Gate 9: The Taming Power of the Small—Energy for Detail


Every once in a long a while, I’ll break down and look at a particular defined gate in my chart. Recently, Gate 9 came up due to a funny little OCD quiz on Facebook. A Human Design friend of mine did the quiz and earned a perfect score. I have a tendency to have “OCD” myself, so I opted to do the quiz, and sure enough, I received a perfect score, too!

I made a comment on her Facebook post in regards to my score. Her response was, “Do you think Gate 9 has anything to do with it?”

“Absolutely!” I said.

I have Gate 9 defined three times in my design (body) side: Gate 9.3, 9.4, 9.6.

Gate 9 is the energy for focusing in on the details, and since mine is unconscious, it’s usually pointed out to me. For example, last week I went to Pilates. After class, our instructor passed out a bottle of cleaner and a towel to each student so that we could wipe down the equipment we each used. I was the last to finish. I went to put my bottle away and noticed that all the bottles were in disarray, so I instinctively began to line them up. It only took a moment. They looked neat and orderly when I was finished. One of my fellow students walked by and asked me if had OCD. I laughed.

I’ve been pouring over my friends’ charts, looking around to see if they have Gate 9 defined. And sure enough, we all have “OCD” to varying degrees, some are very conscious of it, and others like myself are not.

As a child, I had full-blown OCD, the not-self variety. I caused a lot of physical pain to myself with one behavior in particular. When I was home, I would constantly wash my hands to the point that my skin would crack and bleed. At school, any opportunity I had away from the class, I would rush to the bathroom to wash my hands, repeatedly. I swore I could see and feel germs on my hands. By the time I went to high school I was no longer exhibiting that behavior.

Over time, I recognize that I have the ability to focus intensely and that I have an eye for detail. I see details that a lot of people will miss or just not notice.

I’m a graphic designer and having this gate is very helpful in my work. I’m not your typical designer, either. Usually, a designer gets info and creates a commercial design, whether it’s a book cover, catalog, brochure, newsletter, poster, etc. I get info, and before I even begin to create, I read all the information several times. If there’s any info that is unclear, I’ll ask about it and get clarification. I’ll even edit and rewrite text if it makes the details clearer. Once the information makes sense, I will read it, again and again, to see how I’m going to present the information within a design. All of this I’m aware of, but there are aspects of it that I do unconsciously.

A couple of months ago, a friend referred me to one of his clients. His client needed a catalog that would “Wow!” I offer Wow! I spoke with the client, received all of the info for the project. I reviewed every photograph, diagram, spreadsheet and a previous catalog. After I had poured through the details, I decided I would create a 12-page catalog to highlight his 70-products (various types of cornice moldings) and sent him a quote for it. He agreed to it. I produced the catalog. He loved it! 

A few weeks later, he called me because he was baffled about the sizing of the images in the catalog. Apparently, he gave his web designer all of the product images he had given me. When his web designer started placing them on his website, my client didn’t understand why all the products were the same size. It didn’t look that way in the catalog. He, then, opened all the photographs and saw that they were all the same size. The photographer had shot them that way.

When I designed the catalog, I saw that the images were all the same size, but the information that went along with each image indicated that they were organized from smallest to largest. As I was dropping each image into the catalog, I made each one a little larger as I went along. I eyeballed it. The last product is visibly larger than the first. The client did not ask for this. I did it unconsciously. I didn’t think about it at all until he was asking me.

My client was baffled. He asked … How did you know to do that? What made you do that? I just explained that I read the product information and made each one a little larger. I eyeballed it. He laughed in amazement. He didn’t know what to say except … How can I get my web designer to do that?

It was an incredibly satisfying thing to hear!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s