what is human design: A Simplified Guide for Beginners

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Have you heard about Human Design and thought, “What is Human Design, anyway? Some new science.”

Human Design is a complex system that combines principles from astrology, the I Ching, the Kabbalah, the Hindu-Brahmin chakra system, and quantum physics to create a unique chart for an individual.

This chart below is referred to as a BodyGraph, and is intended to serve as a roadmap to your personal makeup and provide insight into how you interact with the world.

By using your birth information—date, time, and place of birth—a Human Design chart is calculated to reveal your ‘design' and how you are best meant to navigate life.

what is human design. bodygraph image
  • The Human Design System offers a personalized chart based on astrological and systemic inputs.
  • The system includes five unique energy types that inform interaction and decision-making.
  • Further aspects like authority types and profile lines provide deeper personal insights.

I was first introduced to Human Design only a short time ago. So like you, I'm still learning what it is and isn't. At first, Human Design seems complicated and I'll admit there's A LOT to it! But with all new things, the best thing to do is jump in and learn.

So let's get started!

The science of differentiation, as Human Design is sometimes called, suggests that each person has a specific design that is different from everyone else's, including how they respond to stimuli, make decisions, and communicate with others.

Within this framework, there are five different energy types, each with its own strategy for making decisions and interacting with the world. Each type—Manifestor, Generator, Projector, Reflector, and Manifesting Generator—provides insights into your personal energy dynamics.

Additionally, aspects such as authority types, profile lines, channels, and gateways further personalize your Human Design, offering a more nuanced view of your characteristics.

Human Design is a complex system that integrates principles from astrology, the I Ching, Kabbalah, and other disciplines to produce unique individual charts. Understanding its foundations helps you navigate and apply its insights effectively.

Human Design was conceived by Ra Uru Hu in 1987. Combining elements of astrology (those well-known zodiac signs), the Hindu-Brahmin Chakra System, the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, the Chinese I Chingquantum physicsbiochemistry, and genetics, it offers a framework for self-discovery.

The system categorizes individuals into one of five types: ManifestorGeneratorProjectorReflector, and Manifesting Generator. Each type has distinct strategies for decision-making and interacting with the world.

Human Design features nine energy centers that are akin to the chakras. They govern different aspects of your personality and physiology, with each center having a unique significance and mode of operation:

  • Head Center
  • Ajna Center
  • Throat Center
  • G Center
  • Heart Center
  • Solar Plexus Center
  • Sacral Center
  • Spleen Center
  • Root Center

The Throat Center

The Throat Center is connected with communication and action. Whether defined or undefined in your chart, it plays a crucial role in how you express yourself.

The G Center

Your G Center relates to your sense of self, direction in life, and love. It is integral in finding your true path and aligning with your purpose.

The Spleen Center

The Spleen Center is involved in intuition and survival instincts, highlighting instinctual and time-sensitive responses. It influences your health and well-being.

The Solar Plexus Center

This center is the source of emotions and passions, deeply affecting your relationships and your capacity for emotional intelligence.

The Root Center

The Root Center is your engine for stress and pressure, pushing you to act and impacting your overall drive and stamina.

The Sacral Center

For those with this center defined, the Sacral Center is the powerhouse of energy and life force, fueling your work capacity and creative force.

The Heart Center

Your Heart Center, also known as the Ego Center, governs willpower and self-worth. It's central to your material and worldly success.

The Ajna Center

The Ajna Center is associated with mental processes and analytical abilities. It's key to your ability to process thoughts and ideas.

The Head Center

Lastly, the Head Center involves inspiration and mental pressure. It's where your questions, doubts, and ideas germinate.

In Human Design, your authority type dictates how you make decisions. It's an essential aspect of knowing how to navigate life with more ease and certainty. Here's a closer look at each type.

Emotional Authority

If you have Emotional Authority, you make decisions best when you're calm and have allowed yourself time to experience your emotional waves. You're part of the majority, as this type applies to roughly 47% of the population.

Sacral Authority

With Sacral Authority, your gut response is key. It offers you immediate and powerful guidance. Trusting this spontaneous bodily response ensures the decisions you make are in tune with your innermost being.

Splenic Authority

Splenic Authority signals instant intuitive knowing. This quiet, internal voice can send fleeting signals to guide you. Because these intuitions are subtle and in the moment, they require your attentive listening.

Ego Authority

If you're guided by Ego Authority, your willpower, and personal desires lead your decision-making process. Less common, this authority type leans on what you truly want and what promises you feel committed to uphold.

Self-Projected Authority

Individuals with Self-Projected Authority need to express their thoughts and feelings to understand what decisions are correct for them. The clarity comes through verbalizing thoughts and gaining insights into one's true self.

Environment Authority

Those with Environment Authority are rare and find clarity by interacting with their environment. Your decision-making is aligned when you feel attuned to the spaces you occupy and the people you're with.

Lunar Authority

Lunar Authority is unique to Reflectors, who represent about 1% of the population. Decision-making for you is about taking a full lunar cycle to reflect on how you feel about important decisions, allowing the moon's cycle to help you gain clarity.

In Human Design, your profile consists of two numbers that describe your personality and role in life. These lines give insight into your strengths and life strategies.

Line 1 – The Investigator

You, with a Line 1 profile, are driven by a need for foundation and knowledge. It’s fundamental for you to feel secure by understanding your subject deeply before sharing it with others. Your inquisitive nature can be seen in the way you approach learning: thoroughly and steadily.

Line 2 – The Hermit

As a Line 2, you embody the Hermit’s need for occasional isolation, seeking time alone to process and understand your own internal world. This time in solitude is essential for you to live true to your design, as it gives you the space to gain clarity without outer influences.

Line 3 – The Martyr

If you’re a Line 3, experimentation and learning through trial and error are your prominent themes. You’re a natural at adapting because you discover what works best through your own experiences, even if it involves occasional failures, which are important lessons for you.

Line 4 – The Opportunist

Your Line 4 profile is characterized by strong interpersonal skills and the ability to create opportunities through your networks. Relationships and social interactions are key areas where you find success and growth, as people are often a gateway to your opportunities.

Line 5 – The Heretic

Possessing a Line 5 in your profile means you carry a universalizing energy that can be projected onto others as a form of solutions or being a fixer. Your challenge is to navigate these expectations wisely and use your practical insights to influence and guide.

Line 6 – The Role Model

Lastly, as a Line 6, you embody the Role Model with a three-part life process: experimentation in youth, reflection in mid-life, and becoming a model for others in later years. Your experiences culminate in a profound wisdom that can serve as a beacon for others.

In Human Design, Channels and Gates serve as the intricate wiring of your unique energetic blueprint. They represent pathways that define dynamics within your personality.

What are Gates?

Gates are the 64 energy archetypes that correspond with the I Ching’s 64 hexagrams, giving you distinct traits and potentials. Each gate is connected to one of the nine Centers in your BodyGraph, and they carry specific life themes you're meant to experience.

Learn about the different ‘flavours' of energy associated with each of the 64 Human Design gates and discover how they shape your life experiences and interactions.

Channels are formed by the connection of two Gates, creating a bridge between two Centers. There are 36 Channels, and each contributes to a person's definition – the consistent energy expressed in one’s life. The presence of defined Channels highlights your fixed traits and capabilities, while undefined Channels might reflect areas where you are open to external influences and conditioning.

Here's a brief overview of how they work:

  • Defined Channels: Color-filled and signal-consistent or fixed features within your nature.
  • Undefined Channels: White or unfilled, indicating areas you may adapt or be influenced by others.

For a comprehensive understanding of how Channels work and their influence on your BodyGraph, explore this informative piece on Human Design Tools.

In Human Design, planets play a significant role in shaping your unique design. Each planet is associated with different aspects of your personality and life experience. For example, the Sun represents your life force and purpose, while the Moon affects your drives and intuition.

PlanetRole in Human Design
SunLife force and purpose
EarthGrounding and environment
MoonDrives and intuition
MercuryCommunication style
VenusValues and relationships
MarsEnergy and action
JupiterGrowth and wisdom
SaturnDiscipline and challenges
UranusInnovation and change
NeptuneDreams and illusions

The crosses, or Incarnation Crosses, give insight into your life's theme and direction. Comprised of the Sun and Earth positions in both your Personality (conscious) and Design (unconscious) charts, these crosses can be further subdivided into four arms, revealing more nuanced information about your life path.

  1. Right Angle Cross: Personal destiny.
  2. Left Angle Cross: Destined interactions.
  3. Juxtaposition Cross: A unique fixed fate.
  4. Integration Cross: Emphasis on self-empowerment.

Your Human Design chart showcases the intricate dance between the planetary influences and the crosses, ultimately describing how you are designed to interact with the world. For more details on the role of planets, you can visit Understanding the Planets in Your Human Design Chart. To dive deeper into the Incarnation Crosses, detailed explanations can be found in resources like Beginners Guide to Human Design – Planets.

Human Design is a tool for self-understanding that can be applied to various aspects of your life, from personal development to professional growth. It provides insights that can help you make informed decisions and uncover your unique characteristics.

Personal Growth

Human Design offers a blueprint of your innate traits, helping to increase self-awareness and guide your personal evolution. By understanding your Design Type, you can harness your strengths and uncover your life purpose. It's a roadmap to embracing your authentic self.

Career and Work

Applying Human Design in your career involves recognizing your working style and how you best interact with colleagues. You learn to value your natural talents, which leads to greater job satisfaction and productivity. Recognize your specific Human Design: What Makes You Different From Everyone Else? to redefine success on your terms.


In the context of relationships, Human Design can be instrumental in understanding dynamics and improving communication. You'll comprehend not only your own emotional patterns but also those of the people around you, fostering deeper connections and harmony.

Health and Well-being

Insights from your Human Design chart can contribute to better health decisions and a more balanced lifestyle. It can show you how to listen to your body's unique needs, identify potential health issues related to your type, and encourage practices that promote your overall well-being.

When exploring Human Design, you have a variety of tools and resources at your disposal to deepen your understanding.

Here's a quick guide on some of the key resources available to you:

Chart Creation Tools

  • Free Online Calculators: Websites like Jovian Archive allow you to generate your basic Human Design chart for free, requiring just your birth information.
  • Mobile Apps: Applications for smartphones, such as the Human Design App, provide a portable way to create and interpret your chart.

Books and Guides

  • Essential Reading: A variety of books provide comprehensive knowledge about Human Design. “The Definitive Book of Human Design” is a fundamental resource to start with.
  • Online Articles: Insightful articles from The Human Design Academy break down complex topics into easy-to-understand pieces.

Courses and Workshops

  • Online Learning Platforms: Platforms like The Centre of Excellence offer structured courses, ranging from beginner to advanced levels.
  • Workshops: Local and online workshops can be invaluable for interactive learning experiences.


  • Online Forums: Engage with others in online communities to discuss and learn about personal experiences with Human Design.
  • Meetup Groups: In-person groups can provide support and shared learning opportunities.

Remember to exercise discernment when choosing your resources, ensuring they align with reputable information and are suited to your personal learning style.

Discovering your unique Human Design can be a transformative journey. As you explore, several common questions may arise about interpreting your chart and understanding its implications for your daily life.

How can one analyze their Human Design chart?

To analyze your Human Design chart, start by understanding your Type, Strategy, and Authority. These elements reveal how you best interact with the world and make decisions. For a more in-depth analysis, consider a reading from a Human Design expert.

What are the characteristics of a Human Design Projector?

Human Design Projector is known for their ability to guide and direct others. They often have an innate sense of what others need and how systems can operate more efficiently. Projectors thrive when they wait for recognition before sharing their insights.

Where can someone find a reliable Human Design calculator?

A reliable Human Design calculator will require your birth data, including your birth time and birth place to generate your chart for make sure your basic information. These calculators use your birth date, time, and place to reveal your Type, Centers, Channels, and more, mapping out your personal Design.

What defines a Human Design Generator and what are its traits?

Human Design Generator is characterized by their sustainable life force energy. They're natural builders and creators, meant to find fulfillment in their work. Generators are designed to respond to the world around them and have great endurance.

How can an individual determine their specific Human Design type?

Your specific Human Design type is determined by your birth information, which dictates your aura type. The five types—Manifestor, Generator, Projector, Reflector, and Manifesting Generator—each have distinct roles and strategies in life. A human design reading is made up of unique charts that provide profound insights.  Similar to a personality test, you will see unique personality traits that speak to your true nature.

Which Human Design type is considered the least common?

Reflectors are the least common Human Design type, making up about 1% of the population. They are unique mirrors to their environment, with the potential to be wise observers, reflecting the health of their community.

I think this is a fascinating topic! I'm new to human design and I feel like there's so much to learn and experience. Head over to the Flourish After 40 Facebook group and let me know what you think of Human Design.

Did you look up your chart and learn something new about yourself? I can't wait to hear all about it!


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One Comment

  1. I agree, this is a fascinating topic, there is a lot to uncover. I did learn quite a bit of new information reading your post.

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