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  • John Burgess

The Connection between Soul Typing and the Enneagram


- John Burgess




My love affair with the Enneagram began around 2006, when together with my brother Chris and two close friends Hymie Gordon and Nola Dippenaar, we embarked on a journey of self-discovery to Norway to participate in a Soul Typing retreat.


It had us visit Norway 4 times over 8 months, between June and February of that year, allowing us to experience incredible Norway through literally all its seasons. Literally from the Northern lights and nearly 24-hour sunlight in June, to Autumn in August/September, to freezing cold and snow in November and February, including visiting the Sami people and Reindeer in the far North of Norway.


It was a remarkable, life-changing experience. The opening statements of the retreat got my immediate attention and I knew I had arrived at the right place at the right time;


To give back more to the world than you take out.


Honour everyone for their differences.


We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a human experience.


We choose our parents.


On my return from my first trip to Norway, I was introduced to the Enneagram and my now partner in Ennea International and Enneaworld, Colin Adam, by the Cape Town business school. They believed it would add a dimension to the ACII course we had enrolled for.


I loved it from the first moment and also the connection with Soul Typing which had also typed me as a 7.


Whilst they both have a slightly different focus, my understanding is that Soul Typing and the Enneagram have the same origins and describe 9 different styles of being, behaviours and expressing oneself.


Soul Typing focuses on our soul's true essence and gifts to the world and is more somatic and body-driven. The Enneagram focuses more on learning integrated and disintegrated behaviour styles of the personality/ego and where we play out most in the world.


Enneaworld is therefore in parts more a hybrid of the two, focusing far more on the spiritual side and its beauty rather than our self-created ego that continually impedes our journey to Higher Self. Enneaworld does however allude to some “trapdoors” that can get in our way and block the true transformation back to our essence.


We initially experienced slight resistance from some of our team entrenched in the Enneagram over the last 20 years and who had not been exposed to Soul Typing. They felt it might be more aspirational and that most people are just not there and wouldn’t recognise themselves in their higher state of being.


We think differently and believe it is not aspirational, but totally attainable, as our true nature is one of compassion love and kindness and all we have to do is peel away the layers of our ego that we have created to protect ourselves.


I must be clear that this is only my personal view on the merging of the two styles of behaviour and not that of New Equations or people immersed in the Enneagram. Relatively, very little is known of Soul Typing globally, and its origins outside of New Equations.



According to New Equations, the nine Soul Types describe the key quality, the spiritual portal or energy most active in the body that translates into one’s gift to the world.


Soul Type 1: Spiritual Essence - connected with life-force energy, this soul type shows you that you are pure beauty, pure essence, pure source energy and that humility, vulnerability and receptivity make you stronger than force and aggression ever could.


Soul Type 2: Engagement - expressing life energy in movement, this soul type is a well-spring of enlivening energy to others. Able to engage with anyone, anywhere, for any reason at any time in a way that is energising and life-enhancing for everyone.


Soul Type 3: Inspiration - others are brought into the present moment with this soul type because they see past the maze of your personality, characteristics and resistances, to the beauty of your soul, helping you discover and reach your full potential.


Soul Type 4: Alignment - lining up with your body rather than your mind, this soul type transports others in space and time to a place where everything and everyone connects in calmness, intense love, surrender, passion and sensuality that produce a sense of compassion for all people.


Soul Type 5: Understanding - is the prime driver as this soul type constantly adds to and expands their “map” of world understanding.

Aware of what they do not know as much as what they do know, they intuitively bring others to wisdom without emotional turmoil, confusion and selfishness.


Soul Type 6: Insight - like a vibrating drum, this soul type constantly resonates with the intensity of life and energy of the world’s beauty and richness, all of the time. Able to bring you truth about anything anywhere, at any moment in time using humour, art, movement or whatever brings you more in touch with energy and truth.


Soul Type 7: Vision - able to see where all dimensions meet, this soul type accesses the “still point” of infinite possibilities and ideas that flow through the collective consciousness. They mirror you with their body, gently encouraging the release of what blocks your soul from being free.


Soul Type 8: Integrity - in trustworthiness, this soul type is a natural protector of all life, including yours. Able to feel all you do in their own body they know immediately what is safe and what is not. They bridge the spiritual and the physical so that your body and soul come into alignment.


Soul Type 9: Integration - living as one with all there is, this soul type flows non-judgementally in all situations. They show others how to harmonise breath and movement to release life’s stresses. At ease with change, they create nourishing experiences for everyone.



Without going into detail, the Higher Self description of the Enneagram Styles that we all play in to different degrees are:


Style 1 - Standard Bearer


Style 2 - Generous Altruist


Style 3 - Authentic Deliverer


Style 4 - Compassionate Creative


Style 5 - Wise Sage


Style 6 - Courageous Warrior


Style 7 - Intuitive Visionary


Style 8 - Magnanimous Protector


Style 9 - Calm Peacemaker

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