Ever wondered which creature from the animal kingdom has your Enneagram type? Today we’ll be exploring a wide variety of animals and how they symbolize various strengths or weaknesses of each Enneagram type. Unlike my Myers-Briggs® and animal post, this article will focus primarily on animal symbolism rather than actual animal habits. I’m doing this because it can be incredibly difficult to find very much information on literal animal personalities. Owls, for example, symbolize wisdom, but are actually less intelligent than many other birds. With that in mind, let’s get started!
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Table of contents
- Here’s the Animal You’d Be, Based On Your Enneagram Type
- Enneagram One – The Eagle
- Enneagram Two – The Pelican
- Enneagram Three – The Tiger
- Enneagram Four – The Panther
- Enneagram Five – The Owl
- Enneagram Six – The Wolf
- Enneagram Seven – The Otter
- Enneagram Eight – The Lion
- Enneagram Nine – The Elephant
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
Here’s the Animal You’d Be, Based On Your Enneagram Type
Enneagram One – The Eagle
Since prehistoric times, the Eagle has been a symbol of strength, power, and nobility. In fact, as the United States was taking shape, the founders chose the eagle as the symbol of their country because it reflected strength and nobility. They wanted this animal to signify the honorable ideals of the American people. In Native American culture, an eagle’s feathers are a symbol of honor and dignity. They are handled with great regard and care. Native Americans believed that it was crucial never to drop an eagle feather during a ceremony because that would be disrespectful. They also attached eagle feathers to a sacred pipe because these were believed to be a symbol of the Great Spirit from whom all strength and power flows.
Why Eagles Represent Ones:
Ones in the Enneagram system are known for their sense of honor and integrity. They want to live a life that aligns with their values and often have a strong sense of moral direction. Often people with a cause, Ones strive to live with nobility and strength. They take on a great deal of responsibility and are willing to push themselves hard to live up to their ideals.
Read This Next: 21 Signs That You’re an Enneagram One Type
Enneagram Two – The Pelican
In Native American history, the pelican is a symbol of resilience, unselfishness, friendliness, responsibility, and camaraderie. Like the friendly Two, pelicans are symbolically famous for putting others’ needs first. Even in medieval culture, the pelican represented the ultimate sacrifice of Christ. An ancient story tells of a mother pelican who gave birth to a brood of young chicks. As the young chicks grew, they became violent towards their mother and attempted to peck out her eyes and harm her. In frustration, she retaliated and killed her young. But after three days, she became overwhelmed by love for her children. She pierced her own side with her beak. As she lets her blood drip onto her young, they revived while she slowly died. While this story seems a little morbid, it symbolizes the selflessness and love of the pelican.
Why Pelicans Represent Twos:
Twos in the Enneagram system are known for their generosity and selflessness. They will go above and beyond for their friends and families and can struggle to pay attention to their own needs and desires. A healthy Two is inspiring, self-sacrificial, and generous without asking anything in return. Healthy Twos embody the Bible verse in Philippians, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” That said, it’s crucial for Twos to realize the importance of self-care and setting healthy boundaries so they don’t overextend themselves for others.
Read This Next: The Enneagram Two – The Helper
Enneagram Three – The Tiger
In Asian culture, the tiger is a symbol of energy, power, strength, and royalty. The Three, like the tiger, has an energetic, ambitious drive. They strive to succeed and be the best they can possibly be. According to the Chinese zodiac, people born in the year of the tiger are thought to be competitive, self-confident, and brave. Some cultures also believe that tigers and dragons are powerful symbols representing the balanced forces of yin and yang.
Why Tigers Represent Threes:
Threes are known for their infectious energy and their drive to achieve their dreams. These types are willing to work hard and face great challenges to succeed. Not individuals to shy away from the spotlight, Threes enjoy facing challenges and overcoming obstacles – especially in the pursuit of a goal. In the mind of the Three, a well-lived life is one where you dream big and relentlessly pursue your vision. I think this correlates well with the tiger as a symbol of success, competitiveness, confidence, and ambition.
Read This Next: The Enneagram Three – The Achiever
Enneagram Four – The Panther
In Native American culture, the black panther represents hidden emotions, introspection, multi-dimensionality, and power. Dark as night, the panther is viewed as a reminder to look inside yourself and understand your fears, deeper feelings, and the unknown. People who believe in spirit animals suggest that individuals who have the panther totem are highly intuitive and artistically inclined.
Why Panthers Represent Fours:
Like the panther, Fours are introspective and creative. They are the types who face their shame and delve into it, rather than repressing it or avoiding it. When Fours are healthy they use this self-awareness to become powerful, intuitive, and brave. They help people to understand the human condition and they express nuanced emotions through creative pursuits.
Read This Next: The Enneagram Four – The Individualist
Enneagram Five – The Owl
In Native American culture, the owl is a symbol of wisdom and intuition. Certain people groups believed that owls accompanied the dead in their journey to the afterlife. According to the Celtics, it was the wisdom of the owl that gave it the right to the knowledge of the underworld’s path. They also believed that the owl was a defender of truth and had no patience for deceptiveness.
Why Owls Represent the Five:
Healthy Fives are wise, analytical, and perceptive. Like the owl, they crave understanding and truth. When they feel socially uncomfortable, Fives like to disappear into quiet places where they can search out more knowledge and information. Their somewhat evasive nature can be correlated to the owl’s swift flight and tendency towards solitary observation. Their intelligence and calmness seem to perfectly correlate to the owl as a symbol of mystery and wisdom.
Read This Next: The Enneagram Five – The Investigator
Enneagram Six – The Wolf
People who associate the Six with fear might be surprised that the wolf is their animal. But if you research the enneagram fully, you can see that virtue of the Six is their courage. Sixes anticipate worst-case scenarios, but they also can be some of the most prepared individuals when a crisis actually strikes. In Native American culture, wolves are symbolic of loyalty, perseverance, and intuition. According to the Celtics, wolves were seen as helpers and guides rather than dangerous threats. And even in real life, wolves are known for being cautious and shy, carefully evaluating whether or not an area is safe.
Why Wolves Represent Sixes:
Sixes are deeply loyal and will be fiercely brave when protecting their loved ones. Just as wolves will do nearly anything to protect their pack, Sixes will sacrifice nearly anything to protect their families and friends. Also, like the wolf, Sixes tend to have intuition about danger and can sense when things are about to spiral out of control. Healthy Sixes are often courageous leaders who understand other people’s fears and misgivings and troubleshoot problems that might come their way.
Read This Next: The Enneagram Six – The Loyalist
Enneagram Seven – The Otter
In Native American culture, otters are symbolic of playfulness, friendliness, and joy. Known for their love of fun and activity, otters are usually one of the most entertaining animals to observe. In Celtic symbolism, otters were seen as a symbol of humor and magic. They were often believed to protect individuals on their journey towards finding their unique mystical qualities.
Why Otters Represent Sevens:
Sevens are known for their strong sense of adventure and fun. Like the otter, Sevens long for lives of variety and excitement. They enjoy having fun, making people laugh, talking to a variety of people, and living in the moment. Also like the symbolic otter, integrating Sevens learn to look inward and explore subjects in-depth – developing mastery and proficiency.
Read This Next: The Enneagram Seven – The Enthusiast
Enneagram Eight – The Lion
Throughout the world, lions represent strength, courage, protectiveness, and ferocity. These animals are known for their leadership and ability to guard their pride against invaders or animals that might deplete their resources. In Africa, the lion symbolizes pride, strength, courage, and protection.
Why Lions Represent Eights:
Like lions, Eights aren’t afraid of a challenge. Eights will fight aggressively for their freedom and autonomy, fiercely confronting anyone who seems like a threat to them or their loved ones. Eights are also deeply protective of people they see as being unjustly treated, which correlates with the symbolic protective lion. Did you also know that a lion’s roar can be heard up to eight kilometers away? An angry Eight probably has a formidable sound as well!
Read This Next: The Enneagram Eight – The Challenger
Enneagram Nine – The Elephant
Gentle giants, elephants are known for the way they tenderly care for their offspring, herd, and elders. In India, these beloved creatures are seen as symbols of good luck. In Africa, elephants are seen as the wise chiefs who impartially settle disputes among the forest creatures. In real life, elephants will also go out of their way to make sure their entire herd is comfortable. For example, if one elephant in a herd has a broken leg, the entire herd will march more slowly. They have also been known to risk their lives for other species of animals. You can find out many more interesting facts about elephants here.
Why Elephants Represent Nines:
Like elephants, Nines are gentle and skilled in the art of peacemaking. Nines detest conflict, but can often see where two warring parties can find agreement and common goals. Also, like elephants, Nines are nurturing and protective, especially to their children. Nines make allowances for other people and are famously non-judgmental – like the elephant, they will go out of their way to make sure the people around them are comfortable.
Read This Next: Enneagram Nine – The Elephant
What Are Your Thoughts?
Did you enjoy this article? Do you have any thoughts or experiences to share? Let us know in the comments!