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Home -> People -> Astrology and the Enneagram

Astrology and the Enneagram

The Enneagram system of personality types has become popular once again over the past decade or two. It's a system that, like astrology, no-one knows exactly where or when or how it originated.

What's obvious to anyone familiar with astrology reading descriptions of the enneagram types is that they are direct correspondences to the signs of astrology. To a great extent then, the enneagram is a simplified astrology without chart calculations. Because of this, the enneagram is a very accurate system to use if you are looking for a typing system. Using the zodiac signs without knowing a person's birth data yields exactly the same result in terms of having a useful typing system at your disposal, albeit with some important benefits, as described further down this page. However the enneagram is very well presented, and takes a slightly different approach to presentation than astrology. Astrology could learn a lot from the enneagram's approach in that regard.

Here is a table of correspondences between the enneagram types and the astrological signs:

Enneagram Type
Astrology Sign
1 - Perfectionist
2 - Helper
3 - Achiever
4 - Romantic
5 - Observer
6 - Questioner
7 - Epicure
8 - Boss
9 - Mediator
Missing from the Enneagram
Taurus, Gemini, Capricorn

When an astrologer calculates a birth chart for a person, they often 'type' it by weighing the balance of elements (fire, earth, air, water) and qualities (cardinal, fixed, mutable). Combining these then produces a single sign. This sign is often different to a person's Sun sign, and represents a person's basic personality type. This is similar to picking your single enneagram type.

From an astrological point of view, there are three major limitations of the enneagram system. Firstly, the enneagram only has 9 types to work with, whereas astrology has 12. Whilst there are shades of Capricorn in type 3, the type is essentially Leonine and the themes of Capricorn are not represented in the enneagram. Neither are those of Taurus or Gemini.

Secondly, the enneagram has a very low number of possible blends within those 9 types. Because astrology uses planets, signs, houses and aspects, there are 4 sets of the 12 principles which vastly increases the possible number of combinations between them.

Lastly, the enneagram is unable to work with time to show how and when a person's development of their basic themes is likely to take place.

The enneagram is, however, a brilliantly presented and profound model of personality that remains very useful and is definitely worth exploring.

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