Herbs of the Enneagram Type 4: Rose

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:

Herbs of the Enneagram Rose
In the driest whitest stretch of pain’s infinite desert,
I lost my sanity and found this rose.
— Rumi
Roses have been loved and cherished for millennia. They are a favorite subject of art, used for health and beauty, and symbolize romance. Valentine’s Day and roses go hand in hand. The beauty of roses is universally cherished and if there is one plant that everyone is familiar with it is the rose in all her glory.

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.
Herbs of the Enneagram Rose Thorns
Like Type 4s in the Enneagram -- called the Romantic or Depth Seeker -- roses are accompanied by allure and mystery. They tend to be showy but also can have a thorny nature – come close but not too close. I want you but on my terms. Be attracted to me if you dare but a little blood may be drawn if your fingers touch the wrong spot. Type 4s are romantic, deep and multi-layered, searching for profound meaning and symbolism; this type is not satisfied with surface knowledge or experience.

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.
Rose -- the symbolic match for type 4 -- is a nervine herb which can lift the mood, help with depression, and also has antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and sedative qualities. Rose petals are made into teas, tinctures, essences, mists and fragrances and are the cure for just about any bodily ailment... but it’s also a remedy for the heart, particularly for loss and grief. Rose helps emotions to flow – tears of joy and tears of loss, nostalgia and the past.
Herbalist Kiva Rose writes about the deeper uses of rose on the human psyche:

"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."

Rose is also a food. Rose hips can be made into a jam, jelly or marmalade and rose hip seed oil is used in skin products and makeup. Rose water is often added to sweets such as baklava, halva, nougat and Turkish delights. Need I mention that rose is also an aphrodisiac!
Herbs of the Enneagram Rose Hips

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.
Herbs of the Enneagram Dried Rose Hips
The 5-petalled rose flowers develop into the nourishing, vitamin C enriched rose hips, which contain anywhere from 5 to 160 seeds in each fruit. Mostly red, rosehips can also be purple or even black on some varieties! There are many complex botanical parts to a rose, just as there are many complex parts to a 4.

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.
Herbs of the Enneagram Rose Bud Infusion
Reposted With Permission from Herbstalk
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Herb Pearce is an expert on the Enneagram with 28+ years experience. He has authored four books on the Enneagram including his most recent work, Presidential Profiles: Washington to Trump - Enneagram and Myers-Briggs Perspectives. Herb has taught over 2000 Enneagram workshops and has worked with hundreds of organizations, individuals and couples using the Enneagram in his counseling practice. Herb resides in Arlington, Massachusetts where he is a practicing psychotherapist and life coach. He emphasizes developing the strengths of all 9 Enneagram types and is known for his exacting insights, moderated by gentleness, humor and compassion. You can learn more at www.HerbPearce.com or email him directly at Herb@HerbPearce.com.
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