Claire Voltarel, Campus Carrier Managing Editor
Being a 3w2 on the Enneagram, ENTP on the Myers- Briggs, Scorpio with an Ascendant in Capricorn comes with its complexities, especially when Venus is in retrograde. If all of that sounded like absolute nonsense, it’s because it is. Respectively, my Enneagram type, Myers-Briggs personality type and zodiac signs are all made-up labels for my identity loosely based on personality tests or even birthdates. While it sounds silly, entire lifestyles, cultures, diets, music and even work evaluations are based on these various forms of identification, so they must hold some weight. While many try to explain aspects of our lives that simply do not match up, the part that keeps followers in following are the instances or anecdotes that feel a little too accurate or pointed. But this participation in a lot of ways is not silly; these basic identifications can provide explanations (or, at least, potential rationalizations) within a community that can actually be helpful, calming and provide a unique opportunity for introspection rarely found elsewhere.
I am not here to argue that complete acceptance and commitment to these labels is healthy and or rational. Many individuals justify poor actions, thoughts or intentions with these labels. I’ve often said, “sorry, I’m a Scorpio,” as a rationalization for a blunt comment that I didn’t mean to say. Also, there is little evidence to prove that these are accurate predictive measures of the future. These should not be just another form of a crystal ball, but rather a potential explanation for parts of a personality. I hope to show that they are more complex than meets the eye and can prove beneficial in many aspects of a person’s life, especially a community of understanding. While I will mainly focus on zodiac and Enneagram types, many other similar personality tests and identifications exist and have similar traits to those I will discuss.
First, your zodiac sign is more nuanced than what is typically shown to you based on your birthday (known as your Sun sign). With information about your time and place of birth, your zodiac will show you other nuances to your identity that are very important, such as your ascendant, which defines people’s general first impression of you, or your moon, which explains your subconscious instincts and needs, along with manty others. Any of these facets can be a different sign, exemplifying the levels and variance within one’s personality. This is similar to your enneagram type, which has wings and characteristics of other types on the graph; no one person is ever completely one sign.
All of this is to say that we are complex individuals and these identifications are not trying to boil us down into simple terms. In fact, they can represent the complexities within a person and actually provide an individual with a community of understanding and potential methods of resolution. Where else can you get a map of all of your singular characteristics and their explanations, as well as others who can relate?
Reading some of the traits and explanations of myself as a Scorpio (and its variances underneath this title) or a type three Achiever is often comforting. While it is not a scientific diagnosis, it recognizes issues I have and provides context for these issues within my way of living. These comforts show me that I am not alone; knowing that other Achievers in an Enneagram can feel like they are wearing a mask, or that Moon’s in Scorpio often seek out attention almost satisfy parts of me that feel alone (another common Scorpio trait). So, while I know that tomorrow, I may not find economic success (as my horoscope stated), I feel as if my issues have been heard and explained. Just reading something online and thinking “omg that’s so me,” has a kind of comfort very few other platforms can provide. And the variance within each type helps connect me to friends in areas I didn’t think we had in common, providing another platform for comfort.
It is also validating to see the similarities between my Enneagram type and zodiac sign. In comparing the two, I find a more holistic perspective on a trait and am comforted when they both describe similar reasoning for my actions (which happens quite often).
Aside from the fact that participation in this realm is just a really fun endeavor, these personality explanations, while not based on anything “real,” have helped me in a lot of ways recognize parts of myself that I was suppressing, find ways to connect with others and be heard, even if it’s just reading a paragraph on the internet. There are podcasts that really dive into each personality type, present why you are feeling this way and provide possible ways of thought and solution that have actually helped me in practice (I would recommend “Sleeping At Last”). There are a lot of parts to an individual that he/she/they cannot define themselves; these identifications provide a unique opportunity for introspection and recognition of emotions or conflicts we may not have otherwise realized existed.