I get a lot of questions in readings with Generators and Manifesting Generators about this concept of being Sacral beings and needing to respond. I think a lot of Generators & Manifesting Generators feel confused by this when they first come to Human Design, and the truth is that it is not as complicated as it seems.
To understand Sacral energy, I find it helps to add a little context and contrast. If we look over at the Spleen Center, we find a different energy. The Spleen holds our primal instinct, it is instantaneous, instinctual alertness that is in the now moment. It gives us our basic instincts and fears for survival. It gives us spontaneity, daring, light-heartedness and impulsivity. When we talk about Splenic energy we are talking about instinct in terms of inner knowing. It is self-generated. It comes from our sense of what we need to do to survive. Sacral energy, on the other hand, is totally responsive, totally dependent on what is surrounding it or coming at it. It is not about instinct as much as it is about reaction and reciprocation. Splenic energy says, “I know.” Sacral energy says, “I see you, and I raise you.”
I like to think of Splenic versus Sacral energy in terms of timing. Splenic energy is very much on its own clock. It comes when it comes, its alertness is vigilant or wary. It jumps in, or it steers clear. Sacral energy is deeply rhythmic, it is always looking for the beat, for the chorus, for its part in the play. I think of Splenic energy as being exemplified in jazz music- a genre that is all about instinct and disregards what we think of as being standard melody and rhythm. Jazz music is about individual players coming in or adding when they are moved to, instead of playing along harmoniously. Take famous jazz musician Thelonious Monk- a Projector with Splenic authority who had a unique, improvisational style that used syncopated melodies and was totally unorthodox. I think of Sacral energy personified as hip hop- a genre that is all about rhythm, rhyme, flow, and call & response. Take rapper Eminem- a Generator with Sacral authority who is known for his rhythmical style and his unparalleled rap battle skills- truly a master of response.
Another way of looking at Splenic timing versus Sacral timing is to look at stand up comedy. Manifestor Jerry Seinfeld is an instinctive comic who has always stayed totally focused on himself and his own sense of what is funny. He has perfected his set, goes out and does it when he wants to perform, and is not really concerned with what anybody thinks about it. As he has said, “Jerry Seinfeld knows he is funny and doesn’t want your feedback.” Sacral comedic timing is something different- something dependent upon the audience. Take comedians Robin Williams and Jim Carrey- both Generators with Sacral Authority and both famous for their over the top energy that would seem to multiply and escalate on stage. They both had/have an ability to go all the way and beyond with their comedy, constantly egged on by the energy of their audiences.
I also think of Splenic versus Sacral energy as being similar to that of opposite astrological signs Capricorn and Cancer. Splenic energy would be comparable to Capricorn energy- earthy, strong, pragmatic, paternal energy. Father knows best. Sacral energy would be comparable to Cancer energy- watery, comforting, maternal energy. Come to Mama. Nature versus nurture. With Human Design, as with Astrology, there is not bad or good but low expression and high expression of energy. Splenic energy, like Capricorn energy, can be a bit insensitive, impatient or intolerant. Sacral energy, like Cancer energy, can be self-sacrificing and hold on to resentment, be withholding or play on guilt. Splenic energy at its highest expression is capable, decisive, strong and vital energy. Sacral energy at its highest expression is productive, supportive, resourceful, considerate and revitalizing energy.
When we talk about responding, what has to be emphasized is that the Sacral Center is a response mechanism. It is always responding by either being lit up or turned on, or by being turned off by whatever is around. It says, “uh-huh” or “unh-uh.” The thing to understand is that this is always happening naturally. There is nothing for you to do. It doesn’t require any sort of action, thought process or meditative state. As a Generator or Manifesting Generator, this is always occurring within you. Where Generators and MGs get stuck is by getting in their heads about what they should or shouldn’t be doing. The thing about this energy is that you can’t reason with it. It is not mental energy, nor is it emotional energy. The Sacral Center likes what it likes, desires what it desires, wants what it wants, and there is no logic, rhyme or reason to it. Just as you are attracted to partners and lovers without being able to explain or rationalize it away.
When we talk about the strategy of “to respond” this is really just a way of emphasizing the innate nature of Generators and MGs. If we look over at the other types- Projectors have the strategy of “wait for the invitation.” Projectors have the gift of being able to see others, to see people and to see systems and how they work and would work best. Projectors have the strategy of waiting for an invitation to share what they see so that they make sure that their wonderful gift is recognized and welcomed, so that they feel valued and useful. Manifestors have the strategy of “to inform.” This strategy is about inviting others into their world. Manifestors are wired to act, invent, create, and express themselves in a unique, original and truly independent way. Manifestors are the only type that does not need the energetic input of others. They do, however, need to inform the people around them so that they can engage with and include others. Reflectors have the strategy of waiting a lunar cycle because they have all 9 centers open, and they need a full 28 day cycle to sense into all of the possible outcomes before committing to things. Generators and Manifesting Generators are always responding through their defined Sacral Center. The strategy of “to respond” is simply about emphasis. It is a reminder that the truth is not in your head or even in your heart. It is in your gut.
This strategy of response is really about paying attention. You will find that the universe will always provide you with things to respond to. As an MG I can look back at my life and see clearly how the universe has provided these things at every turn. Times where my Sacral was clearly not or no longer lit up by something, but I tried to ignore it and got in my head about what I should do out of obligation, loyalty, or what I thought was responsible or rational, the universe provided me with opportunities or circumstances that I could not ignore. I have been fired from jobs, had businesses that I was working for close, been forced to move out of apartments and been suddenly broken up with by people that I was not being lit up by. I have also had new job opportunities, living situations and new people come into my life at times where I was not being lit up and needed to move on, but was continuing to stay. I’ve also had magazine articles or news stories, overheard conversations, role models & mentors show up around me at times when I was feeling lit up by something that I was not sure I should pursue. The universe will provide you with these pushes or shoves, it’s just about paying attention to synchronicities, coincidences and following those things. It doesn’t mean that you have to wait for a formal invitation from someone or something in order to pursue it. It means you should be looking out for those things and responding instead of worrying about when and how something should happen and trying to force things. It’s about trusting your gut, trusting your Sacral responses and their divine timing, trusting that what lights you up is what is correct for you. Trusting that the universe will provide you with the landmarks and signs along this path, all you have to do is look out for them. Consider your Sacral desires like little crushes that you have and are compelled to explore. Sometimes you might find that a little attraction doesn’t mean you want to marry something. Other times you might get your heart broken. But as a Generator or MG, you’re here to explore these things and to live your life passionately.