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. Today is all about the Self/Identity 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.
Biologically, the Self/Identity Center is connected to our livers, which is referred to in Human Design as the seat of our soul. Who knew? I always pictured my soul residing somewhere a bit sexier, like in my heart or chilling around my crown/ajna chakra....anyhoo...
Regardless, the Self/Identity Center, as all centers do, presents as either open or closed in our charts, and how it presents actually determines how we filter our life experiences.
The Self/Identity Center is all about love and direction. This center governs our purpose and direction in life. Think of the Self/Identity Center as our GPS: it tells us WHO we are, WHERE we are and TO WHAT we are guided. It's our consistent connection to our souls, as all love resides here (spiritual love; physical love; familial/friend love; love of humanity; love of LIFE). This also makes the Self/Identity Center a key center for the mechanics of the Law of Attraction and manifestation: in Human Design jargon, the Self/Identity Center is also referred to as the Magnetic Monopole, which in understandable terms means that its job is to be like a magnet with only one pole that just ATTRACTS. Our goal for this center is to attune to it according to our strategy so that we can be open and receptive to all that life offers, as this center is all about our personal expansion.
THE SELF/IDENTITY CENTER AND MANIFESTATION
According to the text Abundance by Design, there are eight energies that determine our level of abundance:
alignment with our authentic self
how we've internalized past lessons
alignment with Spirit/the Universe/Higher Power
embodiment and body image
capacity to allow and receive
service to the greater good
Through the Self/Identity Center, we attract into our life the experiences that will teach us how to expand: to love ourselves more deeply; to stand in and embrace our personal power; to express ourselves authentically; to let go of the past while simultaneously learning from it; to trust in a power greater than ourselves; to take care of our bodies and emotional well-being; to surrender to the Universe's flow; to make choices that serve ourselves and the greater good. When we're out of alignment, the Self/Identity Center attracts in lessons and tests that will push us back into alignment.
OPEN/UNDEFINED Self/Identity Center
Those of us with an open/undefined Self/Identity Center are prone to asking the question: "WHO THE EFF AM I?"...a question we can't answer in any consistent way because it changes over the course of our lives. We're going to wear many hats over the course of our lifetime, and that's by design. Maybe a way to reframe our existential question is to turn it into a statement or mantra: "WHERE I am is WHO I am right now." My fellow open Self/Identity Center folks and I gather our sense of self from the people around us and the environments we place ourselves in, therefore it is CRUCIAL that we're surrounding ourselves with energy we want to take on as our own: We need to trust and admire who we get our bearings from. We should surround ourselves with people who bring out the best in us and seek out environments that are alternately stimulating or soothing, depending on the energy we need in the moment.
Here's an example: I am a hopelessly messy person, something I'm working hard at rectifying. When my workspace at home is a cluttered, scattered mess, I AM a cluttered, scattered mess. I have a hard time focusing on just one task, I lose track of my thoughts, I try to take on too much at once...you get the picture. (sidebar: I also have an open Mind/Ajna Center, so keeping all my thoughts in order is a challenge as it is! Mess just begets mess here🤦🏻♀️) When I'm working at a clear, clean desk or table, it's a completely different vibe: my focus is better, I crush my to-do list, etc.
One strategy to help harness the potential inertia of our open Self/Identity Center is to put ourselves in the right places with the right people at the right time. DUH. Wouldn't we all love to be in the right place at the right time all the time? So how do we accomplish this? First, the right place isn't just one place. Ditto with people. We need to feel out what places and which people give us that deep inner 🙌🏻 FUCK YES🙌🏻 feeling, the ones we feel the click with. We need to pay attention to our guts: if we're somewhere with a group of people and something feels off, it probably is...and these places/people are going to bring us the "wrong" opportunities (lessons and tests) or none at all. So our job is to actively seek out our community of "right" people and to spend as much time in our "right" places to attune ourselves to attract the most flow & abundance through this center.
Because the center is open, we have the ability to take in the energy of those with a closed/defined Self/Identity Center and we AMPLIFY it. This gives us so much insight into the perspectives of others, as we're able to really understand the other people's sense of self and direction in life. We also act as mirrors, reflecting back to others who they really are. As a result, we likely have a super diverse group of friends and acquaintances, since the goal of our design is for us to be wise about experiencing others. And there is definitely a beauty in our flexibility: when we're in alignment with our Design, we're able to be the true social chameleons and are able to go with the flow and live in the moment.
There are two common challenges to living with an open Self/Identity Center: 1) feeling as if we have to prove our lovability and 2) taking on a direction that is not our own.
First: a common feeling of those with an open Self/Identity Center is the need to demonstrate value...as if someone who doesn't have one clear path or direction isn't as valuable as someone who does. When we're young, we probably envied or looked up to our peers who seemed so sure of themselves or seemed to KNOW their direction in life, and may have taken in some wrong-headed messaging that KNOWING = VALUE. We should remember: having an open Self/Identity Center means we're here to be beautifully flexible and to be wise about experiencing others. Many super effective teachers, therapists, and coaches have open Self/Identity Centers.
Second: we need to make sure we're not taking on the direction/purpose of someone else through our open center. This is especially dangerous if you have an open Head/Crown Center and tend to get super easily inspired (GUILTY✋🏻). How do we know if we're following a direction or path that's really authentic? Do a gut check, ask yourself some hard questions (is this really my path, or am I just super energized by watching another follow theirs?), take some time alone to recallibrate, and then act according to your type's strategy (more on those when we get into types, but here's a brief explainer).
CLOSED/DEFINED Self/Identity Center
As much joy as I take from the twisty, turn-y journey that is having an open Self/Identity Center, I am low-key jealous of those with this center closed. I have spent many a meditation session or sleepless night pleading with the Universe to just TELL ME WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO BE DOING ALREADY, whereas folks with a closed/defined Self/Identity Center JUST 👏🏻KNOW👏🏻. Their motto is "I am who I am" and they truly are deeply authentically themselves in all they do. Think about Jennifer Lawrence. I LOVE HER. No matter who she is talking to (the Hollywood Foreign Press, Kim K while guest-hosting on late-night) she is the exact same authentic person. I looked up her chart and sure enough, she has a defined Self/Identity Center. BAM! I find her to be so refreshingly real and authentic and love that she just lives her life outloud...she's the type of closed Self/Identity energy that I want to surround myself with :)
Those with a closed Self/Identity Center have a strong sense of purpose and direction in life and are super consistent and solid with regard to their character. They have a strong internal compass, and really seek to be the absolute best versions of themselves...where they might struggle is with how to get there (but don't we all!).
If you have a closed Self/Identity Center, your purpose in this part of your design is to give love. You're like 🌟the North Star🌟: shine your light bright so that others can catch some of that warmth and light as they search out their direction. The challenge here for you is to not transition from 🌟STAR🌟 to SHEPHERD: it is not your job to accompany folks on that path. Shine your light, but don't join their journey, carry their baggage, etc. That will only drag you down and deplete your energy.
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 Self/Identity Center in your chart? Did this resonate with you? Let me know in the comments 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻