You are made of energy – it’s the fabric of your being. Did you know that your aura extends several feet beyond your physical body? Have you considered that it interacts with other auras, for the better or worse? This is why we have chemistry, or not, with the people we encounter in our lives. Human Design goes a long way to describe the mechanics of this phenomenon.

At its core, Human Design offers a seemingly simple method for engaging with life and making decisions. It assumes that we are each totally unique, and that it is precisely this uniqueness which allows for humanity’s continual evolution. 

On a personal level, being true to one’s design can propel us towards our highest potential. It is about slowing down, paying attention, and discovering who we really are and why we are here. It is about easing into one’s destiny.

The Rave Mandala shows the the gates of the Rave I Ching around the Tropical Zodiac.

As the Sun, Moon, and other planets circle around the galaxy, they pass through segments of space that are known by many cultures and many names. In Western Astrology, they are the twelve signs of the Zodiac. In Human Design, there are also the Gates of the Rave I’Ching. These are sixty-four diverse slices of sky, each with a unique function and vibe. Their frequencies reflect – in the archetypal sense – the entire spectrum of possible human experience. 

It is said that the moment you were born, the exact position of the celestial bodies (as well as the lunar nodes), was imprinted onto your being. In other words, whichever gates the planets were transiting through determines your unique design. In this way like other modalities, Human Design uses the exact time and place of your birth to generate a geostamp of the cosmos. It then maps the coordinates onto the bodygraph. a blueprint that reveals a staggering amount about your psyche, drives, body, and life purpose.

Personality vs. Design

The process is a synthesis of several ancient traditions of divination and self-discovery, namely the I Ching, the Kabbalah, the Hindu Chakra system, and the Tropical Zodiac. However, Human Design goes one step further: it takes into account another type of “birthday,” referred to as your Design Date. This is marked eighty-eight days before your actual birthday.

If we look at the chart below, we see that on either side of the bodygraph are red and black columns. The glyphs listed are the planets, and the numbers are the Gates.

The red column (called your Design) represents the planetary positions eighty-eight days before your birth, and the black column (called your Personality) represents their position the moment you took your first breath. In practical terms, your Design is likened to your unconscious behaviors; others will likely notice these traits but you might not. On the other hand, your Personality tends to be quite conscious.

Image courtesy of Jovian Arhives

Despite its ancient roots, Human Design is a relatively new concept. Its founder, Ra Uru Hu, first began writing his ideas down after a mystical experience in Ibiza, Spain in 1987. And while it does speak to the “mystical” aspects of our incarnation, Human Design is by no means a religion. In fact, Ra repeatedly insisted that it is an experiment, and he implored people to try it for themselves.

The Centers

The nine geometrical shapes in your Body Graph are called centers, each of which has a role in our survival and evolution. They are similar to the energetic centers of the seven chakras. The lines connecting the centers are called channels

The Root – the motor that provides adrenalized pressure to the circuitry of the bodygraph

The Sacral Center – the motor of pure life force and procreative energy

The Spleen– the awareness center constantly alert to things related to our survival

The Solar Plexus/Emotional Center – a motor that reveals emotional awareness over time

The G Center – the seat of the soul and the place of our love, direction, and purpose

The Ego/Heart Center – a motor which sources our will to follow through with promises

The Throat – the hub of all centers and circuits where things are expressed or made manifest

The Ajna – the center of mental awareness which processes our questions, doubts, and confusion

The Head – the center at the crown that provides pressure to question things

What is Definition?

If you look at your bodygraph, you’ll see that certain things are colored in and others are not. The color indicates that you have these things “defined” in your chart. Notice how when two defined gates connect, the channel is also defined, and how the centers connected by the channel are defined as well.

The red indicates your Design, or Unconscious, and the black indicates your Personality, or Conscious. Don’t worry about the color of the centers.

It is said that your definition represents hardwired energetic patterns that you always have access to. These are areas where you tend to be less flexible or susceptible to being swayed.

The other gates, channels, and centers are considered open, where you are more prone to influence and conditioning. They are also where you are constantly learning, absorbing, and becoming ever wiser and more discerning.

Another thing that influences us on a daily basis is the transit weather. Like in astrology, the itinerant celestial bodies create a perpetual and ever-changing field that impacts our system, giving us access to energies we otherwise would not have access to.

Energy Types 

One of the most fundamental aspects of Human Design is one’s energy type, which is determined by which Centers in your bodygraph are defined. There are five energy types, listed in order of prevalence: Generators, Manifesting Generators, Projectors, Manifestors, and Reflectors.

What is Strategy and Authority?

Once you get your chart, you’ll immediately know several things, most importantly your Strategy and Authority. Together they form a simple set of instructions for how to best harness your energy and talents.

Your Strategy tells you how to engage with life for best results. Most of us have been conditioned to strive, to pursue, to shoot for the stars.

Ironically, it is completely the opposite with Human Design – which tells most of us to simply be patient and wait. It is only Manifestors (10% of the population) who should initiate something.

After successfully following your Strategy, your Authority gives the final stamp of approval. Your authority can tell you if the decision at hand is healthy and timely.  Which centers are defined also determines your Authority. 

The Mind’s Role

Even if the Head and Ajna are the only centers defined in your chart, your mind is not meant to serve you. One of my teachers at the Human Design Collective, Amy Lee, says that using one’s own mind to make decisions is like using a camera to take a picture of itself.

The mind – though a powerful and useful tool – is never ever an authority one should heed. The mind is best used to guide other people, either in the Tribe or in the Collective. In fact your mind is usually the spokesperson for the Not-Self, which in Human Design is essentially the voice of the shadow.

As you experiment with Human Design, you’ll begin to recognize the nudge inside your body, to “hear” your inner knowing more distinctly. This awareness is liberating, since the voice of the mind can sometimes be hostile and destructive, not to mention annoying.

Conditioning and Deconditioning

As children we likely tried to do things as we pleased. Perhaps in high school we argued and protested about when we would ever need to know x, y or z. Maybe it was excruciatingly painful to stay put in that boring chair all day. And possibly, when we got too vocal or rambunctious, they told us we were too much.

One size does not fit all. If you think about it, the society most of us were raised in puts its children through an assembly line. This funnel from school to the workplace homogenizes and molds people so as to maximize productivity. Even the family is often a source of great pressure to strive: to do more, to be more “successful,” and so forth. Most of us take this conditioning for granted. A fish, after all, does not know it is in water.

Our conditioning goes far beyond the school environment, of course. Not everyone is suited to sit in an office eight hours a day. Consider how many people identify as people pleasers or codependent. Or how many attempt to prove their worth by buying things, obsessing about their appearance, or exhausting themselves in the rat race. And zooming out from our mainstream Western bubble, think about the indelible conditioning pressures of the whole rest of the world!

For these reasons, when we enter into the Human Design experiment we must all begin a deconditioning process, said to take at least seven years. We do this by adhering to our Strategy and Authority. By tuning in to our natural knowing, we effortlessly begin to fulfill our life purpose. Not only that, by doing exactly what we feel like doing, we benefit everybody else.