Why 12 and not 9 Types?

There are several 9 type interpretations re personality types. The 12 Type Enneagram shows essence types.

We have all the energies in us.  Some greater, some less. The energy which we go to most is our essence type.

We need all the energies for proper living – often we don’t use them. Learning the 12 type develops all our faculties.

All essence types have planetary names – but this is not astrology.  We discover our 12 Enneagram essence type by observation

Only some of the 9 points are essence types: 1,4,2,8,5,7 – in this sequence:

Why?  Because when you divide ‘1’ – unity by ‘7’ – the number of limited completion (i.e. 7 days in week) you get – 1,4,2,8,5,7 – recurring

3,6,9 are NOT essence types – they are points of energy that support the types

But why 12 and not 6?

Because there are 6 main essence types

And 6 hybrid types.

Hybrid types are people who have 2 main essence type influences

Once you can recognise your own and others type, you can:

Get to know the traits and characteristics of the different types.  This way discover our and other people’s essence type

  • Improve your relationships
  • Understand why some people like you and others not so
  • See your family, friends and relationships in a more real way
  • Give others the help they really need

*** The spiritual teacher GI Gurdjieff (1866 – 1949) knew the Enneagram did not have 9 types.  In In Search of the Miraculous it is noted ‘… the apex of an equilateral triangle linking together the points of the divisions which do not enter into the construction of the original complicated figure.’ (pg. 286, my italics)


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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.