Introduction to the Enneagram

by Janelle Clare Schneider

Through the Enneagram,
we can better understand who we think we are, who we really are, and how we experience God based on both perception and reality.

St. Teresa of Avila writes in her masterpiece, The Interior Castle, “Not a little misery and confusion arise from the fact that through our own guilt we do not understand ourselves and do not know who we are … what treasures this soul may harbor within it, who dwells in it, and what great value it has, these are things we seldom consider, and hence people are so little concerned with preserving their beauty with all care.”

The Enneagram is an ancient dynamic symbol of transformation which provides us with a road map to our soul. Through familiarizing ourselves with the energies described, we can better understand who we think we are, who we really are, and how we experience God based on both perception and reality. As we see our inner beauty (and compulsions) through this symbol we then see who we really are, and can “preserve our beauty with all care.”

Richard Rohr puts it this way–“The Enneagram has emerged as a tool that is forcing many of us to a brutal and converting honesty about good and evil and the ways that we hide from ourselves and therefore hide from God.” (Preface, The Enneagram A Christian Perspective)

We begin our study of this symbol by discerning our own place on it. This truly is a discernment process, and not one of labelling or “pigeon-holing”. No one else can tell you “what your number is”. In the early stages of discovery, even you will likely be uncertain as to where you fit. That is not only okay; it’s to be expected! However, as you continue to experience life in the illumination of the Enneagram, you’ll begin to experience a “fit” with particular energies or “spaces”, which will then provide insight into how you interact with life and with God.

Our first session, on September 10, 2012, will discuss the three “centres”–head, heart and gut. Each of us lives out of one of these centres, usually to the exclusion of the other two. Each of these relates to three numbers on the Enneagram, thus helping a person narrow down which energy is dominant in his/her life.

On Ocober 9, 2012, we’ll discuss each of the numbers (also referred to as “energies” or “spaces”) in more detail. Our November session will introduce you to the roadmap for spiritual transformation which is hidden in the symbol, and in December we’ll explore how the energies all interact to create the unique person that is you.

Join us…

Inner Transformation through the Enneagram

September 11, 2012 – December 11, 2012
Second Tuesday of the month
from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Brown Bag Supper at 6:00 pm  (optional)

A Growing towards God Series