Enneagram with Type-Color Associations
Type 1: Rightness-Seeker
THE PERFECTIONIST'S Color is White/Silver
Type Ones are called "The Perfectionist" by Helen Palmer, "The Reformer" by Don Riso & Russ Hudson and "The Worker" by Kathy Hurley. They have also been called "Critics" and "Judges" because of their tendency to criticize others and be judgmental. Their greatest strength and weakness is their striving for excellence. They can be hyper-critical of others as they seek excellence in others and may be hypocritical as they try to hide from public view their own vices. They wish to be seen as "a good person" in all eyes. Being a good worker and moral person is important to them. They are focused on organization, honesty, integrity, morality, ethics and fairness. They are their own toughest critics, as they seek perfection from themselves. Sometimes, they feel that they are carrying all the responsibility and doing most of the work. Their underlying resentment and anger can be palpable at times, although they will vehemently deny it as they view "anger" as a "bad" emotion. Often, they can be overly-responsible and dedicated to their work, and have a difficult time taking time off, getting away from work and letting loose. They can make excellent Teachers, Preachers, and Judges. They have an uncanny ability to smell out a lie on a gut level. Their Totem Animals include the Bald Eagle for its keen vision, the Industrious Ant, the Worker Bee and the Barking Terrier for its willingness to stand up to much large opponents and hold it ground. Its Freudian Style/Object-Relations Group is Retentive/Frustrating: Types 1, 4 & 7.
Ego fixation: resentment
Holy idea: perfection
Passion: anger (resentment)
Type 2: Love-Seeker
THE HELPER'S Color is Lavender (Light Violet)
Type Two's are called "The Helper" by Kathy Hurley and Riso & Hudson, "The Giver" by Helen Palmer and "The Mother Goddess" by Jaxon-Bear. Though they can be both males or females, there is a 5 to 1 over-representation of women of this type. Their greatest strength and weakness is their striving for love. Their nature is Nurturing, Caring, Helpful and Giving. They are the Caretakers of the world. They can be generous to a fault, denying their own needs to care for others and can literally be "The Self-Sacrificing Mother. Above all, they want to be loved and appreciated by others. On the negative side, they can become physically ill by neglecting themselves and are prone to health complaints as a way to express their dependency needs. They can be co-dependent in character, and their kindness and generosity exploited by others. Spouses, children, close family and close friends can feel ignored as they spread themselves thin taking care of people that they have just met, but who are in need. Sometimes, they can be annoyingly clingy or intrusive into others lives. They can make excellent Nurturing Mothers, Social Workers, Elementary School Teachers, Child or Senior Caregivers, Nurses, Hospitality Workers and excel in any occupation that requires caring and comforting of others. They have an uncanny ability to sense people's emotions, needs and desires. Their Totem Animals include the Mother Goose or Hen, the Golden or Labrador Retriever, and the Tabby Cat for its loving personality. Its Freudian Style/Object-Relations Group is Expulsive/Rejecting: Types 2, 5, & 8.
Ego fixation: flattery
Holy idea: freedom
Type 3: Status-Seeker
The Performer's Color is Royal Purple (Dark Violet)
Type Three's are called "The Performer" by Helen Palmer, "The Motivator" by Kathy Hurley and "The Achiever" by Riso-Hudson. They have had more names attached to them than any other EnneaType, probably because image is of paramount importance to them. They have been called "Winners", "Competitors", "Success Seekers", "Actors", "Star Performers", "Marketers", "Over-Achievers", "Illusionists" & "Narcissists". Their greatest strength & weakness is their striving to be seen and recognized as"The Best" in everybody's eyes. Recognition and success are most important to them, and they seek the rewards, trophies, status symbols & other markers of success. There motto is "Whatever it takes to Win". Sometimes, they take "short-cuts" to get ahead of the competition. Hence, they are probably the most highly adaptable and efficient of all the types, changing and re-inventing themselves to "best" suit the situation. Sometimes, they appear to wear a series of public masks, and can lose track of their authentic character, which is to be great motivators and star performers. They can make excellent Politicians, Sales People, Motivational Speakers, Actors, and Entrepreneurs. Truly, they can succeed at any enterprise in which they put their total efforts. To them, "Failure is not an Option!" Whoever is their audience, they seek their applause. They have an uncanny ability to figure out what people want and to deliver it. Their Totem Animals are the Chameleon and the Peacock. They typically have a great deal of difficulty recognizing their own EnneaType and associate themselves which whatever type strikes them as "The Best Type" and this can change. Its Freudian Style/Object-Relations Group is Receptive/Accepting: Types 3, 6 & 9.
Ego fixation: vanity
Holy idea: hope
Passion: deceit/vanity (conceit/deceit)
Type 4: Originality-Seeker
The Artist's Color is Blue.
Type Four's are called "The Individualist" by Kathy Hurley and by Riso & Hudson, "The Romantic" by Helen Palmer and a wide variety of the most colorful names including "The Tragic Romantic", "The Romantic Individualist", "The Sensitive Soul", The Melancholic Elitist", "The Artist", "The Connoisseur", "The Victim" and "The Drama Queen or King". Clearly, they are "special" in some way to evoke such imaginative and emotional names. Their greatest strength and weakness is their striving for "originality" or "individuality". They don't want to be like everybody else and are usually stylish in some manner or form. They are intensely romantic and love deeply and creatively. They tend to be self-absorbed because of this as they strive to understand themselves and others, and find their unique role, image and place in the world. Often, they fear having no special identity or personal significance. Creative and intuitive, they wish to be noticed and recognized for their unique style and contributions. They have a greater depth of emotion than any other type, and hence are also often subject to depression and melancholia. They can be excellent designers, decorators, writers, painters, musicians, "thespians" and "divas". They can bring distinction to themselves in any field requiring creativity and style. Their Totem Animals include The Blue Bird-of-Paradise, the Basset Hound, and "Mourning Dove" because of their sweet, soft. sad birdsong. Its Freudian Style/Object-Relations Group is Retentive/Frustrating: Types 4, 7 & 1.
Ego fixation: melancholy
Holy idea: originality
Passion: envy (jealousy)
Virtue: equanimity (emotional balance)
Type 5: Knowledge-Seeker
The Observer's Color is Green.
Type Five's are called "The Observer" by Kathy Hurley and Helen Palmer, "The Investigator" by Riso-Hudson, and "The Mystic Philosopher" by Jaxon-Bear. Don Riso's original term for this type was "The Thinker". Type Five is "The Alien" or "Disembodied Mind" of the Enneagram world who is focused on the hard facts in their quest to understanding the world. Their greatest strength and weakness is striving for knowledge. In general, they are not "people persons", and are considered a withdrawing personality type. They generally need a role or purpose to interact with others. They tend to take on the role of "The Expert" in various endeavors. They have keen minds and penetrating sight that can see deeply below the surface facts. Although often a silent observer, their penetrating observations have changed and shaken the world from time to time. Provocative, abrasive, cynical and generally unconcerned with appearances, Fives have a more difficult time initiating relationships than any other type. They can be reclusive, even hermits, and need considerable time alone. It takes special people to love and appreciate the Five's hidden value as a friend or lover. They are an acquired taste with their love of dry humor, wit and word play. Superficially, they can appear aloof, arrogant and condescending towards others. They are the deepest thinkers of all the types and are prone to being lost in thoughts, ideas, and theories, and to neglect practical matters. They can be excellent Professors, Researchers, Doctors, Engineers, Programmers, Scientists, Mathematicians and excel in occupations that demand mental agility, expert knowledge and objective observations. Their Totem Animals are the "Green Sea Turtle", the Owl, and the Fox. Its Freudian Style/Object-Relations Group is Expulsive/Rejecting: Types 5, 8 & 2.
Ego fixation: stinginess
Holy idea: omniscience
Passion: avarice (greed)
Virtue: detachment (clarity)
Type 6: Security-Seeker
The Guardian's Color is Yellow/Gold.
Sixes are called The Loyalist by Riso-Hudson, The Loyal Skeptic by Helen Palmer, The Doubter by Katherine Fauvre, and The Guardian and The Networker by Kathy Hurley. Other names include The Trooper, The Defender, The Hero, The Questioner, The Doubting Thomas and The Devil's Advocate. They are responsible, loyal and seek security and safety within a group. Once betrayed, they are slow to trust again. Their greatest strength and weakness is their faithfulness & loyalty to their chosen group, which inevitably creates a "Us versus Them" partisan mentality. Most fear losing their security and are cautious individuals. Sixes are prone to worry, anxiety and even paranoia occasionally. Some Sixes deal with their fears and anxiety in a counter-phobic manner and can be seen as Dare-Devils. They can be excellent Protective Fathers, Firemen, Military Servicemen, Police Officers, Emergency Response Workers, Safety Inspectors, Auditors, Prosecutors, Doctors, Financial Analysts, Retirement Counselors and excel in occupations that demand a cautious & skeptical mind. Their Totem Animals are the "German Sheppard", "The Wolf", "The Elk", or any loyal territorial pack or herd animal. Its Freudian Style/Object-Relations Group is Receptive/Accepting: Types 6, 9 & 3.
Ego fixation: cowardice
Holy idea: faith/trust
Passion: fear (worry)
Type 7: Stimulation-Seeker
The Enthusiast's Color is Orange
Sevens are called The Enthusiast by Riso-Hudson, The Epicure by Helen Palmer & Katherine Fauvre, and The Dreamer and The Visionary, by Kathy Hurley. Other eponyms include The Optimist, The Adventure, The Thrill Seeker, The Sensationalist, The Generalist, The Dilettante, The Cheerer and The Entertainer. Sevens have abundant energy and enthusiasm with highly active minds and bodies. Their greatest strength and weakness is their adventurous nature. They can best be described as "Forever Young". At their best they embrace life and all its pleasures, and avoid pain or feeling trapped in a rut. At their worst, they are always on the run from one new experience to another, leaving unfinished affairs, disappointment and disasters in their wake. When the going gets tough, they get going. They are easily bored and are future oriented people. They enjoy making plans and anticipating events. They can be excellent Comedians, Entertainers, Corporate Visionaries, Physical Therapists, Counselors, Athletes, and excel in occupations that require optimism, enthusiasm and a quick mind. Their Totem Animals are "The Monkey" or "The Orangutan". Its Freudian Style/Object-Relations Group is Retentive/Frustrating: Types 7, 1 & 4.
Ego fixation: planning
Holy idea: work
Passion: gluttony (lacking limits)
Virtue: sober joy (sobriety)
Type 8: Power-Seeker
The Challenger's Color is Red
Eights are called The Challenger by Riso-Hudson, The Warrior by Jaxon-Bear, The Protector by Helen Palmer, and The Confronter or The Activator by Kathy Hurley. They have also been called Leaders, Bosses, Dictators, Dominators and Bullies. All are forceful terms. Eights have abundant strength and determination. They are full of lust for life, and are clearly forces that will not be ignored. Their greatest strength and weakness is their dominating nature. They can best be described as "Alpha Male or Female". They use their strength to exert power and control over others, which can be viewed positively or negatively depending on the application. They are born leaders. Eights seek to control their own destiny and lives, and can have problems with authority figures who wish to control them. They fear being vulnerable, harmed or controlled by others. They are very possessive and protective of their loved ones. They can be excellent Generals, Leaders, Chief Executives, Entrepreneurs, Athletes, and excel in occupations that require strength, determination, and force. Their Totem Animals are "The Bull", "The Rhino", "The Lion", "The Tiger" and "The Gorilla". Its Freudian Style/Object-Relations Group is Expulsive/Rejecting: Types 8, 2 & 5.
Ego fixation: vengeance
Holy idea: truth
Passion: lust (excess)
Type 9: Peace-Seeker
The Peacemaker's Color is Pink.
Nines are called The Peacemaker by Riso-Hudson, The Mediator by Helen Palmer & Katherine Fauvre, and The Preservationist and The Universalist, by Kathy Hurley. Other names that describe Type 9 include "The Diplomat" and "The Saint". They avoid conflict and are generally viewed positively by the others. They are gentle, calm, perceptive, friendly and probably the most empathetic of all Enneagram Types. They tend to go along to get along, and often defer to others' wishes and agendas. They are very accommodating individuals. Their greatest strength and weakness is their striving for peace and harmony. They avoid direct conflicts, so conflicts maybe played out passive-aggressively when they do occur. They have an uncanny ability to simultaneous appreciate opposing points of view and seek compromises to end conflicts. They will often pay a high price for peace as they place a great value upon it, often compromising their own interests to attain it. They can be excellent Diplomats, Mediators, Therapists, Counselors, and excell in occupations that require diplomacy, calmness, and a gentle personal touch. Their Totem Animals are "The Elephant" and "The Whale". Its Freudian Style/Object-Relations Group is Receptive/Accepting: Types 9, 3 & 6.
Ego fixation: indolence
Holy idea: love
Passion: sloth (laziness)
Reasoning Behind Colors-EnneaType Associationsity Types
Visible light waves are the only electromagnetic waves we can see. We see these waves as the colors of the rainbow. Each color has a different wavelength. Red has the longest wavelength and violet has the shortest wavelength. When all the waves are seen together, they make white light.
When white light shines through a prism, the white light is broken apart into th e colors of the visible light spectrum. Water vapor in the atmosphere can also break apart wavelengths creating a rainbow.
ROY G BIV is the mnemonic that we learn in grade school physics to describe the order of the colors of the rainbow from the longest wavelength (Red) to the shortest wavelength (Violet). So the colors that I associated with each of the Enneagram Personality Types is all related to the wavelengths in a rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. (ROY G BIV). You see that seven of the nine Enneagram Types quickly fall into place: Type 8 (Red), Type 7 (Orange), Type 6 (Yellow), Type 5 (Green), Type 4 (Blue), Type 3 (Purple/Indigo), Type 2 (Violet) easily fall into place using this logic. The last two Enneagram Personality Types were easily derived With Type 1 being assigned White, the color associated with purity and cleanliness and Type 9 being assigned Pink, which is derived by blending white and red colors. Hence, each Enneagram Type Color blends with its neighboring wings in a logical fashion and forms a basic color wheel.
So My Guess or Take on it is as follows:
I have to admit that I relied just as heavily on Western Tradition, as well as the Physics of Light in making the connections between light colors and Enneagram Personality Types.
In Jewish mysticism and the Kabala, humans spirits are said to be derived from sparks of brilliantly colored light emanating from a divine creative force. In short, we are Spirits of Light.
In Western Tradition, White if color most strongly associated with purity, cleanliness and Godliness. Type 1 is all about doing the right thing, and these traditional meanings. Silver/gray also makes sense when using a metal color as it represents an equal mixture of white and black and traditionally perfection does not exist in man, only in God.
In Western Tradition, Red is color most associated with Passion and Violence. Type 8 is Red (lust, sex, aggression). Black and white also makes sense, but is not truly a color, but a pattern. Red is hot. It's a strong color that conjures up a range of seemingly conflicting emotions from passionate love to violence combat . The expression seeing red indicates extreme anger. Red is also associated with physical vitality and oxygenated blood. As long as we are breathing healthily, our blood is an intense red. Red is associated with the Sexual Instinct as taught by Riso and Hudson and emanates from the gut or body center. A sexual Type 8 is the most sexual and aggressive character of the Enneagram Personality Typology, in my opinion.
Hence 9 had to be PINK, the midpoint and mixture of White and Red.
Pink is associated with nonviolence and a lack of aggression. We paint the Crisis Service area pink because of this and at some jails, prisoners are put in Pink jumpsuits. Both interventions have been show to substantially decrease violence behavior. Pink is the color of Peace and the Peacemaker. It is the color of tolerance.
In Western Tradition, Purple is color of Royalty. Just look at English Royal Crown. Type 3 is all about status and purple is color of status. Purple has been traditionally associated with royalty in many cultures. Purple velvet robes were worn by royalty, high priests and other people of authority or high rank. The original term coined by Riso for Type 3 was Status Seekers.
Again, looking at the blending of colors, if Type 1 is White (Purity) and Type 3 is Purple (Status), then Type 2 must be an mixture of Purple and White, namely Violet.
Hence, Type 2 had to be Violet/Lavender. This is in agreement with Vollmar, another Enneagram author. The use of Red for 'love' as the Type 2 color was suggested by some Enneagram authors, but Red is clearly Type 8's color, in my opinion and many Enneagram writers. To me, red is the color of blood, and aggression, while purple is the color of royalty, and violet/lavender is the color of generative, nourturing, helping, loving, kind, giving femininity or hospitality. Violet is a shade of purple suggesting femininity and refinement with grace and elegance. Violet is s a grown up pink according to some people in the modern fashion industry. A receptive, balanced and inviting color, violet has none of the passivity and avoidance of conflict associated with pink or the conflict and aggressiveness associated with red.
In Western Tradition, Gold or Yellow, is always been associated with bravery or lack of it. We give gold metals to brave heroes. Type 6 is associated with loyalty and heroic behavior, as well as caution, fear of cowardice. We have all heard the expression, "He is yellow" to mean that one is a coward. Yellow is often used for hazard signs and some emergency vehicles. Gold or bronze has been used to describe Type 6 by several Enneagram authors and are shades of Yellow. Gold also makes sense when using a metalic color.
Again looking at blending of colors and the effects of wing types, if Type 8 is Red (Lust, Anger) and Type 6 is Yellow/Gold (Bravery/Fear), then logically, Type 7's color would have to a mixture of Red and Yellow, namely Orange.
Hence, Type 7 had to be Orange. This is agreement with Vollmar.
Orange is vibrant, flamboyant and energetic color . It's a combination of red and yellow so it shares some common attributes with those colors. It denotes energy, warmth, and the sun. But orange has a bit less intensity or aggression than red, calmed by the cheerfulness of yellow. Orange is a stimulant color— stimulating the emotions and even the appetite.
In Western Tradition, Blue is associated with sadness. In Iran, Blue is color of mourning. We have all heard the expression: "He is feeling blue" to mean that a person is depressed or sad. Some authors refers to the Type 4 Personality as The Melancholic and/or a fixation of Melancholy.
Again, mixing or blending wing type colors should logically derive all the type/color associations. If Type 6 is Yellow (Bravery, fear) and Type 4 is Blue, then Type 5 would have to be a mixture of Yellow and Blue, namely Green, the color of money in the USA.
In Western Tradition, Green is associated with productivity, agriculture and medicine. It is also associated with the Alien. We all have seem movies about Aliens from outer space with big green heads, high intelligence and flimsy bodies. Too cerebral and not enough body is the cliché. Type 5 were originally termed The Thinkers by Riso. The most famous TV alien, Mr. Spock has a green shade to him and is said to have green blood and is not quite human. He fails to take emotions into account in his overly logical thinking. (Yes, I know that Mr. Spock is a Type 1 according to many Enneagram authors, but he is also the Science Officer, and I feel justified in appropriating him when discussing certain aspects of the Type 5. Isn't Type 5 called the Investigator?)
In summary, Western Tradition, basic physics and nature of the Rainbow, all seem to resonate with my color/type associations of Enneagram Personality Types. However, there are other traditions such as Islamic or Sufism, which have different color associations with the triads and types. But, that is not my tradition or where I am coming from. I believe that the Enneagram is Organic and based in science and observation. I strongly believe that all real truths resonate. The Enneagram color associations that I have provided resonate loudly. They have the ring of truth.
I am providing one link for those who wish to read about color meaning associations on the internet. It is as follows: http://desktoppub.about.com/cs/color/a/symbolism.htm
Live Long and Prosper.
Arthur Kranz, MD
We are "Beings of Light" according to Don Riso
"What I saw was that everyone there was a "being of light." I saw clearly that everyone is made of light-that we are like forms of light—but that a crust has formed over it. The crust was black and rubbery like tar and has obscured the inner light that was everyone's real, inner self. Some blotches of tar were very thick; other areas were thinner and more transparent. Those who had worked on themselves for longer had less tar and they radiated more of their inner light. Because of their personal history, others were covered with more tar, and would need a great deal of work to get free of it."
Online promotional material provided by Enneagram Institute: https://www.enneagraminstitute.com/articles/NWisdom.asp
Shade of Color Are Associated with Levels of Development
At the higher level of developments, a person has more freedom to act in a non-reflect manner, or out of their Primary Type (Most Prominent or Dominant Character Style). Hence as person becomes emotionally, psychologically and spiritually healthier or better developed, they are increasingly difficult to Ennea-Type. If you use colored light as an analogy, each type is a color or shade of light. As we become "Enlightened", we move towards bright white shade of whatever color that we began with, and recruit more of the other colors that all combine make up white light. I think that we still have a little hue of our original color. If you look at this website on the physics of light, you can see for yourself. Say Type 6 is yellow light. At higher levels of development, a Type 6 individual would look like bright yellow sunlight. At the lowest levels of development, everything is dark or black, the absence of light of any color.
The Wisdom of the Enneagram (Highly Recommended Book)
- New Book by Don Riso and Russ Hudson
- The Enneagram of Personality
MSML has a thorough description of the Nine EnneaTypes with a Hubpage for each
- Enneagram Type One
- Enneagram Type Two
- Enneagram Type Three
- Enneagram Type Four
- Enneagram Type Five
- Enneagram Type Six
- Enneagram Type Seven
- Enneagram Type Eight
- Enneagram Type Nine
More by this Author
The QuadCubes below and the Enneagram in the Healing Tradition can be used together to point you in the direction of growth for your Core or Central Pattern or Position (CP).
G. I. Gurdjieff distilled his “science of the harmonious development of man” into a three step formula as seen on his course flyer. “To Know – To Understand – To Be.”
Each Type is described accurately by 4 Core Relationships: (Dominant Center, Hornevian, Harmonic and Object Relations). It directs your attention to your Neglected Time Frame.