I put a lot of emphasis on the Centers because the way that Centers are defined or open within us indicates much of what makes up Human Design- everything from Type to Authority to Definition. I also believe that until we have awareness and are focused on following our Strategy and Authority, we are all just functioning out of our open centers. Most of us go through life always playing defense and reacting to the amplified energy that we absorb.
I’ve written a lot about open centers, about what each of them might look like when they are open. My hope is to give people an idea of what they might be dealing with, of the range of ways this absorbed energy might affect a person who has an open center. As I’ve said, there is no good or bad but high and low expressions of energy. Within each of the centers there is a range of ways the energy might show up. An open Spleen can be a heroin addict or a conspiracy theorist and they can also be an intuitive healer or Shaman. An open Ajna can be contrary and intent on giving answers when they don’t really have them, and they can also be the most flexible and innovative thinkers. An open Throat can be quiet and afraid of saying the wrong thing, and they can also be the greatest speakers, leaders and advocates in the world. An open center can be a way that we receive programming, conditioning or even trauma, and it also holds the greatest potential for wisdom, empathy and compassion.
Open centers and defined centers interact, but the putting out and taking in of energies are separate, independent functions. A defined center is consistently producing the energy that it governs, regardless of who or what is around it. An open center takes the energy that is already being put out and absorbs it. It’s not as if an open center is a vacuum with a hose that attaches to a defined center and sucks the energy out of it. A person with an open center is not syphoning or stealing the energy of a person with a defined center. It’s also not correct to assume that open centers are conditioned by defined centers, while defined centers go through life unaffected. A defined center, when it is around an open center, will feel an amplified version of their own energy reflected back to them. A defined Heart Center, which is naturally always proving itself and competing, when around an open Heart Center will feel their own ego and will power reflected back at an amplified level. This may cause their energy to escalate and become more egoic, more willful, more forceful, more competitive. A defined Solar Plexus is always feeling their own emotional wave passing through them, with highs and lows. When around an open Solar Plexus they will feel their own emotional, moody energy reflected back at an amplified level. This may cause their energy to escalate and become more demonstrative, more temperamental, more volatile.
To really understand the interaction of open and defined centers and the potential of each, we need to look no farther than the Reflector type. Reflectors, like astrological sign Pisces, are the last of the Types (one of the many ways that Reflectors are Piscean). We have moved through the closed and repelling aura of the impactful Manifestor; the open and enveloping auras of the dedicated Generator and the spirited Manifesting Generator; and the focused & absorbing aura of the insightful Projector; to the Reflector, who has all 9 centers open. Open centers, by design, are not equipped to hold energy. Reflectors, by design, have a resistant and sampling aura. Within the life of a Reflector they have to move through their own openness to get to a place where they are not identified with or at the mercy of the amplified energy they absorb. Reflectors have to learn to be a screen, not a sponge, and let the energy that they are always absorbing pass through them. They learn to be discerning and to only allow those whose energy feels right to them into their world. Reflectors also show us that our open centers are just a reflection of the energy of others. The person that a Reflector is around may not always like what they see when their own energy is reflected back to them. Famous Reflector Teal Swan is called both a prophetic guru and the incarnation of the devil, depending on who is talking about her. Reflector Amma the hugging saint found the perfect tool to shift the energy of the people she comes into contact with- offering a hug. This simple gesture allows her to bring out the best in people and reflect that back to them. Reflectors show us that our open centers are meant to be windows that let us look into the energy of others, and let others see themselves in what we reflect back to them.
Ra Uru Hu used to say that, in Human Design, “like likes like.” Two defined centers like each other. Two open centers like each other. Nobody is rocking the boat. It’s comfortable and it can be comforting. It’s not necessarily exciting, evolutionary or even attractive to be around someone who does not challenge you. Defined centers have to pay attention to what is upsetting or rattling them when they are around open centers- these people are their greatest mirrors and teachers. Open centers have to understand that what they absorb doesn’t rule them, but offers them the possibility for true empathy and insight into the people around them.