Hand punching through obstacles. Enneagram 8 Challenger Leader Boss core desire control, power and strength, self-reliance.


General Archetypal Names: Challenger, Protector, Leader, Boss

Core Motivational Theme: Strength/Self-Reliance, Control/Power

Core Fear: being weak, vulnerable, dependent, powerless; getting taken advantage of, harmed, controlled, manipulated

Core Desire: to be self-reliant, strong, in control of situations; to have an impact on others and their environment; self-determination, self-mastery

Center of Intelligence: gut/instinctive

Connecting Points: 2 (heart/feeling), 5 (head/thinking)

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 8 on the Enneagram.

Dominating, Strong Cutthroat Dictator symbolically killing inner feminine. Toxic Masculinity. Enneagram 8 tarot archetype

“It’s a dog eat dog world, survival of the fittest, only the strong survive. Control or be controlled; I chose the former.”

Rugged Individualist stubbornly asserting will to acquire resources but suffering self-inflicted wound. Enneagram 8 archetype

“I must acquire resources, hide vulnerability, and be completely self-reliant. We’ll get along just fine as long as you recognize that it’s my way or the highway.”

Gracious Protector with masculine feminine balance, restrained force. Hindu god archetype Superior Man. Awakened Enneagram 8

“There is strength in vulnerability, and power in letting go. I surrender my stubbornness to cosmic will. I seek not confrontation, I share love; but when I need to, I protect what I love.”

Integration and Disintegration / Connecting Points

8 integration 2: control power, passion addiction to supporting others, fairness, consideration. Providership to enablement.
8 disintegration 5: fear of vulnerability, rationalization, detachment, social darwinism to reflection, self-restraint.

Examples/Helpful Resources/Suggestions

1. Understand Masculine and Feminine Energy

Much of what spiritual author and teacher David Deida says about masculine and feminine polarity can more or less be transferred directly to Enneagram points 8 and 2.  As Deida points out, the essential feminine desire is love, and the essential masculine desire is freedom. Although freedom is sometimes listed as a 7 value; and it is, that freedom more so deals with the freedom of choicethe desire to experience things and not be tied down mentally. Deida’s concept of freedom refers more so to themes of self-reliance and the desire to go beyond limitations; something more characteristic of point 8.

As Deida cautions, masculine does not just mean man, nor does feminine just mean woman. In Enneagram terms, it’s perfectly fine to be a “type 8” female or “type 2” male. In either case, as pictured in the archetypal drawings, both of the healthiest 2 and 8 archetypal expressions contain a mature integration of the opposite energy; something that is generally lacking in the less healthy/conscious expressions of those points.

I suggest a tandem of The Way of the Superior Man (Book) and It’s a Guy Thing: An Owner’s Manual for Women (Book) to understand masculine and feminine from both perspectives. Just remember,  the goal of learning about these energies is to become empoweredto be able to respond with either energy as a situation requiresnot to become a constrained caricature of gendered stereotypes. Life effortlessly dances between masculine and feminine; any human looking for true freedom and love must learn to do the same!