On a recent trip to South Africa, I was enthralled by the beauty, calm, wildness – plus went on a 3-day safari that was spectacular. The animals were up-close, walking the paths at our lodge, visible from our miniature house, and drinking water from our swimming pool.Neil Harper, who invited me to South Africa, and I were musing over which of these wild animals best fits with each Enneagram type, an idea we initially got from Lee Kingma, who attended one of my South African programs. Lee had written an Enneagram book using different animals to represent each type. Neil and I did not use Lee’s animal types as our frame of reference, though there is some overlap, for sure. Lee gave me a lovely elephant key chain, done in the beautiful South African wired beadwork, that sits in my home.
In the 9 blogs that will be posted over the next few months, you’ll learn more about each animal presented than you likely knew before, but also why the nature and behavior of this animal so closely aligns with a particular ennea-type. As a result, these blogs may clarify some nuances of the 9 Enneagram styles.
Here’s a preview of the South African animals for each Enneagram style, but you have to read each blog to get the details and subtleties.
Sixes: Cape Buffalo
Our young and knowledgeable safari guide, Matt, would think me totally crazy to be writing these blogs because Matt does not believe any animals actually have feelings or emotions. Of course I asked him this question because I got to ride in the seat next to him when we went out twice daily, but Matt is a Five (no doubt from any of us on the safari who knew the Enneagram), so it was no surprise he thought my question was a foolish one. He likely thought all my questions were foolish, actually. But all the research I did upon my return suggests that animals actually do have feelings, differing temperaments, and more.
If you want to read Lee Kingma’s 2010 book: What’s Your Tribe? An Enneagram Guide to Human Types at Work and Play on amazon.com, click here.