Enneagram 4 Alchemist Aesthete Individualist Romantic core desire, unique orange butterfly standing out from blue butterflies


General Archetypal Names: Individualist, Romantic, Aesthete (although I suggest that the best general name for the archetypal expression of point 4 is The Alchemist, it hints at not only what 4s do or what they are drawn to, but ultimately the fundamental “why” of the type)

Core Motivational Theme: Uniqueness/Identity, Meaning/Purpose

Core Fear: having no identity/purpose, being conventional/unoriginal, 

Core Desire: to understand oneself and others, to be authentic/unique, to know the greater purpose and meaning of life

Center of Intelligence: heart/feeling

Connecting Points: 1 (gut/intrinsic), 2 (heart)

Archetypal Journey (Levels of Consciousness)

From least to most conscious, these archetypes represent the varying ways that a human may respond to the core motivation arising out of point 4 on the Enneagram.

Isolated man, suffering staring out the window with raven, Edgar Allen Poe background. Enneagram 4 archetype, Tortured Soul

“I am different, why can’t I be happy or have an easy life like everyone else? I am a victim of my differences.”

Jealous artist, arms crossed with envy at art gallery. Enneagram 4 tarot archetype, Moody Bohemian.

“Life is hard, but meaningful. My differences make me insecure, but they also make me feel special. I strive to be unconventional.”

Conscientious Muslim man with Rumi turban I AM man sweeping. Clean your room. Enneagram 4 awakened archetype, Ordinary Mystic

“I am as I AM. Without effort I am unique; I don’t need to try to be special. In striving to be special, I suffer. In striving to be useful, I become profound.”

Integration and Disintegration / Connecting Points

4 integration 1: indulgence → self-discipline, routine, conscientiousness. Uniqueness → specialness, idealization, empathy
4 disintegration 2: romantic idealization, empathy + pride → self-sacrifice, unlovable, insecure, savior complex.

Examples/Helpful Resources/Suggestions

1. Use the Big Five personality system to cultivate conscientiousness

Whereas the Enneagram views the personality through the lens of types (archetypes) manifesting from a core fear and desire, the Big Five personality system views the personality as an amalgamation of five core personality traits (although more recent research, HEXACO, suggests a sixth dimension). They are different lenses, but both are useful and can complement one another.  The five factors measured by Big Five are openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism (the 6th trait in the HEXACO model is honesty/humility). Enneagram 4s are almost always high in openness to experience (ie creative/imaginative) and neuroticism (ie sensitivity/tendency to experience negative emotions/mood swings) and often low in conscientiousness (ie efficient/organized), whereas 1s tend to be the opposite: higher in conscientiousness, but lower in openness to experience and neuroticism.  Studies done on the Big Five have shown that conscientious people report less neuroticism, more life satisfaction, and greater relationship quality. Unlike other personality traits which are more resistant to change, conscientiousness is modifiable, particularly if approached creatively.  Understanding the inverse relationship between conscientiousness and neuroticism via the Big Five can deepen your awareness and provide useful strategies for growth/integration to 1.

Practically, many fours are drawn to yoga and/or benefit from the discipline of having dietary and movement routines, even if their daily activities require more space for the unknowns of creative pursuit. 

2. Poetry of Rumi 

The 13th-century Sufi poet Rumi is a quintessential example of the Ordinary Mystic archetype. 

“That which is false troubles the heart, but truth brings joyous tranquility”

“The pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them”

“The wound is the place where the light enters you”

“You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens”

“You show your worth by what you seek”

“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love”  

“Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure”

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it”

“When you lose all sense of self, the bonds of a thousand chains will vanish. Lose yourself completely. Return to the root of the root of your own soul” 

“Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you. Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion”  – Rumi