The 7 Chakras and the 9 Centers
Updated: Sep 16
[This post was contributed by our friends at The Human Design Collective. For those who have never heard of it, Human Design is a metaphysical system that examines the dynamics of how each individual uses energy in their lives. As a metaphysical system, it relies upon principles found in astrology using birth time, as well as concepts found in the I-Ching and in the human Chakra system. In this article, John Cole touches upon very interesting concepts, particularly about upcoming HD cycles that correlate with upcoming astrological cycles. We welcome other interesting articles from practitioners using astrology in diverse disciplines.]
Most people today, who are involved in a spiritual practice or tradition, are at least generally familiar with the “7 Chakra” system. It is very common to hear modern-day yogis and meditators speak about it as practice or a way of attuning to and working with one’s subtle energy body.
There are differing scholastic views on the true origins of the chakra system, but according to most agreed-upon sources, the classical concept of the “chakras” (or cakra, as the “c” is pronounced as “ch”) dates back to the Hindu-Brahmin oral tradition of Vedas approximately 1,500 to 500 B.C. The original meaning of the word “chakra” was a spinning disk or wheel, referring to the wheels of the rulers called “cakravartins”. The word was apparently a metaphor for the sun which traverses the world like the triumphant chariot of a “cakravartin” and denotes the eternal wheel of time called the “kalacakra” representing celestial order and balance.
In the context of the human body, a chakra is often described as a disk of energy that runs along the spine with there being seven main chakras along the spine. From what I could gather in my research, there are actually numerous references in the classical Hindu scriptures of other variations of this chakra model. For example, there are mentions of multiple chakra models including those with 5, 6, 7, 12, and 16 chakras. While it would certainly be fascinating to explore these origins in more depth, that is beyond the scope of this article and my field of expertise. So for the purposes here, I will be focusing on what I have seen in my personal experience and the modern understanding and use of this model.
In our present-day Western spiritual culture, each chakra is said to be associated with a particular function of our human experience. For example, the 5th or Throat Chakra is related to our ability to communicate and speak our truth, while the 3rd or Solar Plexus Chakra is related to our personal will and ability to act. It is common to hear people talk about “aligning one’s chakras” and doing meditations using the chakra system as a way of releasing or working with the subtle energy body. But where does this 7-centered model fit into the evolution of the human species?
The 9-Centered Being
According to the Human Design knowledge given to Ra Uru Hu in a revelatory experience with what he referred to as the “Voice” in 1987, humans underwent a mutation to our physical form/body in 1781 coinciding with the discovery of the planet Uranus by W. Herschel. This mutation represented an evolutionary progression within our species from 7 to 9-centered beings. The process involved a complex internal reorganization of the human form, beyond just the simple addition of two energy centers and was primarily a means of further developing the cognition of human consciousness.
In Ra’s experience with the “Voice”, he was shown the underlying energetic mechanics of this new 9-centered form from which he developed the Human Design System as a way of mapping an almost infinite variety of human uniqueness. The 9-centered model as seen through the Human Design System describes the mechanics of each individual’s energetic system through the birth chart or BodyGraph. This provides us with a particular strategy and inner authority for navigating our movement through life. Furthermore, it offers a detailed understanding of how we can be influenced and conditioned by others and celestial forces.
The mutation from 7-centered to 9-centered forms also signaled a shift into a new world where external forms of authority are less appropriate and acceptable for the development of humanity. Up until 1781, the dominant political and cultural models were authoritarian in nature, where monarchs, dictators, and clergy were our primary sources of truth. Around that time, we saw the American and French revolutions, each an overthrow of or rebellion against the forces wanting control of individuality and personal freedoms (all themes closely associated with the symbolism of the planet Uranus).
As was communicated to Ra, the 7-centered bodies are Saturnian in nature and connected to the 29-year Saturn Return Cycle as a marker for the minimum age of healthy and mature human life. The 9-centered bodies, on the other hand, are Uranian in nature and connected to the 84-year Uranus Return cycle. With this mutation, we saw humans beginning to live much longer and becoming slower to develop and mature into the fullness of their lives.
We also saw a new type of human come into the world in 1781: the Projector. Up until that point in time, the leaders were Manifestors, the aforementioned monarchs, and dictators. The Projector type represented something different, an elected guide who through their being, presence, and field of expertise could, when invited, guide others in how to use their energy in the most efficient and satisfying way. We are still discovering more about this very diverse and unique subset of human energy types (Projectors represent about 22% of the population), as we are all still learning how to operate these new 9-centered vehicles.
The Evolution of Awareness
Ra was shown how the potential for awareness evolved over time with each awareness center (Spleen, Ajna, and Solar Plexus) representing a different phase in evolution. The following table outlines the progression of human evolution as seen through the three awareness centers:
The Spleen is the oldest awareness center which we can see in our evolution from animals going back approximately 4 million years ago. This is the fundamental awareness which we share with all life forms including, plants, mammals, birds, and insects, guided by survival and existential awareness in the “now”.
The next major jump in the evolution of human awareness came appropriately 90,000 years ago with the development of the Ajna and our conceptual mind-based awareness. This development of self-reflective consciousness was both the focus and the strength of the mutation into the 7-centered forms of the past.
The emotional system has the ability to communicate on a deep level. We are not at that point of solar plexus development just yet. We feel emotions from others but it is still a fuzzy communication. The rave children who will be born after and around the year 2027 will literally be able to communicate through the solar plexus. ~ Ra Uru Hu
Roughly 2,500 years ago, humanity began developing its potential for spirit awareness through a mutation to the Solar Plexus (or Emotional Center as it is also referred to in Human Design). Essentially, the motor/wave function of the Solar Plexus is decreasing as the Solar Plexus begins to more fully develop into a center of pure awareness. To facilitate this transformation, it is necessary that humanity respect the depth of intelligence and truth that is contained within the emotional process.
More specifically, we first need to recognize that the Solar Plexus and the emotions operate in a wave-like pattern which by definition comes with distinct periods of highs and lows in our moods, feelings, desires, and experience of life. At any point in the wave, we only have a moment of experiential data (not the complete picture), and therefore through patience and waiting for emotional clarity can we come to the truth of something as it relates to ourselves.
The Movement from Left to Right
This development of cognition is also seen as an evolutionary movement from the Left to the Right. The Left and Right distinction is primarily used in Human Design to distinguish between Active / Strategic / Focused (“Left”) and Passive / Receptive / Peripheral (“Right”) in the context of fixing one’s Internal (dietary regimen) and External (environment) Determination, as well as one’s Perspective and Motivation.
We can see this through the individual’s birth chart in what is referred to as “Variable”. Each Variable “family” represents a unique cognitive roadmap and orientation to life through the yin/receptive (“Right”) and yang/active (“Left”) principles. According to the Voice, the 7-centered beings (referred to as Cro-Magnon) were entirely Left, strategic by design, and guided by the Ajna as a conceptual/rational way of looking at and navigating life. While the previous 5-centered beings (referred to as Neanderthal) were entirely Right. Ra explains this evolutionary movement in terms of tonal fixing in our visual cortex in his publication, From The Right:
The Left is rooted in the splenic binary. It is rooted in the most basic survival binary and the outer vision in the 3rd Tone in terms of the end of the process for the Left. It has nothing to do with the potential of what Right cognition is, which begins with a transformation in the visual cortex. It is in the visual cortex that the real mutation took place in 1781. In that mutation, those who are Left have a visual cortex that maintains the seven-centered phenomena. That is, the binocular vision used to focus and frame strategy, to be able to see things, to be able to focus on them, to be able to put them in their place, to be able to store that information, and to be able to develop strategic possibilities relative to what they see. But from the moment we entered into 1781, from the moment that mutation began, there was a mutation that took place in the visual cortex. And that mutation in the visual cortex opened up with what is the 4th Tone, the first of the Right Tones, and this first of the Right Tones is all about inner vision. Now, inner vision is so incredibly different, so diametrically different from outer vision. ~Ra Uru Hu
The 7-centered humans dominated the world for tens of thousands of years until 1781 and the emergence of our 9-centered form. So much of what we still see in our world (history, moralities, philosophies) appears to be dominated by the Leftness of strategic organization and thinking. Yet, here we are in a 9-centered form which Ra referred to as “Homosapiens In Transitus”, an interregnum or transitional species which is neither Right nor Left, but a combination of both in the current process of evolution from all-Left to all-Right.
To be sure, the movement towards Right is not a return to the older 5-centered form, but a higher and more sophisticated development of receptive awareness on a higher ring or octave of a spiral.
2027 and the Global Cycles
There is one more important aspect of this view of evolution to consider, the global background frequencies that our species is operating in at any given time in our history. This knowledge is presented as the “Global Cycles” in Human Design, which is connected to the changing planetary frequencies as related to the Precession of the Equinoxes (the observable phenomena of the rotation of the heavens, a cycle which spans approximately 25,920 years).
For approximately the last 400 years humanity has been in a background frequency called the Cross of Planning. This is the cosmic influence that allowed for the focused development of skills and patterns resulting in the scientific, technological, and medical advancements of the last several hundred years. The Cross of Planning also allowed for the flourishing of a wide range of tribal organizations and institutions in the form of governments, religious organizations, and the latest form of tribalism, corporate entities. Some would like to solely credit human ingenuity and drive to these achievements, but from the point of view of the cosmology of Human Design, all of this has happened because the background frequency of this Global Cycle supported it.
The glue of the Cross of Planning has held together our lives for the last 400 years. But there will soon be no inherent need, drive, or purpose fulfilled through coming together to protect that way of life. This means we will basically end up with a breakdown in the way in which society is going to function. We’re not going to live in an age of innovation the way we know it. The age of innovation is now, and we’re in such an incredible place now that anything is possible for the next several years until 2027.~Ra Uru Hu
According to the knowledge given to Ra by the Voice, the year 2027 is a pivotal turning point in the passing of this Global Cycle; the Cross of Planning to the Cross of the Sleeping Phoenix. This shift represents a movement from the strategic, focused, and tribal communities towards individual empowerment and survival. It also brings in the aforementioned themes of developing spirit awareness and new forms of intimacy and connection. Anyone paying attention can already see these changes emerging in our world with the increasing lack of trust and faith in our institutions and “leaders”, new forms of relationships and sexuality, and so many people looking for a personal connection to truth and spirit.
This is something where our experience of consciousness will be outside of our individual bodies and will not be our own consciousness, but it will be a consciousness that we are sharing with somebody else, or a group of people, or ultimately a planetary field. ~Ra Uru Hu
The Voice also told Ra that 2027 represents another jump in evolution and that some of the children born in the world at that time would be a new species of human called “Raves”. Ra said that they will probably appear to us as developmentally challenged in areas such as social and physical skills and are designed to operate most effectively in small groups, representing the first wave in the next mutation of our species.
This may sound like a plot to a sci-fi novel, but numerous examples of these changes can already be seen in our present-day culture. How all of this plays out remains to be seen, but it seems safe to say that we are living in fast-changing times where old forms appear to be dying and new forms of human expression are coming in.
The 7-centered model can be compared to an old software program that is still running in our species even though we now have 9-centered hardware. The 7-centered form originally served the necessary purpose of bringing humanity into strategic and conceptual mind-based awareness as the manner in which we interface with life and manipulate the world.
However, we might question whether the various 7-centered models (which include most of our educational, political, religious and spiritual systems) and the strategic-minded thinking they encourage are sufficient to address the sophistication and complexities of our 9-centered forms. These models and approaches appear to be a limiting factor in our ability to truly live as ourselves, especially when we do not recognize the uniqueness of each individual and the value and intelligence of a receptive process.
The 9-centered model is form-consciousness based. In other words, it’s directing us back to the innate intelligence of our bodies as a means of navigating life and living as ourselves in the ever-changing and evolving collective. This new model is a distinct departure from what we were and maps the differentiated intelligence within each of us, designed to guide us in making decisions that are truly aligned with who we are and our purpose in the totality.
Moreover, this movement into form-consciousness takes us into the realm of spirit and the next stage in our human evolution through the continuing mutation of the Solar Plexus. In the Living Your Design Instructors Manual, Lynda Bunnell explains:
Spirit consciousness will be something very special as it evolves. Spirit consciousness is possible in the field where the emotional waves are in resonance, but as yet we have no idea what this will be like. We cannot imagine how it will feel to share a consciousness like this with someone. This Spirit consciousness will mature when we let go of allowing our mind to be in control and when people understand and accept who they really are. As long as human beings do not accept who they are, their mind will continue to run their life and not let go. Spirit consciousness is where our future lies, and we can help to plant the seed of understanding about the emotional system now. Our evolutionary step is about dealing with the Solar Plexus Center as both a powerful motor and an Awareness Center and understanding the way in which it operates and the impact it has on our lives. ~Lynda Bunnell
Faced with millennia of cultural momentum and genetic history, it is easy to see why our attachment to and reliance on the mind is so strong, not only in our individual experience but as a collective. The awareness we’ve inherited from our 7-centered ancestors is a highly-developed mental capacity to focus on and manipulate the material world. This has given humanity a tremendous strategic advantage and the ability to dominate life on earth through the power of the conceptual mind. However, it has also disconnected us from the innate intelligence of our bodies as a means of coming to the truth of what is correct for us as individuals.
What does it mean to allow our body and its innate consciousness to become the driver? This is the “experiment” which the 9-centered model of Human Design offers us. A way of loosening the grip the mind has over our experience and allowing it to take its proper seat as a passenger watching the unfolding movie of our life and place in the cosmos.
(Thank you to Amy Lee for her significant contributions to this article)