A good grounding in the basics of the system will be achieved by studying these four free online sources:

The Riso Hudson materials on the Enneagram Institute website – How The System Works, Type Descriptions, and The Traditional Enneagram

Ocean-Moonshine – Type Descriptions
Check out the “Type Descriptions” on the sidebar.

Claudio Naranjo’s 27 Instinctual Subtypes
Caveat: Use “Sexual,” not “One on one.”

Eli Jaxon Bear’s Lectures on the Nine Types on Youtube
These are in order, beginning with 9, 3 and 6 – the central points of each triad – followed by the other types in the order they integrate: 5, 8, 2, 4, 1, 7. The whole playlist is posted. Click on the top left corner, where it says 1/9 – to see a list all of nine videos. Or click on the video, and the whole playlist will appear on youtube.

There will be apparent contradictions among these materials but they have been reconciled through developments in the field.  The two major developments have been Stacking and Trifix.

  • Stacking means not viewing the instincts in isolation but in order. For instance there is no “sexual 9” but a sexual/social 9 that is self-preservation last, or a sexual/self-preservation 9 that is social last.  This is notated Sx/So, or Sx/Sp, respectively.
  • Trifix means that every person has three types, one for each ‘center’, head, heart and gut, also in an order, similar to stacking. So this Sx/Sp 9 may be a 962, or a 926, for instance. With these combinations the apparent contradictions among the seminal authors have largely been reconciled.

Unfortunately there aren’t any good materials to refer to for a basic grounding in trifix and stacking. We find the available ‘experts’ materials to be either too dogmatic – and thus fraudulent – or too advanced. The material on open discussion boards (and most closed ones) is too arbitrary and chaotic to be useful.  So just learn the materials in these three sources for now.  That will give you the foundation to go on to the next step in our group, and through links we will then provide you with, and other materials you may wish to buy.

Please also be aware that there are big problems with the understanding of certain types in these seminal materials, due in part to the authors’ not using stacking and trfiix, but also due to their starting off with wrong assumptions, particularly about Type 9, beginning with Naranjo. Naranjo describes only one KIND of 9. Due to stacking, trifix, and health level (a ‘complete typing’) a “counter-passion” 9 may in fact be over-belligerent. Nine can manifest through under-asserting or over-asserting. Similar issues may arise with different types.

All of this will come clear. Just use these materials as a foundation.

We regret very much that the Enneagram Institute discussion board (forum), which was at the vanguard of clarifying these problems over years, was not archived after the death of Don Richard Riso, when the old website was replaced and the board was dissolved. However we have incorporated that work into our own and hopefully as you explore, you will find it synthesized and further developed on here.

A study aid to help you learn the linked materials will be posted soon.

 Happy sailing.