Understanding Energy Centers: Part 1


When you see your Human Design chart for the first time, it can be overwhelming! There are shapes, lines, numbers, symbols and colors everywhere.  Before you stress yourself out with the finer details of things, let’s zoom out a bit. The first step is always understanding your energy type, authority and strategy.  After a bit of experimentation in that realm, you can take a look at how individual energy centers might be playing out certain themes in your life.

Humans are nine-centered beings. Each of our centers can be either defined or undefined. Defined centers in your chart will be colored in while undefined centers are white. Defined centers hold certain energies consistently. This means the way that you experience a certain energy from a particular center will not change much regardless of who you’re with or what’s going on with planetary transits. In contrast, the experiences of undefined centers may vary vastly depending on the transits, your environment and the auras of those around you.

Undefined centers amplify the energy of defined centers so your undefined centers may leave you feeling, for a time, that you ARE the other. Now, you don’t need to know the details of planetary transits or even the design of your loved ones (although delving in can be fun for some people later on!). Human design is all about knowing yourself better. Recognizing where you are defined and undefined can help you navigate life experiences and your roles in relationships with others. It can keep you from identifying from that which is NOT you.  Let’s take a look at each of the centers and how the energies of each might be impacting your life.


The head is one of two pressure centers in Human Design. Its themes are mental pressure, inspiration, ideas, doubt and asking and answering questions. The head center is at the very top of the body graph, and will be either white or yellow colored.


Only about ⅛ of the population has a defined head center. You’re here to radiate inspiration out of your being and inspire others. You are the reason we have new ideas and innovation in this world. Those with undefined head centers borrow this energy from you and amplify it. Do you feel pressure to share your inspiration with others but you’re not sure how to break it down so they can understand? Any of the energy types except reflectors can have a defined head center.


Most people have an undefined head center. If you are one of those people, you will take in inspiration energy from both those in your immediate environment and planetary transits. Since the head is a pressure center, you may have felt immense pressure throughout your life to take action every time you are inspired. You may feel a sense of obligation to answer everyone’s questions.  However, not all of these questions are going to be yours to answer!

We encourage keeping a small notebook or journal with you at all times, so when the inspiration feels especially strong you can write it all down. Check in with yourself when you get home and get some alone time, or when you are at a lower point in your emotional wave, or when you’ve taken a lunar cycle to decide if this brilliant idea is yours to act on. Any energy type can have an undefined Head Center.


The ajna center will be either white or green and located directly beneath the head center. Think “third-eye” or forehead.  The themes of the ajna center are opinions, certainty, beliefs, ideas and concepts.


If you have a defined ajna it will be colored green. Your strengths might be your ability to express concepts with certainty, your excellent memory and reliability.   For the good of your relationships, remember that others may understand concepts much differently than you do. Remember that even in your sense of certainty there is still some level of uncertainty; therefore not everyone is going to agree with you. “Stubborn” or “prideful” might be painful shadow aspects for you. On the same note, just because someone doesn’t understand or like your point of view doesn’t make it inherently flawed. Be gentle with yourself in these situations and don’t take it personally when others disagree.


If you have an undefined ajna center you are designed to be open minded. It’s not uncommon for you to understand multiple sides in a debate or argument since you have the capacity for grasping an unlimited amount of perspectives. Because of the multitude of concepts flowing through this center it can be difficult to remember things. Do you have a memory problem? Probably not–it’s likely just your open ajna! You may have been told to “just make up your mind!” or pressured to give one straightforward opinion and stick to it. Don’t! The only correct beliefs for you to hold onto are the ones that still prove valuable to you after following your personal authority and personal strategy for decision making.


Understanding the throat center means understanding how all of the energy in your chart interacts with the external world. Its themes are communication, self-perception, manifestation and creation. It is interesting to note that the throat is related to the endocrine system and when you don’t engage with this energy correctly it can lead to a variety of physical health issues.


Having a defined throat center means that the way you speak is fixed. The connections you have from other centers to the throat will influence the way your definition shows up. For example, a channel from the g-center to the throat indicates your words and self-expression come from the core of your identity. If your throat is connected to a motor center (the root, solar plexus, sacral or heart/will centers) you are a manifestor or manifesting generator. You are a generator or projector if it is not. If the connection to your throat is not one of the motors aforementioned, it’s better to wait to be invited into conversations. This ensures your voice will be well received and energy won’t be wasted on a listener who didn’t want to hear what you had to say. Learn more about the centers your throat is connected to for more insight into your personal design.


When your throat is undefined, you may constantly feel pressured to speak. At school, work or a party you may find yourself afraid of going unnoticed and subsequently blurt things out or talk over people. Alternatively, you may have experienced shame for doing this as a child so you keep your mouth shut even when invited into a conversation or asked to respond. With an open throat, it’s nearly impossible to plan what you’re going to say ahead of time. It’s better to release control instead to avoid stress and feeling burned out. Deep breathing exercises, envisioning the throat expanding and relaxing, and experimenting with silence can help immensely with this.  

A healthy open throat can become very wise about adjusting to new languages, dialects or ways of speaking. Like defined throats with no motor connection, it is wise to wait to be invited into or given opportunities to respond to conversations. The more connected you are with your design, the more your aura speaks for itself and draws the right opportunities to you. If you have an open throat, you might be a generator, a projector or a reflector.

If any of this resonates with you (or not!) let us know in the comments below.

To learn more about the rest of the centers, please head over to Part 2.

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