“In the study of personality, the Enneagram is designed for self-inquiry. By discovering one’s Enneagrammic personality, one comes to know the many layers of self in a personal and particular way. The Enneagram points out how a person’s strengths can become more stable and more dynamic, and how weaknesses can be brought to consciousness and even healed.” —Joseph Howell in Becoming Conscious: The Enneagram’s Forgotten Passageway (Balboa Press, 2012).
We recently spent a weekend at an Enneagram conference led by Dr. Howell at Kanuga. This nine-point ancient study of the personality can be helpful not only by teaching us about ourselves and our strengths, but in the healing of wounds that led to our forming certain personality traits. The Enneagram can also help us learn to become compassionate with ourselves and with others of different personality types.
On the Enneagram, I am a two, the helper, with a strong three wing, the achiever. My other wing, the four, the creative type, can lead me to the source of my basic essence or God within. That may explain why I am attempting to write this daily message about spiritual direction for a whole year.
At the conference, there were nine tables where people could go and talk to others who shared one of the nine personality types. I immediately identified with the twos’ table. I heard the music in my mind and in my body from “Going Home,” the theme from Dvorak’s Largo in his New World Symphony. I was with a group of people who knew me and I knew them. I could see their woundedness and I could easily recognize their soul, the God in them.
If a person comes to spiritual direction who has had some experience with the Enneagram, I try to help that person to see God, the soul within—for this is what the ancient practice is all about.
Rebecca Spooner will be leading an Enneagram Retreat at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Little Rock, Saturday, February 29, 2020. Mark your calendars!