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Sun in Gate 39 & Earth in Gate 38. Real Life Observations from my Human Design.


Gate 39, the gate of Provocation, is my conscious Sun sign and my Life's Work. Gate 38, the gate of the Fighter, is my conscious Earth sign. Together, they are an important and powerful combination in my life!

I chose the above image of my son and I because we both have gates 38.4 and 39.4 in our Sun and Earth, but his is in his Design side, which I observe shows up differently than mine in my Personality side. Take a look at our charts:




You can't tell me this child wasn't put on this earth to make me grow, and boy have I learned more about myself since he was born than any other time of my life!!!

Sun and Earth Energy

Your Sun energy is one of the most powerful energies in your chart. This energy is a big part of your life purpose and what you're here to do in this lifetime. It's the quality you are here to express and a primary way you shine your light into the world!

Your Earth Gate is the quality that helps ground you and brings you balance while you experience the quality coming from the Sun. In gene keys, gates 38 and 39 are each other’s programming partners. You will always have both gates in your human design chart if they are part of your Incarnation Cross or in your Nodes.

In my design, my Earth gate 38 grounds my Sun gate 39.

Gate 39: Provocation

If you want more information about gate 39, you will find a lot of details about gate 39's potent energy, shadow, and gifts here.

Gates 38 and 39 in an Undefined Root Center

In my human design chart, both these gates are located in an Undefined Root Center. Having a defined vs undefined Root does make a difference in how these powerful energies show up!

In an Undefined Root, the energy of gates 38 and 39 sit dormant until one of three situations occurs to activate the gates:

  1. When I'm around someone with a Defined Root Center, the quality of these gates turn on.

  2. When I'm around someone who has a harmonic gate, which is gate 28 or 55, the quality of these gates turn on . This is what happens with my son because he has the full channel 39-55, which makes my hanging gate 39 compromised to his full channel. In my experience, this is a very tricky dynamic!

  3. If the current transits create a defined Root Center or the transits are activating either harmonic gates 28 or 55, the quality of these gates turn on.

Gates 38 and 39 on the Conscious Personality Side

In my human design chart, gates 38 and 39 are located on my Conscious Personality side. This placement vs the Unconscious Body side makes a difference in how these powerful energies are expressed in real life.

In my observation, having these provoking and fighting gates on my personality side means they most commonly appear via the words I say, the tone of my words, my mannerisms, my facial expressions, and even in my writing. In addition, I want to emphasize, the tone of your voice matters A LOT with gate 39!!!! I observe my tone and delivery having the most impact on another person. This can be the difference in interpreting my words as provoking versus inspiring.

In addition, my personality is very expressive - I'm sure my channel 34-20 contributes to this, but I've learned even my mannerisms and facial expressions can be provoking to people, especially when gate 38's energy to fight for purpose is driving the provoking spirit! That's when things can get spicy and I have to be very conscious about my tone, word choice, delivery, and also tuning into the receptivity (or not) of the person I'm speaking to. After all, gate 39 is an invited energy, and in my experience, that invitation makes a massive difference in receptivity of my liberating message.

Gates 38 and 39 on the Unconscious Body Side

I have observed gates 38 and 39 on the Unconscious Design side showing up differently. Most of my real life observations come from my 11 yo son who has the Cross of Tension with gates 38 and 39 in his Unconscious Design side, which represents the physical body.

I observe the fighting and provoking energy of gates 38 and 39 show up in a very PHYSICAL way, such as hitting, kicking, throwing things, wrestling, touching roughly, biting, and also kissing, hugging, cuddling, dancing, and persistence to make an action happen.

Since a very young age, he often wanted to touch people, but his touches weren't always gentle. When he was just 4 months old, I started using baby sign language with him until he could talk, and "Gentle" was one of the first signs I taught him because he was rough with everything, including his baby brother. He has told me from a young age that he can't control his actions, which I see as the Unconscious Body side.

Now that he's 11 years old, I've noticed he's starting to say things to provoke a reaction. He often says the opposite of what he thinks I want to hear just to get a reaction out of me. For example, he knows I have strict rules about playing video games (we don't even have them in our house), so when he goes to a friend's house, he might say something extreme like, "we played video games the entire time." Note: he also has channel 5-15, the channel of extremes, so I frequently see this energy infused with the provoking energy.

Here's an example of a recent conversation my son and I had:

Me: "My favorite color is green, especially Kelly Green. I love it!"

My son immediately responded, "Kelly Green is the ugliest green."

I've learned to breathe through these types of interactions and not even respond. If I respond, the conversation has potential to escalate quickly, as his channel 39-55 is defining my Root energy and amplifying the provoking energy in me! As a deeper layer of Human Design, my gate 39 is compromised to his full channel vs my hanging gate. In my experience, this is a very tricky dynamic!

Using Gates 38 and 39 in my Nutrition Career

Gate 39's gifts are Dynamism and Liberation. As a registered dietitian and nutrition coach, it’s a great feeling when gate 39 is able to liberate my clients and support them to move into higher levels of freedom and energy as they change their habits and mindset!

I do this by helping my client think more expansively about their health, dissolve limiting beliefs, identify blind spots, address unresourceful autopilot behaviors, make more aligned decisions, get out of their metaphoric box, get in touch with their higher self, learn about their human design, make nutrition & lifestyle changes to support their health goals, etc.

I feel I’m “being” my purpose when these daily things happen in an aligned way.

A New Perspective About Provocation

Am I making people react in a positive or negative way? That's the big question about gate 39, but I've realized I can't always predict or worry about that. If I filter myself or hold back because I'm scared of making someone react, it stops me from finding my life's purpose. This is where trust becomes really important and I have had to make peace with the unknowns in order to work with provocation in its highest expression.

In gate 39's high expression, to provoke is to INNOVATE. To provoke is to INSPIRE. To provoke is to LIBERATE and help people break FREE. People with gate 39 have a provocative spirit! They have a talent for making others think!

"Is what I'm saying or doing provoking or inspiring movement in the person?"

Whether it's seen as provoking or inspiring depends on the person receiving it, and I've surrendered to the idea that it's not my job to know whether they receive it as provoking or inspiration or somewhere in between. Provocation can lead to freedom and love, and I can't predict that. However, from experience I notice gate 39 always feels better and works best when I provoke and inspire in a playful and loving way.

I must trust that what I’m saying is being received by the person I'm talking to, and not being rejected. If someone doesn't like what I'm saying, I can't worry about it. Plus, why waste energy on people who don’t want to listen? Those people aren't the right fit for me.

When gate 39 provokes, we’re not just provoking others, but we’re provoking ourselves too and we’re learning to work with this powerful energy. What does positive provocation feel and look like? Making people think outside the box doesn’t have to be annoying. When I look back on my experiences with this provoking and liberating energy, I have many examples of how it has played out in good and not-so-good ways.

Those with gate 39 can stir up emotions in others – it’s a pocket of very potent action potential, and once it's released, it can be channeled in a positive and empowering direction. Instead of triggering a trauma in someone, the 39 can trigger an activation. A highly aware person who notices whey they're provoking, can follow up with “How does that make you feel when I say that?” This takes practice.

Real Life Observations of Gates 38 & 39 in Human Design

Here are eight real life observations about gate 39, and also how I notice gate 38's energy interact as the Earth gate.

#1: At a younger age, I would say things to people simply to see what they would say, and typically, the provokes were just a one line zinger (not a big monologue). This is the EXACT way I currently see my 11 yo son externalizing this energy in his Cross too.

For me, the provoking words would often come out of my mouth before I even thought about it. This spontaneous commenting is likely unique to me as I have channels 34-57-20, which is a direct connection from my Sacral and Spleen to my Throat Center. Sometimes "stuff" just comes out!

Believe it or not, provoking for the sake of getting a rise out of someone is something I wasn't able to consciously articulate about myself until my early 20's. And when I did notice it, I certainly didn't understand it or have words to describe what was happening. Human Design has been SO helpful in this regard!!

I also want to add that my provoking thoughts were often intended to be funny, and sometimes people would laugh, and other times, people took them very seriously, which I now see was provoking them.

As I’ve gotten older and wiser, and learned about gate 39 via Human Design, I have more discernment, and typically wait to be invited since this is a projected gate.

#2: With gate 39, I can sense bullshit, excuses, and short-sightedness from a mile away, but I definitely pick and choose my battles. Gate 39 can push buttons, especially when it's trying to find the truth and liberate someone's short-sided thinking.

As I reflect on the provoking comments and conversations I've made in the past, I am able to see a trend in what I provoke -- my words are to get someone to view something differently. I would try to say it in a light-hearted, funny way, but there was truth behind what I said. I have the ability to sense when someone's actions or thinking are limited, and it especially fires me up when someone is trying to project their limitations on me or other people. This initiates the provoking perspective.

#3: It isn't easy to provoke people for the sake of standing up for what I think is meaningful and important (gate 38)! It's not easy to provoke people for the sake of revealing someone's limiting beliefs or limiting perspectives!!

Over the years, I have closed up my Throat Center out of fear of not wanting to cause an uncomfortable situation and not wanting to make someone mad. I've held back my words out of fear of provoking people. Therefore, lately I’ve felt the need to decondition blockages in my Throat Center.

#4: In an undefined Root, I can really feel when gate 39 gets turned on because the urge to provoke seemingly comes up out of nowhere, and the energy feels amplified in me. The amplified energy does have a tendency to feel slightly out of control and overwhelming. I can feel the energy triggering my nervous system, and the amplified emotions of my undefined Solar Plexus also kick on. The emotions from the provoking conversation feel like they hijack my body.

I find I have to take an immediate break to be alone, which allows the amplified energy to dissipate and feel less overwhelming.

#5: Gate 38 is Opposition. It's the Fighter. It is about protecting the integrity of one's individuality. Individuality doesn't want to be influenced. It might reject help. Its first impulse is to say, "No" to following the intentions of others.

Raising my son, I felt this opposition from a very young age (probably age 2 it started). This is a very adrenalized gate. It says "no," it opposes parents/teachers in different ways, it does the opposite of what parents say, it doesn't want to fulfill the recommendation of someone else...

I perceived this as "bad." In fact, I labeled him as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Now I know he was only trying to preserve his individuality! He doesn't want to be influenced and told what he should do. He wants to enJOY being different! Since learning human design, I have a new lens for approaching this as his parent.

I wonder how many kiddos have been diagnosed with ODD but in reality, they have gate 38 defined, and possibly both gates 38 and 39. This combination screams stubbornness, aggressiveness, independence, and opposition.

#6: The gift of gate 38 is Perseverance and the siddhi is Honor. My word for 2023 was Honor because when I can honor the energy of gate 38 (instead of suppressing it), the provokes of gate 39 feel so much more aligned and high vibe. In fact, I've been observing that when I feel gate 38's passion bubble up to "fight for meaning and stand up for what I believe," I feel the provoking energy follow closely behind. If I bite my tough and hold back on gate 38, then it's as if I provoke myself because I hold this powerful energy in. It's a powerful energy I need to either talk out or release through physical movement. On the other hand, if I speak up about my gate 38 passion, then what I say may or may not be provoking to whomever hears it. These are two options where neither can feel great, so working with gate 39's energy has been a journey!

#7: I never know when I provoke someone in a good way unless they tell me. I’m trying to surrender into the perspective of this: when I hold myself back out of fear of provoking, I’m doing this gift a disservice. My Incarnation Cross consists of 57 as the unconscious Earth, and I've been using powerful intuition as my anchor for guiding gates 38 and 39. I am actively practicing anchoring into my instinct before I speak about a provoking topic. This is difficult because my nervous system can get hijacked and I get into my defined Ajna Center where my opinions come out (channel 17-62), LOL! It’s a terrible feeling after the fact, and I think this is where my Throat Chakra has shut down.

#8: The gift of gate 39 is Dynamism and the siddhi is Liberation, and both words resonate SO MUCH in my soul! Embracing the feeling of dynamism and liberation really helps me transcend the provoking shadow and move into the high expression. With that said, I’m still getting over the fear of being “caddy” or pushing people away. My 4 line is fearful of hurting relationships by provoking.

Reflections or Journal Prompts for Gates 38 and 39

Do you have gates 38 and 39? What is your experience with this dynamic duo? How do you experience Dynamism and Liberation? Have you noticed Honoring gate 38's fights have helped ground the energy of gate 39?

Do you feel like this description helps bring awareness about these energies? In what ways do you see yourself feeling triggered by these gates, and how can you implement changes that will help you feel more empowered by them?

Thanks for reading this really long article all the way to the end!! I welcome your insights too.

Much love,

Kelly xo


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