When we look at a Human Design bodygram or chart we see nine flow-chart style symbols connected by channels resembling a cross between the Tree of Life and the Chakras. The natal chart is divided into two sections, Design and Personality, which are determined by our date of birth. Design influences begin roughly eighty-eight days prior to birth and reflect our unconscious tendencies with Personality or conscious influences entering the day we’re born. Numbered gates corresponding with the sixty-four guas or hexagrams from the I Ching are attached to each of the nine centers which align with the various energetic aspects of the body including:
Head: Inspiration Ajna: Certainty Throat: Communication and action Identity: Self, love, and life direction Will: Willpower and value Emotional Solar Plexus: Emotional clarity Root: Adrenaline energy Sacral: Workforce and life-force energy Spleen: Survival, intuition, immune system, and time (pp. 8-9) (emphasis mine)
Centers that are colored are considered to be defined and represent personality traits which flow consistently from the individual. Those centers that are white are considered to be open and indicate personality traits which are influenced by the surrounding environment. Gates are either active or not but when the gates are active they can potentially connect via channels to other centers to create currents of energetic influence. When they don’t connect in a natal chart they’re considered to be hanging gates which may become defined or active as planets transit. Channels that remain white or open indicate that we feel the effects of the gate on either end, but our reaction to environmental influences impacts our expression of that energy.
Looking at my transit chart above, the blue channels are those that are activated by transiting planets while the green channels are activated by my natal chart. When Design and Transiting influences align, the channels appear checkered. But in my natal chart below, the colors change to red (Design/unconscious) and black (Personality/conscious). And you can see that all centers are defined other than Will/Heart and Root. In the transit chart above, all centers are defined other than Will/Heart.
Channels fall into three primary groups referred to as circuits with additional subgroups under each one: Individual (Integration, Centering, Knowing), Tribal (Defense, Ego), and Collective (Logic, Sensing).
As much as I like looking at each influence, I find active energetic channels to be more interesting than the rest of the system because it describes the interaction and flow of energy between the active gates. In my natal chart, the following channels are active:
- Power ~ Gates 34-57 Individual/Integration Circuit – Gate 34/Power, Gate 57/Intuition
- Awareness ~ 61-24 Individual/Knowing Circuit – Gate 61/Mystery, Gate 24/Rationalization
- Mating/Reproduction ~ 59-6 Tribal/Defense Circuit – Gate 59/Sexuality, Gate 6/Friction
- Alpha ~ 31-7 Collective/Logic Circuit – Gate 7/Self in Interaction, Gate 31/Democracy
The Channel of Power describes an individual who is intuitive and clairaudient reinforced by the Channel of Awareness which further defines the intuitive individual as empathic. Concern over family resources is present with the Channel for Mating/Reproduction with the Channel of the Alpha giving that direction and leadership.
Transiting planetary influences activate three more channels today:
- Transformation ~ 54-32 Tribal/Ego – Gate 54/Drive, Gate 32/Continuity
- Logic ~ 63-4 Collective/Logic – Gate 63/Doubt, Gate 4/Answers
- Discovery ~ 46-29 Collective/Sensing – Gate 46/Love of Body, Gate 29/Perseverance
These channels involve how I bring my own ambition to fruition without initiating. I know. How do I do any of that without initiating? As a Generator personality type with Emotional Authority, for the best outcome, I’m to wait to respond instead of initiating the way my Manifestor husband does. This process is also observed in the Channel of Logic where I’m to wait until asked to share my logical perspective. The Channel of Discovery suggests a physicality to the experience and may involve a physical expression of some kind. But the physicality of this channel also signifies present moment awareness and employing my correct strategy of waiting to respond in the moment.
Along with defining five separate personality types, Human Design teaches that each type has its own process or strategy that makes life far easier to experience. So in my case, my natal chart indicates that my strategy is to respond, my inner authority is emotionally based and aligned with the Solar Plexus center. I ride the wave so to speak in my responses, responding instead of initiating and waiting to do anything if I’m in the extreme ends of the wave. If I don’t, then I live what’s considered my not self where my typical state of mind is one of frustration.
It’s not uncommon for many of us to live our not-self theme and when we do so our lives are far more difficult than they need to be. I like asserting myself (or more accurately, my not-self) but if I don’t wait to be asked then my assertions aren’t as well-received as they might otherwise be resulting in frustration when I believe I’m not heard. This is amplified by the fact that as an empath, I intuitively know when people are lying etc, so if they try to shine me on, I find it enormously irritating. Now, if I had waited for someone to ask for my input, the situation would have gone more smoothly but because I chose to step outside my own strategy of waiting to respond, others in the situation were unable to hear my words. And yes, I feel frustrated when I have to wait to respond but in all honesty, life works better when I do.
My natal channels define my intuitive, empathic nature along with my leadership ability, but the leadership ability has to be observed and welcomed by others for it to be effective. That applies to transiting influences as well so that wherever my ambitions take me they’ll be well-received by others.
I love Human Design, probably more than astrology, although I find esoteric astrology to be fascinating. But Human Design describes the flow of energy that coalesces into form and as confounding as I find living my true strategy, it’s really the key to happier and more satisfying experiences. For me, it comes down to letting go of control over outcomes and to remain more often the observer in life which as an empath means I will observe more and absorb less.
Jovian Archive is the main site for Human Design information although there are other websites that share this information as well. I recommend Karen Curry’s book along with Human Design: The Definitive Book of Human Design, The Science of Differentiation by Ra Uru Hu and Lydia Bunnell as well as others who have written about this incredibly prescient system. It’s a different perspective on who we are and how we can function as our best selves and one that shouldn’t be missed.
- Curry, Karen. Understanding Human Design: The New Science of Astrology: Discover Who You Really Are (pp. 8-9). Hierophant Publishing. Kindle Edition.
- Jovian Archive