What Is Human Design?

Humans tend to be curious about their own personality traits, which is the reason why tools like astrology and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) are so popular. Human Design is another modality that can help us better decipher who we truly are. Similar to astrology, this lesser-known discipline uses your birth information to create a unique chart, or BodyGraph, that can give you insight into your life, purpose, and more. In this blog, we will break down a few basics of Human Design so you can see the benefits of exploring it further to learn more about you.

The History and Meaning of Human Design

Ra Uru Hu

Pictured: Ra Uru Hu   Source: Metamorphic Human Design

Human Design was founded by a Canadian man named Ra Uru Hu (born Alan Robert Krakower) who claimed to have received information from a voice of supreme intelligence over the course of eight days and nights. He wrote of his experience in a book titled Rave I’Ching, which details the Human Design system.

Human Design shows you a concrete map of your nature and provides you with simple tools for making correct decisions, being yourself, and eliminating resistance in your life. It offers you the opportunity to discover yourself and begin to understand and accept your very nature.

However, Human Design doesn’t just map where the planets were in the sky when you were born like a birth chart; it also identifies your dominant chakras, or Centers, to create your BodyGraph. It’s basically an energetic blueprint, kind of like a mix of Kabbalah, I’Ching, Myers-Briggs, astrology, biochemistry, genetics, and the chakra system all in one.

Human Design Readings

Ra Uru Hu's BodyGraph

Pictured: Ra Uru Hu’s Human Design Chart   Source: Jovian Archive

To get your BodyGraph, all you need is your name, birthday, and the time and location of your birth. You can try MyHumanDesign, myBodyGraph, or JovianArchive to receive your Human Design reading.

According to Nikki Brafman, an expert in Human Design, the information you provide to receive your BodyGraph is like a snapshot of the cosmos at the moment you were born as well as three months before that when your brain was developing in utero. Human design composites those two and layers them on top of each other and then looks at how their energy interacts.1

If you’re new to Human Design, your BodyGraph will most likely look super complicated with a plethora of shapes, colors, and numbers. The diagram, which resembles the top half of a human body, incorporates shapes to resemble each Center, such as crown, sacral, and root. 

Some of the shapes are filled in, while others are empty to represent how and where you make decisions. Lines, better known as Channels or Gates, depending on if they are colored in, connect each Center.

A multitude of planetary symbols with numbers also encase the diagram on each side. The right side is your conscious personality that you can learn more about via your sun sign, while the left is your unconscious personality from utero. The numbers by the planetary symbols correspond to the ones that appear in the Centers, so you can gauge which planets rule each.

In short, your Human Design chart will tell you your:

  • Energy Type
  • Strategy
  • Not-Self Theme
  • Signature
  • Inner Authority
  • Profile
  • Definition
  • Incarnation Cross

Centers in Human Design

The Nine Centers in Human Design

Source: Jovian Archive

In Human Design, Centers are focal points, or hubs, that receive and transform the energy, or life force, that circulates throughout the chart. Each of the nine Centers has its own distinct biological correlation. For example, the Splenic Center is connected to the lymphatic system and the Root Center to the adrenal glands.

Each Center has a specific function, and there are signposts of how they function correctly, and influence behavior when operating incorrectly. Centers can be Defined (colored in) or Open (white). The way Centers are Defined and connected determines your Energy Type, Authority, and more.

An open Center in your BodyGraph is one of the primary receptors of conditioning— or outside influences taken into your physical being. This receptor impacts your mind’s decision-making process and creates the Not-Self Theme. The Not-Self Theme leads you to make decisions based on strategies derived from conditioning rather than your true self.

Open Centers Not-Self Theme in Human Design

Source: Jovian Archive

Energy Types in Human Design

Energy Types describe the way you optimize your unique energy in all areas of life, such as relationships, work, sleep, digestion, and creativity, which is how you create ease and flow in your life.

Each of the five Energy Types— Manifestor, Generator, Manifesting Generator, Projector, and Reflector— come with a specific description of when they’re most productive, how they utilize opportunities (listed as Strategy), a sign that that suggests they’re living according to their human design (Signature), and a particular feeling that comes up when they’re not in tune with their Energy Type (Not-Self Theme). 

Here’s a look at the five Energy Types:

The Manifestor Energy Type

  • Strategy: To inform
  • Signature: Peace
  • Not-Self Theme: Anger

Manifestors make up about 9% of the population and repel others. These are the people who make things happen. Manifestors can start projects and work independently; however, they seldom finish their ventures.

Manifestors are meant to trust what they are being drawn to and to be the leaders of their own lives. They thrive in being able to initiate and create what they want when they are inspired. Manifestors are here to make the first move without needing permission or buy-in from any of the other Energy Types.

Famous Manifestors: Johnny Depp, Richard Burton, George W. Bush, Adolf Hitler, Frida Kahlo, Jack Nicholson, Robert DeNiro, Orson Welles, Susan Sarandon

The Generator Energy Type

  • Strategy: To respond
  • Signature: Satisfaction
  • Not-Self Theme: Frustration

Generators are the largest group and are known to attract others. They are the builders of the world with tremendous amounts of energy and life force. While exceptionally powerful, Generators are also very vulnerable. If Generators aren’t careful, they’ll find themselves committing to projects or relationships that don’t serve their highest good.

For the Generator, everything is either “yes or no,” or “right or wrong.” Waiting isn’t a concept Generators comprehend or know how to do, but learning to do so should be taken seriously. If a Generator goes into overwork or people-pleasing mode, they will likely get frustrated, leading to feeling stuck in their day-to-day life.

Famous Generators: Albert Einstein, Dalai Lama, Meryl Streep, John Lennon, Madonna, James Dean, Oprah Winfrey, Meg Ryan, Greta Garbo, Margaret Thatcher, Deepak Chopra​

The Manifesting Generator Energy Type

  • Strategy: To respond, then inform
  • Signature: Satisfaction
  • Not-Self Theme: Frustration/Anger

With a blend of Manifestor and Generator Energy, Manifesting Generators can multitask like no other and they understand that every day is going to look different. Manifesting Generators should keep in mind that their productivity and motivation can vary daily but can always be replenished with the help of quality sleep.

When a Manifesting Generator is living their design, they’ll feel content and fulfilled. If they’re taking on projects or work they hate and not honoring that they love many things, they’ll start feeling frustrated and angry.

Famous Manifesting Generators: Frederic Chopin, Marie Curie, Sigmund Freud, Mahatma Gandhi, Pope John Paul II, Yoko Ono, Prince, Martin Luther King, Vincent Van Gogh​

The Projector Energy Type

  • Strategy: To wait for the invitation
  • Signature: Success
  • Not-Self Theme: Bitterness

Projectors are the second largest group after Generators. They have a knack for understanding others and seeing people for who they are without soaking up or driving away their vitality, which makes them incredible leaders. Projectors operate best in one-on-one social settings. 

Projectors are also designed to enter into the big things in life, such as relationships, jobs, and relocations, through invitation. During the process of being invited, Projectors are guided into the right conditions to excel as the natural leaders and creators they are.

Famous Projectors: Barack Obama, Queen Elisabeth II, Mick Jagger, Joseph Stalin, Ringo Starr, Elizabeth Taylor, Ulysses S. Grant, Douglas MacArthur, Princess Diana

The Reflector Energy Type

  • Strategy: To wait for a lunar cycle
  • Signature: Surprise
  • Not-Self Theme: Disappointment

Reflectors are rare, making up approximately 1% of the population. They are highly attuned and receptive to the people and places around them. Their energy is naturally self-protectant, which intuitively guides them to know what’s safe and what’s not.

Reflectors typically serve as the heart of a community or friendship circle. They observe with openness and can play a chameleon role, being whatever they need to be at any point and time.

Famous Reflectors: H.G. Wells, Sandra Bullock, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Ammaji

Inner Authority Types in Human Design

According to Human Design, Authority is the body intelligence we have inborn that guides us in making decisions. This requires a completely different awareness than the mind as it’s not logical, and the mind may not always agree with the decisions that your body wisdom is pointing you to. By first knowing and then using your Authority in making decisions, you learn to trust your body’s inherent wisdom.

The Inner Authority Types are:

Emotional Authority (Solar Plexus)

Those with Emotional Authority will commonly make snap decisions, which can often lead to them being committed to something that they don’t want. For those with this Authority, having emotional clarity can save them from a lot of frustration and help them preserve their relationships with the people around them.

Sacral Authority

Only Generators or Manifesting Generators can have this type of Authority considering it comes from having a defined Sacral Center in the BodyGraph. Individuals with Sacral Authority make decisions based on what they feel in the moment.

Splenic Authority

Individuals with Splenic Authority make decisions based on their intuition. The intuitive Authority in the Spleen Center works in the moment and has to be heeded when it appears. If those with Splenic Authority don’t listen or go with their intuition, they may find themselves making the wrong decisions.

Ego Authority 

Only Manifestors can have Ego Authority, which means that their Authority comes from the Heart Center’s connection to the Throat. Individuals with Ego Authority do not need to wait before making decisions, but they must make sure that their spirit is up to the task.

Self-Projected Authority (G Center)

Only Projectors can have Self-Projected Authority, which occurs when there is a connection from the G-Center/Identity Center to the Throat Center with no other defined Centers that override it. Those with Self-Projected Authority make decisions by having discussions with their close friends and family beforehand.

Mental Authority (None)

Only Projectors experience Mental Authority. This type of Authority happens when the Ajna Center is connected to the Throat Center with no other overriding Centers defined. Those with Mental Projected Authority feel differently every day and can be influenced by the outside world very easily.

Profiles in Human Design

The 12 Profiles in Human Design

Source: Jovian Archive

Profile is another basic component of Human Design that dives deeper into what truly differentiates us. While you may share certain characteristics with other individuals, such as those with the same Energy Type and Authority, a different Profile takes you on very unique paths. 

A Profile can be seen as a costume we wear while learning to play specific roles. These roles enrich our experience of life, as we engage with and impact others. Altogether, there are 12 Profiles, with six primary roles representing basic themes in combination with each other.

Here’s a look at the 12 Profiles:

  • 1/3 Investigator/Martyr: Individuals with this Profile build solid foundations through deep investigations to feel secure in their trial and error process.
  • 1/4 Investigator/Opportunist: Individuals with this Profile want to understand things at a deep level, then look for ways to share that knowledge.
  • 2/4 Hermit/Opportunist: Individuals with this Profile are naturally gifted, but at times unaware of their gifts. 
  • 2/5 Hermit/Heretic: Individuals with this Profile have a seductive projection field that attracts people to them who need their support.
  • 3/5 Martyr/Heretic: Individuals with this Profile know what works and what doesn’t based on their trial and error process. When people call upon them, they can often provide both practical and wise solutions.
  • 3/6 Martyr/Role Model: Individuals with this Profile evolve into wise role models who people seek for guidance. 
  • 4/6 Opportunist/Role Model: Individuals with this Profile have the genuine ability to develop strong relationships and will also grow into having and modelling a visionary perspective.
  • 4/1 Opportunist/Investigator: Individuals with this Profile are here to build a solid foundation of knowledge, which will then be shared with their network.
  • 5/1 Heretic/Investigator: Individuals with this Profile are here to guide; they have the wisdom and practical ability to help others.
  • 5/2 Heretic Hermit: Individuals with this Profile are people who are often sought after for help and are here to support others with their natural talents and gifts.
  • 6/2 Role Model/Hermit: Individuals with this Profile are here to be called out for their natural genius and innate talents that will help them embody their visionary power. 
  • 6/3 Role Model/Martyr: Individuals with this Profile gain a tremendous amount of wisdom through bumping into life via their trial and error process that will make them someone who is sought after.

The Bottom Line

A basic starting point for reading your BodyGraph is to understand your Energy, Inner Authority, and Strategy type, and start exploring how you can live your life more aligned with those powerful guides. As you further your Human Design knowledge, you can begin exploring more detailed elements such as your in Incarnation Cross, which combines with your Profile to give direction on your life’s purpose.

If you’re still confused about your BodyGraph, you can also schedule an appointment with a Human Design expert that will assist you in detailing your map. After all, knowing yourself is one of the best and most powerful tools you can have in this life.

What did your BodyGraph say about you? Let us know in the comments! [1]