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Take a Deep Breath and Count to Nine: Using the Enneagram's Wisdom of Transformational Energy in Worship Open Access


Other title
divine energy
Transformational energy
Holy Idea
Type of item
Degree grantor
St. Stephen's College
Author or creator
Heather Ann Sandilands
Supervisor and department
Dawn Kilarski
Examining committee member and department
Rev. Dr. John Henry Weinlick
Betty Marlin
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Theological Studies in Diaconal Ministry
Degree level
The thesis Take a Deep Breath and Count to Nine: Using the Enneagram’s Wisdom of Transformational Energy in Worship is an exploration of possible applications of the ancient spiritual symbol of the movement of divine energy (the Enneagram) in the creation of 21st century worship rituals and liturgies. The Enneagram is a system and symbol of how divine energy moves through a person. Its foundational concept is that there are nine basic manifestations of divine energy, each of which contains a Holy Idea. Each of us are born predisposed to a particular Holy Idea. As we are born and move through life we absorb the hurts of living and the gift of the Holy Idea within us becomes warped by our ego defence mechanisms. In situations which arouse our fear and anxiety, this warped version of the Holy Idea causes us to act in compulsive ways in order to experience, or even embody, the Holy Idea. The spiritual Work of the Enneagram is to learn to release ourselves from the stranglehold of our compulsive behaviour, and recognize the gift of the Holy Idea within us. As we do this, divine energy is able to move more fully into us, and through us, into the world, thereby allowing us to live the Holy Idea into the world. In other words, ‘the Work’ is about opening ourselves to Grace so that we might be of service to others in manifesting that Grace. Using a ‘spiral reflection model’, the thesis examines the principles of the Enneagram can be used to create worship services which encourage us to recognize both our gifted-ness and compulsions. In other words, it explores how this transformational energy can be accessed in corporate worship using ritual and liturgy. The thesis also explores the idea of how the Enneagram might be used as a typology to understand the corporate personality of a congregation.
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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