Every Tribe – each and every community, family, church, school, and workplace – needs a source of sustenance. Someone who ensures that all the members’ material needs are met and that they are nurtured, provided and cared for. The power and strength to do this comes from our Ego/Heart Center, a minor but essential motor in the bodygraph.
Gate 40, or the Gate of Aloneness is the archetype of the breadwinner, such as the Father or the Mother. It represents the humble commitment to provide for one’s family, even when it means struggle. It is one of only four gates of the Ego Center, and the very seat of our willpower. It’s also nicknamed the “little ego,” for reasons we’ll see.
Keep in mind that very often the terminology used in Human Design is confusing at best and misleading at worst. The words that Ra Uru Hu chose (or was given) are meant to carry a powerful and precise resonance. I prefer to keep their usage intact, and at the same time offer less abstract interpretations.
The Ego Center, for example, has nothing to do with the way we use the word ego in other realms of life. When we say someone has an inflated ego, this implies an arrogant personality. In spiritual speak, the ego is the identity we believe ourselves to be – a mask necessary to function in the world, yet best-kept in its proper place subordinate to our detached awareness.
In Human Design, the Ego is the motor that fuels our will. It is also called the Heart Center, as in “having the heart” to do something, or the opposite – one’s “heart not being in it.” Physiologically, this center is associated with our actual heart.
Gate 40 points down to Gate 37 in the Solar Plexus to form the Channel of Community. Here we have our willful motor reaching for our emotionally aware motor, and when they come together there is fuel to provide for the Tribe -through affection and touch, food, shelter, and other emotional/spiritual support- so that the Tribe can go on.
Not surprisingly perhaps, Gate 40 is associated with the stomach while Gate 37 is the mouth.
“The 37 embraces the 40 and offers the only thing that the Ego is vulnerable to – loyalty,” Ra observed in the Rave I’Ching. The 37-40 is nicknamed the marriage channel. And if that moniker doesn’t communicate its historical importance to our species, consider that Gate 37 and Gate 40 are in opposition in the Mandala. This is not the case for most harmonic gates in the bodygraph, and so when it happens, the volume is turned up.
Remember that the nodes of the Moon are always opposed in the sky, same with the Sun and Earth. Whenever the Sun is in Gate 40, the Earth is in Gate 37, and so right now we are affected by the full 37-40 in some way small or large. Furthermore, oftentimes other planets oppose one another as they transit through the Mandala. Over time, people born under these constellations influence and condition humanity as a whole.
The Gate of Aloneness is one of only three gates in the bodygraph that require retreat from others and time alone to rest, process and integrate. Gate 40 will provide for its people, only if it is doted on in exchange – like being fed, patted on the back, and allowed to rest in solitude to do its own thing. This is precisely the infamous bargain of Tribal Circuitry. If trust and loyalty to the arrangment are maintained by all parties, the tribe will carry on in peaceful abundance.
Such bargains must be properly entered if they are to be successful, because this circuitry is beholden to the moods and emotions of the people. It is subject to the ever-present Emotional Wave which here will ratchet up and up and up, until it releases. Clarity about whether a bargain is correct can only be gleaned over time.
People with Gate 40 tend to come across as quite independent, probably due to their tendency to seek solitude. Allowing them this space shows that you appreciate what they do for you, thus strengthening the bargain. After all, their work is not often glamorous. A hot meal, a squeeze of appreciation, and a nice chunk of alone time will show Gate 40 that you respect their role and their contributions.
In the ancient Chinese I Ching, the hexagram is called Deliverance. It is raw emotional support hooked up to the willpower to deliver the goods. Ra called the 37-40 “home game” energy, since sports teams are energized when they play for their own cheering fans and have a distinct advantage over the away team.
Keynotes sometimes associated with Gate 40 are struggle, denial, and liberation. In their daily struggle to put food on the table, they deny themselves. When they go off alone, they are liberated, and yet deny their family or community of their company.
For even though Gate 40 is an indispensable part of the Tribe, they are destined to be separate from it – separate when they are out working and separate when they retreat in solitude. Ra even called this the gate of masturbation.
If you have the Gate of Aloneness and you do not honor your profound need to rest after working, you can become prone to a wide array of health issues, ranging from heart to digestive problems. Follow your Strategy and Authority to ensure that you aren’t taking on too much, or that others aren’t taking advantage of your sincere efforts to provide.
Other challenges of this energy include the loneliness inherent with needing to be alone often. And if your design features the hanging Gate 40 without the full channel, you might notice a sense of continual searching for a tribe or community to provide for.
As the Sun transits out of Gate 40, you might reflect on what you have the will to do and why. Perhaps these themes have even come up already, because on top of the usual Sun- Earth opposition of the past few days, on August 31 we experienced a powerful full Moon in Pisces. A full Moon, of course, is nothing more than another opposition, no less powerful for being commonplace. 🌕