As we discussed on the "Your Human Design" page, a Center can be either defined (colored) or undefined (white). It isn't "better" to have a Center defined; it's just different if it is defined.
If a Center is defined in your Human Design, then the qualities of that Center are fixed and reliable in you. These stable qualities are influenced by which gates of that Center are activated. Each activated gate acts as a filter for energy coming into the Center. The ways that a Center can influence you are also affected by which Channels are defined that connect to that Center. A Human Design Analyst can interpret all these variations of the qualities of a Center.
If the Center is undefined, then you don't have a stable, preferred way of dealing with those qualities. An undefined Center is an opportunity for learning. An undefined Center is "open" and susceptible to outside influences. Because it is not "cast in stone," you will seek to learn the qualities of the Center. For example, some of the greatest singers have an undefined Throat Center.
When you are with another person, that person can influence you through your undefined Centers. Your defined Centers are not susceptible to this influence. Your defined Centers determine who you are when you are alone. Your undefined (open) Centers allow you to be influenced by others. You cannot rely upon undefined Centers. The energies or experiences that come in through these undefined Centers are transitory. Undefined Centers are learning Centers, and as such, they can be sources of pain, frustration and (believe it or not) wisdom. Although each Center corresponds to one or more organs in the body, it also has other characteristics that define who you really are.
The Nine Centers
The top two Centers (Head & Ajna) make up the Mind. Neither of these two Centers is connected to a motor (we'll identify the motors later). The Mind is not designed to actually do anything; it is not a source of power. The thoughts, ideas and inspiration that come from your Mind are for the benefit of others; they are not for making your own decisions.
The Mind is your computer. It can't know the magic of life and it can't know the truth about you. The secret of Human Design is to follow your Strategy rather than your thoughts.
The top Center, the Head, is the source of inspiration, anxiety and mental pressure. If it is defined, you are always under mental pressure that can even cause headaches. The Head is under pressure to make sense of all the inputs of daily life. The Head is the source of worry, especially if you think your thoughts are for your own benefit.
If the Head is undefined, your inspiration is always coming from outside of you. If you are with someone whose Head is defined, you will be filled with inspiration that vanishes when you are alone.
The Ajna Center is the Center of conceptualization. It measures and categorizes. If your Ajna Center is defined, then your thinking works in a set, reliable manner. It is constantly making choices, comparing, evaluating and organizing.
If the Ajna Center is undefined, you do not have a consistent thinking process. Your thinking will be influenced by the people you are with. With an undefined Ajna, you should have important conversations in a public place so that your thinking will not be completely influenced by the person with whom you are speaking.
With an undefined Ajna, you cannot filter the thoughts that enter your mind, and you will have trouble holding on to them. You may not say the things you intend, and you may not sound intelligent if you try to initiate discussions without being asked.
The Throat is the Center of communication and action. In order for anything to happen, it must pass through the Throat to become a reality. Biologically, the Throat is the Center of our metabolism. It is the Center for manifestation.
If a Center is connected to the Throat by a defined channel, then the qualities of that Center can be easily manifested in the world. If your Throat is defined, you are here to verbally share with others what it is to be you.
If your Throat is undefined, you are always under pressure to communicate with words. Unless you are a Manifestor Type, you should not initiate conversation because this can damage your immune system. Other Types must wait to be asked before sharing their thoughts, feelings or ideas. We will discuss this more when we talk about the Types.
The G Center is the Center of Self. It is our identity and is the Center of Love and Direction in life. We have been taught that the Heart is the Center of Love, but this isn't true.
If your G Center is defined, you have a strong sense of Self and have the ability to know yourself. You also have a strong sense of personal direction.
If your G Center is undefined, you will be on a lifelong quest to know who you really are, and it is easy to let others shape your identity for you. Just as some great singers have an undefined Throat, many treasured spiritual leaders have an undefined G Center, and as a result, are great searchers for spiritual truth.
An open G Center also causes uncertainty about love. Wondering if they will ever be loved is one of the most profound questions for people with an open G Center. These people will also constantly question their direction in life. Because of their journey to discover love, people with undefined G Centers have much wisdom to share about the nature of love.
The Spleen controls our immune system. It is the Center for well-being, instinct, intuition and taste. The Spleen is the Center for knowing "in the now." If you have a defined Splenic Center, trust your initial "gut feel." This intuition is reliable, but it only speaks once. If you ignore it, this timely insight will not speak again.
If you have an undefined Spleen, you will not consistently feel good. Feeling good is dependent on who you are with. You are also very sensitive to anything that can affect your survival. You will have to be careful about what you eat and drink and take as medication. You will also know when you are about to become sick so that you can take care of yourself. People with an undefined Spleen are better off using wholistic medicine, including essences and homeopathics, rather than relying on Western (allopathic) medicine.
The Heart Center is the Center of Ego, Willpower and Courage - not the Center of Love. If you have a defined Heart Center, you are willful, have willpower, and can make and fulfill promises dependably.
The Heart Center is one of the four motors and is a powerful source of energy. It is the driving force for business and competition. The Ego is about material survival, money, the family and the tribe. It is a warrior and an exaggerator. It is possessive and insures the survival of the community.
Having an undefined Heart Center means that you should not make promises. You should not be willful or competitive. An open Heart Center makes you susceptible to diseases of the heart, gall bladder and stomach when you act willfully. Making promises places extreme pressure on these organs if your Heart Center is undefined. Do not try to use willpower to bulldoze your way through life.
The Four Motors
The Sacral is the most powerful motor and is the major source of energy for us. It is responsible for sexuality, reproduction, nurture and the life force. Having this Center defined makes you a Generator Type. We will discuss the defined Sacral Center when we talk about Generators.
If you have an undefined Sacral Center, your sexuality is always conditioned by the person you are with. You can be everything from a nun to a tramp depending on your partner. If you change partners, you will not have the same sexual experiences. You are very vulnerable at the sexual level.
An undefined Sacral also makes you vulnerable to working too hard. Generators (defined Sacral) are designed for work, but people with an undefined Sacral can end up working twice as hard trying to do the work of Generators. Working too hard is unhealthy for people with an open Sacral Center.
The Solar Plexus Center is another powerful motor that is the Center for emotions and feelings. This Center has a major effect on all of us regardless of whether it is defined or open. It is the Center of pleasure, romance, sexiness, passion and desire.
If you have a defined Solar Plexus, you are an emotional being. This Center operates in a wave moving you through emotional cycles from highs to lows in a two- or three-day cycle.
The most important thing to know, if you have a defined Solar Plexus, is to never be spontaneous. Never make a decision without "sleeping on it." You need to contemplate proposals through all phases of your emotional cycle before making a decision. Emotional people feel that they are indecisive. They often change their minds the next day. This happens because they do not wait for the emotional wave to complete before making the decision. Emotional beings need time.
This is a confusing Center because many people who have this Center open, still appear to themselves and to others as being emotional. This is because they are open to the emotions of the people around them, and they don't have the natural abilities and filters for dealing with emotions. Unemotional people (undefined Solar Plexus) don't have the tools that emotional people have for dealing with emotions. Unemotional people are uncomfortable with emotions and can end up acting very emotionally depending on who they are with. They can even appear to be more emotional because they magnify others' emotions.
If your Solar Plexus is undefined, you will take in other people's feelings, and you will feel happy or sad depending on the emotions of the people you are with. You can also be easily manipulated by emotional people. It is important to remember that these are not your emotions. After you are alone for a while, other people's emotions will pass.
The Root Center is a motor and is the Center of stress, adrenalin, pressure and depression. If you have a defined Root, stress and pressure are a natural part of your life. This pressure is meant to be fuel for your life, not to cause depression.
If your Root is undefined or open, you don't have the natural ability to handle pressure. This can cause you to try to do things too quickly just to relieve the pressure. People with defined Roots are always pumping you up and pressuring you to do things. For the people with defined Roots, pressure is a fuel. For people with open Roots, pressure is unhealthy. Remember that this pressure is coming from outside of you. It can give you an adrenaline rush, but it isn't healthy for prolonged periods. Performers often have undefined Root Centers.