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! So far, we've dug into six of the nine centers:
the Mind/Ajna Center
the Throat Center
Today we're digging into our Root Center (PUN ABSOLUTELY INTENDED). 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.
The seventh of our nine centers is the Root Center which, like the Emotional Solar Plexus, also pulls double-duty, but this time as both a pressure center and a motor center. In a sense, this center is both the gasoline and the engine. 🏎️Vroom vroom, fam 🏎️
The Root Center works in conjunction with our Head/Crown Center and Throat Center: ideas and inspiration come in through the Head/Crown Center where they are pushed down through our other centers until they trigger the Root Center. At the Root Center, the key is turned and the engine revs up, pushing pressure and energy up to our Throat Center so we can act on and engage with this idea on the physical plane. Notice how there's no direct connection between the Root and the Throat. That would be WAYYYYYYY too intense for our systems to handle. Instead, all that energy heading to the Throat from the Root is processed through and tempered by the Spleen, Sacral and Emotional/Solar Plexus Centers on its way up, which absolutely impacts what comes out when it reaches the Throat.
In its resting state, the Root Center is all about grounding, stillness, and joy. This center's energy doesn't come in waves, like the emotional energy in the Solar Plexus Center, but in pulses once it's triggered by inspirational pressure from the Head/Crown Center.
Biologically, the Root Center is associated with our adrenal glands, as this center houses our adrenaline and processes stress. There are nine characteristics associated with this center:
One of the things we want to watch out for: the pressure from this center is meant to go up and out through the Throat, not turned inward on ourselves. Physically pushing ourselves too hard can cause burn out, stress-related illnesses, and a host of health problems (I'm currently still recovering from learning this the hard way!!) and lead to depression.
OPEN/UNDEFINED Root Center
As is the case with all open centers, if you have this center open you are susceptible to taking on the stress of others and AMPLIFYING it. Stress gets fed into your system by others as you don't have consistent access to your own adrenaline. This amplified pressure from others is not comfortable at all, so many times your impulse is to just get the task done ASAP so you can finally be out from under that stress! If you don't give yourself an appropriate timeline to complete this task or feel compelled to agree to an insane unrealistic deadline, mistakes and sloppiness will ensue, and you'll probably have to go back and correct them or even start again 😞BOO TO THAT. The problem is that you have THE HARDEST TIME relaxing until all your tasks are complete, so the cycle of stress--> rush --> repeat just continues ad infinitum.
The lesson of this center is to be wise about which stresses are externally sourced and which are our own. Most people with this center open operate completely without this awareness and just spend their lives RESPONDING to all the stress that floods in and allow that pressure to drive them. But once you respond to one stressor, another quickly takes its place, and it can all feel very Sisyphean after a while. (That was for my fellow mythology nerds in the back. I see you!)
There are ways to work with this center and harness that energy for good rather than letting it push you back down the hill with that boulder rolling after you.
Practice identifying which pressure is external and which is your own. If the pressure is coming from someone else (which mostly, it will be) remind yourself THIS PRESSURE I FEEL IS NOT MY OWN.
Meditate. Take a step back, sit in the seat of conscious awareness and watch the feeling without engaging with it. Breathe.
Don't commit to things outside your integrity. Use your type's strategy and the guidance of your authority before you enter into commitments.
Set your terms and timeline. Give yourself a longer runway than you think you need. Try to break larger tasks down into component parts and meet goals on your own terms.
There are dangers that come with working against and not with this energy. Think about the health problems related to stress: chronic fatigue, panic disorder, struggles with focus, hyperactivity, and the list goes ON. You might have even gotten so used to operating under pressure that you seek ways to stimulate that adrenal response on the regular, maybe through a caffeine addiction, by taking on too ambitious of a deadline or workload, or through serial procrastination. The goal of working within this center is to develop the skills necessary navigate your own response to external stressors in a way that you're harnessing and not working against this pressure.
CLOSED/DEFINED Root Center
Those of us who have this center defined have a fixed way of processing adrenaline and stress, and HOW is determined by which channels are active between this center and our Sacral Center. There are three channels between the two centers: 52-9 The Channel of Concentration, 53-42 The Channel of Maturation, and 60-3 The Channel of Mutation. Depending on which of these centers and gates are activated, we either operate with stress in a way that is logical and focused (52-9), cyclical and developmental (53-42) OR unpredictable and changeable (60-3). More on channels soon...
An easier way to look at it: we have natural cycles of access to this adrenal energy. We are *somewhat* immune to external stressors, though they can still seep in through the open/undefined centers in our design. Our goal through this center is to learn how our own natural adrenal energy cycle and stress response works, and then work with it and not against it.
One of the bonuses of having this center closed is that we get to be the spark that lights the fire in others, and we are AWESOME at getting people and projects launched. When we're in the flow working with the energy of this center, we can also find our calm in the chaos around us and are super adept at handling stressful situations and crazy amounts of pressure.
Our challenge comes when we get those pulses of energy to ACT. The drive comes from within and if we don't have somewhere to funnel and direct that energy we get restless and can't sit still. But just because something triggers us to act doesn't necessarily mean we should. Just like folks with this center open, we need to honor our type's strategy and authority to make sure we're acting within our integrity when we take on projects or decide to act, or we too will burn the eff out.
Some of the same tools apply that work for those with this center open:
Timeline management is CRUCIAL. Just because we can crush to-do lists and finish ALL OF THE THINGS doesn't mean we should. Working at that clip constantly will cause us to crash, so we need to make sure we're setting reasonable timetables for ourselves.
Be generous with others. Not everyone is designed to GO GO GO the way that we are when it comes to completing tasks. We need to be aware that our stress energy is taken on by others, and we should periodically check ourselves to make sure we're not setting up unreasonable expectations for those we work with.
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 Root Center in your chart? Did this resonate with you? Let me know in the comments 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻