Our Human Design is comprised of nine centers, thirty-six channels, and sixty-four gates, all of which present as either open or closed, connected or absent, on or off, respectively. There are a lot of parts and pieces and potential combinations, so suffice it to say that how these centers, channels and gates interact all combine together to form our overall Human Design.
In these first nine posts, we're going to zoom in on each of the nine energy centers in the Human Design chart, and explore how we're impacted when they present as open/undefined in our charts and how we're impacted when they present as closed/defined in our charts, so get your chart ready! Last Monday, we talked about centers in general and took a closer look at the Head/Crown Center. Thursday, we dove deep into the Mind/Ajna Center, and Friday we tackled the Throat Center. This Monday was all about the Self/Identity Center and today is all about the Heart/Will Center. If you're new to this series and are looking for a quick primer on the principles of Human Design, follow this link for a brief explainer.
In Human Design, the Heart/Will Center is related to more than just your heart. Biologically, this center connects to our hearts, our stomach, our gallbladder and our thymus. Along with the Sacral, Solar Plexus/Emotions and Root Centers, the Heart/Will Center is one of our four motor centers, which means these centers provide us with the energy we need to manifest. In fact, it's fitting this post is coming right after our deep dive into The Magician, because if this energy center were a tarot card, that's what it would be. The Heart/Will Center is primarily concerned with being a source of energy to convert our thoughts into things. And just like The Magician is spiritually enlightened, the more connected we are to Source/Spirit/God/the Universe/our Higher Power, the more energy we have access to than by sheer will alone.
The Heart/Will Center is responsible for manifesting things on the physical plane. This is the center that pushes us forward in life and fuels our heart's desire. Money/business/financial matters are processed through this center, as this is where we get our drive, to invoke the GODDESS Rihanna, to "work work work work work work." Seriously though, a monetary transaction is an energetic exchange, and value-based energy is very much a Heart/Will Center concern, as money is an energy closely related to the wishes of the heart. This center gives us the energy to create or seek out the resources we need and the strength and tenacity to endure when things get tough.
Here's the bad news: only somewhere between 12.5-37% of the world's population has a closed/defined Heart/Will Center (two of the texts I consulted gave fairly different stats, so I'm presenting both). Only folks with a closed/defined Heart/Will Center have 24/7/365 unfettered access to this motorized energy and willpower.
As for the rest of us, the 63-87.5% of us with an open/undefined Heart/Will Center, we RELY on taking in that auric energy from those with this center closed/defined. 🧛♀️Not that we're energetic vampires🧛♀️ Not at all. Just like hanging out with someone with a defined Self/Identity Center can energetically influence us take on more of their decisive, purpose-filled energy, keeping company with those who have this center defined influences/motivates/energizes those of us with that center open/undefined and gives us the kick-in-the-pants to GET👏🏻 TO 👏🏻WORK👏🏻. This is one of the many reasons why starting a new habit, like Whole30 or training for a marathon, is shown to work better when we're in a group rather than solo, especially if someone in the group has this center defined. Closed/defined Heart/Will Centers have intrinsic motivation, and it's like we get an energetic contact-high just being in their presence.
OPEN/UNDEFINED Heart Center
Welcome to the 63-87.5%. It's not that we don't have willpower, it's just that we can't get high on our own supply, so we rely on others for that sweet sweet energy burst that we need to get to WORK.
One tactic that works well for those of us with an open/undefined Heart/Will Center, and that works in conjunction with our official TYPE strategy is to make promises or commitments. If you're a Generator, and you RESPOND (your strategy) by promising to complete a task, that harnesses the energy we do have access to. OR, if you're a Projector, and you've waited for the invitation and now you're involved, and it's worth your energy, commit to take on a part of the project.
Here's the catch: we can't just commit and promise to take on everything. If we fail to act according to our TYPE strategy and overpromise/commit to ALL THE THINGS, we're going to burn energy we don't have and burn out. So in addition to using our type's strategy, we just need to make sure what we take on is truly worth our energetic output. If you have Sacral Authority in your chart, combining the tactic of listening to your gut (applying the "FUCK YES" or "No, Thanks" litmus test) with our TYPE'S strategy can be super helpful as we decide what commitments to give our time and (limited) energy to.
Some shadow stuff a lot of us with this center open/undefined might deal with is feeling a push to constantly prove our value or worth. Because we don't have the consistent energetic access to the willpower that those with this center closed/defined do, we might have somewhere picked up conditioning and programming that said we didn't have inherent value (which is FALSE! WE DO!). We might subconsciously feel that we need to be constantly working and pushing and demonstrating how productive and committed that we are so that our value can be noticed and validated. We, as a group, also have a tendency to wayyyyyy undervalue ourselves. We might find ourselves accepting a lower salary or not asking for a raise or pricing our offerings well below market value (or even give them away!) for a variety of shadow-y reasons. If any of that resonated with you, a good gut-check question is: what am I trying to prove? and who am I trying to prove it to?
One thing I personally try to keep in mind (given that 6 of my 9 centers are WIDE OPEN): our open centers are our deepest sources of wisdom. I'm going to channel Gabby Bernstein for a minute who talks about switching our mindset around obstacles and to instead look at them as opportunities. YES, open centers in a chart can be frustrating AF because we're susceptible energetically to taking SO MUCH of the outside world in, whether we consciously want to or not, but there are so many layers here and there's an opportunity for beautiful work to be done around where the outside conditioning influence ends and where our purest, most authentic selves begin.
CLOSED/DEFINED Heart Center
Those of you with a closed/defined Heart/Will Center have consistent access to your willpower. You like to be in control and you know your value. You're able to take on almost any task you put your mind to because you have a near-constant source of energy and drive. In fact, you DOMINATE at building new habits, like working out first thing in the morning or eating within a certain set of dietary parameters, because you're able to attack new tasks or projects with determination. This cycle of commit --> follow thru --> commit --> follow thru just strengthens your sense of self as one who 💪🏻CRUSHES goals💪🏻. In fact, you thrive on projects/in work environments where you can set your own schedule and deadlines, and that allows you to alternately work or rest as your body dictates.
And you're in (mostly) good company: a lot of famous former (and current UUUGGGHHHH) politicians and leaders had/have a closed/defined Heart/Will Center: Winston Churchill. JFK. 45. Al Gore. The Dalai Lama. See? Mixed bag. Regardless of their politics, each of those men had/has the ability to GET STUFF DONE (maybe not always legally, in one case in particular...). With this center defined, you definitely have the ability to stand in your own power and take control of the situation. You are the one we turn to when things get tough.
Seriously tho, what it takes you five minutes to accomplish, it can take those of us with an open/undefined Heart/Center HOURS to finish. Unless, of course, you're in the room with us and letting us bask in your energy. Here's a fun game: next time you're working with a team, take note of how much gets done WITH you in the room versus when you're gone. The problem with our mooching off your willpower energy is that it's not residual. Where you go, it goes. Womp womp. 🤦🏻♀️ Inefficiency probably drives you up the wall, so before you push us out of the way and just take care of the thing yourself, just remember: we can only do what we can do. Your unrealistic expectations of our willpower and energy, if you choose to share them in a forceful way, by applying pressure or expressing frustration, can definitely mess with a team's dynamic and eventually will cause resistance or will push us beyond our capacity. Just know as driven as you are to complete the task, we're probably pushing ourselves as hard as we can to prove to you how productive we are. Lest dysfunction beget more dysfunction, the goal should be operating with a generosity of spirit 🧘🏻
Case study: Remember that old SNL skit "Nick Burns: Your Company's Computer Guy"? No? As an elder millennial, allow me to explain: Jimmy Fallon played a tech support professional with a closed Heart/Will Center who never had patience with anyone in the office, so when he came to respond to their tech issues he just yelled "MOOOOVVVEEE" before anyone could really explain what their issue was or even attempt to follow his directions to fix it themselves. And before he left, he made sure his efforts were duly recognized (see above gif). And yes, in some cases, y'all with the center defined may over-inflate your worth, a la Nick, or MAKE SURE WE KNOW how invaluable you are. Moral of the story: thank the member of your team with the closed Heart/Will Center. They like to hear it.
Moving on. A bit of a light/shadow mix for the closed/defined Heart/Will Center: you can put undue pressure on yourself to follow through on each and every commitment you make, no matter how trivial, because you see yourself as SOMEONE WHO FOLLOWS THROUGH. This can manifest in positive and negative ways, so it's CRUCIAL that those with a closed/defined Heart/Will Center don't over-promise or over-commit themselves and really only take on tasks that they feel motivated by or are worth their time and energy.
Fact: just because the closed/defined Heart/Will Center is motorized and has that near-constant connection to energy and willpower DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN NEVER GET TIRED. I mean, that would be truly superhuman. Think of your Heart/Will Center like one of those super-charged phone batteries: you need to RECHARGE the phone regularly or it DIES. Same goes for closed/defined Heart/Will Centers: if you aren't consistently taking time to REST and RELAX and RENEW, you will eventually deplete the battery so much that you'll burnout big time.
Curry, Karen. Understanding Human Design. Hierophant Publishing, 2013.
Parker, Karen Curry, et.al. Abundance by Design. GracePoint Matrix, 2016.
Parker, Karen Curry. Human Design Activation Guide. GracePoint Matrix, 2018.
Parkyn, Chetan. Human Design: Discover the Person You Were Born to Be. New World Library, 2009.
Do you have a closed or open Heart Center in your chart? Did this resonate with you? Let me know in the comments 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻