The Enneagram Symbol’s Source

The word  (pronounced “ANY-a-gram) is a Greek derivation “Ennea”  meaning nine and “gram”  which means point.

Thus any nine pointed symbol would be an Enneagram.

The Symbol relevant to this study, combines the Circle, a hexag  (fig2) and a triangle (fig3) to form the figure 1 in the margin.

Symbol Origin

The symbol is understood to have been discovered by George Ivanovich Gurdjieff  (1866-1949) at a  monastery of  the Sarmoun  Brotherhood, a wisdom school, reputedly in Babylon  some  2500 years ago. Gurdjieff introduced the symbol to the west  in the mid 1950’s.

The construction derives from three Laws:

The law of One (Circle)
Denotes the connectedness of all things - Wholeness.  That All is One.

Law of Three (Triangle)
Derived from the division; 1  divide by 3 = · 3333... (recurring)
Add two .33333.... =  ·6666666.... Add Three  ·333333.. = ·99999....

Law of Three denotes the Creative forces required for manifestation: Positive –Negative-Neutralising. Gurdjieff referred  to Affirming,  Denying and  Reconciling (Transcending Principle)

In Creation Myths, all is division. One (as in the Circle) divides to create Two. The original “One” is not destroyed so becomes the Third Force

Law of Seven (Hexag)

Derived from 1 divided by 7 = ·1428571428571...(recurring)

Add two of  ·142857142857 and you get ·28571428......
Each addition move the decimal place within the same sequence of numbers 1-4-2-8-5-7 .  Multiplied by Seven results in ·9999...(recurring)

Law of Seven relates to process and the musical  scale ( Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si ). Gurdjieff taught  a metaphorical idea around  the “Ray of Creation”  being a descending scale of three octaves, and  the development of higher consciousness was an ascending scale.
(suggested reading: The Intelligent Enneagram by AGE Blake)

Gurdjieff taught about  important  Shock Points that required a new energy to enter the scale at the Mi-Fa and Si-Do intervals. (ISM page 126)
Without  a certain kind of Energy  or  supporting aim  being added to the original aim at these crucial interval, there is every likelihood of the goal not being achieved. In fact, we find ourselves back at the starting point.

Gurdjieff claimed that anything could be understood through the symbol of the Enneagram. However, he did not teach any Enneagram link to personality types.

image of grahame and rosemarie

Reference: In Search of the Miraculous, (ISM) P D Ouspensky page 289