About Me

Credit: David Lance Goines

I've lived in Berkeley for over 20 years: I'm the girl in shabby black clothes who is always carrying a book. Hmm, that could describe half of Berkeley.


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Elizabeth Wagele, Enneagram Expert

Elizabeth Wagele is the author and cartoonist of  The Enneagram of Death – Helpful Insights by the 9 Types of People on Grief, Fear, and Dying, The Enneagram of Parenting, Finding the Birthday Cake – Helping Children Raise Their Self-Esteem, and The Happy Introvert – a Wild and Crazy Guide to Celebrating Your True Self. She has also co-authored The Career Within You with Ingrid Stabb and both The Enneagram Made Easy and Are You My Type, Am I Yours? with Renee Baron. As a well-known pianist, Elizanbeth created a music program, The Beethoven Enneagram, that demonstrates the Enneagram through performance of excerpts from Beethoven’s sonatas.

Elizabeth_WageleHow long have you lived in Berkeley?

I moved to Berkeley in 1950 with my parents and sister. I took six years out to live in Orinda CA from 1960 to 1966. I’ve been back in Berkeley ever since 1966.

How long does it take you to write your books? Was there anything you needed to accomplish first?

The book I just wrote, on the Enneagram for adolescents, only took 4 or 5 months. It was the fastest. Usually they take around a year, although The Happy Introvert took a few years. I didn’t start the adolescent book until I had spent 6 months marketing The Enneagram of Death.

What are your other creative endeavors? Do they contribute to your writing? How?

My first love is music. Right now I’m playing the piano with a couple of different violinists. I just taught one session of a class on my CD, The Beethoven Enneagram. Understanding music contributes immensely to understanding how to write my books and create the drawings I put in all my books. Some of the unifying principles are similar and music is a source of knowing for me.

Do you interact with other authors in Berkeley?

I belong to the California Writer’s Club and go to the critique sessions. The criticism is very helpful.

How did the local community of authors or the cultural milieu in theBerkeley influence your books?

The local community educated me on the Enneagram and the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) systems, which are the material I write about. I took classes from several Enneagram teachers in Berkeley. A lot of what I observed about personality types came from  Berkeley residents who were friends, neighbors, and other associates.

What other activities, events, or other cultural resources could support and encourage your work?

Something like an Enneagram Club, where we could gather to discuss the system, would be great to have here in Berkeley. I used to drive to Stanford for the group who studied the MBTI.

Do you feel that people in Berkeley need opportunities targeted to their niche interests to participate in culture, or should there be more opportunities that invite broad inclusion?

I think more niche interests would be a good thing. I believe they could be inclusive as well.

Any other thoughts on how to build cultural communities in Berkeley?

One of my resources is the French Hotel Cafe, where a group of us gather to discuss all manner of subjects. It’s not organized – people drop in and drop out as they wish. I find it stimulating most of the time.

Elizabeth Wagele’s most recent book is The Enneagram of Death.


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