NEW BOOK HERE! The Enneagram of Death

The Enneagram of Death – Helpful Insights by the 9 Types of People on Grief, Fear, and Dying is here. Order from your local independent book store or buy it here:

The Enneagram of Death, unlike my other books, is made up of true stories and a few poems and essays by many people, including me. I learned from others’ experiences that the way from fear and grief to peace is through—not around—our feelings. Each contribution is a new surprise. Some themes include how the shadow is related to death and how different types use defense mechanisms to avoid their true feelings.

The Enneagram of Death is meant to soothe and inspire anyone who is dying, close to someone who is dying, grieving, or afraid of death. It is for caregivers, hospice workers, counselors, grief counselors, psychologists, coaches, those suffering from the fear of death, loss, grief, or those interested in the ways death impacts the way we live our daily lives. Please see the review by Kathryn Grant, published in the International Enneagram Association’s Journal and the review in the Enneagram Monthly #191R by Courtney Behm.


* By Mario Sikora, IEA President.

The first book being published by the IEA is by the popular and prolific Liz Wagele. Liz’s book is an anthology of essays by a wide range of authors on the topic of death and dying through the lens of the different Ennea-types. Having read portions of the pre-publication manuscript, I can say that is a moving and insightful collection. The IEA is proud to be supporting it and thankful that Liz has entrusted us to bring forth this important contribution to field.

* By Mary Bast, Ph.D., life coach, Enneagram coach, and coach mentor.

Be on the lookout for “The Enneagram of Death” by Elizabeth Wagele, coming out shortly. In the PBS documentary “The Buddha” poet Jane Hirshfield says, “There is nowhere else than here. The only gate is now.” This echoes all the best teachers of the Enneagram who encourage us to release our patterns by staying present, by observing ourselves without judgment. The meditations on death in this book are an invitation to wholeness, reminding you to stop, witness your ego-patterns, and remember “the only gate is now.”

* By Jerry Wagner Ph.D., Enneagram author and teacher.

Reading Elizabeth Wagele’s compilation of reflections on death and dying, I was reminded of Irvin Yalom, the existential psychotherapist, who compared thinking about death to staring at the sun – you can only do so a little bit at a time.  These essays hold our gaze just the right amount of time.  And after considering nine perspectives on death, I remembered H.S. Sullivan, the interpersonal  psychiatrist, who wrote we are all more alike than different. Death is our common given and we are grateful to Liz and her collaborators for sharing their mysteries with us.

* By Tom Condon, Enneagram author and teacher.

A timely treasury of insights about an important, inevitable part of life. Along with offering ways to grieve, cope and find closure, the book demonstrates the Enneagram’s wide, powerful relevance to all aspects of human experience.

By David N. Daniels, MD, Enneagram author and teacher.

Elizabeth’s extensive and varied presentation of the death and grieving process breaks new ground about how our Enneagram patterns experience the process. She combines stories, poems, reflections, and pictures that challenge us to reflect on how our pattern influences the way we deal with death. This new work is well worth your time, exploration, and study. Congratulations Elizabeth. I heartily recommend “The Enneagram of Death” to all who want to deepen their understanding not just of death, but also of life.

Memorable Mix of Personal Stories and Personality Insights 5 star review on – July 18, 2012 By Melanie Gerlich

I found Elizabeth Wagele’s latest book a memorable mix of moving personal stories and insightful personality explanations. Her ability to incorporate the Enneagram’s application to a serious topic involving grief and death provides a solid foundation for practical understanding during trying times. Furthermore, the collection of true stories from various writers of various Enneagram types offers a diverse and touching range of perspectives about death and dying. For those who want to understand differing personal and personality-driven reactions during such difficult times, this book offers compassionate clarity.

A Book to Die For 5 star review on –  18. Juli 2012 von C. J. Fitzsimons
The Enneagram of Death brings Liz Wagele’s trademark light touch to what is – for many – a topic better to be avoided. It is a book to be sipped and savoured, a story at a time. Each contribution yields up surprising insights into how different people approach death, dying and grief. The stories and poems offer something different upon each re-reading. This is no ordinary book, it is clearly Liz Wagele’s labour of love.
Jeanne St. John’s review 9-16-12
“Death is an impressive invisible force that deeply affects everyone, even those who pretend to ignore it.” Elizabeth Wagele has done an impressive job of detailing this powerful invisible force and its effects on each of the nine Enneagram types. The book is a treasure trove of stories and illustrations of how death comes to different types–and their caregivers–and would be interesting even for newcomers to the Enneagram. However, for those with years of study and experience in using the Enneagram in many settings, this book is extremely rich and instructive. Death does affect everyone–and some types pretend to ignore it–and others can’t. You’ll learn much about your own approach (or not) to death–and how it has affected the lives of family members depending on levels of consciousness and Enneagram types involved. Thanks to Elizabeth for doing the hard work involved in bringing this book out of the depths of our death-denying culture.
• David Lincoln Brooks’ Review 9-16-12
Elizabeth Wagele, bestselling Berkeley-based author of numerous books on Enneagram Theory, such as THE ENNEAGRAM MADE EASY, FINDING THE BIRTHDAY CAKE, THE HAPPY INTROVERT, and THE CAREER WITHIN YOU, has compiled a fascinating new book entitled THE ENNEAGRAM OF DEATH: HELPFUL INSIGHTS BY THE 9 TYPES OF PEOPLE ON GRIEF, FEAR, and DYING. It is a compendium of stories, anecdotes, essays, reminiscences, poems and cartoons, all on the subject of Death, that great mystery awaiting us all. Specifically, it is organized into 9 basic chapters, each dedicated to one of the nine Enneagram Types. Ms. Wagele prefers to use, instead of the usual Type One, Type Two, etc., descriptors, more memorable titles such as The Romantic, The Observer, The Questioner, and so forth.Each chapter uses contributions from a wide variety of modern, living people to illustrate how each Enneagram Type views death, dying, mortality, care taking, and other issues relating to Death. Ms. Wagele also posits her own stories, drawn from those whom she has known and loved, from the 9 different types.And of course it is fascinating. It is honest, universal and earnest, but never grim or hopeless. If you are a student of Enneagram Theory (and perhaps this book is best read only after one has acquainted oneself with basic Enneagram principles), you can well-imagine how a deeply compassionate, feeling Two Type (“The Helper”) might have different views here than, say, a bookish, cerebral Five Type (“The Observer”) or a no-nonsense, “suck-it-up” Eight Type (“The Asserter”).The book includes submissions by many, from all walks of life and educational backgrounds, so, as you might expect, the tone, voice, style and moods of the essays vary considerably: One writer might view her own death as nothing less than a warm social event… while another writer might see his world as a tough place where you must grab what’s yours, look out for number one, and die with hopefully little interference from others.Of interest to those facing terminal/chronic illnesses, such as cancers or AIDS, those who are caregivers for them, psychology students, psychotherapists, aging Boomers (like myself), and students of modern Death & Dying theory, THE ENNEAGRAM OF DEATH can posit some helpful ideas on how different types of psyches think of death, approach death, and regard the deaths of others, in both death’s literal grapple… and in its larger philosophical terms.Lavishly illustrated throughout with Ms. Wagele’s wry, perceptive and often funny cartoons, THE ENNEAGRAM OF DEATH may be read in one go, or a reader may prefer to dip into sections of it, as interest beckons. This is a quality, insightful, always enlightening and surprising volume that is a worthy “first” for Enneagram Literature, written by a woman who has dedicated most of her last four decades to the subject.

For Elizabeth’s blogs, other books, cartoons, and articles go to

T-shirts with the cover of The Enneagram of Death can be purchased here:


The Enneagram of Death is the The International Enneagram Association’s first publishing venture. They will use their profits for worthy ventures into Enneagram studies, including publishing more books on the Enneagram. They will help their members thrive through providing opportunities for

�  Developing greater excellence in the use of the Enneagram

�  Education in theory and application of the Enneagram

�  Engagement with an international community of shared interest and diversified approach

This book consists of contributions from people of each type about their experiences of fear, courage, overcoming grief, care giving, acceptance, and more. I selected and edited the contributions, wrote some myself, and illustrated it.  CJ Fitzsimons worked hard editing it further and bringing the book to fruition with help from Peter McNab, Mario Sikora, Melanie Gerlach, and others. The stories range from descriptions of interesting characters to  inspiring, and heart-warming journeys of many kinds. This collection touched me to the point of changing my life. It gave me examples of how I would like to conduct myself if and when I find myself in similar situations. And it reminded me over and over to keep focusing on today.

It seems to me we all think about and fear death throughout our lives, not only when the issue is right in front of us. And it dwells in our shadow where we can’t see it. For this and many other reasons, I believe death is an important topic and this book is important for promoting conversations.

5 Responses to “NEW BOOK HERE! The Enneagram of Death”

  1. Giant Comfort » Is Suicide More Likely If a Gun Is In the House? Says:

    […] Karl (based on “My Buddy Karl Kresge: Peace at Last” from The Enneagram of Death) took an almost certain route to death, those who use a gun are 85% successful. Those who use pills […]

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