An introductory note from the Herbstalk team:
Welcome to our new series The Herbs of the Enneagram! The Enneagram is a fascinating and insightful way of describing personality patterns. In this blog series Enneagram expert Herb Pearce will explain each of the 9 personality types and a plant that corresponds with each. (And yes, his name is really Herb!)
We are delighted to welcome Herb, a faithful Herbstalk participant, to share his wisdom and insight of the Enneagram and connect it back to some of the beloved plants that we talk about at Herbstalk.
Read on to learn how the patterns of the Enneagram match up with the patterns of various herbs. You will also learn how the plant itself can help to bring balance and harmony within each personality type. Enjoy and stay tuned for more Herbs of the Enneagram each month!
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Rose for Type 4, The Romantic:
I lost my sanity and found this rose.
Roses belong to the genus Rosa and originate from Asia, though smaller numbers come from Northwestern Africa, Europe and North America. The beautiful multi-layered flowers and smooth, erect, woody green stems are accompanied by prickles, the official name of the extended layer of sharp outgrowths. The leaves are alternate and even the stems of the leaves can have slight prickles. Be careful.
4s search for soul depth and long for intense, in-the-moment feelings; they are masters of longing for the unreached. They feel loss and suffering acutely, unlike many others who try to avoid pain. However, they can also attract joy, intensity and excitement to themselves. They are drawn to the world of art and beauty and adorn themselves with care.
Type 4s feel that they are missing out on what others seem to have. They often envy others who appear to have more love. They are attracted to the highs and lows of experience and tend to wither if things are too mundane. 4s are idealistic and everyday life is often too dull from what they imagine it could be.
"I consider it to be an emotional modulator, balancing out both intense feelings and intense apathy, and provides a solid foundation from which to sense and connect to the world we are a part of. Rose is very calming and balancing, assisting us in finding a ground level state from which we can access our real emotions rather than just react."
Like 4s, for a rose to flourish it needs special care. Rose gardens throughout the world are valued and tended to carefully, and endless varieties are prized. I’m from Shreveport, Louisiana, the headquarters of The American Rose Society with its 118 acre botanical garden of mostly roses, the largest rose collection in the United States. Like pampered rose gardens, 4s value uniqueness and refuse to blend into the crowds. Mood, nuance, individuality and subtlety are all important 4 qualities.
Rose perfumes are made from rose oil (also called attar of roses) obtained by steam distilling the crushed petals of roses. Its oil is precious, similar to 4s who often want to be seen as special in order to compensate for feeling less than. It’s not unusual to feel less than when you are aiming for the sky and feeling like you’re in the underworld.
The open and vulnerable beauty of rose is contrasted by its sharp, fierce thorns. Using the flower essence of the plant can help 4s to feel emotionally strong and support their equilibrium in day-to-day life. Rose helps 4s know when to open their beautiful and vulnerable hearts and when to protect them.
Rose’s gift for Type 4s -- and for all of us -- is to heal the pain of the heart, increase joy and self-acceptance, and circulate love throughout the body.