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Wings and Arrows


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The Enneagram is more than a static symbol. Gurdjieff called it a perpetual motion machine. Personalities are always in motion. Under certain circumstances, each of the types experiences personality changes. Arrows indicate the motion and direction of these changes. One of the Enneagram system's greatest strengths is the precise prediction of the personality changes that naturally occur during times when we feel secure or when we face stress.1

For example: Fours under stress begin to behave like Twos, and in security, Fours begin to exhibit the characteristics of Ones. Moving your cursor to any type on the diagram will show the direction of the arrows for the stress and security points for that type. Thus, the sequence for the stress points is 1-4-2-8-5-7-1 and 9-6-3-9, and the sequence for the security points is 1-7-5-8-2-4-1 and 9-3-6-9.

In discussing Stress and Security Points, we may say that types "go to" or are "going towards" or are being "at" another point. These terms are used interchangeably and are intended to have the same meaning.

Note that people do not "become" another type in stress or security. They merely take on the characteristics of the security or stress point for the time being while retaining the issues and concerns of their own type.

> Learn More About Arrows

1Most Enneagram authors use what Helen Palmer calls the Stress and Security points, but the Arrows also indicate what Don Riso and Russ Hudson call the Directions of Integration and Disintegration (when the high and low side of each type are further distinguished). Still other authors have introduced their own terminology as well. We use the simple terms Stress and Security points here to refer to working with the Arrows, but we encourage you to read all the authors and familiarize yourself with the different terminologies and distinctions that are possible with the Enneagram system.

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