The Definitive Guide To Human Design: What’s Your Energy Type?

In my early 20s I worked in investment banking. The hours were long, the job stressful, the demands relentless, but there was a fun, dynamic, exciting edge to it as well, you thought you were part of something ‘big’.

As the years passed, I started to feel more and more depleted. Even though I was performing well, I could feel my energy draining out, like I was running on battery power and not getting charged up overnight. I had enough sleep, ate well, exercised regularly, but still I would finish the day feeling a little bit more worn down.

This eventually progressed further into anxiety, depression, and something of a quarter life crisis.

Whilst these things no doubt always turn out for the best, I couldn’t help wonder in why me? Why did I not fit the mould? Why did my friends carry on undisturbed?

The answer took years to find, in a most surprising way, and through a most surprising system.

It’s rare that we actually speak of ourselves as energy beings.

Everything Is Energy

If you’re anything like me, you probably slept through science at school. Something about learning periodic tables and studying molecules doesn’t quite capture the attention of the 14-year old mind.

There are two things they teach you in high-school physics and biology that I think we all know, but sleep through the consequences of.

The first is that absolutely everything in the universe is made of energy (right down to sub-atomic building blocks of the universe) and the second is that we each have unique DNA. So we’re all part of a giant cosmic energy field (essentially we’re all stardust), but we are each a unique expression of it. So in sum, you have your own energetic makeup that is coded by your DNA.

It’s rare we actually think or speak of ourselves as energy beings. It’s much more common to consider ourselves as flesh beings, temporarily imbued with consciousness, enjoying a time-bound experience of life that is mediated by what we think and feel about everything around us.

Much of how we interpret and analyse the world around us is through mental models, and yet underneath that is an obvious undercurrent of energy. Just think of the ways you like to enjoy yourself. Yoga, sport, painting, reading – they are all ways of expending your energy.

The reasons we like certain things is obvious, it’s because of the way they make us feel. This feeling is actually an expression of your personal energy field which is unique to you. This is what’s informing what makes you feel good and bad in life, and thus what depletes you and restores your energy.

When we try to reason or explain the differences between people’s behaviour and interests, it’s common to look at “nature vs nurture” arguments and explore the conditioning and backgrounds that people grew up with. But if you contemplate siblings within stable and consistent family backgrounds, you still almost always see wild and unexplainable variances in character, disposition, and interests.

The reason is because of the difference in our individual energetic fields. Whilst we all have conditioning from our parents, culture, and environment, this actually only tells a small fraction of the story.

What I’m getting at here is that there is a unique you, coded at birth into your personal DNA.

If you contemplate it, it’s the same ‘you’ that we often spend the rest of our lives looking for as we wake up from our childhood conditioning. Our pain and our suffering – which are messages from our energy being – are all signs that are informing us of misalignment with our true self. This is why all of the greats of our time say “you need to just be yourself” when asked what their gift is.

It’s a truth that’s so obvious and yet often so very hard to live. We often go away from our energy (like I did), in order to calibrate ourselves back into alignment. The mastery then, is to know and deeply understand your energetic makeup, so you can navigate life and achieve your greatest potential.

How useful would it be to know how to make the best decisions for yourself, what path you should take in work + relationships, and what things deplete your energy and what restores it?

This is where Human Design comes in.

What Is Human Design?

Human Design is a revolutionary system that maps your personal energy field, giving precise and profound insight into the energetic makeup of your conscious and unconscious mind.

It’s a system that shows you how you were built, and how to best respond to the world around you. You input your time, place, and date of birth and you’re given a chart that shows a deep mapping of your psyche and energetic disposition. Sort of like a combination between astrology and Myers-Briggs.

If you’re thinking, “Did he just say astrology? I’m out’, pause one moment and recall what I mentioned before: everything is energy. Once you put a human under the microscope, we break down just the same as anything else does in the micro-quantum world. And why would it not? We are part of the same universe.

Our sense of being separate from the universe in some way (often led by our senses), is an illusion, as Einstein said:

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.”

So if we’re not separate, the question is, is there a pattern or a formula to the human condition? Does our genetic makeup, our DNA, run to a verifiable, mathematical, predictable pattern?

This is essentially what the Genome Project and its ancillary fields in gene-editing have set out to answer. If we know the genes that cause diseases like cancer, heart failure, or even mental disorders, might we also in the future know the genes that inform our behaviour, preferences, and energetic disposition? Much of this century’s medical advancement already suggests yes.

So how then does Human Design discern this pattern within your DNA?

This is where science and spirituality converge.

Human Design’s modern scientific foundation is in the use of the neutrino field. Neutrinos are unusual particles that carry an infinitesimal amount of mass. About 3 trillion neutrinos – and the material information they carry – pass through every square inch of the planet per second. Our Sun produces about 70% of all neutrinos that travel through our solar system, with the remaining 30% emitted by other stars in our Galaxy, and a small amount from the planet Jupiter.

Neutrinos have become one of the key building blocks of dark matter that scientists are focusing their research upon. In 2015, the scientists Takaaki Kajita (Super-Kamiokande Collaboration) and Arthur B. McDonald (Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Collaboration) were awarded a Nobel Prize for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass.

The belief of Human Design is that since Neutrinos have an infinitesimally small amount of mass, as the stream passes through us it leaves information. At the moment of our birth, we are imprinted by the information carried by this neutrino stream from the wider galaxy. This imprint is therefore reflected within your Human Design Chart (more on that below), and determines your particular Design (your character and disposition).

Where things become more complex is that this data is interpreted through ancient wisdom systems including the I’Ching (from Taoism), the Kaballah, astrology and the Hindu-Brahmin chakra system, to inform you what your Design is. Thousands of pages have been written about each of these systems, so for the purposes of this article, take on faith how the data is interpreted and see for yourself by jumping into your own Human Design.

Truth is Beautiful.

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Your Bodygraph

The Human Design Chart, also known as your BodyGraph, is the output that shows your energetic blueprint. You can get yours for free at MyBodyGraph.

Each person has an energetic type (manifestor, generator, manifesting generator, projector or reflector) as well as a profile, and strategy. The graph then becomes increasingly nuanced by the channels and gates of the unconscious and conscious mind, which inform the subtler aspects of our genetic makeup and behaviours. Lastly, there is your incarnation cross (which establishes your destiny) and whether you have defined or undefined chakra centres (more on this below).

It’s a truck load of data to take in at once, so I’ll break this down and use my chart for reference along the way.

Type

Your Human Design Type is the cornerstone of your energy field and defines your what your core energy strategy is. There are five types, split out as follows:

Generators & M.Generators:                       66.5% of the population

Projectors:                                                       22.4% of the population

Manifestors:                                                    9.6% of population

Reflectors:                                                       1.5% of population

Here’s a brief description of each, so you can see how it resonates with you:

 

Generators (strategy: to respond)

Generators are the dominant Type on the planet with nearly 70% of the population. They are the driving life force of the world, the builders, and the labour for most major projects that are initiated. Their strategy is to respond, and through response to find satisfaction and avoid frustration.

Generators are first and foremost people of activity. They are naturally full of vigor, and need an outlet for their powerful inner drive. They tackle projects with intentness and determination, gaining momentum as they make progress.

Finding activities that they have a natural enthusiasm for helps their energy to grow and be expressed. As Generators find and connect to their passions, their dedication will lead to mastery, and mastery will lead to success and satisfaction. Their life’s work tends to be in refining what projects best fuel their energy.

 

Manifestors (to inform)

Manifestors are about 9% of the population. Their strategy is to inform before they act to find peace and avoid anger. They have a closed and repelling aura, and are here to understand their impact on others.

Manifestors are meant to initiate and to impact others. Their actions and words bring about transformation. Through a Manifestor’s unique perspective, they initiate change. Manifestors can be free, independent and have a powerful positive effect on the world and the people they care about.

Manifestors’ closed and repelling aura can make others feel off balance and want to control the Manifestor. When a Manifestor shares with others, this naturally relaxes those around them and removes energetic resistance, allowing them to initiate in peace. Manifestors can be an initiating catalyst for the other types, too. When they are moving through life without informing others, Manifestors can end up feeling angry as a result of the resistance they experience.

If you look at my chart, I’m a Manifestor too, which makes sense as I have created Inner Truth to inform others about my subject area of interest.

 

Manifesting Generators (to respond)

Approximately 37% of the population are Manifesting Generators, which are a combination of Generators and Manifestors.

They have to balance characteristics of both Types. They process the anger of the Manifestor and inform others at key moments. They also must process the frustration of the Generator and wait for the right timing to act on things,

Manifesting Generators are like a Manifestor compressed to fit inside a Generator vehicle. The Manifestor yearns to leap into action and the Generator must wait for good timing. Every time the Manifesting Generator leaps into something without waiting to respond – they will meet resistance. They can be most erratic and impatient of all Types.

 

Projectors (to wait for invitation)

Projectors are around 20% of the population. Their strategy is to wait for the invitation to find success and avoid bitterness. They have a focused and absorbing aura, and need to learn about and understand others.

Projectors are naturally sensitive to and aware of the energy of other people; they can recognize the natural gifts and capabilities of others. They have unique insights into the way life works and through their sensitivity and awareness, they develop natural wisdom. When others recognize and value what Projectors have to offer, they can become powerful guides.

Their openness leaves them vulnerable to conditioning. If Projectors are focusing on the wrong people and have not been really recognized, this can lead to exhaustion and bitterness. Projectors need to learn to be very discerning about engaging their energy. They are natural at mastering systems, and when they use their energy correctly, will experience success in their life and relationships.

Projectors play a specialized role in relationships. Getting recognition is important; it creates a framework for them to play their role.

 

Reflectors (to wait) 

Reflectors are without definition and are just over one percent of the population. Their strategy is to wait a full cycle of the moon before making decisions to find clarity, leading to a life of more surprise and less disappointment. They have a resistant and sampling aura, and are learning to reflect rather than identify.

A Reflector’s presence is a mirror for others. In groups, people’s sense of themselves and the group is mirrored through the Reflector. Most people have a balance of open and Defined Centers, creating a polarity within them. Reflectors have only open Centers, creating a very different experience. They have the ability to take on and become many different things. They can mold to their environment and embody what is taking place. Their experience and embodiment of a group dynamic, or the theme of an environment, gives other people a sense for it as a whole as well.

Because of Reflectors’ lack of definition, they have the potential to be objective and remain outside of things in a way others cannot. Inside situations, they embody the its characteristics and allow others to see things from outside themselves as well. As people get a larger sense for the group or situation, they develop a better sense for how each individual is participating and contributing. Reflectors can see the progression over time as a group matures and develops, giving people feedback, and seeing what impact they have at different times.

Profiles

The Profile is another basic component of Human Design. It adds further nuances to your Design, by diving deeper into what truly differentiates us. While you may share certain characteristics with others, for example, those with the same Type (as above), a different Profile takes you on very different paths. It can be seen as a costume we wear while learning to play specific roles in life.

There are 12 profiles in Human Design, which can be regarded as the basic character pattern that frames your life. The profile tends to indicate the theme of your life and is displayed as two numbers e.g. 4/6.

The first number in your profile is always the conscious energy; the energy that you follow first and that you are more aware of in your daily life. The second number in your profile is unconscious energy; it is more subtle and follows the energy of the first number. It’s something that tends to come to the fore later in life. As we grow older, we understand ourselves better through greater self-awareness.

For example, if you are a 1/3 profile (Investigative Martyr), you have a life pattern of needing to investigate things and then experiment with them to see if they work. The first number is the conscious line of the profile and is the investigative energy. The second number is the unconscious line of the profile and is the experimental part of the profile. The 1/3 has to investigate first and then experiment, and always in that order.

Profiles tell you about major life themes that you will encounter, and they illustrate the way in which you interact with the world.

Here are simple definitions for each of the six profile lines:

Line 1 – The Investigator needs information and feels safe when they have data.

Line 2 – The Hermit needs quiet/solo time to integrate. They need space to feel good and grounded. They are usually called back into action by others.

Line 3 – The Experiential Learner needs to experiment with their ideas and to be allowed to make mistakes. There is no getting it wrong, only figuring out what works based on their understanding of what doesn’t work.

Line 4 – The Opportunist builds a foundation of friendships and needs to network as well as share. They need people to accept them for who they are; they need to know what’s next as well as be prepared in order to feel safe.

Line 5 – The Teacher is here to teach whatever they’ve experienced in life. They are often subject to the projections of others because other people see through their relationships with them what they need to heal the most. Fifth lines need to trust that you will see the truth about them to feel safe and can sometimes hide their truth very deeply when you first get to know them.

Line 6 – The Role Model is the embodiment of what they are here to share with the world. They operate through three distinct life phases. The first phase (birth until 30) is a youthful phase of experimentation and experiential learning. The Second phase (30-50) is a long cycle of integration and studying. The final phase (50+) is a cycle of living what they’ve learned. Sixth lines need to feel that what they are participating in is worth their effort to find meaning and energy in life.

Combining the lines together you get 12 profile types which match up as follows:

1/3 Investigating Martyr:

Looks deeply into their specialized interest and experientially tries things out, discoverers.

People with a 1-3 profile in their design have an inward focus. The are driven to investigate and look at the results of their experiences in an inward fashion. Often they may subconsciously ask the question, “How did that affect me?”

For more see here.

1/4 Investigating Opportunist:

Looks deeply into specialized interest and externalizes to friends.

The 1-4 requires a foundational basis which they can rely on as they extend themselves outward to others. The 1st line is also known as the investigator. The investigator is driven to know detail. The 4th line is also known as the opportunist. The opportunity lies within the foundation of the 4th line persons network. It is through their network, that 4th lines will most often find a job, meet their significant other, find their house or their place to live.

For more see here.

2/4 Hermit Opportunist:

Shy or Bold but always open to the right opportunity through their network of friends.

People that have the 2-4 profile need a balance of being alone and being social. These people are often very socially integrated and have a bubbly or intriguing personality. These people of are the type that can start a conversation with anyone.

For more see here.

2/5 Hermit Heretic:

Shy or Bold, an attractive Saviour to some, a rebel to others, here to be a natural and gifted person.

The 2-5 can add a magnetic and alluring quality to ones personality. While this can draw others in, it can also create a heaviness or pressure that is associated with the 5th line projection. Ultimately the 2-5 and 5-2 will need to escape the pressure and get their alone time away from the energy.

For more see here.

3/5 Martyr Heretic:

A conscious adventurer who learns by trial and error and has to cope with the projections of others.

3/6 Martyr Role Model:

Lives 3 different stages of life, learning by trial and error as they evolve to be themselves.

The 3-6 profile is bound by a need to learn from experience. From an outsider they may see many failures from people with this profile but in reality nothing here is a failure for all experiences bring wisdom.

For more see here.

4/1 Opportunistic Investigator:

Fixed in their nature, they are not here to change, but to be a bridge between others.

For more see here.

4/6 Opportunistic Role Model:

3 life stages, friendly networkers who long for perfection and authenticity.

I’m a 4/6 and this completely matches my path. I had a very distinct first 1/3 to life and then shifted through a major awakening in my late 20s (around the Saturn Return). Now I’m shifting to integrating, studying and teaching which is the period of 30-50 years.

5/1 Heretic Investigator:

Transpersonal, here to connect to their allies in this life, have to be practical in handling projection.

For more see here.

5/2 Heretic Hermit:

Naturally enjoys their time alone, practical, heretical and self-motivated.

For more see here.

6/2 Role Model Hermit:

3 life stages, tries to live perfection while being self-motivated leaders here to live their uniqueness.

For more see here.

6/3 Role Model Martyr:

3 life stages, through trial and error their lives can be chaotic and adventurous but never boring.

For more see here.

Energy Centres

One of the first things you will notice when you look at your chart is that there are nine geometric shapes. These shapes are called the nine centers. Each center carries and manages a certain frequency of energy and relates to specific themes in our lives.

As you can see from the image, the Centers are: Head, Ajna, Throat, G-Center (Identity/Self) Will, Spleen, Sacral, Emotional Solar Plexus, Sacral, and Root. If a Center is colored, then it is called Defined. A Defined Center has a consistent way of operating and is part of who you are. This is the energy that you radiate out into the world. It operates the same way energetically and thematically.

If a Center is white, then it is called Undefined or “open”. Open Centers are where we take in energy and information from the world around us. Not only do we absorb energies in our open Centers, we also amplify them. In our open Centers, we experience other people’s energies. It is in these open Centers that we have the potential for great wisdom, but also the potential for pain and confusion.

Going into each of these is a big exploration that’s outside the scope of this introduction but for now know that these play a role in determining your energy field.

What’s a really big determinant however is your decision making authority.

Authority Type (Decision Making)

In much of life we can be used to making decisions mentally as this is what is heavily relied upon and informed by Western Culture. What’s interesting is that major life decisions that are made mentally can often be in deep conflict with our innate embodied wisdom and cause us to go into our Type’s not-self themes of anger, frustration, etc.

So it’s important to know your strategy and make decisions based on your authority.

This can require some experimentation as we are often used to relying on the mind to make decisions, but as feeling centres become more important, we tap into a deeper intelligence that is supported by life, and see that decisions made in this way, deeply nourish and support our overall wellbeing.

There are 7 different authorities in total but 90% of us fall into the following three categories:

Emotional Authority (Solar Plexus)

About 47% of the population falls into this type of solar plexus authority: The solar plexus operates in a wave that is always moving. As this type rides their emotional wave and experiences all of its nuances, they pick up information over time. When they come to a place of clarity, or little or no nervousness in the body, they can make their decision at that point. If this is you, you’ll always get the better deal for yourself when you wait. Generally speaking, the best thing to do is to take time to sleep on it, and allow yourself to experience the full spectrum of your emotional wave before making decisions.

Sacral Authority

Just under 35% of the population has the Sacral Authority; many generators fall here. If so, your natural tendency is to wait for something/someone to show up in your field so you can respond. Your aura is pulling life to itself all the time. You don’t need to “go and get things.” Instead, get familiar with the many ways in which you are already responding all the time. Your sacral life force energy is a response mechanism—it’s either open to giving its energy to something that is healthy for you in the moment, or closed. A response can be signified by a spontaneous sound or body movement toward something. It’s not always about someone asking you a direct question.

Splenic Authority

This type is more rare, about 11% of the population, and is characterized by an intuitive sense or recognition in the moment. The spleen is our oldest awareness center, faster than the mind, and deeply rooted in survival, health, and well-being. Some people describe this authority as a splenic “hit,” or instant, intuitive knowing.

Its interesting to have a play around with your authority by setting aside a day or two over the weekend to just make decisions based on your Human Design, and see how it makes you feel (and how good the decisions were!)

Gates & Channels

This is where Human Design starts to become incredibly nuanced. Within each centre there are gates that link to other centres to create certain channels (conscious and unconscious) which inform very specific aspects of your character. There the gates meet completely, a channel is formed, which sets up a theme that will be universal for your life.

Interestingly if you only have half a channel, say in my chart below the 48 – 16, then when I meet someone that has the defined 16, we will complete the channel together (romantically, in business, on in friendship).

Obviously there is a huge degree of variation that we each have in our channels and gates, so for the purposes of this article I’ll leave you to explore yourself and understand the channels themselves from MyBodyGraph or Chetyn Parkyn’s great book on the subject. 

Now to consider the big thing, your life’s calling.

Incarnation Cross

Incarnation Crosses reveal our life’s overall purpose. They show our life’s mission as expressed through our purpose and subsequently lived out through our profile.

We each incarnate with a purpose, yet that purpose cannot be accessed if you don’t live out the strategy of your type and honour your inner authority, so there is of course the element of free will and choice.

The Incarnation Cross is in essence your archetype. It shows you who you are, what you are driven to do, your strengths, and weaknesses, and ultimately your destiny if you choose to live it. The Cross informs your Life Theme which you can get via this website and then reference it to either The Book Of Destinies or this website as a simple description of all 192 possibilities.

The full descriptions assigned to the Incarnation Crosses can be found in the Book of Destinies or if you go and have a reading done with a certified analyst.

I’ve found the Incarnation Cross to be incredible informative, to show you how accurate this is, here’s mine below:

“Direction is your purpose in life, whether you are finding a direction for yourself or showing the way for others. Many will see you as a lighthouse that allows others to find their own bearings. At times you find yourself pointing a way that defies normal explanation, but if you are true to yourself and your creative impulses, the direction will be the right one. 

Pointing the direction for someone and then encouraging them to engage with their own abilities is the best approach. Ultimately, everyone is responsible for their own life journey, and forgetting this can entangle you in one distraction after another.

Your receptivity is constantly attuning to an orientation in life that goes beyond society’s obvious, “normal” assumptions. Often, a chance statement can realign someone’s life without you or them being aware at the time how that happened. Trust in your own Type and Authority to know when to involve yourself and be available to give your uncanny guidance and when to stand aside and hold your peace.” 

What’s interesting is that I started Inner Truth before knowing any of this. I intuited a path forward and then when I had a Human Design reading done, I had the Cross read back to me as retrospective proof.

This quite beautifully demonstrates that Human Design really works and can be incredible insightful when it comes to trying to unpack some of the deeper truths of your conscious and unconscious behaviours. Not only that but it gives you a strategy for decision making and a framework

Wrapping Up

As you can see, there is quite a lot of nuance and detail as you go deeper into your design. It’s tempting to stop at the Type and Profile but as you start to go deeper into the centres, channels and your authority, and contemplate these in relation to your own life, you start to see how much sense it makes.

When I first came across Human Design, it took 2-3 read throughs to sink in, and then probably a couple of weeks to contemplation and digestion against what I knew about myself and my energy dynamics. Over the years (its three since I first found the system) I’ve becoming increasingly self aware through other practices and found Human Design to be painfully accurate in many cases!

If you want to get the fastest verification and benefit from Human Design, just think about the things that most deplete your energy and the things that most fill you up. Then read through your design and see how it relates. As you get deeper into it, you’ll discover subtler and subtler aspects of your consciousness that will really make you quite the ninja at optimising your energy field for peak performance and wellbeing in life.

For some further reading, check out:

Human Design by Chetyn Parkyn

The Book Of Destinies by Chetyn Parkyn

Understanding Human Design by Karen Curry

Human Design Activation Guide by Karen Curry

Want to go deeper?

Here’s our podcast with Human Design expert Manex Ibar:

The essence of bravery is being without self-deception.

— PEMA CHODRON

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