The History of the Enneagram
The word 'Enneagram' comes of Greek, where ennea means nine, and gram means model. The Enneagram is in this sense a model containing 9 points, drawn in a circle, with one point for each personality type. The model is considered to be an extract from several of the great philosophical movements in the world: Tibetan mysticism; Christianity, the Jewish Cabalistic symbolism and especially the Sufis – the medieval Islamic philosophers.
The Enneagram first became known in the western world thanks to the Armenian philosopher and teacher Georg Ivanovich Gurdjieff (1872-1949), who travelled the world for many years and visited monasteries and schools of mysticism. In the 1920s he founded his own "Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man" in France. He helped people to achieve personal development by giving them assignments combined with inner awareness making them consciously aware of their particular patterns, probably based on the Enneagram.
The way the model is used today originates mainly from the Bolivian scholar Oscar Ichazo, who is said to have learned the Enneagram from the same secret school of mysticism in Afghanistan, as Gurdjieff.
With his knowledge about the Christian and Jewish mysticism, Oscar Ichazo developed the Enneagram to the personality model we know today. In the 1970's he started the first training open to the public in Arica, Chile - and later he founded the Arica Institute in New York.
Several books about it have been published since then, mainly in the USA where the model is widely spread. Now, the Enneagram is spreading on a large scale also in the western world.
The Enneagram is primarily of great value as an excellent tool for personal development, human understanding, communication and cooperation.
We are a professional member of the International Enneagram Association.