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 , Wednesday we went into the Heart/Will Center, and today is all about the Emotional/Solar Plexus Center. BUCKLE UP, BUTTERCUP because this post is a long one. 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 speaking, the Emotional/Solar Plexus Center is connected to the following organs/areas of the body: the solar plexus (obvi), the kidneys, the pancreas, the lungs, the stomach, the nervous system, and the prostate gland. Damn. Energetically speaking, this center governs our feelings, sensitivities and emotions. And of course the stomach and nervous system and kidneys (which produce adrenaline) would be connected to a center that governs our feelings: have you ever thrown up or started hyperventilating before a big presentation? Been so upset or amped up that you couldn't eat? Been so depressed that you ate the entire pizza? GIRL, SAME. I feel like we've all been there at one time or another. In fact, there have been studies that show that the same areas in our brain that are stimulated when we feel PHYSICAL PAIN are activated when we feel EMOTIONAL PAIN. The ways emotional and physical trauma are processed by the body are interconnected. Consequently, the Emotional/Solar Plexus is also the center of addiction, whether it be to food, sex, drugs, or alcohol.
The Emotional/Solar Plexus Center pulls double duty as one of our three awareness centers (alongside the Mind/Ajna Center and Spleen Center) and one of our four motor centers (alongside the Root Center, the Sacral Center and the Heart Center), and is THE MOST INTENSE center of our nine. There's this constant tug-of-war happening here between awareness and action as we ride the waves of our emotions.
And our emotional energy fluctuates and ebbs/flows like waves in the ocean through this center. This is where we experience emotional polarities: euphoria and depression, passion and pain, guilt and forgiveness. Through this center, we learn how to process our feelings and experiences with the goal being clarity. And because this center is also a motor, this is the center of DESIRE, where we are pushed toward experiences that keep us in the highest of highs, while simultaneously trying to avoid the lows.
This center also is where we work on forgiveness and releasing painful destructive emotional patterns. When we're really, truly living in alignment with the energy of this center, we really feel our interconnectedness with all of humanity. Imma quote Gabby Bernstein for a minute:
FEAR has also taken up residence in the Emotional/Solar Plexus. According to The Definitive Book on Human Design, which was co-authored by the dude who channeled the technology (yeah, remember the Ibiza-beach-eight-day-channeling story? THAT GUY), where, to paraphrase, we're in a period of time in our evolution where we're leaning into our oneness and shared consciousness and evolving away from our separation. Think about it in terms of our last presidential election here in the US: how many people cast a vote for 45 that was motivated by fear or anger or a deep sense of helplessness? The shift away from fear and separation is HARD, and evolutionarily, we're deep in it together.
One more note on feelings before we dive into this center as open versus closed: let's talk about nervousness. At it's most basic, core level, when we feel nervous, it's because we're emotionally uncertain. We can't project or predict what's going to happen so our emotional energy just kind of vibrates and fluctuates along that energetic wave until it can find somewhere to land, either scaling up into full-on fear or dissipating into relief and calm. When we feel like this, we get so focused on the FEELING that reality gets completely distorted. This is why meditation can be our biggest ally in working with the Emotional/Solar Plexus Center. It is so important that we really commit to the practice of shifting into the seat of conscious awareness when that energetic emotions rollercoaster starts and instead of engaging, observe and release. I'm going to leave you with this 💎GEM💎 from The Untethered Soul:
In Human Design terms, our job through the Emotional/Solar Plexus Center is to observe our emotions and then address and release our fears that no longer serve us, because with each release, we get one step closer to oneness. Every fear we cling to, every time we shut down and refuse to experience, observe and release negative emotions, keeps us separate.
OPEN/UNDEFINED Emotional/Solar Plexus Center
About half the population has the Emotional/Solar Plexus Center open. For those of us who do, our goal is to learn about our emotional energy and become wise about feelings through this center. When we have this center open, we are empathetic and very open to really experiencing (and even absorbing) the emotions of others. When we're FEELING ALL THE FEELS, we can either amplify them or mirror them back, depending on how well we work within this open center.
The hard truth is not everyone who has this center open understands how to handle it. It usually goes one of two ways:
We become a sponge and just take in all the chaos/fear/anger/joy/sadness those around us experience as our own and MAGNIFY it. In fact, we might be accused of being "overly emotional" or "manic," because our open centers are NOT DESIGNED to handle this much emotional stimulation. When we were our most open and vulnerable, especially when we were young children, we probably personalized emotionally charged events and absorbed that trauma and took it on. And we've probably been carrying around baggage that doesn't belong to us FOR YEARS, which is dangerous, exhausting and unhealthy...that is, unless...
We become a sieve, and allow intense emotions to flow around us and through us. We sit firmly in the seat of our consciousness as the witness and just experience, observe and release.
Through this center, we're meant to sample emotions, experience them, learn from the experience, and then release them back into the wild. Like scientists do when they tag sharks or sea turtles. But instead of "catch and release," think of it more as "observe and release."
There are absolutely gifts that come with having this center open. We're usually able to read the emotional state of a person or of a group of people real accurately real quick. And you can trust your insight into how other people are feeling...it's our insight into how WE feel that needs a second pass. When we're deep in our feelings, it's important that we take a step back, take a deep breath and really reflect: where is this coming from? Is this really my feeling to feel? Do I need to hold onto this? And then breathe deeply and LET THAT SHIT GO.
Confrontations make us nervous because we have no idea how the other person will react, and we KNOW we will be IMPACTED by that energy if it doesn't go well. We've also probably developed a lot of "not self" strategies to dodge, divert or placate just to avoid getting into it with those around us. Our best bet is to use our type's strategies and our authority to help guide us as we decide which confrontations to actually engage in and how to navigate them.
In terms of self-care, a regular inventory of the people in our lives is probably a good idea. We need to try to minimize time exposed to those that are the least emotionally healthy. And it's IMPERATIVE that part of our daily self-care practice is alone time so that we give this center a chance to release and reset.
COMPLETELY OPEN/UNDEFINED Emotional/Solar Plexus Center
If you have this center undefined, go back at look at your chart.
Here's what a completely open center looks like (I'm using the Heart/Will Center here as an example...the Emotional/Solar Plexus is the center below to the right). See those little numbers? Those are gates. We'll learn about them soon. PROMISE. Notice how none of them have a grey circle around them? And that the channels they're connected to (the pathways between our centers) are all empty? This means the center isn't just undefined, it's like WIDE OPEN.
So here's an analogy if you have the Emotional/Solar Plexus Center COMPLETELY open: an open/undefined Emotional/Solar Plexus is like having your window open in the spring, but you put the screens in so there's a barrier between you and all the bees and flies and birds outside. There's a filter. If you have this center COMPLETELY open, the screen is GONE and ANYTHING CAN FLY IN! HERE COMES A BIRD! WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?!! HOW ARE YOU GOING TO GET IT BACK OUT!!?!??!? AND NOW BEES ARE FLYING IN!!!! WHAT IS EVEN HAPPENING???? YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO DEAL WITH THIS!!!!!! And that, in a nutshell, is how you experience the heightened emotional waves of others: chaos, confusion, panic, uncertainty.
All of the other characteristics of the open/undefined Emotional/Solar Plexus apply, but you lack a way of filtering all that emotional energy coming at you. You might get confused about how you’re feeling, or struggle to interpret your emotions. You might struggle with what to do when people get emotional around you. Just know: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. You’re just experiencing the emotional waves of others in their purest state.
CLOSED/DEFINED Emotional/Solar Plexus Center
The other half of the world's population has this center closed. They carry emotional energy with them at all times, and the kind of emotional waves they experience are determined by the channels that are activated near this center.
Fun fact: because people with defined Emotional/Solar Plexus centers also experience their emotions MAGNIFIED and REFLECTED by those of us with this center open, so a lot of times WE get labeled as the "overly emotional" or "emotionally unstable" ones. RUDE. Be aware: y'all with this center closed are the hurricanes, and the rest of us just the weathermen/women, flapping in the wind, clinging onto an intern for dear life.
Regardless of the channels, those with a defined Emotional/Solar Plexus experience their emotions as waves. Think of it like watching the tide come in and go out over several days. Some days, the tide is super gentle and the undulations in the waves are low and lovely. Other days, maybe when a storm is approaching, the waves are higher and they crash against the shore a lot harder. And once the storm passes, you might look out and see the ocean's surface is as smooth as a pane of glass.
A helpful exercise if you have this center defined: keep a timed/dated list of your emotions over the course of, say, a week. Like:
Tuesday, 9am. FRUSTRATION Joyce in accounting drank all the coffee and didn't refill the pot. GOD I HATE THAT BITCH.
Tuesday, 9:15am JOY . J/k. Joyce brought us all donuts and coffee from that fancy bakery down the street. I FUCKING LOVE HER.
Tuesday, 9:17am CONFUSION & IRE Who brings in donuts and only buys glazed and crullers??? I NEED A BOSTON CREME DONUT, JOYCE!
Tuesday, 9:17:35am RELIEF Nevermind. If I don't have a donut, I don't have to feel bad about skipping SoulCycle later.
Maybe that was hyperbolic. Or maybe it wasn't.
Look for patterns. How long does it take for you to shift from one emotion to another, especially around a specific situation? The overall goal for this center is to be wise about your emotional cycle, to understand your personal peaks and valleys and plateaus so that you're always in a place of emotional clarity when making decisions. So how do you do that?
The first rule of having a defined Emotional/Solar Plexus Center: NEVER MAKE DECISIONS WHEN YOU'RE IN YOUR FEELINGS.
The second rule of having a defined Emotional/Solar Plexus Center: NEVER MAKE DECISIONS WHEN YOU'RE IN YOUR FEELINGS.
Just like those of us with this center undefined can engage in some super unhealthy behavior, as can you. For you, though, this manifests as impulsivity, which is making a decision when you're in the highest high or the lowest low of your emotional cycle. Until you figure out what your natural emotional cycle looks and feels like, it's going to be challenging for you to know when you have the requisite emotional clarity to make a decision.
Don't get me wrong though: you still need to feel all your feelings. That's like an imperative part of the process for you. You need to experience your entire emotional range, practice patience and wait out the wave, and THEN decide. This is especially true for relationships. You are definitely not engineered to elope with someone you just met, or agree to move in with someone you met on Craigslist after meeting them for coffee at Starbucks. BAD BAD CALL. You need to feel all your feelings with the people you have relationships with and get a sense of how they react before you're able to really fully commit.
In terms of self-care, your alone time needs to come when you're in the valley of the emotional wave. Take a bath, take a nap, meditate, and allow it to pass. And remember rules 1-2 of the defined Emotional/Solar Plexus Center ;-)
Bunnell, Lynda & Ra Uru Hu. The Definitive Book of Human Design: The Science of Differentiation. HDC Publishing, 2017.
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 Emotional/Solar Plexus Center in your chart? Did this resonate with you? Let me know in the comments 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻