I think a lot about high and low expression of energy. I’ve always loved the 3 totems for astrological sign Scorpio. There is the Scorpion- a killer with a venomous sting. There is the Eagle, who is aware of its power and its ability to soar above others with a watchful eye. There is the Phoenix, who can rise from the ashes of death and be born again. This illustrates the range of ways a Scorpio may express their energy. It also emphasizes that we are not all pre-destined or boxed into one mode or way of being. Every day we move within this range, from low to high and in between. This is true for Astrology and for Human Design as well. It’s true for every component of Human Design from Type to Authority to Profile, to each of the Centers whether they are Defined or Open, and for each channel and gate defined within us.
The channels are our connectors, they connect our centers to each other, and they also play a major part in how we connect to others. Each channel connects with two numbered gates. There are 64 gates that correlate to the 64 Hexagrams of the I-Ching. Each of the hexagrams of the I-Ching are comprised of six lines that are broken into intrapersonal and transpersonal attributes. Every gate defined within you will add a different element to your personality- traits that you exhibit either consciously or unconsciously. Within each of the gates there are a range of ways the energy can be expressed. At its lowest expression, a gate’s energy can be a source of conflict, aggravation, frustration, or struggle for ourselves or the people we connect with. At its highest expression, a gate’s energy can be healing, transformative, altruistic, inspirational or magnetic. At their lowest expression, our gate energies keep us or tear us apart from others. At their highest expression, they hold potential for mutative and evolutionary shifts for the people around us and for society at large. We can be locked into a low expression that keeps us stuck, or we can use the energy that we have to create a life that we love and move ourselves and others forward.
Gate 5’s Fixed Patterns can be rigid, bordering on obsessive compulsive and can keep the person isolated in their need for control. At its highest expression Gate 5 offers a steady drumbeat, a rhythm, and nurtures through structure that looks to bring others into its flow. Gate 36’s crises can be personal, and at a low expression can have the person living in a constant state of emotional crisis, feeling inadequate, victimized or that chaos follows them. At its highest expression, Gate 36 learns to remain steady & be a source of strength for others in times of crisis, making them the great fixers, psychopomps and problem solvers of the world. With these examples, a person must accept their own energy- the intrapersonal, in order to access the energy that helps others- the transpersonal. Gate 5 has to honor its need for Fixed Patterns and take time for its own routine in order to nurture others. Gate 36 must look at its experiences of personal crisis as lessons learned, in order to use that experience to manage the crises of others.
Within each of the channels are two gates, two sides of a coin, a polarity that can draw others in or repel them. Within each of the channels and gates is the potential for real grace. But what I find, time and again, is that we cannot unlock or reach that potential to really benefit the world, until we first accept some aspect of ourselves. This is clear when we look at the Incarnation Cross. If the Profile is the role or character you play in the movie of your life, the Incarnation Cross is like the plot. It is made up of the four most prominent gates in the chart. It represents the highest expression of those gate energies combined, but the Incarnation Cross only comes into play once a person is living according to their Design. Until someone is listening to and following their Strategy and Authority, is recognizing, owning and honoring their own energy, the Incarnation Cross will not be activated. Until we recognize ourselves, we can’t recognize others or be recognized by others for our true greatness.
So, how exactly do we get stuck in low expression of energy? Through conditioning. Through the ways that we become convinced that parts of ourselves are bad, wrong, not good or worthless, or unattractive. We take this conditioning and we try to shut ourselves off. We put that energy into our shadow, and we become unconscious of it. No matter how much we deny it or try to get around it, it follows us, and it comes out unconsciously, at a low expression. Until we can haul those things out of the closet, out of the darkness, out of our shadow, and into the light, they will continue to follow us.
What I see when I look into the charts of people is this range, this incredible potential for greatness that we all have the ability to access. I get asked a lot what someone should do. What action should they take, how should they navigate this energy. But what we need most, the most powerful tool that we have, is awareness. If we can look at all of those aspects of ourselves that we were told were not acceptable and just acknowledge them, they begin to shift. We can see the potential within our own energy, we can transform our perceived weaknesses into strengths. It starts with awareness. As Ra Uru Hu used to say, “Know yourself.”