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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Enneagram

DEFINITIONS

Enneagram: A certain figure with seven points. According to the writings of Caucasian mystic G. I. Gurdjieff and his followers, it is the emblem of the Sarmoun Brotherhood, an ancient occult order active in the Middle East. Usebe by Gurdjieff as a symbolic structure of existence in his teaching, it remained little known until Claudio Naranjo, a student of the Chilean esotericist Oscar Ichazo, began giving seminars on the subject in Berkeley, California, in 1970.

The particular interpretation of the enneagram taught by Naranjo focused on the symbol as a map of personality, with different character types assigned to the points of the symbol. This approach caught on with American students, many of whom were interested in psychology, and with liberal Catholics who noted the similarity between enneagram character types and the seven deadly sins of traditional Christian moral thought.
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