the Enneagram is witchcraft

I’ve read a lot of books on the Enneagram in the past year, and a surprising number take the time to assure readers that the Enneagram fits within what it means to be a Christian. At first, I kind of scoffed. Why would anyone think personality types are the devil’s work? But the more I learned, the more I’ve come to believe that the Enneagram is witchcraft – in the best possible way. (Disclaimer: I don’t believe in the devil, so this is an easy leap for me.)

Witchcraft, the exercise or invocation of alleged supernatural powers to control people or events…
hand drawn enneagram symbol looks like witchcraft
My first attempt at drawing the Enneagram looks like some devilish child casting spells, I’ll admit.

My theory is simply that people who pay attention to the interconnected world we live in are able to move in ways that the average bear can’t grasp. Witches don’t have supernatural powers, in my view. They just take note of patterns other people would rather ignore. The ability to predict an outcome and control an outcome can look awfully similar, from a distance.

Crows are beautiful creatures in my book – which is good, since I see hundreds of them commuting across the sky every morning and evening. Imagine if I knew someone thought they were bad luck? The power!!!

Resistance is futile: the Enneagram is witchcraft

Pattern recognition lies at the heart of new artificial intelligence technology, the stuff of sci-fi dystopian futures run by machines. But the truth is, we humans are facing our own dystopia right here and now by ignoring some patterns (hi there, global warming!) in favor of others.

The solution is not to wait for machines to save us. The solution is to widen our perception of the patterns at play in the world – starting with the ones inside our own little skulls. Here is where the Enneagram is a magical realm of patterns to explore.

Where do you go in stress? How do you react to the expectations of others? What do you need to feel safe in the world? How are you going to show up in a crisis? What are your strengths? We don’t give much thought to these questions in our daily lives – but we should. The Enneagram helps turn our attention towards what really matters.


A friend of my discovered that one of her ancestors was prosecuted during the Salem witch trials. In her research, she found this in the court records regarding her long lost female relative:

Her crime was not witchcraft. But an independence of mind and an unsubmissive character.

It is my sincere wish that we each cultivate independence of mind and a character that knows when to be stubborn or submissive, as the situation warrants. With the Enneagram, we find a way to sort through all the confusing layers of family expectations, cultural conditioning, job responsibilities, personal preferences, ego defenses and all the rest, to figure out who we really are, and what we really find important.

There’s nothing supernatural about it: the Enneagram is witchcraft.

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