Gate 13: The one who listens

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Have you ever found yourself sharing surprisingly personal stories with a complete stranger? Maybe you sensed that your secrets would be safe, or that they genuinely wanted to hear your story. In the Human Design system, the archetype of the good listener is found within Gate 13, the Gate of the Listener.

In the ancient I Ching, Gate 13 is called The Fellowship of Man. An interest in the stories other people tell and a  capacity to listen deeply reflects a profound kinship with others.

In the Bodygraph

Gate 13 is in the G Center, the place of Self because it contains our love, identity and direction.

The Gate of the Listener reaches up for Gate 33 (Retreat) in the Throat Center, where things become manifest through words or actions. 

Gate 13 and the G Center

The 13-33 is the Channel of the Prodigal, a design of a witness. It is the Prodigal who retreats, and then returns with memories that inspire and teach. The affinity between retreat and listening highlights the need for time spent alone in order to process, synthesize, and integrate what has been absorbed. 

Time means everything.

Time is doubly important for the Channel of the Prodigal. Besides the pulling back built into its nature, it is part of the Sensing (Abstract) Circuit which passes through the Emotional Center and is beholden to the up and down nature of its waves. Without time, no clarity can ever emerge. 

Another thing to keep in mind about the nature of the frequency at play is that the Sensing Circuit comprises half of the Collective Circuit. This means the objective is always to share out on a universal level, rather than being about personal empowerment or transformation.

A natural-born listener

If Gate 13 is prominent in your chart, listening is enjoyable, natural, and easy for you. You are drawn to hearing and witnessing human stories, and you keep your memories safely tucked away, recorded and stored in the archive system of your preference. 

Perhaps you’re a documentary filmmaker, a journalist, or someone who captures narrative in photographs or scrapbooks. Maybe you’re a therapist – professionally or just for your friends and family.

As Alokanand Díaz  says, it is actually the Self that is listening, listening for “universal ideas and values” that inspire “humanistic cooperation.” It is the Self too that recognizes others by the stories they tell, identifies with them, and ultimately determines which stories are worth preserving and sharing.

Preserving and upholding societal values

In this way Gate 13 benefits the Collective by helping to fortify a universal set of values. If you have the Gate of the Listener prominent in your chart, people sense that you are open, available and interested in hearing their experiences, and they will tend to open up. 

People entrust you with their stories and secrets. You are a very deep listener and a confidante, a magnet of empathy. People you hardly know will bare their souls in your presence. Many of those with Gate 13 are counselors or healers of some sort.

Other considerations and challenges

The empathy inherent in Gate 13 can present challenges. There is only so much one can take in before needing to retreat in silence and reflection. When you don’t listen to your body, you can become overwhelmed and fatigued. Another unwanted tendency might be to blurt out secrets at inappropriate times. 

Without Gate 33, you do not have any pressure to share your wisdom, so you have the potential to become a sacred custodian of a past that holds something of value for our future. When the time is right and especially when you are invited to share, you can harvest the wisdom gleaned from your cherished, incubated stories. 

Of course the older you get, the more wisdom you can offer, returning again to the importance of time for the Sensing Circuit to process its experiences. This is the gift you offer to the continuity of our species.

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