Colors of the Enneagram Types
Color is a powerful aspect of our experience here on Earth. So is our personality type! It makes sense, then, that people would come up with a color that captures the essence of each Enneagram point.
I wouldn’t have thought of pairing the two, but I read about it years ago in Richard Rohr & Andreas Ebert’s wonderful, grace-filled book, The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective. In our meme-filled world, you could assume this topic is just another gimmick or bit of click bait. But that book was written before social media or click bait existed! The authors weren’t trying to be gimmicky or hip; they were trying to describe the “suchness” of each type in ways we could recognize, using the symbols embedded in our brains.
So, I’ve provided the color for each type below, along with a short summary of what they represent – all taken from the book. I’ll add my own commentary, as well.
Enneagram 1: Silver
Cool, sober and clear. “Like the mild silvery glow of moonlight, the redeemed One stands for change and growth.”
If you can imagine Nine as the golden sun [see below], it makes a kind of sense that one of the numbers next to it would be moon-like. Eight seems much too fiery to be the cool moon; Mars would be a more appropriate heavenly body, perhaps! And since the One at the Average Level of Development can have a “cold as ice” anger, the chilly moon seems apt. We could also think of the improvement-seeking one as a silver medalist striving to achieve the gold that’s so close by.
Enneagram 2: Red
Life, power and passion. “…a symbol of unconditional devotion to life and the will of the Father.”
Twos are focused on love, and a common symbol of love is a red heart, like the ones we exchange on Valentine’s Day. A passionate person may be referred to as “red hot.” But most Twos don’t show up with the kind of overt sexuality that we often pair with the word “passion.” And I don’t usually think of “power” when I think of Twos. Yet power and passion are words that make total sense for the Eight – one of Two’s connections. And the quote above speaks of the redeemed Two’s passion for God and the resulting powerful love that manifests as a result.
Enneagram 3: Yellow
Urgent, dynamic and radiant. “Yellow makes things visible, guides, leads and illuminates the way.”
It’s funny that I have a bias against yellow (except the more earthy mustard shade) and a type bias against Three (except for the Self-Preservation variety). (I’m working on it; it’s not a point of pride for me.) It’s also interesting to me that the character quality of God that the redeemed Three exemplifies is glory. And when I think of glory, I think of gold – which yellow is a shade of. I don’t know that I would call Threes urgent; maybe “immediate” is more fitting.
Enneagram 4: Bright Violet
Synthesis, mediation and balance. Violet unites “death with resurrection, pain with redemption.”
A vibrant combination of two of the three primary colors, red and blue – like a marriage of anchoring elements. The depth of the color reminds me that Riso & Hudson call Fours “the deep-sea divers of the psyche.” They are willing to feel the pain most of us shy away from and, when redeemed, bring back revelation and even healing for us all to partake of. That’s the synthesis and balance Rohr & Ebert write of.
Enneagram 5: Blue
Introversion, repose and distance. Blue “symbolizes human receptiveness to the mystery of the universe.”
At first, I thought that “blue” was just too non-specific for me to respond to. Sky blue? Navy blue? Periwinkle? But then I thought of what it means when someone speaks of a blue sky: no clouds, great clarity. Things seem sharp and crisp; you can see a long way off. I think that fits with the “distance” aspect of the Five. I think of a Five looking up into the great blue of the sky, ready to receive.
Enneagram 6: Beige
Security, self-denial, earthy. “Richly nuanced…doesn’t shine on its own but fits in with the environment.”
All three of these descriptors apply to my Six husband. I have a hard time, though, thinking of beige as “richly nuanced.”
I created an Instagram post on this topic last year, and the Sixes were the most vocal group by far. They did NOT appreciate being called beige! One person said, “Please – anything but beige.” I don’t blame them, really. It IS a sort of nothingness color, especially to someone like me who hates pastels and revels in jewel tones. But then, I’m not a Six. If you are, please leave a comment about the idea of being beige. And give me alternate color options!
Enneagram 7: Green
Vitality, joie de vivre and health. Green is a symbol of “the force from which all life springs.”
As a Seven, this all absolutely resonates with me. Rohr & Ebert also associate countries with types, and the Seven country is Ireland – the land of many shades of green! And of the overcoming of tremendous tragedy to emerge with joyful songs and dance. Seriously, Irish step dancing is so joyful in its movements that I actually cry when I see it. I’m part Irish, and I’ve been to Ireland three times. When I see all that green, something ancient rustles within my cells, and I’m alive in a way that I’m not anywhere else. I’d be interested to hear from other Sevens what they think of being connected to green.
Enneagram 8: Black and White
Clarity, strength and creative power. “No compromise; death and love; the union of opposites.”
I used to always associate Type One with black and white, as in “This is wrong and that is right.” But the Eight has a certainty about its decisions and a straightforwardness about its actions that make these colors work here. We get used to the negative connotation of “black and white thinking.” But sometimes, you need a firm leader who won’t compromise, who has a strong sense of what they believe in. I can’t see how black and white symbolize creative power, though, so if you can see it, leave a comment!
Enneagram 9: Gold
Happiness, harmony and fulfillment. “The color of kings and saints…a symbol of enlightenment.”
The Nine rests at the top of the circular Enneagram symbol, like the crown on top of a head. The idea of enlightenment is usually associated with being at the highest point of understanding or consciousness. And I often think of Jesus as being the most peaceful and happiest person who ever lived – in his default state. That’s not to say Jesus is a Nine – and that’s a topic for another time! But gold is the treasure humanity is seeking, has sought for millennia, and that seems a fitting color for what we really need: harmony and fulfillment.
Well, that’s a trip around the color wheel that is the Enneagram. I’d love to hear your insights or protests, so please leave a comment.
Quick Start Guide to Centering Prayer
This short guide gives you the essentials for learning to be still and quiet before God so you can hear his voice and feel his love in a deeper way.