Human Design Glossary

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This article has been created to provide a Human Design Glossary or a list of key terms you may encounter as you read articles about Human Design. The words are listed in alphabetical order.

Human Design Glossary 

Abstract Circuit

  • The “Abstract Circuit” is also referred to as the “experience circuit” because the Gates and Channels in this circuit use memories from the past and current experiences to navigate the present. These energetics are focused on the experiences a person has and how each experience brings learnings and new understandings. The information that is learned in this circuit is meant to be shared with others.

Activation

  • Refers to any gate or channel in the bodygraph chart that is colored in.

The Arrows (aka the “Four Transformations” or “the Variables”)

  • See “the Variables”

The Authentic Self

  • Also called the “true self”. It refers to an individual’s pure and behavioral nature that is designed to support moving through the world effortlessly and without resistance. When we lean into our Human Design Strategy and Authority we will begin to see the areas where we are conditioned and prevented from experiencing our true self. It is this external programming that is experienced as resistance and masks our authentic self.

Authority

  • “Authority” is how an individual can authentically make decisions in life. In the Human Design System, it is the method of decision making that is most accurate and true to the individual. There are 7 different authority types in Human Design. The Authority of an individual depends on the circuitry or activations in the bodygraph chart.

Awareness Energy Centers

  • AJNA – mind consciousness
  • SPLEEN – body consciousness
  • SOLAR PLEXUS – spirit consciousness

Bodygraph Chart

  • A personalized Human Design chart that provides a “map” or blueprint of your energy. Each bodygraph chart is unique because the combination of activations will be specific to the birth date, birth time and birth location of the individual.

Channel

  • There are potentially 36 Channels in a Human Design bodygraph chart. They show up in the chart when two Energy Centers are connected by corresponding gates. For example, Channel 18 – 58 connects the Splenic and Root Energy Centers in a bodygraph chart when BOTH Gate 18 and Gate 58 are activated. It creates a complete energetic connection between two energy centers. 

The Channels represent gifts, talents, motivations, energetics or drives that are consistently available to us. If a channel is not activated or colored, it doesn’t mean that person never has access to that energy. It just means that this gift is not a reliable or constant energy in their life.

Circuitry

  • “Circuitry” refers to the connections (channel connections between energy centers) within a Human Design bodygraph chart. It also shows how the energy “flows” in a given chart just like an electrical current.

Conditioning

  • “Conditioning” happens when one person’s way of being blocks or disrupts another person’s inherent nature or way of moving through the world. Conditioning can also occur when we over identify or feel pressure to adopt social or environmental standards. For example, society often says that being consistent is a quality we should all aspire to but not all of us are designed to be consistent.  

Correct

  • “Correct” refers to being in alignment with your Energy Type, Strategy and Authority. When you are being “correct”, you are tuned into your innate intuition and internal compass. You are living in alignment with your body’s internal wisdom.

Deconditioning

  • “Deconditioning” refers to the process of recognizing and releasing the ideas, behaviors or things that we have identified with that are not in alignment with our innate gifts and way of being. Tuning out external voices and learning how to follow your Energy Type strategy and authority will support the deconditioning process.

Defined

  • (aka “closed” or “colored”) The word is used to describe when an energy center, gate or channel in the chart is activated or colored in the chart. 

Design Side

  • The “Design side” of the Human Design bodygraph chart represents the gates (or energetic gifts) in the chart that are considered “unconscious”.The Design Side gates show up as the color red in the bodygraph chart.

Dormant Gate

  • A gate that is activated, alone in the channel and located in an undefined energy center. This gate is open to connecting to the corresponding gate through the aura of another person or a transit.

Energy Center

  • A term to describe the 9 energy centers in the Human Design bodygraph chart that are represented by square, triangle and diamond shapes. These shapes will each bodygraph chart will be white (undefined) or colored (defined). The energy centers are loosely related to the Chakra System.

Energy Type

  • “Energy Type” refers to the operating system of the energetic human being. There are 5 different Energy Types in the Human Design System. 1) Generators; 2) Manifesting Generators; 3) Manifestors; 4) Projectors and 5) Reflectors

Expression

  • “Expression” is the way in which the energetics in a chart are expressed outwardly in daily life. 

The Four Transformations  (aka the “Arrows” or “the Variables”)

  • See “the Variables”

Gate

  • The Gates in a Human Design bodygraph chart are represented by the numbers (1 – 64) that are located in the Energy Centers. These are the gifts, talents, motivations, energetics or drives that are consistently available to us. If a gate is not activated or colored, it doesn’t mean that person never has access to that energy. It just means that this gift is not a reliable or constant energy in their life. There are a total 64 Gates in a bodygraph chart and each gate has a theme that is related to the 64 I Ching hexagrams.

Gene Keys

  • A system developed by Richard Rudd that articulates the high, low and enlightened frequencies of each of the 64 gates in the hexagram or Human Design.

Generator

  • One of 5 Energy Types in the Human Design system. Generators are the most common energy type. They are designed to move through life by following the things in life that “light them up” and spark their sacral energy center. 

Hanging Gate

  • An activated gate that is alone in a channel and is located in either a defined (colored) or undefined (white) energy center. This gate is open to receiving energy from the corresponding gate via a transit or the aura of another person.

Hexagram

  • The hexagram consists of 6 lines from the I Ching divination system. The 6 lines are represented by a series of either broken or unbroken lines. Broken lines represent “yin” energy. Unbroken lines present “yang” energy”. The 64 gates in Human Design are derived from the 64 I Ching hexagrams.

High Expression

  • “High Expression” is the positive way in which the energetics in a chart are expressed outwardly in daily life. 

Human Design

  • A system created by Ra Uru Hu in 1987 that draws from Astrology, the I Ching, the Chakra System and the Kabbalah Tree of Life. The Human Design system creates a map (bodygraph chart) that reveals an individual’s unique energetic blueprint. This system inspires us to expand our awareness of the self and shows us how to listen to our own inner guidance.

I Ching

  • The I Ching is one of the oldest written systems and it is often referred to as the “Oracle”. The “I Ching” means “the Book of Changes” and it is composed of 64 hexagrams that are used for divination. These hexagrams provide guidance, advice, clarity and context. The 64 hexagrams are incorporated into the Human Design system as the 64 gates.

Incarnation Cross

  • The Incarnation Cross is your life theme and it is made up of the 4 most prominent gates in your bodygraph chart. This life theme is something that will slowly emerge over time as you live in alignment with your unique nature and it builds up into a full expression of your potential. The Incarnation Cross usually comes into play around your astrological “mid-life crisis” after you have planted a solid foundation and have a clear direction in life.

Individual Centering Circuit

  • This is a sub-circuit of the “Individual Knowing” circuit and the energy of this circuit is about being grounded within one’s own core individuality. It is NOT about “knowing” individuality, it is about BEING individual.

Individual Knowing Circuit

  • This circuit embodies the energy of evolutionarily new, unique and mutative qualities. Revolutionary thoughts, objectives and innovations are brought into the world through these gates and channels. Each gate within this circuit are focused on the unique empowerment of the individual. 

Integrated Survival Channels

  • These channels are not a part of a specific circuit in the bodygraph chart. These gates carry an energy of survival and are focused on self-individuation and personal survival. All of these energies are meant to support a person’s personal journey to individuation.

Juxtaposition Cross

  • Often called the “fixed fate” cross because those with this uncommon cross type are designed to be firmly grounded in their energy type or Human Design definition. The Juxtaposition crosses represent only 2% of the population. Those with this cross also have the 4/1 Profile.

Left Angle Cross

  • These individuals have transpersonal karma which means their purpose will be fulfilled through interactions with other people. You have the potential to impact other people and their life through meaningful interactions.

Lines

  • Meaning 1 – The term, “Lines” is often used to reference the activated gates in a Human Design bodygraph chart.
  • Meaning 2 – “Line” also refers to each of the 6 lines in the hexagrams. Each line has a meaning or characteristic. These lines are also represented in the 12 different Human Design Profiles.

Logic Circuit

  • The Logic Circuit is a counterpart to the Abstract Circuit. All of the gates within this circuit are focused on the future in order to find the best course of action. These gates also include the energy of correction and developing skills that will ensure a better future. The skills that are learned from the energy of this circuit are meant to be shared with others.

Low Expression

  • “Low Expression” is the unhealthy way in which the energetics in a chart are expressed outwardly in daily life. 

Manifesting Generator

  • A Manifesting Generator is a hybrid between a Generator and a Manifestor. Not only do they have the ability to initiate, like the Manifestor but they can also make things happen like the generator. When an MG is doing what lights them up it creates a magnetic vortex which attracts synchronicities, opportunities and people. Manifesting Generators are not supposed to follow the common life path. Following this non-linear path, the MG will always encounter a lesson, a new skill, or something to teach. Manifesting Generators have a defined sacral energy center and a defined motor center (root, solar plexus, ego/heart, and sacral center) attached to their throat center.

Manifestor

  • Manifestors have the biggest aura of all 5 Energy Types. They are designed to move through life freely however they are often weighed down by the rules and beliefs systems that they have picked up over the course of their life. The more a Manifestor can use their voice to break free of the rules and boundaries placed on them, the more they will live and go where they are meant to.

Not-Self

  • The energetic experience an individual will feel when they are not following their Human Design Strategy and Authority. (aka “not myself”). The “Not-Self” is a sign post for when resistance in life is being experienced because we are not living our design. 

Neutrino

  • “Neutrinos” are subatomic particles that come from the stars. They are composed of a tiny amount of mass and they carry information through space.

Personality Side

  • The “Personality side” of the Human Design bodygraph chart represents the gates (or energetic gifts) in the chart that are considered “conscious”. The Design Side gates show up as the color black in the bodygraph chart.

Polarity

  • Polarity refers to the opposite sides of something. In Human Design it refers to the highest and lowest manifestation of a theme. For example, the theme of “universal love” has two polar opposite sides: an open heart vs. a closed heart. 

Profile

  • Profile is similar to a “personality” type and it is linked to the Incarnation Cross. The Profile consists of 2 numbers (or lines) that originate from the one of the six lines of a hexagram. There are 12 Profiles in Human Design and each profile describes a skill set through which the theme of the Incarnation Cross will be expressed.  For example, a 5th line profile  will provide solutions related to their life theme and a 6th line will live as the example or role model for that life theme.

Projector

  • Projectors are the newest energy type and they are non-Sacral beings which means that the Sacral energy will always be undefined or “open”. Projectors will find success in life when they are recognized for their gifts and offered an invitation as an energetic exchange. 

Quarter

  • “Quarter” refers to the four sections of the year that relate to the four parts of the Great Cycle. Each individual is born within a quarter of the Great Cycle and their life theme (Incarnation Cross) will be fulfilled through that aspect of the cycle. The 4 Quarters are 1) Initiation, 2) Civilization, 3) Duality and 4) Mutation.

Ra Uru Hu

  • The creator of Human Design. (aka Alan Robert Krakower)

Reflector

  • Reflector’s are the rarest energy type in Human Design. A Reflector’s bodygraph chart is characterized by having no defined energy centers. They are designed to “sample” the energetic auras of the environments they are in. During the 28 day lunar cycle, they will gain clarity on the things that are energetically correct for them.

Right Angle Cross

  • These individuals have personal karma which means their purpose will be fulfilled by being self-absorbed (in a good way) and focusing on their own personal pursuits.

Signature

  • The energetic experience an individual will feel when they are living their Human Design Strategy and Authority. 

Strategy

  • Each energy type in Human Design has a Strategy. Strategy describes how a specific energy type will attract the things they want into their life. It is the way they will navigate through life most authentically and easily. When someone is exercising their strategy, they are able to sift through the external conditioning they have taken  and really SEE the things their soul really wants.

Tribal

  • “Tribal” in Human Design refers to family or community.

Tribal Defense Circuit

  • The “Tribal Defense Circuit” is part of the “Tribal Circuit” and it plays a special role in creating new life and preserving life. Gates 59 and 6 are about creating life and Gates 27 and 50 are focused on caring for life. 

Tribal Ego Circuit

  • The “Tribal Ego Circuit” is the circuit concerned about the needs of community and family. All of the Gates in this circuit are designed to support and fulfill the needs within a tribe. This can include bonding, contracts, money, touch, defense and rebellion. 

Undefined

  • (aka “open” or “white”) The word is used to describe when an energy center, gate or channel in the chart is NOT activated or colored in the chart. 

The Variables  (aka the “Four Transformations” or “the Arrows”)

  • The “Variables” are an advanced area of the Human Design System which can provide in-depth information about a person’s cognitive design and uniqueness. It provides a clear, practical map for aligning the mind to its natural intelligence, rather than trying to align with the Not-Self. 

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