Top Five Introductory Enneagram Books

According to Enneagram Groups

There are over 1,000 Enneagram books and no one has read all of them. Naturally, people new to the enneagram don’t know where to start. Most lists on the interweb are simply glorified ads engineered for sales and clicks so it is hard to trust that any recommendations are the real views of the author. So knowledge and intent are both issues when looking for advice.

This is a list with a brief description of the “Top Five Introductory Enneagram Books” according to input from multiple internet groups. I don’t get money if you buy any of these books. I hope this process will give the reader solid advice for their future purchases.  Have a look and write in the comments if there are some other good ones. Many more lists are coming including books that cover advanced materials, Christianity, weird or offbeat themes, relationships, instincts, workplace, and non-Christian emphasis)

1. The Road Back to You – This is probably the most popular book on the Enneagram in the last few years. It combines simplicity with Christian motifs and self-knowledge. All aspects that make for popular books these days. The Enneagram with its roots in Divine Energies as described by the Church Fathers makes it an obvious fit for Christian audiences. These Energies are also known as Sins and Virtues. It is not the most advanced beginner text but is very clear. Thus, if you want the basics with some spiritual or Christian emphasis this is a solid choice.

2. The Sacred Enneagram by Chris Heuertz – This probably gets the most uneven responses with some people loving this book and others calling it a mess and almost cult-like. I am not judging as I am giving a sense of what people on Enneagram groups are saying. So before buying this book I would look at reviews and see if the good reviews have some appeal and of course, take a look inside the book.

3. The Spiritual Dimensions of the Enneagram – The Spiritual Dimensions of the Enneagram was written by a student of Claudio Naranjo, one of the most important figures in the development of the Personality Enneagram. Rather than a Christian perspective, it examines early psychological development. Moving from a pure sense of ourselves within the Universe through experience becoming separated and identified with the ego. This outlook merges the early childhood development of psychologist Jean Piaget and philosopher John Lock’s ‘Blank Slate” or “tabula rasa” rejecting original sin and a great deal of biological determinism. As the book goes through the different Personality Types there is a much greater concentration on underlying motivations based on history and learned behaviors than one gets in many other books.

4. Wisdom of the Enneagram – This is probably the most well-known book from the two top authors in the Enneagram world Riso and Hudson. It was the second Enneagram book I read after “Personality Types” which is on the advanced list and was also written by Riso and Hudson. This book has lots of graphics and questions at the end of each chapter. It also hits the basics of the Enneagram in a very clear way. Like our number three on the list, its focus is on underlying aspects of personality though not as in-depth and with less emphasis on early childhood or the history of the Enneagram’s development.

5. The Enneagram, Understanding Yourself and the Others in Your Life – This book by Hellen Palmer another innovator that learned the Enneagram from Naranjo comes up often as a very good primary book to introduce the Enneagram. Like the Spiritual Dimensions of the Enneagram, it takes a more psychological view of the ego formation and the drives that make us who we are. It has a bit more early and developmental history of the Enneagram than many introductory texts. But readers have found it helpful in understanding people around them.

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