Summary of The Rise of the Enneagram

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The Enneagram means different things to different people, but when applied thoughtfully, many swear by its ability to benefit its devotees. Born of a seven-day vision by Bolivian teacher Oscar Ichazo, the Enneagram can meld with any culture, religion or philosophy. Christian journalist Tyler Huckabee suggests that it can bring clarity to your personality, behavior patterns and future life paths. Websites and free online tests, which co-opted the philosophy for clicks and giggles, have made this popular among millenials. Read on to clue yourself in.

About the Author

Tyler Huckabee writes on news, film, TV, music, comic books and religion.



The origins of the Enneagram are hazy, but Bolivian teacher Oscar Ichazo often gets credit for popularizing the modern version.

Some say that the Enneagram started in ancient Egypt, others claim to see shadows of it in fourth-century Christian texts, and still others suggest more recent origins in the 1910s or the 1950s. Modern versions of the Enneagram are most commonly attached to Bolivian visionary and teacher Oscar Ichazo, who is said to have fallen into a divine coma or hallucinogenic prayer that lasted seven days. During that time, an angel revealed 108 Enneagrams to Ichazo. He founded the Arica Institute, which taught the Enneagram and a greater philosophy called protoanalysis. Later, a psychiatrist from Chile named Claudio Naranjo re-packaged the single Enneagram of personality in a way more pleasing to Western sensibilities. Though Naranjo was one of Ichazo’s disciples, people disagree whether Naranjo...

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