Image by Ann Gadd from the cover of Painting by Numbers — Art and the Enneagram

Combining two passions: art and the Enneagram to write my latest book has been an exciting journey. Art mirrors the soul. Our subconscious floats to the surface of the canvas (or sculpture, performance art, etc.) and reveals what was previously hidden. As such, art can be a tremendous way to access our interior worlds and gives us the power to shift and change what no longer serves us. Used this way, art can become a path to create a more integrated (healthy) self.

While researching I became fascinated by the huge role…

You’ve discovered these incredible insights into yourself and others. Wow! It’s amazing, and so accurate. But, like any path to realization, there is the potential to get stuck or bogged down along the way.

Photo: Ann Gadd

It can be hard to avoid not getting trapped in dead ends as we explore deeper into ourselves. Because the ego wants to protect us from anything we may find unacceptable or hard to work with. These dead ends, swamps even, are places that seem fun, enticing, and tantalizing, yet which don’t necessarily serve our, or the Enneagram’s, purpose.

Here are four I’ve identified:

1) Spreading the word

You’ve found the Enneagram. It’s exciting. The information is incredible. I mean how do they know that stuff? Like how your “Seven” boss reacts under pressure. Or what your partner says when…

Illustration of the Enneagram symbol by Ann Gadd

At the 2017 Enneagram Global Summit lectures, Jessica Dibb was chatting to the late Claudio Naranjo in a talk entitled “The Enneagram and Multiplicity.” Naranjo described how we can divide the nine basic Enneagram Types into three triads that reflect these three ways of approaching love: Paternal, Maternal, and Erotic. (A trinity of energies related to active, passive, and reconciling energies.) Writing the book Sex and the Enneagram at the time, I found the concept particularly fascinating.

I see art as a visual metaphor for reflecting the path we all take towards wholeness. It is a tool for understanding and expressing our deepest emotions. Our lives then are the canvas. We are all artists and as such, what we do on the canvas, makes us both the creator and the creation. In living creatively, we connect more closely to The Creator.

Ann Gadd from the Preface of The Collector’s Guide to Art and Artists in South Africa.

“But mummy, I’m bored.”

Words that are destined to push the ‘Great Guilt’ button in mothers and have us stop…

I look at four different parenting styles and how it they influence your child.

*Originally published in March 2009 in Living & Loving magazine

While there are thousands of books out there offering parenting advice, psychologists and child-care specialists have identified four basic types of parenting skills. Studies have begun to monitor the effectiveness of each in achieving what most parents want for their children.

Each of us was raised differently. Because of this, we will parent differently.

The four main parenting styles are:

1. Negligent parenting

You’ve had children possibly unwillingly. Or maybe you’re exhausted with simply trying to put food on the table, or…

Image: Ann Gadd

A Change of Heart: One thing each Enneagram Type can do to heal emotionally

We all want to be the best versions of ourselves we can be, right? Yet we mess us frequently. Or at least I do. For example, today I was so going to exercise. Instead I justified to myself that housework was “exercise.” But who am I kidding? A quick sweep of the floor does not equate to 40 minutes on the treadmill.

During this COVID crisis I believe we were meant to emerge having made changes. Nothing will be the same. Neither will we. We have a choice. Do we adapt and flow change? Working to better ourselves, or do…

A body-centered approach to nine Enneagram ways to grow. Quick suggestions for each Type to assist your personal growth.

Life is busy, particularly as things start unlocking as the COVID curve improves. Being busy means we can easily neglect our own personal growth.

As well as a shortage of time, the intricacies of the Enneagram can sometimes feel like an info overload. With everything there is to learn about the Enneagram, it can feel like a head/knowledge-centered study, and we know it’s infinitely more. There are three centers — head (mind), heart(feelings), and body/gut (action) and to be fully conscious…

So who’s who in the Enneagram zoo? Enneagram Type’s animal archetypes is a fun way to explore and learn more about each type. I simply have to say that someone has “bull-like” tendencies and probably toughness, anger, a short-fuse, power and strength will spring to mind, all of which could be associated with a Type Eight. Then again a lion, representing courage, fierceness and being King of the Beasts, could equally be an Eight archetypal animal.

Search through Google and you’ll see that different schools/teachers/authors will link different animals to the same Types. For instance I’ve seen an elephant being…

This explains why a partner appears to change once the initial romance is over


· 10 min read

How do we use our non-dominant Instinctual Drives to find a partner. Rather than attract a partner using our prime Instinctual Drive, (Social, Sexual or Self-preserving), when it comes to desiring a mate we often use another instinct. Take Joanne and Jack:

Her story:

“When I met my husband, Jack was a social animal. He stayed in a college residence and it seemed there was always a party happening; most often in his room. As a Self-preservation type, having a Social partner seemed like a great match. He appeared confident, which helped me, as…

Each of the Enneagram Types has something unique to offer when it comes to taking a leadership role.

From a painting by Ann Gadd

Bob’s a Type Eight Enneagram, often called “The Boss.” He enjoys being in charge and energetically pushing forward with a new project. He has a “no-nonsense,” approach to management. So, he’ll be the best leader, right?

Not necessarily.

Take Sheila. Sheila is quiet, doesn’t enjoy the limelight and unlike Bob, takes time to reach a carefully considered inclusive decision. As a result, her staff adores her. They feel she listens to them and will follow her anywhere.

The Nine Types of Enneagram Leaders have different leadership styles, but they can be equally as effective.

I’ve found that all types can…

Ann Gadd

Ann Gadd is in iEQ9 Enneagram Coach, IEA presenter, and author of 4 Enneagram books (incl. Sex and the Enneagram), as well as a children’s Enneagram series.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store