I recently bought a cool new shirt from my friend over at The Aura Market that says “Human Design Reader” on it. When people who aren’t familiar with my blog see the shirt, it strikes up the question, “What is Human Design?” followed by “Do you have any books or courses you recommend on Human Design?” There aren’t too many resources about Human Design for the casual enthusiast, so I hope to make Human Design a little more accessible in this post.
Quick About Me (Fiona) the creator of this Human Design guide
Hi, I’m Fiona. I run a Human Design blog + website called The Wild Pixel. I facilitate Human Design sessions for those who are seeking to understand why they are the way they are. You can find my non-certification Human Design reader program here or work with me one on one here. This is usually the part where I write about my awards, certifications, accomplishments, and how long I’ve studied my material, but the truth is, all the studying in the world wouldn’t tell you anything. Human Design is a lived experiment, not information to recite out of a book. Instead, I put my expression of Human Design on this website and let you make your own decisions.
I’m a 3/5 self-projected Projector with the Channel of Inspiration. I’m a Capricorn, with a six-planet Capricorn stellium in the 8th House. Aside from that, I’m a Dungeons and Dragons nerd (currently DM’ing Curse of Strahd), mother to two Generator types, and plant goblin.
Where did Human Design come from?
On January 3, 1987, a man who went by the name Ra Uru Hu (his real name was Alan Robert Krakower) was vacationing in Ibiza when he had a terrifying experience. He went back to his cabin and was penetrated by a being that he calls The Voice. He described the experience as a shock as he felt a flood of water draining from his scalp. Over the next eight days and nights he worked, transcribing the Human Design system. (Source: The Human Design System by Ra Uru Hu, Foreword).
Human Design is the synthesis of multiple systems and modalities that already existed. This includes the chakras (known in Human Design as the centers) and the I Ching (known in Human Design as gates and lines). It’s important to note that nobody witnessed this encounter except for Ra Uru Hu’s dog. Ra Uru Hu is also a known drinker and LSD enthusiast. Now psychedelics are popular when it comes to spiritual work, though there has always been a fine line between spiritual encounters and psychosis.
As it goes with Human Design, it is your decision whether this is a system you want to actively work with or if you take issue with how this system came to be. One of the most problematic complaints about Ra Uru Hu and Human Design is the origin story, especially when the topic of cultural appropriation surfaces. I’ve written about Human Design and cultural appropriation in this post.
Human Design has seen several incarnations. In the beginning, there wasn’t the primary health system or the concept of incarnation crosses. Some say that Ra Uru Hu kept adding to the system because he wanted more money. Some say Ra Uru Hu was a channel who continued expanding the system after his encounter with The Voice. Again, your beliefs are your choice.
How to Generate Your Human Design Chart
Ra Uru Hu’s work survives on a website called Jovian Archive. They have a chart generator called myBodygraph, which is the most accurate way to generate your Human Design chart. I’ve had people email me asking why their Human Design charts are different on one website or another. I’d go with the chart in myBodygraph since this is based on Ra Uru Hu’s system.
When you generate your chart, you’ll see something like this:
This is your Human Design chart. You can use a copy of your chart alongside this post to do a mini-self read of your Human Design.
FAQ: What if I don’t know my exact birth time?
If you don’t know your exact birth time, you have several options.
- Order a copy of your birth certificate. This only works if you were born in a hospital that kept track of exact birth times. Not every country does this.
- Get your birth time rectified by an astrologer. You can google “birth time rectification” to hire someone to do it for you.
- You can use several different times (like 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, etc.) and see if there are any major changes to your Human Design. If it changes your type altogether, you can experiment with both types and see which one feels more natural to you.
Human Design Glossary
Looking at all these words, shapes, and colors can be overwhelming. Know that no one (except yourself, maybe) is encouraging you to learn all of these aspects overnight. Human Design is a whole culture and language that takes interaction for you to genuinely understand what it means. Give yourself space and time to process. Add this blog post to your bookmarks and save it for later.
- Bodygraph: Your Human Design chart, also known as a rave bodygraph.
- Design Date: 88 days before you were born. The “red” side of your chart was created before the “black” side of your chart. Together, they form your Human Design chart.
- Type: Determines your strategy, not-self-signature, and aura. There are 4 types. (Manifesting Generators are considered Generators).
- Strategy: This is how the world brings things to your attention.
- Not-Self Theme: Your body’s way of telling you that something is out of alignment or requires your attention. Your not-self isn’t inherently “bad.”
- Signature: Your body’s way of telling you that you’re living in your design.
- Authority: Your guiding system that helps you process information to make decisions.
- Profile: How you interact with the world and with yourself. Similar to “personality traits.”
- Incarnation cross: The “karmic cycles” you may be reconciling in this lifetime, life purpose, recurring themes.
- Deconditioning: The process of being less of “what other people want you to be” and living more within your Human Design.
- Sacral Center: A part of your Human Design chart that determines whether you are a Generator type or not.
- Defined Center: To have a “fixed” and consistent way of processing that type of energy.
- Undefined Center: To mirror or process other people’s energy in that part of your chart, instead of having a fixed, personal way of doing it.
The arrows are called your variables. myBodygraph does not currently have a way for you to access a more in-depth understanding of your variables. Your variables contain information about your nutrition, where you thrive, and your psychology.
The astrological symbols contain numbers inside of them, which reveals which gate was active in that planet.
The numbers you see are the gates, based on the 64 hexagrams of the I Ching. All the numbers you see inside of each center are the same for everyone, though each person will have different ones circled (or activated). The gates inside the planets will differ from person to person.
Here’s a visual to help you correspond the glossary to the actual chart. Deconditioning is not in the image, though it’s a word you’ll commonly hear associated with Human Design. 12 and 13, defined and undefined center, will be different for you than it is for me. I put those numbers over how they show up in my chart, though yours will likely be different.
What’s a Human Design type?
Asking someone their Human Design type is like asking them for their horoscope sign. It’s super basic, doesn’t tell you the whole story, but it’s the easiest way to enter the world of Human Design. For me, I didn’t know what a Capricorn was but seeing that little mermaid goat felt right.
Before looking up what your Human Design type means, sit with the name of your Human Design type. What does it evoke? Do any images come up? Is there anything calming or unsettling about the name?
Your Human Design type is based on a specific mark found in your chart. If you’re curious as to what makes you a specific type over another:
- Manifestors: Direct connection from motor center to throat center. Undefined sacral.
- Projector: No direct connection from motor center to throat center. Undefined sacral. At least two centers are defined.
- Generator: Defined sacral.
- Manifesting Generator: Defined sacral with direct connection to the throat center.
- Reflector: No defined centers.
Can you see what makes you your type?
Your Human Design type as you see in your chart does not change. However, how you experience your chart changes as you live your life. Someone in retirement age will experience their chart differently than they did when they were a teenager.
Note: If you have experimented with both the Tropical Human Design system and the Sidereal Human Design system, read this post. I exclusively read and teach it the Tropical system.
A lot of people think that the Human Design type is a piece of their identity. Instead, see it as a way you navigate the world around you. For example, I hire different Human Design types to fulfill the same role. The Manifestor I hire tends to work quickly and sees that whatever I want gets taken care of. She doesn’t see obstacles or setbacks, only things that eventually move out of the way. The Manifesting Generator I worked with previously had a tendency to juggle multiple tasks. She was incredible at getting things done in bursts. The Generator I had in the same role worked much slower than the other two, but she rarely made mistakes due to her eye for perfection.
I encourage you to see your Human Design type as a way of being rather than a list of pros and cons. All types can be entrepreneurs, but they’ll all approach it very differently. All types can see monetary success, but they will receive their riches in different ways. If you’ve been researching Human Design and you feel trapped or limited by your chart, you’re likely conditioned to believe there is a specific way you need to be in order to be happy while your chart is revealing a road that you’ve ignored up until now.
If you are a Reflector, you’ll likely struggle to relate to what other people are experiencing when it comes to Human Design. You are the exception to most content related to Human Design because you make up only one percent of the population. You are also a lunar type, reflecting the other three solar types.
Human Design is also called the science of differentiation. Allow yourself to immerse in what feels like home in each description, but honor the ways you set yourself apart. That’s how you’ll truly experience the magic of Human Design.
— The Manifestor
- Aura: Protective, Impactful, Firm
- Strategy: To inform/initiate
- Signature: Peace
- Not-self: Anger
- Population: 9%
Manifestors are born into the world to consider what no longer belongs and disrupt the system. They also place new structures in its place. For a Manifestor to bring a new form into the world, their aura must push away distractions and obstacles. Imagine someone who is curious about what you’re doing so they get in your way to get a better look. You interact by informing that person what you’re doing or by telling them to please step aside so you can continue.
Initiation is often uncomfortable. Whenever a popular social media platform makes a change to improve its product, people rebel, despite having their complaints addressed. This can be the world of the Manifestor. You see that something that can be changed for the better, establish your vision, have people who see you as a leader, but also have those who will oppose what you’ve done. Not everyone will be ready for your energy, but your authority will help you decide what’s worth going after.
You’ve also likely experienced other people’s frustrations as they ask you to slow down, bring them with you, or wait for them. Your aura helps you consider what needs to be moved aside so you can continue your journey. Your aura is also protective, ensuring that your state of being is protected from other people’s influences. Your aura allows you to resist the ideology that was not right for you.
Anger can rise up in a Manifestor because your aura is trying to protect you. You are someone who will go on your way and try out something you’re passionate about, regardless of what other people have to say about it. Being around the wrong people can bring on your not-self. Suppressing what you truly want to do can also spark the not-self. You do not have to take immediate action when you feel the not-self, but it’s worth acknowledging why it exists. On the other end of the spectrum, when you are free to exist, create, and do what you love, you experience peace.
— The Projector
- Aura: Piercing, Projecting, Penetrating
- Strategy: To wait for an invitation
- Signature: Success
- Not-self: Bitterness
- Population: 20%
When a Projector steps into another person’s aura, there is always the question of whether the other person is ready to receive the Projector. You’ve likely given advice that’s fell on too many unlistening ears as you watched your friends torture themselves in the same cycles. If only they listened to your advice, they’d be okay. Projectors work best in a one-on-one situation because of this aura. It connects to one person at a time.
Your aura is best left for those who are ready to receive it or consenting to the way it penetrates to the core of their being. Projectors are sensitive to being in the right place, with the right people. You could have a fantastic idea or solution but if no one is open to take you seriously, you end up dismissed or even ridiculed (feeling bitterness). You are only able to work with those who recognize your value. Through that recognition, you are offered an invitation into their world. Don’t waste your energy waiting for invitations from the wrong environments.
Projectors are never sitting around waiting to be picked like gym class. Instead, Projectors work on what they love, what they feel called to do, refining their skill sets and masteries. When the right invitations come, they are recognized, praised, and experience success.
You can start a business without an invitation. You can start writing. You can ask someone out on a date. You are setting the stage for opportunities for recognition. When people experience your unique business, they may recognize you by paying you. When the person you asked on a date recognizes how special you are, they may lean in for a kiss. Invitations are not always obvious or explicit, but there are usually more than you’re aware of.
— The Generator (and Manifesting Generator)
Manifesting Generators often get annoyed when they are lumped in with Generators, or tell me they prefer to be lumped in with Manifestors. Here’s the thing: Manifesting Generator is a subtype just like “Energy Projector” is a subtype of Projectors. You still need to have the foundational understanding of what a Generator is because you have a Generator’s aura, strategy, signature, and not-self. I would be dishonest to start making things up about Manifesting Generators just because it can feel frustrating to be lumped into the 70%. Truth is, everything about Generators applies to you, you would just need the specifics of what makes you a Manifesting Generator to differentiate you. I’ll add notes about Manifesting Generators throughout this post, where it’s relevant.
- Aura: Expansive, Enveloping, Inviting
- Strategy: To respond
- Signature: Satisfaction
- Not-self: Frustration
- Population: 70% (35% Manifesting Generator 35% Classic Generator)
Your aura is like several dozen arms, reaching out from all sides, pulling others in. As you envelop the energies of others around you, you understand whether this is something you want more of or not. People feel drawn to you to ask you for help with their problems. There’s never a shortage of ideas or experiences for you, as you take in the world. The only question is, “Is this something you want?” Since your aura picks up so many things, you may often feel pulled in inconsistent directions. Take a moment to breathe and consider which direction you’d like to take in this moment.
Your authority will help you understand what is worth responding to. You don’t have to run off and look for something to respond to. If you took a moment right now, you could probably come up with a dozen things that could demand your energy just today.
Your enveloping aura takes in so much information from the world around you. There’s so much you could do or partake in. Unfortunately, you don’t have enough time, resources, or arms to take care of every problem that comes your way – and it’s not your job to. Your aura and sacral response help you consider what will feel satisfying.
Note for Manifesting Generators: Sometimes, Manifesting Generators are told that their strategy is to inform and respond. The logic is that the informing part comes from Manifestors and responding comes from Generators. However, Manifesting Generators are a subtype of Generators, not Manifestors. All types can technically initiate or inform another person. We are physically all capable of these actions. However, it is the sacral response that helps you understand whether something is right. With a direct connection from your sacral center to your throat center, sometimes your sacral response comes out of your mouth. While the sacral center usually babbles, your throat center has the full capability of speaking in full sentences. Don’t be surprised if you make sounds or noises as a response first, before the full sentence falls out.
— The Reflector
- Aura: Sampling, Playful, Receptive
- Strategy: To wait a lunar cycle
- Signature: Surprise
- Not-self: Disappointment
- Population: 1%
Reflectors are walking mirrors. Like the moon reflects the sun, the Reflector reflects the other types. Because of this, you have an aura that protects you from the constant influences of the other types. Your aura also allows you to sample the different people that step into your energy, to determine if you’d like more. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and savoring every second.
You could receive an email from someone who sounds cold and direct, only to be surprised at how warm they are in person. You may feel pushed away from someone else’s aura, only to realize that you’d like a little more. Surprise comes in different forms. Your body's like a carbon monoxide detector. You’ll usually be the first to know if something is not right.
Your aura is often playful. Reflectors I’ve had the pleasure of meeting enjoy dancing, singing, creating art, cooking. In their energy, it’s as if time stands still and I get to enjoy being a child in their world. However, you need to discern who gets to be in that energy. You will be the first to know if something is wrong.
You’re never in a hurry. When making decisions, give yourself so much space to chew on the information and consider if you want another bite. Your aura will hold you in a protective bubble as you’re going through this process.
What is Human Design Authority?
Your authority is your answer to the interactions of your strategy. It’s also the connection and pulls you feel towards something that could be aligned.
When you experience the marriage of your strategy and authority coming together, it’s a good sign that you’re in the right place for this time. Remember always, what is right for you in this moment does not determine what’s right for you forever. When I work with those who are new to Human Design, they often experience a present moment not-self theme that makes them feel they were wrong about their authority in the past. That is not always the case.
For example, I was called to work in digital marketing for several years. I still love marketing. However, my authority let me know when I outgrew the industry and slowly led me towards Human Design. Was my authority wrong to lead me to digital marketing? No. That industry was aligned for me at that time of my life, just not at the current time. I can also look at it to mean that I needed to learn marketing first so I could break its rules in my current business.
Look at your Human Design chart to find your authority. Find how you can work with that authority below.
— Emotional Authority
- Expressed in: Manifestors, Manifesting Generators, Generators, Projectors
- Corresponding center(s): Solar Plexus
Emotional authority is the most common authority, making up fifty percent of the population, but it's one of the most complex centers. Today, being emotional is something that is becoming more encouraged, especially with each generation. While some may equate empathy and emotions with weakness, more are understanding that this is not the case.
Information comes through your authority in waves. You’re here to feel things out. Next time you are asked to make a major decision, such as buying a car or quitting a job, give yourself space to process it. If someone pressures you to make a decision quickly, try saying, “I’ll get back to you,” “I need to see how I feel,” or “Give me time to process.” As you experience and contemplate the information that comes to you, you’ll feel more confident about the answer.
A note for Generators and Manifesting Generators:
You get to experience the sacral response and emotional authority at the same time. When making life-changing decisions, experiment with hearing what your sacral has to say, but also how you’re feeling. Instead of sharing your immediate reaction or making the decision on the spot, set a decision-making date. Perhaps you want to wait several days or weeks before you share your final decision. Let yourself process and feel your decision. See if your sacral center shares anything else or changes its mind a few times through the time period.
— Splenic Authority
Expressed in: Manifestors, Projectors
Corresponding center(s): Splenic
Ever get this feeling in your body that you just know something? Perhaps you have a gut feeling, a tingle in your spine, or butterflies in your stomach. The splenic authority is tied to our primal, survival instincts. Part of those instincts is your ability to intuit information around you.
If you struggle to make decisions until you’re in the thick of it, you can attribute that to your splenic center. You may not know whether you want a date with someone until you’ve already sat down next to them. You might not know if a job is really something you’ll enjoy until you’re trying it out. Next time you get an immediate feeling that something is worth trying, try it until your body gives you the feeling that it’s time to put it down.
— Sacral Authority
Expressed in: Manifesting Generators, Generators
Corresponding center(s): Sacral
The sacral communication is not necessarily a voice. Clients have expressed feeling twitches, muscle contraction, and even sexual energy (or the opposite) when their sacral center is speaking to them. This makes sense because the sacral center is associated with sexuality. Some have also expressed feeling cramps in their sacral center when they are experiencing not-self themes.
With so many different ways to experience your sacral response, the best way to know how it shows up for you is to listen to your sacral. You’ll find a lot of information about the sacral center making “uh huh” or “nuh uh” sounds or people feeling warmth versus coolness. Next time you’re making a decision, even if it’s as small as what you’re going to wear to a meeting, let your sacral center help you make a choice. Remember, it enjoys multiple choices to start.
A note for Manifesting Generators: It’s not uncommon for Manifesting Generators to experience their sacral voice through their throat center. My Manifesting Generator son will often respond with grunts or noises (he’s old enough to speak in full sentences) because that’s his immediate sacral response. His “ugh” or “weee!” tells me a lot more than if I ask him to articulate. If you feel your sacral coming out of your mouth rather than in the sacral itself, experiment with it.
— Self-Projected Authority
Expressed in: Projectors
Corresponding center(s): G Center, Throat
Self-projection is the authority that connects your sense of identity to your voice. When you experience that something is correct, you may say it out loud or hear it in your own body. This authority is a rambler. You may find that you talk to yourself, mouth what you’re typing, or wandering around as you’re speaking. Through your words and rambles, the answer eventually reveals itself.
I always know when a self-projected Projector has booked a reading with me because their intake forms are long. Clients generally write me a few sentences to tell me what they’re looking for in a reading. Self-projected Projectors have a tendency to write essays (as a fellow self-projected Projector, I love it).
— Ego Authority
Expressed in: Manifestors, Projectors
Corresponding center(s): Heart
The ego authority is exclusive to Manifestors (Ego-Manifested) and Projectors (Ego-Projected). If you have an ego authority, you experience your authority through the commitments and professional relationships you make. You have an eye for what is valuable and what is worth giving your energy to. When you commit to something, you commit for the long run so it’s important that you experience the affirmation within your ego.
Not only are you willing to commit, but you’re also willing to compete for it. You may experience your body asserting itself in the space within this commitment. These contracts are not limited to professional or work-related contracts. These are also the promises you make to yourself, your community, and your spiritual practices.
— Mental/Environmental Authority
Expressed in: Projectors
Corresponding center(s): No defined centers below the throat center
This authority is unique to Projectors. You have the only authority, besides the Reflector’s lunar cycle, that is not an internal authority. Your authority is heavily dependent on the environments you’re around. For example, if you grew up in an environment that thought the arts were a waste of time or energy, you may find your creative side stifled. You may even experience an echo of that negative narrative every time you reach for a creative outlet. However, if you remove yourself from that environment in favor of an environment that celebrates creativity, you may find yourself less stifled.
The idea isn’t to surround yourself with people who agree with you. It’s to be in an environment that encourages the acoustics of your internal dialogue.
— Lunar Authority
Expressed in: Reflectors
Corresponding center(s): No defined centers
This lunar authority is specific to Reflectors. Reflectors are the reflection of the people they are around. Remember that you are only one percent of the population so most of the generalized advice that the public related to will often not work for you. One of these concepts that really do not work for you is going with your immediate gut feeling. Splenic authorities thrive on going with their gut, but as a Reflector you need time. You understand that human beings have more depth than they let on. Making an immediate judgment does no one any favors.
Instead, you understand that by giving people time and sampling the different phases of who they are, you can make a well-informed decision
What is your Human Design Profile?
You’ve learned about what the world asks of you and how you’re designed to navigate that world. This part is about how you interact with the world and how the world also interacts with you. In Human Design, this is called your profile.
Profile is the first thing I resonated with when I learned about my Human Design. Suddenly, I stopped judging myself for how relationships in my life went awry or how quickly I am to cut off relationships and move on. I’ve called myself heartless or cold. I’ve even considered if there was something wrong with me because other people did not move on so quickly.
Your profile is the closest thing to your astrological sun sign. This part of your bodygraph makes up seventy percent of your design and comes from the sun and earth. We can also experience certain personality traits or archetypes through the profile.
Your profile is presented by two numbers. The first number is usually more apparent in your day-to-day life while the second number can feel like it’s so obvious, but you never thought about it before. As you go through each profile, which one do you resonate with more?
— Line 1: The Investigator
Line one makes up the foundation of the profiles. You are starting from scratch. You need to load your character with different traits and stats before you can begin. You are someone who needs to understand what you are getting into and build a strong base to grow from. Think of yourself like Jessica Jones, the private investigator who must collect evidence before she can make a case. You may enjoy spending ample time in deep research, watching documentaries, or asking the right people for information.
— Line 2: The Hermit
Line two does not seek information from the external world the way line one does. Instead, you have an understanding of this information through your own internal knowledge and experiences. In fact, you prefer the acoustics of your own mind and enjoy being left alone to your craft. Think of yourself like the superhero Hawkeye. You want to enjoy yourself in the world that you’ve built, but when something goes wrong they’ll come knocking on your door for help. Your strategy and authority will help you understand if it’s time for you to come out of your cave.
— Line 3: The Martyr
Things get really interesting with line three because unlike line one and line two, who are more comfortable keeping to themselves, you consider what it’s like to be around others. You figure things out solely through experience and being in the process, rather than sticking to books. Think of yourself like Deadpool. You might wreak havoc through your trial and error process, but eventually, something works. You also have a deep sense of resiliency because of all the bruises and scrapes along the way.
— Line 4: The Opportunist
Line fours are the first line that considers true transpersonal relationships. You’re not sure how it works, but you always find yourself connecting with the right people. You also tend to be the go-to when someone else is looking for a connection. As long as the relationships you build are of fair exchange, it feels good. Think of yourself like Nick Fury, who assembles the right team of superheroes in order to get a task done. You won’t always select the same people and they are rarely a clone of you. You’re the guy who always knows a guy.
— Line 5: The Heretic
Though line four is open to mingling with people, you prefer to hide away, like line two. However, you are keeping an eye out. Think of yourself like Bruce Banner/The Hulk. You rather stay in your hiding spot with your research and interests, but won’t hesitate to help others when you realize that they are truly unable to do it themselves. However, this places impossible idolization on you. Be careful not to get addicted to the praise, because as much as people hold you up when you solve something, they’ll tear you down if their expectations are not met. Allow your strategy and authority to help you decide when it’s right to help.
— Line 6: The Role Model
Line six is the final profile life, embodying both the alpha and omega, like a phoenix preparing for rebirth. This profile is experienced differently depending on your astrological transits. You can use search engines to look up calculations for when you’ll specifically experience each return.
- Before your first Saturn return, which happens around age 28-30, you are like Captain America before he was injected with the serum. A little awkward, unsure of what to make of the world, but you’re experimenting through trial and error. The notes on line three apply to you here.
- After your first Saturn return, but before your Chiron return, age 28-50, you are like Captain American after he’s taken the serum and ended up in the future. You’ve got some experience under your belt and you’re taking up the role as a leader. Sure, you’re still a little awkward, but people are looking to you for some direction. It can feel like the spotlight is constantly on you.
- After your Chiron return, around age 48-50, you are like Captain America in his retirement. You hang up your shield and entrust that a successor will step up. People may beg you to stay or say that they can’t do it without you, but you have deep trust for the next generation. You reintegrate yourself back into the world and take a step away from the spotlight.
Which profile line did you relate to the most? Was it the first number or the second number? Did anything surprise you?
More Human Design Resources
The first year in Human Design is so special because you are simultaneously learning about yourself while going through the deconditioning process that breaks away pieces of your habits and identity that you no longer need. Meanwhile, you’re also trying to gather more information about Human Design, hoping for guidance and a roadmap. Truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to Human Design because every person is different. If we weren’t, this system wouldn’t be necessary.