How shock transforms and Human Design Gate 51

Earth just finished transiting through Gate 51 – the gate of initiation. If life “shocked” you a little during this transit, you are certainly not alone. Gate 51 is also called the gate of shock. If you have it defined, you may shock others regularly without realizing it, and others may shock you right back. If you don’t have gate 51 you’ll feel it most intensely when the sun or earth transits there as the earth recently was.

Shock has the power to transform through cracking our hearts open to what is really valuable to us individually and beyond. In Human Design, Gate 51 is located in the Will (heart) center and is part of the Individual circuit. It’s all about the love of life and being unafraid to take risks.  If you have this gate defined, you may receive shocking experiences from life and you have the ability to shock others— often times unintentionally. The gift is that each shock comes with a new mystical or spiritual understanding.  When you understand this energy, you have the capacity to use your own shocking experiences to deepen your spiritual understanding and your service to the world.

If you don’t understand this energy and you live out the lower expression of it you may enjoy shocking other people as a sport or in order to bring attention to yourself. This will not make others feel good and it’s not the highest use of the energy. It is meant to be initiation via a shocking experience into the love of Spirit.

I have Gate 51 defined in my chart. I thought I would share some of the examples of how the Gate 51 energy has played out in my life and how I reacted to them at different periods of my life, before and after I understood where these experiences were coming from.

My first story: A Horse’s Butt

[This is just a representation; it happened to fast to catch on camera.]

The first really shocking thing that I remember happening to me was when I was driving to a movie with my friend when I was 16. We were taking a country road to get there and we were driving down a hill.  All of a sudden, a horse came darting across the street from a farm. Apparently, the gate came loose. 

We did not miss the horse. Its butt slid up the hood and crashed into the windshield right in front of my face on the passenger side. Then it slid off and just ran off into the field on the other side of the road. The owner of the horse came running out and ran across the street to the field where the horse was. My friend and I got out of our car, stunned – but luckily in good shape.  Quite literally, I was an inch from possible death – or at least something that could have gone really badly. I didn’t understand “Spirit” at this age. I was too self-absorbed, I am sure. 

Instead of having some spiritual moment about the experience, we were just two teenagers, super annoyed that we had to wait for the tow truck to come. We called our parents and all we wanted was for them to bring us a different car so we could still get to the movies.

The Ford Exploder

[These are real photos from our trip.]

The next thing that happened was the summer between high school and college. I was on a road trip to Myrtle Beach with my friends.  We had written “Myrtle Beach or Bust” in the Ford Explorer SUV window we were driving.  After driving a while, we stopped to fill up our tank.  It was maybe an hour or less after moving forward with a full tank when the car started acting weird. We pulled over in the middle strip of a highway to check it out.  We opened the hood and it was smoking.  We checked a few things, but then it started dropping fireballs onto the ground.  We knew it was not good. Being clueless teens, instead of just running away from the car, we started pulling stuff out of the car and throwing it into the grass.

A bystander stopped to help us – and luckily told us to get away from the car, just in time.  Eventually, the fire consumed the car and it essentially exploded, or so it seemed as the tires popped and it was filled with fire. 

Again, we were able to gather our stuff and get to a nearby hotel. Somehow, we convinced one of our parents to rent us a car.  We filled it up with our smoke smelling sleeping bags and tent that we had rescued and we continued on our trip to Myrtle Beach, SC – just one day late. When I look back, I think the bystander was truly an angel. I was starting to understand the gravity of these experiences.

Going to the Depths

When I moved on to college, several shocking things happened; including two really close friends who died within a short period of each other. They were best friends, but neither accident had to do with the other. One was a car accident and one of them was drowning. I was at the party where the drowning happened. There was a group of boys who took some small boats across the lake.  My friend fell over and it was too dark and the others couldn’t see where he was.  There were too many weeds and plants and he got caught in them. The other boys came back to the house we were at to get help.

Many partygoers jumped into docked canoes to help look, including me. I remember vividly the search, looking for a face in the water and dipping our oars in to feel for something.  They didn’t find him until they sent a diving team in the following day. This time I was truly shocked into Spirit and my heart broke open.  This friend was the best guy— he brought a light into the room and lightened our hearts with humor every time we talked to him. 

After this tragedy, I began to truly embody Carpe Diem (seize the day) and I lived my life differently from then on. It didn’t stop the shocking things from happening, but it changed my mindset to see blessings in things that happened to me after that. I also realized the importance of telling people how you feel about them whenever you feel it because you never know what is going to happen. 

Personal Shock

I have personally experienced sexual assault (date rape), and I was so ashamed I couldn’t admit it.  For a long time, it shocked me into shame and depression. Eventually, when I could admit it, it initiated me into counseling that shifted my relationship with myself and others and brought me into a more empowered state than ever before. I have also been close to the after-effects of the suicide of someone close to me. That is not my story to tell, but it was part of my life and it shocked me into sharing my pain more so I didn’t keep it locked up inside.

I’ve been sexually harassed in the workplace many times. There was a time where my photo was on the cover of a corporate magazine that went out to all 20K employees because I was voted as one of four candidates for “employee of the year”.  This should have been an exciting and positive time. But in reality, it became a new way to feel “less than” as a woman in the business world. A coworker teased me and told me that it was a great magazine to have in the bathroom – for the men to jerk off to. This shocked me into looking for a new place to work.

Some of the harsh personal shocks have taken me a while to unpack a spiritual truth from – but I have found one in all of them. I only share them here because they are the things we don’t share and then feel totally alone, but unfortunately, they happen to many of us. If you’ve been through similar things, you are not alone. 

Risks, Career, and Experiences

Before I was 30, I explored a ton and did things that I know shocked others. I moved across the country with no job lined up. I traveled to 7/8 continents and many countries, I lived abroad twice, in both undergrad and grad school. I had expansive career experiences at a young age.

For example, I was the lead negotiator of $25M+, 10-year agreements, and created billion-dollar proposals when I was only 25. I got opportunities through my career that I couldn’t have dreamed of – like walking across the top of a wind turbine.  I also lost a lot of money from a real estate investment, due to bad timing in the market, but I figured out how to bounce back. I can look back now and see the opportunities that I was given. I also have enough foresight now to unpack the blessings, rather than getting stuck in blame when a new shock heads my way.  

[I love wind turbines! This is a real photo of my adventure across the top of one.] 

Shock for a reason

Shocking events happen every day. We often cannot understand or explain why things happen, especially when they involve a lot of pain and suffering. Everyone has a different challenge to face – and often the challenges seem to come one after another. I live in a place where, in the span of one month, we felt the effects of Covid-19, riots, wildfires (and being literally trapped in our homes to stay out of the toxic air – which is better than the others who evacuated and lost their homes to the fires) and the first weeks of the kids attending online schooling while working full-time jobs and more. So, collectively, we can all understand this “shocking” energy more than ever before.

We have the opportunity to learn from these experiences and grow spiritually.  We also have the potential to get stuck in the victimhood of them.  I love that this energy has the intention of shocking us into spiritual truth. Now that I have more insight into the meaning of this energy, I love to see the spiritual aspects of this energy – we can see beyond the events on the surface when we know what to look for.

I also write this because I may at times say shocking things to you or others because this is a defined and consistent part of who I am. These come from good intentions, and sometimes I don’t even realize that I am sending that lightning bolt of shock through someone. If you have gate 51 in your chart too, this is an important part of your energy to make friends with.    

How do you handle situations that feel like a punch in the gut? Do you let them bring you down over and over or do you unwrap the gift the situation is meant to give you? Every time there is a shock, it is an opportunity for your nervous system to expand its capacity. Sit in the pain and emotion for as long as you need to, and then rise up again, stronger than ever before.


If you want to learn more about the Human Design gates, check out my YouTube Channel.

2 thoughts on “How shock transforms and Human Design Gate 51

  1. Thank you for sharing your story of Gate 51, it’s help me to relate to mine define gate 51 too. I did experience a lot of shocking events that bought me a lot of transformation in life. After understanding this gate 51 energy, I can be more open hearted to accept and embrace it. I commonly experienced physiological or spiritual expansion through shocking encounters. Sometimes, I feel frustrated with not knowing why it’s happens for me. But the answer & realisation always comes later on in life, for me to understand the main lesson or gifts of those encounters. 🙏🏻 Great article!!!

  2. how ironed of lightning the make of edge per gate 51 in my chart/map, for it has been the build of my stamina claimed & beholden of it large through me-as result of shock to my system! i rest of educate-& didn’t stay collapsed/absenting as a hermit-a freeze-by a few facets emit out of my embody’s indicate. i had the great fortune of walking away from many an accident-especially one of which-per in my 20’s, i fell asleep behind the wheel, the accident had literally woke me up from the sleep..’car totalled, but i’m still here going into-my 60’s now. It took until the 2000’s to start to rebuild my life, when in 2005,’met a lightning seed of a guy-introducing me to take on-per another worldly way called: energy reconstruction-a resonant return to rest in core wisdom. I stayed in this gather study of wisdom/incubate/cultivate for 13 years, of which most people don’t go past the 1st two years, because the gather studies is multiple of facet/diffuse/untravel of the deep 4’s (fight/flight/freeze/fawn~please,& PTS trauma cluster builds that need destroy & uncreate (sincere the severe: ghost-busting/valence annihilate) i had been getting so much out of i the gather study on this level-changing my lens view of way i walk & look at the world per a gate 51 having..
    i’m in the throws of creating a time capsule, later-create a ted talk, or likeness, then a try-out for talk tv from video submit. i’m grateful for my gate 51 make pushing out from not staying small:)

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