Nine Lenses on the World: the Enneagram Perspective, by Jerome Wagner, Ph.D

(2010). NineLens Press: Evanston IL   ISBN: 978-0-9827620-0-4

We typically view the world through lenses but usually don’t examine the lenses themselves.  From time to time we need to check our glasses to see if they are filtering the world cleanly or are distorting our vision. Nine Lenses on the World: the Enneagram Perspective provides a lens check to discover whether we are viewing the world accurately as it is or altered, like our world view believes it should be. Each lens has

  • a sweet spot, an intuitive edge that helps us focus on some things very clearly.
  • a blind spot, an aspect of reality that falls outside of our paradigm so we may not see this area as clearly.
  • a hot spot, an area of vulnerability where we are particularly sensitive and touchy.

Our paradigms or schemas can be pliant and adapt to new circumstances or they may be rigid and force reality into our familiar patterns. We may either stay with our old lens prescriptions or we can upgrade our mental software. The Enneagram provides us with nine useful perspectives for viewing the world:

  • The Idealistic Perspective
  • The Perspective of Love
  • The Productive Perspective
  • The Aesthetic Perspective
  • The Perspective of Wisdom
  • The Perspective of Tradition
  • The Joyful Perspective
  • The Perspective of Strength
  • The Peaceful Perspective

Reviews / Testimonials

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ One of the BEST enneagram books I’ve ever read… — By Karenxu

…and I’ve read quite a few!! This book really makes you understand the enneagram, as you read, you walk in another’s shoes. Its the greatest tool for understanding yourself and other people. This is crucial information that you can’t find on the internet. Very enlightening and above all easy to read.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Best all around Enneagram text — By Kathryn P. Grant

Jerry Wagner has long been a leader in the Enneagram community and this new book lands him solidly in first place. Beginning with a generic description of developmental patterns and stages, accurate descriptions of each of the nine personality styles follow. It is easy to see how each style brings their unique flavor and experience to the pattern. Complex psychological concepts presented so all can understand, laced with humorous quips, and a solid base of spiritual insight, this book is for beginners and serious students alike. Jerry writes with wit and clarity. I use “Nine Lenses” with my students, coaching clients, and as a personal reference.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The Best Blue Book on the Enneagram today — By Dale Rhodes, Enneagram Portland

I am a professional Enneagram/MBTI teacher in Portland Oregon, and this is the new required and recommended text for all my students. The book is a wonderfully fresh and practical approach to the Enneagram and it is rich with applications from various professional, psychological and spiritual systems. Jerry Wagner is an early pioneer in the field of Enneagram Studies and was last year’s keynoter at the International Enneagram Association’s (IEA) Conference. This latest book is filled with lots of insightful material that will easily guide new students and benefit those who are seasoned or teach the system. I liked the book enough to write a formal book review for the Enneagram Journal. A MUST BUY for Ennea-enthusiasts.

Nine Lenses on the World: the Enneagram Perspective can be purchased from  in paperback and e-book formats.

Enneagram Spectrum of Personality Styles: An Introductory Guide by Jerome Wagner, Ph.D

(1996).  Enneagram Studies and Applications: Evanston, IL. ISBN: 1-55552-070-7

Intended for a general audience, this thorough yet brief guide through the Enneagram system provides a clear common sense outline of each of the nine styles. The resourceful characteristics and ideals of each style are contrasted with their non-resourceful idealizations. For example the Good Person’s passion for excellence can become a maladaptive pursuit of perfectionism. The adaptive energy, or virtue, of each style is contrasted with its maladaptive energy, or vice. What each style avoids and how they avoid it through specific defense mechanisms are detailed. How the distortion of each style may have developed and what each style misses because of its distortions are described. And the intrapsychic and interpersonal shifts that occur under relaxed and stressful circumstances are spelled out.

The guide contains 30 exercises to help readers understand their own style by reflecting on their own experiences. Highly readable, it is a fine introduction and teaching aid for workshop presenters, business consultants, therapists, etc.

Reviews / Testimonials

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ An excellent introduction to the Enneagram  — By A Customer

This is the best introductory book you will find on the Enneagram. Wagner’s guide is a clear and concise introduction to the Enneagram, useful for personal exploration and as a teaching id for workshop presenters and counselors. This comprehensive book with charts, exercises, and bullet descriptions, yields an experiential understanding of basic Enneagram principles such as authentic values and their personality substitutes, resourceful and non-resourceful cognitive, emotional, and behavioral schemas and how they shift under stressful and flow conditions, developmental influences, and the three centers of sorting and deciding. Learn about the defense mechanisms, principles and paradigms, virtues, passions, and both healthy and maladaptive instincts of each of the nine Enneagram personality types. For centuries — and now in the light of leading edge psychology — the Enneagram has helped people to recognize their predispositions, motives, and talents. Its insights provide valuable information for those in communication, business, human resources, therapy, and personal growth. This book helps you to explore the nine different “hues” of the Enneagram, discover your own type, and understand the behaviors and attitudes that are uniquely yours. It is considered the most concise and easy to use introductory guide available.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ A wonderfully positive and useful summary of the 9 styles! — By A Customer

Jerry emphasizes the positive aspects of each personality type, and also covers ways to integrate and utilize the dark side in a positive way. My favorite Enneagram book!

The Enneagram Spectrum of Personality Styles can be purchased from  in paperback format.

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Wagner Enneagram Personality Style Scales

The Wagner Enneagram Personality Style Scales (WEPSS) measures the resourceful and less-resourceful characteristics of each of the nine personality styles described by the Enneagram and gives an overall score used for determining one’s type.

To take the WEPSS, you simply rate 200 words or phrases on a 5-point scale. The inventory generates a Total score, a Resourceful score, and a Less-Resourceful score for each style. The results are expressed as percentile scores based on a sample of 1429 people. The reliability and validity of the WEPSS meet professional testing standards.

The WEPSS is the only Enneagram inventory reviewed in Buros’s Mental Measurements Yearbook, the recognized handbook in the testing field.

“The WEPSS’s greatest appeal and widest use seems to lie in the context of Enneagram workshops, aimed at self-understanding and growth. With this in mind, it offers an attractive alternative to more traditional instruments that have as their primary function the identification of personality and emotional disorders. The author’s efforts to use quantitative psychometric tools to refine and evaluate an instrument inspired by a clearly humanistic or even mystic tradition are praiseworthy; too often, something as esoteric as Enneagram theory would be dismissed as outside the realm of such methods.

The WEPSS represents a praiseworthy effort to “cross the divide” between quantitative-based mainstream psychometric approaches and less mainstream “interpretive approaches” to personality. The appeal that the WEPSS offers is a rich, “thick description” of test results very similar in texture to that provided by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The author may be forgiven if the interpretations and structure of the test (based upon Enneagram theory) are not yet adequately confirmed by empirical studies. The instrument offers a wide range of hypotheses waiting to be tested; further empirical confirmation of the WEPSS’s validity and reliability will very probably draw more careful attention to it as a viable alternative to mainstream personality tests, especially among psychologists and therapists exploring such issues within a spiritual or humanistic framework.” (The Fifteenth Mental Measurements Yearbook. Lincoln, NE: Buros Institute of Mental Measurements, 2003.)

The four-page computer generated report gives your

  • core Enneagram style
  • your preferred wing style
  • what you find easy to do and what you find difficult to do and so may avoid
  • how you may have learned this style
  • what may happen to you under stressful and secure conditions
  • how you can be more in balance.


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ By Ross Peterson, Director, Midwest Ministry

Midwest Ministry Development Service has been using the Wagner Enneagram Personality Style Scales for over 15 years with pastors and with people seeking to enter ministry. We have found it to be extremely helpful in identifying the key motivators for our clients, their natural strengths and their potential vulnerabilities. Many of our clients have told us that the WEPSS provided them with unique insights into themselves and how they operate. Often, the insights gained from the WEPSS shine a light on people from an “unexpected angle” which highlights aspects of their personality they had not previously seen so clearly. It has great potential to both challenge and encourage people. The WEPSS has proven to be a reliable instrument and
has become a standard part of our inventory array.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ By Gina Roes , MA, LPC, LifeChange Counseling Center

As a professional counselor I have found the WEPSS to be instrumental in my work with individuals, couples, and teams as my clients gain a crystal clear image of their personality structures through the information reflected back through the test. What I find most useful is not just the accuracy of determining a person’s core type, but also the different levels of access people have to all nine areas, both resourcefully and less-resourcefully. This insight allows them to see their own unconscious strategies and determine new approaches to life.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ By Granville D’Souza, DBA Regional Director 6 Seconds SEA, The Emotional Intelligence Network

The WEPSS test has been a total God send. Since I met Jerry in 2006, I have conducted 22 classes on the Enneagram and all have used the WEPSS. It stands apart from the rest of the tests because of the rigor and research put into it. The amount of information that is available for coaching potential makes this test one of the essential tools I use in my life coaching ‘armory’. Jerry has put in solid research to make available the resourceful and less resourceful parts of the core type, the wings, and each of the types in the stressful and relaxed movements. This in itself gives any person taking the WEPSS a detailed roadmap for moving forward. I have taken at least 2 other Enneagram tests before, and Jerry’s WEPSS clearly stands out from the rest.

How to Take the WEPSS

To take the WEPSS online for $10, go to .

To order hard copies of the WEPSS, that can be either self scored or scored from a CD on your computer, go to Western Psychological Services at 1-800-648-8857 or

The WEPSS Manual which contains administering, scoring, and interpreting information as well as a 37 page Technical Section describing the psychometric properties of the WEPSS (standardization, reliability, and validity data) can be ordered through Western Psychological Services