistic" types, because they are the ones associated with the spiritual part of the philosophy wheel, the upper 2 layers.

The other types, including the Sun and Moon types (Three and Two, respectively), are located on either the left or right side of the wheel. The harmony-seeking types (Two, Seven and Nine) are located on the right or yin side of the wheel, and the power-seeking types (Three, Six and Eight) are located on the left or yin side of the wheel. Refer to the chart above to see this visually, and to see more correlations.


THREE UNDERLYING MOTIVATIONS

There are three sections into which the Enneagram Wheel is divided. These sections concern the three kinds of neurotic motivations or emotions that underlie behavior. Types Two, Three and Four are motivated by confusion over who they are. Types Five, Six and Seven are motivated by fear, and Types Eight, Nine and One are motivated by anger. I'm very skeptical of this notion. In the first place, these attributions are not always consistent. It's clear, for example, that Types Five and Nine are also confused about who they are. Obviously, this division also over-emphasizes the neurotic, which is one reason for connecting the Enneagram to astrology; in order to give a more complete view of each Type. Most importantly, you can't really separate these three kinds of emotional neurosis. They are basically 3 kinds of reactive or addictive behavior. All three could be attributed to fear, for example. If you're "confused about who you are," it's because you are afraid to find out; and if you're angry, you are afraid of what might happen if you don't get your own way.

Tom Flautt and John Richards describe a triad division of the 9 Types that corresponds to Plato's 3 parts of the soul. They write, "Each of the three centers has three Enneagram types associated with it. The Gut center (Plato's soul of appetite) is preferred by Enneatypes 8,9,1; the Heart center (Plato's will or passion) is preferred by Enneatypes 2,3,4; the Head center (Plato's soul of reason) is preferred by Enneatypes 5,6,7." This puts the corresponding planets in these locations: Mars (Type 8), Venus (9), Mercury (1) in the Gut, Moon (Type 2), Sun (3), Neptune (4) in the Heart, and Uranus (Type 5), Saturn (6), Jupiter (7) in the Head. Using the "underlying motivations" I described from other authors, Flautt and Richards might attribute "fear" to the Head, "anger" to the Gut, and "confusion over identity" to the Heart chakra. This division is also supported by Mary Bast.

This doesn't correspond to where I located the enneagram types on the philosophy wheel, however. I locate types 6 and 7 in the soul of appetite (gut, lower chakras), 8, 9 and 1 in the soul of will (heart, middle chakras), and 2,3,4 and 5 in the soul of reason (head, higher chakras), with 5 (as greed) also associated with the lower chakras or soul of appetite.

The Flautt and Richards scheme might fit the philosophers wheel a bit better if we associate the upper right side ("right-brain" side) of the wheel (quadrant of feeling) with the Heart. This would fit types 2 (Moon) and 4 (Neptune). Head types would fit on the left side ("left-brain" side) of the wheel (thinking and intuition), since for the enneagram, the "head" does not necessarily mean only the higher spiritual mind. Types 5 (Uranus) and 6 (Saturn) are located on the left side of the philosophers wheel, aligning with Flautt and Richards' placement. Type 8 (Mars) somewhat fits the Gut center, since it corresponds to the solar plexis-- but it's also on the left side of the wheel. As goddess of love, Venus (9) represents the Heart on the right side of the wheel, but is associated in this scheme with the Gut Center.

The other types that don't fit this correlation well are 1 (Mercury), 3 (The Sun) and 7 (Jupiter). In these cases, the nature of the Enneagram types themselves don't fit the Flautt/Richards grouping. Mercury/Type 1 is a rational type, so it cannot correspond to the Gut Center. The Sun (Type 3), being solar, is associated in alchemy with the left brain, and with rational or intuitive-spiritual consciousness. It is the supreme yang symbol, very assertive and goal-oriented, just as Type 3 is. I assume they put it in with the Heart types (2 and 4) mainly because it falls between them numerically. The same is true of Type 7, grouped with the Head types merely because it comes after Types 5 and 6. But Jupiter is adventurous and enthusiastic (not cautious planners like head types are), and it is a "mental" or "head type" mainly in an inspirational way. In our system, the types generally alternate between yin and yang, or head and heart, like the meanings of planets, signs and chakras do. So grouping three in a row together will not generally correspond to our system.

The signs in which planets are exalted correspond somewhat better to Flautt and Richard's scheme. In astrology, Mars (8) is exalted in Capricorn, and Venus (9) is exalted in Pisces, and these are signs ruling the bottom part of the wheel; the Gut Center. Jupiter (7) is exalted in Cancer, near the top of the wheel (Head Center). The Sun (3) is exalted in Aries, and the Moon (2) in Taurus, which are on the middle levels of the philosophers wheel (Heart). The signs where Mercury (1), Saturn (6) and Neptune (4) are exalted don't fit this comparison, however.

Interestingly, the statistical correlations they cite between Enneagram and MBTI types appear to correspond to most of the correlations I made at my MBTI site. They also said that the enneagram "started with a consideration of negative behavior" and may be based on the Christian 7 deadly sins, plus fear and deceit. They did not specify which is which, but I can speculate as follows: wrath=1, greed=5, sloth=9, pride=8, lust=2, envy=4, gluttony=7, fear=6, deceit=3. These correlations are obviously not as accurate, orderly, thorough and detailed as those with the planets, however.


All these connections should help you interpret the meaning of your place on the philosophy wheel, according to the questionnaire. Maps of the philosophy circle can be seen here. Now that you see this order of the cosmos reflected in your own philosophy and psychology, it should help establish wisdom, order and meaning in your life. May it be so, and keep the spirit alive.



The Enneagram by Thomas Condon of The Changeworks
International Enneagram site
Tom Flautt and John Richards on the Enneagram and MBTI, posted by Dr. Mary Bast
Enneagram styles by Mary Bast and Clarence Thompson
Enneagram Institute, with descriptions of the types
Enneagram test from Personality Cafe
Enneagram personality test
Eclectic Energies Enneagram Tests
Horoscope for the New Millennium by E. Alan Meece
Description of astrological types, from Horoscope for the New Millennium (1997)
Astroprofile of the planets
Astrologer Ken Ward on the planets
Vic DiCara explains the key symbolism behind each astrological planet, and how they represent the human journey from consciousness, through illusion and back again
Tao of Astrology Video Course Class 1 (3 hours)
My take on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Bach, Chakras, Tarot
Planetary Dynamics: Spiral Dynamics as an ascending ladder of planets through time
Philosophy on a Circle