The 9 Human Design Energy Centres

Human Design Parenting

The 9 Human Design Energy Centres

The nine energy centres, based on the ancient chakra system are the centres around our body where we transmit and receive our life force energy.

Each centre has a biological connection to parts of our body – e.g. the spleen energy centre relates to the physical spleen in our body, the root centre to our adrenals, the throat centre to our throat etc.

This is where body intelligence can reveal so much to us and where, as a collective, we need to pay more attention. The body doesn’t lie. We can see where we are not in energetic alignment by tuning into our energy centres; things like ‘gut feel’, ‘a wave of adrenaline’ and ‘a burst of anger’ are ways in which our mind and body come together to help us to understand ourselves more. This becomes even more important to be an example for our kids and the younger generations to help them to tune into their body, rather than ignoring this incredibly intuitive biological system we each have.

Open vs defined energy centres

An open or undefined human design energy centre is usually white on the bodygraph and this energy centre helps us to understand what lessons we have come here to learn or impart wisdom on for others. An open centre is also the most open to conditioning from our family of origin, peers, caregivers, schooling, the media and so many other contributing factors during our early childhood years. When we live our not self theme, this usually can be traced back to an energy centre (or more) where we are living in the shadow.

A defined energy centre (coloured in on the bodygraph) is where we experience a consistent way of energy exchange (e.g. a defined throat means we don’t change the way we speak for different audiences or situations – we are coming across as the same person wherever we are).

It’s also important to note that both open and defined centres have shadow sides. Each centre is explored further below…


Human Design – Open and Defined Energy Centres

parenting by design

The Head Centre

Head -> logic, thinking, rationalising, doubt, confusion, questioning. Knowing what’s important to think about and inspiring others to think deeply.

defined head human design energy centres
defined head human design energy centres

Alignment looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Knowing what you need to think about vs what to let go of
  • Inspiring others to think deeply
  • Contemplating life’s big questions
  • Knowing what to focus brain energy on (and what to disregard)

Shadow looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Obsessed with finding the answer (when everyone else has moved on)
  • Insisting on proving other people wrong
  • Only deals in logical, factual, statistical details – no room for intuition or body intelligence
  • Over thinking everything
  • Lack of spontaneity – risk averse

A person with a defined head centre loves to make sense of their own thoughts and get to the bottom of things – they are eternally curious. They are self inspired and go inside to seek clarity – they do not need it from external forces.

Guidance for an open head centre:

  • Give up the pressure of having to know everything
  • Focus more on being curious and explore what lights you up
  • Find mindfulness practise to help you ease the mental chatter (meditation, yoga, tapping, white noise etc.)

Guidance for a defined head centre:

  • Explore what inspires you (but recognise not everyone else will feel inspired)
  • Give yourself the space to get curious
  • Share the excitement of figuring things out with others (but let them explore at their pace)

The Ajna Centre

Ajna -> Ideas, thoughts, beliefs, concepts, opinions. Owning your own opinions and recognising other opinions.

defined ajna human design energy centres
defined ajna human design energy centres

Alignment looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Open-minded and respectful of other beliefs
  • Sampling opinions for size to land on personal belief
  • Standing firm in own opinion

Shadow looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Insisting on being right
  • Judgemental
  • Overly rigid in own judgements
  • Tendency for narrow-mindedness

A person with a defined ajna has the potential to be someone who others love to come to for trusted opinions, due to their open-mindedness. They are non judgemental but their opinion feels more magnetic because they have considered all options and taken lots of factors into account. They are fair and balanced. When embodied they also feel secure in changing their mind and empowering others to do the same.

Guidance for an open ajna centre:

  • Differentiate between your own and other people’s opinions
  • Rephrase or represent a range of opinions with your own unique blend
  • Be confident in being wrong / changing mind.

Guidance for a defined ajna centre:

  • Facilitate new ideas and concepts, and inspire others to do the same
  • Do not force opinion, wait for it to be needed / asked for
  • Help others to form their own opinions.

The Throat Centre

Throat -> Expression, communication, bringing to life, action, voice.

defined throat human design energy centres
defined throat human design energy centres

Alignment looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Consistent voice (regardless of situation or people present)
  • Authentic self-expression (not afraid to speak the truth)
  • Recognises when to speak and when not to.

Shadow looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Interrupting and talking over others
  • Speaking for the sake of it Over talking
  • Talking about topics they know little about just to be seen/heard or in an attempt to prove their worth

A person with a defined throat is someone who knows their truth and speaks it, without adapting or dimming their voice to appease those around them. They are consistent in their self expression and can recognise when they have value to add to a conversation, and when to remain quiet.

Guidance for an open throat centre:

  • Checking in with yourself before speaking to ensure your contribution is relevant
  • Practise letting others finish before speaking
  • Practise active listening (nods, ah ha’s etc.) before replying with your own story

Guidance for a defined throat centre:

  • Getting clear on what lights you up to speak about and do more of it
  • Work through any limiting beliefs / patterns of not speaking up
  • Access professional public speaking support if this is something that holds you back.

The Identity/G Centre

Identity -> Purpose, love, direction

defined id centre human design energy centres
defined id centre human design energy centres

Alignment looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Happy and stable with who you are
  • Content in the now
  • Does not overly worry about future direction
  • Refuses to label or categorise, happy to go with the flow

Shadow looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Obsessed with figuring out purpose and destiny
  • Tendency to label oneself
  • Mimics others’ identity to fit in
  • Difficulty to remain in the present; always looking for the next pursuit to find oneself

A person with a defined identity centre displays a consistent sense of self; they do not easily sway with peer pressure or trends to fit in. They are happy in their own skin and being in the present moment. They are good at just ‘being’ and not overly concerned with purpose, destiny or future identity.

Guidance for an open identity centre:

  • Journal on ways you have fallen into the shadow of this centre
  • Accept where you are right now
  • Practise mindfulness exercises to help keep you in the present moment – gratitude, meditation, nature walk, EFT (tapping), yoga etc.

Guidance for an open identity centre:

  • Be aware not to dim your own light to make things easier for others
  • Refine your own mindfulness practise
  • Support the undefined ID centres around you by embodying presence

The Ego/Heart Centre

Heart -> Ego, materialism, self worth, desire, abundance

defined heart human design energy centres
defined heart human design energy centres

Alignment looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Feels inherently worthy of your desires and abundance
  • A healthy sense of self worth
  • Drive and ambition are natural catalysts to bring into reality your desires
  • No need to prove yourself
  • Recognises that willpower can ebb and flow

Shadow looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Hustle mentality to prove one’s worth
  • Chasing attention and praise to feel worthy
  • Emphasis on external ‘things’ to prove worthiness
  • Obsessed with material things
  • FOMO and comparison-itis are common
  • Overpromising and underdelivering

A person with a defined heart centre shows the world what it looks like to feel completely and unapologetically worthy. They stay in their own lane and know there is no need to compare themselves to others because they are perfectly unique.

Guidance for an open heart centre:

  • Accept and embrace compliments
  • Adjust promises and timeframes on things you are working on (so you have a better chance of meeting them)
  • Appreciate the flow of willpower and do not force or push through when it doesn’t feel rightt

Guidance for a defined heart centre:

  • Take on leadership roles (in whatever capacity)
  • Inspire those around you with an undefined heart by embodying your worth
  • Continue to follow through on promises
  • Set healthy boundaries

The Spleen Centre

Spleen -> Fears, intuition, instincts, immune system, body wisdom.

defined spleen human design energy centres
defined spleen human design energy centres

Alignment looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Having (and trusting) strong intuitive feelings
  • Recognising logic does not play a part in intuition
  • Strong sense of knowing what your body needs
  • Innate knowledge of how to thrive (not just survive)
  • Carefully curates the energy around them

Shadow looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Ignoring signs of physical body (the body keeps the score)
  • Allowing fear to prevent you from thriving and achieving what you want
  • Low sense of instinct (or the signs are ignored)
  • Avoiding all risk (to the detriment of success/happiness)
  • Staying too long in comfort zone
  • Holding onto things/people/circumstances that are no longer serving you

A person with a defined splenic centre is unashamed to follow their instinct, even if it makes no logical sense. They know what their body needs to survive and thrive and they ruthlessly pursue it.

Guidance for an open spleen centre:

  • Develop ways to tune into your body wisdom (meditation, yoga, journalling)
  • Identify areas to eliminate from your life that do not feel good
  • Start to ask your body for guidance
  • Take small risks to develop risk muscle

Guidance for a defined spleen centre:

  • Share your intuitive hits with those around you (using your strategy)
  • Cultivate more of your deep inner knowing and take it a level further
  • Be sensitive to those close to you with an open spleen, you are magnetic to them
  • Listen to the body’s wisdom on health issues

The Sacral Centre

Sacral -> Gut feeling, life force energy, sexuality, creativity, fertility.

defined sacral human design energy centres
defined sacral human design energy centres

Alignment looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Knowing when and what to focus on
  • Lighting up others with your lust for life and pure joy
  • Magnetic to others
  • Knowing when to exercise energy and when to recharge
  • Healthy relationship to food, exercise and all-round wellbeing

Shadow looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Overworking, hustling, pushing through
  • Finishing at all costs
  • Victim/martyr mentality around work and fatigue
  • Punishing / blaming others
  • Unhealthy food habits, inconsistent with exercise
  • Seeking recognition based on work effort

Someone with a defined sacral can light a room up as soon as they enter it. Their exuberance for whatever brings them joy is contagious. They have a healthy relationship with their own body and love the pleasure of all the senses.

Guidance for an open sacral centre:

  • Get very clear on own energetic boundaries and stick to them
  • Eliminate things that do not bring joy
  • Start to notice things that you become curious/joyful about and do more of them (even if it makes no sense)
  • Leverage defined sacral energy from those around you when needed
  • Do not feel pressured into ‘doing’ as much as defined sacral beings

Guidance for a defined sacral centre:

  • Identify what charges you up vs drains your energy – remove anything draining as much as possible
  • Acknowledge if you are doing things just for the reward/praise and decide if you actually want to do them anymore
  • Follow your passion and your joy always
  • Move body frequently and go to bed having drained your energy to ensure optimum sleep

The Solar Plexus Centre

Solar Plexus -> feelings, emotions, mood

defined solar plexus human design energy centres
defined solar plexus human design energy centres

Alignment looks like (whether open or defined):

  • In tune with own emotions and feelings
  • Sensitive to feelings of others (empath)
  • Tapped into body intelligence
  • Recognises ebb and flow of emotions and goes with it, does not fight or deny

Shadow looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Fights / denies emotions and feelings
  • Disconnected from body intelligence
  • Overly dramatic and reactive Avoids truth
  • People pleaser (say what people want to hear)

Someone with a defined solar plexus is tapped in to their own wave of emotions and knows that there are always highs and lows to moods. They recognise and appreciate the emotional waves in others too and help to balance them.

Guidance for a defined solar plexus centre:

  • Find people you can rely on to support you through the emotional waves
  • Find your own rituals and routines to tap into body intelligence and tune into your feelings (journalling, meditation, nature etc.)

Guidance for an open solar plexus centre:

  • Get clear on your own vs other people’s emotions and know when you don’t need to take on other people’s drama
  • If you take on other people’s emotions (i.e. in your daily work), develop ways to detach afterwards
  • Enjoy talking about yourself and your feelings so you become clearer of your own emotional journey.

The Root Centre

Root -> Pressure, stress, drive, ambition, urgency, motivation.

defined root human design energy centres
defined root human design energy centres

Alignment looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Healthy relationship to stress
  • Manages time and pressure well
  • Deals with own and other people’s stress in a sensible way
  • Knows when to get things done

Shadow looks like (whether open or defined):

  • Handling everything alone
  • Getting things done just for the sake of it
  • Workaholic
  • Sacrifices own well-being to achieve outcome
  • Always stressed and under pressure

Someone with a defined root centre recognises the importance of stress and pressure in life, but does not overly take it on in a negative way. They can manage their time well and get the job done, but they can also delegate and share the workload effectively to avoid so much pressure.

Guidance for an open root centre:

  • Develop your own routine and practises for managing stress and pressure (EFT, music, dancing etc.)
  • Set (and stick to) boundaries and do not take on too much
  • Do not promise time frames if possible

Guidance for a defined root centre:

  • Get comfortable leaving things to be done later than you would normally (your natural pressure will ensure you get it done)
  • Be clear on own ways of managing time and stress and share with undefined root centres in your life.


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Hey there!

I'm Claire, it's SO lovely to have you here!

I help conscious parents understand and integrate their family's unique Human Design into everyday life.

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