What is the Root Center In Human Design

Let’s explore the root center in human design. I’m going to share with you what the root center is through the lens of human design. The strengths, challenges and actions of the defined and undefined root centers. As well as diving into the voices and pressures of the gates of the root center. If you are new to human design and aren’t sure if you have an undefined or defined head center you can download your chart here.

The Root Center In Human Design

The root center is one of two pressure centers and is the square at the bottom of the bodygraph. It is the pressure and stress “to do”. It is literally the source of all stress in the body. The pressure inside of the root is what gets the body into momentum and action in life. What we do with that stress energy will determine if the stress we experience is good or bad for the body.

The root center is both a motor center and a pressure center (like the head). This center literally gets and keeps the body in momentum or in action. The motor of the root operates as pulsing. On…off…on….off. This means you may have periods of time where you experience more pressure since the root is off and the pressure of this center is building.

Since the root is one of two pressure centers in the body it will always have a connection to the head (the pressure to know) … There is a certain duality between these two centers that fuels the human species forward. If you have a defined head and root, it will be important for you to create practices to relieve pressure.

This charged energy (almost like a bottled lightning bolt) brings the pressure and the fuel to evolve and adapt to the world and its many challenges. It is a powerful force and one that is important to learn how to manage and grapple with. Since the root is the source of stress in the body it can wreak havoc on the physical body when not managed properly.

For you depending on which gates or channels are activated will determine how and which pressures you experience. The gate or channels which are connected or reaching for the spleen drive the fuel to action. The gates or channels reaching for the solar plexus are concerned with feelings and emotional responses. The gates or channels reaching for the spleen are the drive to survive and thrive.

The root in the body is associated with the adrenal system and the stress hormones.

The Defined Root Human Design

Nearly 60% of the populatin has a defined root. With a defined root you will have a fixed way you handle stress and pressure in the world based on your unique configuration within your human design chart. Learning to get to know this pressurized energy is key in order to living in congruence with your design. You can tolerate the wield the power of this pressure, focus it, and use it to make an impact in service of others.

The strengths of a defined root…

  • consistent access to your drive and innate ability to be in action
  • handle pressure, the buildup of pressure, and use it wisely
  • focus your drive and channel this energy which inspires others to act

 The challenges of a defined root…

  • Timing is critical when working with pulsing energy of the root
  • It’s initiating energy can get you out of whack with your strategy and authority
  • Burnout can result when you are out of alignment with your strategy and authority.

Action tips for a defined root…

  • Creating a regular exercise practice that help you relieve pressure from the root – think something that makes you sweat – as always though consult your physician if this type of exercise is right for you
  • When in doubt fall back on your strategy and authority
  • There may be times where you feel pressure but struggle to get into action be patience for the pulse of the root to turn back on again.
    head center human design

    The Undefind Root

    Nearly 40% of the population has an undefined or open root.

    With an undefined root you are constantly taking in pressure from the rest of the population with a defined root and amplifying this energy. It can be difficult for those with undefined root to be under this near constant energy of pressure. One of the most important things to realize with an undefined root is that this pressure is not yours. The pressure you feel to go and do and take on more is not yours. Learning to dispel this pressure to do from others is key.

    The Strengths of an undefined root…

    • Discerning about what activities you do take action on
    • Lots of options on how you “work with stress and pressure” which can create
    • Very productive at times

    The Challenges of an undefined root…

    • Absorbing pressure and stress from your environment
    • Very susceptible to burnout
    • Getting into action can be a struggle

    Action tips for an undefined root…

    • Create transition activities between work and home to let go of the energies that are not yours – things like restorative yoga, meditation, a walk-in nature, dancing to a song is helpful to do “in between”
    • Get to know the gates you have coming off of your root center – this will give personality to the energy that is yours
    • Learn to discern what is yours

    The Gates of the Root Center In Human Design

    With the root center through the lens of human design we can look at the gates that reside within the root center and the mental pressure associated with those gates. Below you will find the 9 gates of the root along with what it sounds like in the wild. You may notice this energy in yourself or others.

    Consider what does this actually sound like in the real world? Or as I like to say how does this present itself in the wild?

    What are the word tracks that we may actually hear from another human?

    What is the mental monologue in the root center that is happening within?

    What does this look like, sound like, and how does it present itself?


    Human design is a powerful tool, and far too many people look at it from the perspective of theory and philosophy. They miss the point of bridging it into actually living, running a business, and holding space for the human’s experience in all of it.


    None of the theory, philosophy, or study of human design matters if we can’t actually leverage it, use it, understand it and apply it to our lives to improve.


    Today I thought I would share some insights about what the ajna center sounds like in the real world. With practical word tracks, you can listen for and/or become aware of when you say them in your own life.


     The Voice and Mental Pressures of the Root Center

    The root center is a pressure center that drives the stress, anxiety and drive to do – it is a life force energy. It is the source of all stress and worry in the body.. It is a boundless stress, worry, and pressure machine.

    Gate 58 – The Delightful – The Gate of JoyThe Drives the stress/pressure to make better, correct and be of service. The stress of improvement.

    “I feel the pressure to commit myself to a cause but I’m not sure exactly what I’m supposed to be working on.”

    “I love being alive. I’m going to stop and watch the clouds go by.”

    Gate 38 – The Warrior – The Gate of FightThat Drives the stress/pressure to struggle and to know what is worth fighting for/living for – high expression – effortlessness.

    “I feel under tremendous pressure to find my purpose in life.”

    “___________ always gets swept away in fighting for a cause.”

     Gate 54 – The Ambitious – The Gate of Ambition – That drives the stress/pressure to achieve, transform, and climb and be materially successful

    “I hope that the CEO/Influencer notices all of the hard work that I’ve been putting in. I’m really hoping to get a promotion/contract.”

     “I’m so driven to build a big business because I know that will bring the material success that I have been working toward for x number of years.”

    Gate 53 – The Starter – The Gate of ActionThat drives the stress/pressure to start new things and begin. People who can leave food, projects and books unfinished.

    “I feel the pressure to start another project even though I have 4 more that I need to finish.”

    “I very rarely finish books and that’s ok. I just get so interested in starting new ones.”

    Gate 60 – The Innovator – The Gate of LimitationThat drives the stress/pressure to evolve and go beyond limitations.

    “I feel a near constant pressure to bring something new into this world but I know if I’m patient my innovation will come at the right moment.”

    “I know I’m onto something that is going to create lasting change in this world.”


    Gate 52 – The Buddha – The Gate of StillnessThat drives the stress/pressure to focus your energy.

    “I can get in the zone and focus for hours at a time.”

    “I feel this restlessness and tension in my body but I’m not sure what to focus on.”


    Gate 19 – The Caretaker – The Gate of SensitivityThat drives the stress/pressure to be sensitive to your basic needs.

    “I hate it when I have a empty refrigerator. I much prefer to have food stocked up just in case someone stops by.”

    “I need to make sure I check in with x because I think they have a food allergy.”


    Gate 39 – The Provocateur – The Gate of ProvocationThat drives the stress/pressure to find passion and evoke. – Gate of deafness – these people don’t always realize they provoke. Cope with stress by eating (or not)

    “I love testing people’s spirit just to see how they will react.”

    “I love pushing people’s buttons just to see what will happen. It helps me figure out what I am feeling.”

    “I’m not in the mood today to deal with people.”


    Gate 41 – The Experiencer – The Gate of Fantasy/DesireThat drives the stress/pressure to feel and try new experiences.

    “I don’t know why but I feel called to try this new activity just to see what the experience is like.”

    “I feel so anxious to begin something new but I’m not sure what exactly I desire.”

    Working with the Root Center in Human Design

    When it comes to the root center, I see so many themes over and over again where this center keeps entrepreneurs especially stuck. This center is often where I see clients stuck fight or fawn, stressed out, worried about missing out and completely burned out.. I see this appear over and over again with “keeping up” particularly on in the online space to the point of detriment. This is the center that keeps us stressed out, worried and under near constant pressure to perform othewise we will be being. This is the anxiety of have to show up consistently or else….I have to do this or I will miss out…and worry about all the things that could go wrong.

    This center is the pressure to do and get into momentum. This is overwhelm, stress, and worry to be further along than we are. This is the anxiety of missing out, stressing, and burnout/overwhelm.  This anxiety “to do” supposedly helps us get clear about what is actually worth entering into stress for.

    Reckoning with the root center is a high priority if you are going to truly live in alignement with your human design strategy and authority. This center is in part a place where I see entrepreenurs go into fight or fawn mode. Feel free to drop any questions you have below and if this resonates be sure to let me know.

    The reality is stress is not good or bad. It is us who give it meaning when we identifity with it. When we can enter into stress from a place of joy or stillness to enter into stress correctly and can endure the ups and downs of stress.

    If you enjoy this content and want to dig deeper consider joining the Human Designer Reader Training program – HD Wild or HD Your Biz.

    If you enjoyed this article you may be interested in these articles:

    Should’ing Yourself in Business

    How to Use Human Design in Your Business

    Human Design & Productivity

    Human Design Marketing & the Voices of the Throat

    Dive Deeper into the Centers

    Ajna Center Human Design

    Head Center Human Design

    Throat Center Human Design