There’s been a lot of buzz about the philosophy behind Human Design for a couple of years now here in LA. For some reason, until now, I just couldn’t latch on to the idea of having my chart read. Perhaps it’s because my dosha, astrological sign and Myers-Briggs type felt like plenty to chew on for one lifetime. However, after just one session with Human Design coach, Ahram Arya I’ve fallen headfirst for the philosophy and the interesting work that follows. Reading my chart with Ahram provided me with in-depth insights that almost immediately affected the way I work and communicate.
The Human Design System is deeply layered — even mind-boggling at first glance — and the origins of the system are definitively strange. But having a Human Design chart reading, based simply on your birth date and place, has been profoundly impactful for many. It’s really up to you whether you skim the initial insights or dive deeply into the work.
Since Human Design is new to so many, we asked Ahram to dive deep on the key concepts behind the philosophy. At the most basic level, there are four Human Design types, each with their own functions and strategies. The core work of the system is to achieve “radical forgiveness of self”. Here’s Ahram with a full guide to Human Design…
The Spiritual Roots of the Human Design System
In 1987 on an island off the coast of Spain, Alan Krakower had an encounter with an entity he called “The Voice”. It was a grueling ordeal that lasted eight days and nights. He soon changed his name to Ra Uru Hu and began to share the information that was “channeled” to him during the experience. This information was the Human Design System, a vast source of knowledge detailing the function of our very existence.
Hold on. Channeled from an entity? The phenomenon of channeling information through mediumship, that is, communicating directly with spirits from the heavens, has appeared through all of history, yet simultaneously it has always been debunked as hocus-pocus nonsense.
Our culture may have recognized the benefits of yoga or meditation, but are we ready to legitimize information channeled from other worldly entities or higher beings? Maybe not. Yet throughout history, enlightened people, those we call saints, mystics and even scientists, have claimed to have received quantum leaps of insight from experiences with non-ordinary reality or divine inspiration. Ironically, these kinds of experiences that are ridiculed and dismissed are also the source of all world religions.
Today, our collective consciousness seems to be peaking with interest about the inspiration and the origin of ancient knowledge. This may be because as a planet we are going through a difficult phase of awakening. In the West, our millennials have been brought up in a world liberated, connected and simultaneously stunted by technology. Our economic system cannot promise what it used to, and our environment is suffering. We live mostly divorced from religion and seem to be having more difficulty navigating the trials of life than our recent ancestors did.
In many ways, the Western world is waking up to what the Eastern world has been offering for a very long time, which is an invitation to journey inwards, especially when facing the most pressing problems. Searching the self for answers can quickly stir up existential questions, and yet people today are searching in a time when modern science can tell us more about the universe than ever before.
Enter the Human Design System, a new starting point to begin the journey of self-discovery. It synthesizes ancient knowledge, and yet it aligns with modern scientific theory. Human Design is gaining momentum because it gives you a unique operating manual to make decisions that is both illuminating and empirical.
So, What Is Human Design Anyway?
Human Design begins with combining foundational aspects of esoteric wisdom that different cultures have taught for thousands of years, so in some ways, it is familiar. If you believe, for example, that the Hindus, the Jews or the Babylonians were each onto a meaningful piece of cosmic truth, then the Human Design System maps these teachings together with mechanical precision. It is a super system of self-understanding that you can navigate, although you may want to consult a professional to help get you started with the jargon.
Human Design syncs the wheel of the Western zodiac with the Chinese I’Ching. This lights up a map of yourself called the bodygraph, which is unique to Human Design. The architecture of your bodygraph traces its origin to the Tree of Life from the Kabbalah. It is composed of 9 Chakras linked by 64 Gates and 36 Channels of energy that flow through you. This map of flowing energies forms your identity and allows you to visualize and utilize the information as one. And if this sounds complex so far, it is!
Here’s how it all starts | Your bodygraph is fixed at the moment of your birth, and it depends on where you were born, similar to traditional astrology. At this precise moment, these two factors switch on a handful of the 64 gates on your bodygraph, and these activations hardwire certain traits that form your identity. The 64 gates are essentially codes, or archetypes, that come from the I’Ching component of the system. In addition, each gate expresses itself in 1 of 6 of ways, or lines, which are nuances of the trait. So, the system of permutations that governs your Human Design is made of 64 possible gates x 6 possible lines. Human Design suggests that the significance of the numbers 64 x 6 is no accident. In fact, it is symmetrical to our DNA code. DNA is constructed with 64 codons x 6 groups of amino acids per codon. While no one has attempted to connect this concept to the human genome itself, Human Design claims that each trait synthesizes a specific amino acid sequence in your body.
In a theoretical sense, Human Design also demystifies how you are coded by the universe on your birthday. The idea is that during the moment you are born, each planet is in precise alignment with one gate on the wheel of the cosmos relative to Earth, and these planetary positions imprint you with their information instantaneously. This process of cosmic imprinting is not magic. Apparently, it is carried out by tiny particles that exist in the realm of quantum physics. These subatomic particles are called neutrinos, and they connect everything in the universe to everything else in the universe at near the speed of light like a network of invisible fabric. A stream of three trillion neutrinos passes through every inch of your body every second, and because they have mass, they carry information that activates pieces of your DNA by switching on the gates on your bodygraph.
Based upon this imprint at birth, your bodygraph determines these basic characteristics about you:
Type | What kind of person you are
Strategy | How you ought to make decisions
Authority | How you access bodily energy to make decisions
Profile | Your combination of conscious and unconscious personality traits
The bodygraph and these characteristics together are what Ra Uru Hu called a “concrete map to the nature of being”. In other words, it is a guide to being yourself that describes you and instructs you at the same time. The precision of this “concrete map” is really appealing and convincing for newcomers. The complexity of the moving pieces is staggering, but so is the harmony. Once you understand enough about the system for a picture of your true nature to form in your mind, it’s tough to look away. The personal accuracy is liberating, and some say astonishing.
Many people claim to encounter an extraordinary yet familiar picture of themselves that reveals their attitudes, behaviors and tendencies with startling clarity. Given the overwhelming depth and accuracy of experiencing Human Design firsthand, some people find themselves wondering if there might actually be something to the supposed mystical story of Ra’s original encounter.
Discovering Your Human Design
Your Type | Understanding how to use your Human Design often begins with discovering the type of person you are. You belong to one of four types of people distributed throughout the population: manifestor, generator, projector or reflector.
Gift to the world: Initiates action
Strategy: Inform before you act
Gift to the world: The value of your work
Strategy: Wait before you respond
Gift to the world: Potentiate + guide others
Strategy: Wait to be invited
Gift to the world: Show them the mirror
Strategy: Wait one Lunar cycle
Not one type is better than another. Each type has a different virtue, or gift to the world, which offers a specific behavioral strategy for navigating the world so that you experience less resistance and more happiness in life.
Your Authority | The last major piece of yourself is your authority which guides your decision making. Authority is the dominant kind of energy that you ought to listen to when making a decision. There are many kinds of authority. For example, if you have emotional authority—the most common kind in the population—Human Design instructs you to feel into your range of emotions over time in order to make a decision. Other kinds of authority might instruct you to listen to your environmental cues, or to wait for your gut reaction to a question. Going with your gut is a saying that resonates with many people, but it is only correct for some of us to actually rely on it.
Living Your Human Design To Become Your True Self
In fact, one of the first lessons of Human Design is to understand that your mind is never your authority, meaning that your mind is not a decision-making tool. This is quite a leap, if not a direct attack on the Western mind. Human Design suggests that your mind is like a CPU in your computer. The mind is the central processor of your reality, assembling all of your sensations and perceptions in different ways, but you should never make decisions with it. The idea is that your logical mind is excellent at weighing the pros and cons of possible outcomes, but it cannot be trusted as the ultimate decision maker. Therefore, living your Human Design is like receiving a new internal compass that leverages the power of your mind, but does not depend on it.
In the end, your Human Design emerges as a philosophical tool. It is not a belief system or a mythology, as it is grounded and powered by information that you can actually experience and use. It is often called an “operating manual” for being yourself. It embodies the basics of Buddhism and Daoism, in that it provides a means to quiet your mind so that you can awaken your body and eventually your spirit to your core truth—and then it adds the action step. It’s a bit like receiving your Dharma with instructions. That’s empowering, and for some, it can be transformational.
Ra also called Human Design the “Science of Differentiation,” meaning that it celebrates how each of us is different and designed to be unique. Understanding your bodygraph and the designs of others offers the opportunity to adopt a new kind of foundational empathy that can improve your communication, relationships and guide your higher purpose in life.
How To Try Human Design For Yourself
To start, create your basic Human Design chart through Jovian Archive. Trust us when we say that discovering your type might just mystify you — at first. Our entire team experienced this, until a deeper session with Ahram helped us understand the meaning behind our Type, our Strategy and made sense of the colorful mess of number and lines throughout the chart!