Frequently Asked Questions

Q – What does the 12 Type Enneagram do?

A – It depicts our essence energy.  We are all one or another essence energy, called Type.

Q – Is it the same as astrology?

A – No. Astrology relies on knowing our birthdate details. The influences wax and wane. The Essence type revealed by the 12-Type Enneagram is CONSTANT – therefore it is a much more reliable tool for understanding. 

Q – Is it the same as the various 9 Type Enneagram systems?

A – No.  All the 9 Type depictions began by taking the existing diagram and adding knowledge. There is evidence that the 12-Type Enneagram is the original because the reason for the diagram being as such can be EXPLAINED. And unlike ‘personality types’ the 12-Type depicts ESSENCE TYPES

Q – Why is it important?

A – Learning the characteristics of our type explains why we think and do things as we do.  It also greatly helps us in understanding why other people are different.


 These famous faces are all a specific essence type

What is in the 12 Type Enneagram for you?  Everything!  You can:

Get ahead at work

Be With the Right Person

Build more rewarding Friendships

Overcome your Limitations

Help others Improve their Lives


21 Responses to Welcome

  • harry hicks says:

    This is fascinating and eminently clearly put. I look forward to reading the book once it is published. And please keep me informed of any workshops you will be running. Harry

  • chris says:

    Very impressive. What I like is the way in which Matthew Campling describes and discusses a potentially complicated field. By relating identifiable traits to recognisable people he removes the mystery from what has become a playground for charlatans. I look forward to the finished book.Chris

  • Wally Hammond says:

    A fascinating deep dive exploration of a relatively uncharted aspect of human behavior and inter-personal relationships.

    Looking forward to reading more, Mr. Campling.

  • Jeanie Phillips says:

    A very accessible website and fascinating subject. Matthew’s explanation of the 12 type enneagram is clear and impressive. I look forward to researching the subject in more depth through the forthcoming book and hearing more about it from the website and in seminars. Many thanks.

  • Craig says:

    Spoken from the head and the heart in equal measure, a fascinating subject put over with clarity and real insight. Thank you Matthew

  • Carlo Dusi says:

    A fascinatingly new approach to age-old wisdom which ties clearly into our every-day life, and provides both emotional and practical guidance. Having approached the subject-matter somewhat sceptically, I now greatly look forward to learning more!

  • Tim Adler says:

    Matthew kindly gave me a taster one-hour session of 12-type Enneagram analysis, and I can honestly say that I think about our conversation most days. He quickly identified what I already knew to be my own defects of character and suggested strategies for overcoming them. I found it a most moving experience.

    I came away thinking that 12-type Enneagram analysis would be most useful in a corporate environment — especially for any manager looking to build a team, blending strengths and weaknesses across the group.

  • Sarah Bedwell says:

    Matthew – many congratulations. Your new look at this ancient wisdom has, no doubt, created an exciting new tool for self-awareness and self-development. I have bookmarked your website and look forward to hearing more about the 12 Type Enneagram in the future.

  • d.sherwood says:

    OK! I give in.How do I find my “type”

    • Matthew says:

      Clicking on ‘What Type Are You- – 3 simple questions’ is the start. You can also click on ‘What are the 12 Types’. You can then leave me a specific question and I’ll answer it.

  • Lisa Shendge says:

    Fascinating stuff.

  • carmen willcox says:

    I have heard Matthew speak, in the past. And I found that I wanted to study this further. So I have ordered his book. I know it will keep me enthralled, as I discover more on this worthwhile topic.

    • That’s wonderful, Carmen! I know there is much in the wonderful 12-Type to fascinate and inform you. Have a look also at my various YouTube videos. I’ve formulated a quick way to identify which type you or someone else is:

      First of all – are they a ‘personal’ type (those on the right side, who experience the world and life through what it means to THEM) or a ‘non-personal’ type (those on the left, interested in the world outside of themselves). And then which of these ‘operating centres’ is most you:

      If you are more than one of these three, you may be a ‘hybrid’, who are the people who have equal influence of TWO of the three.

      The two Thinking types are Lunar (light, intuitive thinking) and Saturn (deep thinking)
      Emotional types are Venus (one-to-one, personal) and Jupiter (includes everybody)
      Moving types are Mercury (organising) and Mars type (managing/controlling)

      You can also do the simple quiz on this site to learn more about the different type characteristics. And email me again if you need more guidance.

      Thank you for your interesting comment!

  • Roy says:

    Dear Mathew, I wonder if the 12 type system has any relationship to the info in this video?

    Especially as you mention Essence a lot, and that is Faisal’s field of work. Faisal also mentions a 12 type system, as does Oscar Ischazo. Oscar also talks about a 17 type system.

    Faisal’s work came from Oscar via Claudio Naranjo – and I think Oscar got the tradition from the Sarmoun school, which Gurdjieff got his teachings from.

    Faisal Muqaddam is the originator of the Diamond Logos teachings. He is a psycho-spiritual teacher and a trained Reichan and bioenergetics therapist. He has been teaching for the last 35 years in the USA, Middle East and Europe. In this interview we explore the concept of ‘the family hole’ and how the child develops his personality structure based on what’s psychologically ‘missing’ in the family. Also we explore the essential states of each type and which organs in our body are related to its ennea-type. (9 type system)


    • Hello and thank you for your comment. The origin of the 12-Type Enneagram is both mysterious and specific. The system is complete in itself. There is always interest in looking at other ways of expressing questions that are important but I have found within the 12-Type Enneagram so much to explore that this is the system for me.

      I am currently developing a strand of the System which is applying the 12-Type Enneagram at work. I will shortly be putting up on this site some short videos which illustrate how the different types can be recognised and supported at work.

      Thank you for your contribution.

      • Jeanne says:

        I hate to say this here, but blogging, reading blogs, facebook, twitter, and the internet in general have become great time and attention drains in my life. I can sit down to check my e-mail and realize over an hour has gone by while I clicked from this bookmark to that, from that blog to the next. I've decided it's time to consciously cut back. That's part of why my blogs have been shorter – that and other obaliation.Thgnks for another thoughtful post.

  • Hi Lon … so that would make the person the ‘innocent, creative childlike adult …?’ It’s not impossible that a Lunar type would take someone else’s life but I would be interested to hear more of why you think she was a Lunar type? Thanks for the interesting post Matthew

  • Lon Spector says:

    Dear Matthew:
    The person I wrote of above (Casey Anthony) was very immature, irresponsible, and a pleasure seeker.
    She is a definate narcascist. She killed her two year old child and didn’t report her missing. Her mother
    finally tracked her down, and she fabracated a story that the daughter was kidnapped.
    The story caused a media sensation in the U.S. simular to O.J. Simpson. During the trial she held to her lies
    and was accquitted. The outrage was simular to O.J.’s, and she tops the list of the most hated in the U.S.
    I see her as a Lunar/Venus because she is childish, denying, lying, and lives in her own fantasy world.
    She is promiscious and sociopathic and totally unaffected by the child’s death. She is Martain to the extend
    that she was appraised as a masculine type and partisipated in sports in school, but the sexuality and her
    motivations in killing the child (To be with a man) seem more Venusian to me.
    She is interesting because there was contraversy in the Psychological community about how to type her.

    • Hello again. My teacher has an interesting term for explaining peoples behavior in examples such as the one you describe. He calls it a ‘deranged use of the type energy’. If we remember that we have ALL the type energies, then we can always describe an individual’s behavior as one or another. More essential here is to grasp the concept of ‘deranged’: in other words the way the individual MANIFESTS the behavior is deranged, it is not a true and healthy expression of the type energy.
      Therefore, rather than seek examples from people who are pathological, it is better to look for general, healthy, expressions of the characteristics of the type energies. Don’t get hung up on deranged individuals.

      Also, in a previous correspondence you asked about my writing about people who are ‘sex-starved’. There is no specific type where this is a characteristic. But having said that the Lunar type is essentially isolated, in its own world, and this can lead to no sex even when their is the potential. The Venus type can think they are ‘sex-starved’ because they thrive on strong emotions. The Mercury type whizzes around and the lack of intimacy can lead to feeling sexually isolated. The Saturn type gets lost in words and thoughts and their loved one may not get as much sex as they would like. The Mars type tends to get what they want. And the Jupiter type is interested in other things although they will become sexual as part of a bigger emotional agenda.

      Ultimately its about individuals. There are many aspects to either getting sex, or feeling sex-starved. Including, for example, geographical, age, height, weight, etc. Yet for each overweight person who says they are sex-starved there is another overweight person in a relationship – so we also have to be honest about what is making us sex-starved. Hope this is helpful.

  • Again, it is not the purpose of the 12-Type Enneagram to focus on individual incidences of pathology. My teacher’s term of ‘deranged type’ is useful here.
    The characteristics of the types do not denote either good or bad. It is the use the individual makes of them. You have seen that the Mars type energy might cause such a vicious path of behaviour. You may be right. It is more interesting to look at the MILLIONS – the hundreds of millions – of people in the world who do not fall into such an extreme pattern of behaviour – and observe the Mars type energy in them. I find it very useful in a day to day way. If I have seen that someone is a Mars – or a Saturn Mars type – I have an understanding about how they will operate. That is immediately useful. My book gives the example where a Mars type woman when I was on holiday became aggressive. I explain how I could have reacted to her in any of the energies, and what those differences would look like. What I did, in fact, was a combination of Venus type one-to-one schmoozing, and Jupiter type non-personal warmth. And she loved it, she even wanted to know when I would return so she could book. That is an example of the very useful day to day nature of understanding the 12-Type Enneagram. To me it is more useful than boning up on the dreadful actions of psychopaths. If I was asked to work with psychopaths in a ward that might be different. But we must consider how we use our time, day by day. Are we gaining from our thoughts, or are we dwelling in unpleasant places? It’s so easy to do. By not being dragged into it, we can look up at the blue sky, feel our emotions lift. I know you know what I mean. Thanks for writing M

  • Again, you are using the system and this website for attacks on individuals which is not the point of understanding the different type energies. There are always good and bad examples of the way individuals interpret their essence energies.
    If you wish to talk about ‘8’ and ‘9’ types using other interpretations of the Enneagram it’s best you do so on their sites. There is no ‘9’ type in this system. And the ‘8’ type is the Saturn type – the deep thinker. Hilary Clinton in this interpretation is probably a Saturn-Mars type. Obama would be a pure 8 – again the deep-thinker which is why he doesn’t rush to war the way someone more purely Mars type would.
    Please don’t confuse by bringing other interpretations to this site. Keep it clean and separate. Thank you

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Matthew Campling

Matthew Campling

Your 12 Type Enneagram host is London psychotherapist and author Matthew Campling. Matthew has written the first EVER book on this wonderful system ‘The 12 Type Enneagram: Know Your Type: Improve Your Life’ Published by and available from Watkins, selected bookshops and Internet suppliers including

Please click here for a sample chapter.