The Golden Enneagram

George Gurdjieff was an Armenian philosopher and spiritual teacher who spawned a worldwide spiritual movement based on his teachings. At the center of his teachings was a 9-pointed figure (a nonogram) that he obtained from a secret brotherhood of Sufis called the Naqshbandi, who used it in their magic. He believed this diagram represented a long lost ancient knowledge.

Some of his followers later developed a system called the Fourth Way "Enneagram of Personality" for human advancement. Based loosely on progressing around the circle and overcoming certain obstacles to integrate the personality, this system of self-improvement has become a well-known symbol in the modern New Age movement.

But, while the original Fourth Way Enneagram organizes around "Do" or the tonic root of a major scale, my Harmonic Interference Theory ( suggests the center should instead be "Re" corresponding to the ninth or supertonic in a major scale (D in the key of C). I call this the "Harmonic Center" of resonance derived from the harmonic series for the Tonic "Do."

In ancient symbolic terms, the Enneagram thus aligns around Re or Ra, the Egyptian sun god. The rest of the tones then balance or "orbit" around Re symmetrically, much like the planets in our solar system. This then maps symmetrically onto the visible color spectrum and musical octave with vertices "snapping" to golden sections of the Enneagram.

The order of numbering in the Enneagram also has harmonic qualities, a description of which can be found here:

In this way, the "Golden" Enneagram offers an integrating figure for the study of harmonic science in all things. It can integrate harmony in geometry, numbers, colors and musical tones. It explains the "gaps" or obstacles in the Enneagram of Personality model as being equivalent to the Tritone Function found in common practice music harmony. The oscillation of musical harmony across the Purple Ratio explains the overcoming of "gaps" or "shocks" in the Personality model. Advancement in consciousness translates as a harmonic progression very much like that found in music.

I believe this harmonic interpretation to be the true nature of Gurdjieff's ancient knowledge symbol. It could account for the importance of the number 9 in ancient civilizations, such as the Assyrian 5th-century civilization of Ninevah and King Ninus (including Venusian goddess Queen Semiramus) as well as the Greek and Egyptian Enneads (nine gods). It might also explain the importance of 9, 18 and 81 in the design of many Buddhist temples.