The Enneagram 5 personality type is known for being analytical, observant, and private. They are also often referred to as “The Investigator” because they are always searching for the truth behind any given issue. People with this personality type tend to be independent and have a strong need for privacy; they prefer to work on their own rather than in groups.
Both Tarot and the Enneagram system incorporate archetypes that help to identify and understand key aspects of the individual’s personality. By combining both Tarot and the Enneagram, we can gain a deeper understanding of the Enneagram 5 type and learn how they interact with their environment.
What are the Enneagram Types?
There are nine personality types identified by the Enneagram system. Each type has its own unique set of characteristics and behavior patterns. While people can exhibit traits from multiple types, they usually identify with one core type. In the Enneagram system, each type is represented by a number and has its own distinct motivations, fears, and desires.
Additionally, each type has two wings, which are represented by the numbers on either side of the core type. For example, Type Fives have a four-wing and a six-wing, though each person will lean on one more than the other. These wings tend to influence and complement the traits of the core type, adding additional layers to their personality.
What are the Enneagram Triads?
The Enneagram contains three triads: the gut triad, the heart triad, and the head triad. Each triad is based on a primary emotion and contains three personality types. Enneagram 5 is part of the head triad, which is based on the emotion of fear.
The head triad emphasizes intelligence, analysis, and self-awareness. People with this type of personality tend to be introspective and thoughtful. They often seek the truth behind any given situation and take an empirical approach to life. The Enneagram 5 “Thinker” seeks solitude to process their experiences, which leads us to their first tarot card: The Hermit.
Core Personality Type of Enneagram 5: The Hermit
The Hermit tarot card embodies the Enneagram type 5, the most introverted personality in the Enneagram system. The Hermit appreciates solitude and introspection, mirroring the Enneagram type 5’s desire for personal space and time to explore their inner world.
Fives fear being overwhelmed or bombarded by the needs of others. When they feel intruded upon, they withdraw into themselves, much like a Hermit escaping into nature.
Keep in mind that the Hermit is also a survivalist. He must understand the World around him in order to live on his own. Acquiring knowledge is how Fives maintain their sense of security.
The Hermit seeks knowledge and wisdom and is comfortable in their quest for self-knowledge, mirroring the 5’s analytical nature and quest for understanding. The lantern that the Hermit holds signifies the light of truth that they seek, a deep-seated quest that is also present in the basic fear of the Enneagram 5 – the fear of being helpless or incompetent.
Much like Enneagram Type Eights, Fives tend to be fiercely independent and one of their core motivations is self-sufficiency. They need to feel capable or their self-confidence dwindles. As a result, Type Fives spend their private time exploring their thoughts and ideas, honing their skills, and increasing their competence.
Although they enjoy solving complex problems, the Enneagram 5 prefers to dabble in the rational. Emotions aren’t just a waste of time but a frightening obstacle that the average Enneagram Type 5 would rather avoid. This is why Fives often lack emotional awareness despite their above-average intelligence.
Healthy Fives carry the Hermit’s staff along the narrow path of enlightenment, seeking an understanding of life itself and fulfilling relationships with others. However, unhealthy Enneagram Type Fives reject fundamental human experience: feelings, intimacy, and community. They can become the Reversed Hermit, an isolated, solitary character that is difficult to know and interact with.
At their worst, the Enneagram 5 embodies the Four of Cups, which represents apathy and a lack of fulfillment.
The Four of Cups: The Shadow Side of Enneagram 5
The figure in the Four of Cups tarot card is so absorbed in his contemplation that he misses the hand offering a cup in the sky. Similarly, an unhealthy Enneagram 5 becomes so engrossed in their inner world that they disconnect from the external reality.
This tarot card symbolizes introspection gone awry, indicating withdrawal, apathy, and self-absorption. As things happen around them, they are oblivious, stuck in their intellectual pursuits, and missing out on life’s experiences. The tree is their comfort zone, and an unhealthy Type 5 will never abandon it.
Fives with a four-wing (5w4) may feel a deep sense of longing or melancholy, causing them to retreat from the world. They may also struggle with feeling misunderstood or out of place, leading to further withdrawal.
Similarly, Fives with a six-wing (5w6) alienate themselves from others through cynicism and skepticism. They may also struggle with anxiety, which can cause them to avoid social situations.
With no one to keep them company, the Enneagram 5 traps themselves in an echo chamber of their own thoughts. Logical thinking, once highly valued, disintegrates into radical views and conspiracy theories. Anyone who argues against these ideas threatens the self-image of Enneagram Fives, and they are met with harsh resistance. Only the Enneagram 5 knows how the world works.
An unhealthy Enneagram 5 can often exhibit a superiority complex, driven by their unhappiness with the world around them. They may feel as though they are above others because of their intellectual prowess, leading to a sense of disdain towards those who don’t share their level of knowledge.
The Four of Cups often represents a widening gap between the unhealthy Enneagram 5 and others. This gap can be seen as an invisible wall, built brick by brick with every missed social event, every ignored email, and every opportunity for human connection that’s cast aside in favor of solitary intellectual exploration.
Discontent is a palpable undercurrent in the Four of Cups tarot card and is a common emotional state for the unhealthy Enneagram 5. It is often born out of dissatisfaction with the status quo but accompanied by a reluctance to take action or make changes.
In Tarot, the number four represents stability and structure, but in this card, the cups are stacked precariously, representing a lack of balance and fulfillment. The immovable Enneagram 5 is entrenched in their beliefs and behaviors, making it difficult for them to see beyond their own perspective and find true contentment.
However, if the Enneagram 5 turns their focus to understanding others, connecting with their emotions, and finding a balance between self-sufficiency and vulnerability, they can break free from the Four of Cups’ shadow and find true fulfillment in their Fool’s journey toward growth and self-discovery.
The actualized Enneagram 5 finds completion through the eyes of the High Priestess.
The High Priestess: The Actualized Enneagram 5
The High Priestess in the Tarot is a symbol of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding – attributes that are deeply resonant with the healthy Enneagram 5. As the High Priestess sits confidently in the space between the conscious and the subconscious, the healthy Enneagram Type 5 navigates the realms of intellect and emotion with dexterity. They learn to embrace their feelings, not as something to fear, but as a source of insight. Their pursuit of knowledge extends to a compassionate understanding of others, replacing detachment with connection.
Additionally, the High Priestess is a figure of balance, representing the duality within us all. Similarly, a healthy Enneagram 5 finds an equilibrium between their insatiable curiosity and their emotional well-being, between isolated exploration and meaningful relationships. They step out from the confines of their intellect, engaging fully with the world around them while maintaining their rich inner lives.
Unlike the unhealthy Enneagram 5 that hoards information, the actualized Type 5 is both student and teacher. Instead of being strictly an observer, they enjoy giving feedback and hearing what their peers think. They meet others where they are, engaging in small talk before moving into in-depth conversation. Disagreements are communicated in a healthy way, and the feelings of others are no longer disregarded.
Moreover, the High Priestess embodies intuition, mystery, and hidden knowledge. A healthy Enneagram 5, like the High Priestess, retains their love for the unknown but balances it with a newfound appreciation for known experiences and emotions.
They become, in essence, a bridge between the analytical and the emotional, the seen and the unseen, the known and the unknown.
Type Fives embrace their basic desire to understand the world around them while also finding fulfillment in the present moment. You see this in healthy examples of the Enneagram 5 like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking, both visionary pioneers in their fields.
The High Priestess demonstrates that the Enneagram 5 can be private and independent without shutting out others. They learn to integrate their mind and body, intellect and intuition, logic and emotion. In doing so, they find a sense of wholeness and contentment that eluded them before.
Enneagram 5 Characters
These characters embody the Enneagram 5 personality type. Their storylines reflect the meanings of the Hermit, the Four of Cups, and the High Priestess tarot cards.
Wednesday Adams, 5w4
April Ludgate, 5w4
Parks and Recreation
Sherlock Holmes, 5w6
Gregory House, 5w6
Peter Parker, 5w4
Into the Spiderverse
Beth Harmon, 5w6
Jughead Jones, 5w6
Embrace the Wisdom of the Enneagram
In your journey of self-discovery, the Enneagram serves as a valuable tool, offering profound insights into your fundamental desires, fears, and motivations. Whether you’re a Type 5 or any other type, understanding your Enneagram can be a transformative process. We invite you to explore further, read our other articles on various Enneagram types, and delve deeper into this fascinating typology system.