What on Earth is Human Design? The first day of ICBRKR’s Post-Work Conversations in London saw Advice Alchemist Steph King share her insights into Human Design. But what is it? Steph explains:

Human Design is, effectively, a personality categorisation model. Although instead of giving you a generic summary, Human Design is tailored to you. It will tell you what is your natural state and how you can best operate in the world. The Human Design BodyGraph is composed of nine different shapes – known as energy centres – that replace the seven chakras, and each have their own significance. The lines connecting the energy centres are called ‘channels,’ where these indicate certain abilities/ways of operating. To find out your Human Design, head to jovianarchive.com and click on Get Your Chart. This will generate a personalised BodyGraph and give you a summary of your Energy Type, Strategy, Not-Self Theme, Inner Authority, Profile, Definition, and Incarnation Cross.

Anywhere on your BodyGraph that is white is “open,” meaning whatever that energy centre or channel represents is able to be influenced by the outside world. Any energy centre or channel that is coloured in (e.g. red, black, green, yellow, gold) is “defined” and is less impressionable to outside influences. In each of the energy centres, there are numbers, which are related to the 64 Hexagrams of the Chinese I Ching. In Human Design these are called ‘gates,’ and two gates form the channel between two energy centres. Each gate is associated with a certain ability/perspective: Gates that are coloured red are skills/beliefs you’re unconsciously aware of or not able to articulate, whereas gates that are coloured black represent skills/beliefs you’re consciously aware of. Gates that look chequered with both red and black mean you flip between knowing you’ve got that trait/attitude, and not being able to clearly identify it.

Now, let’s go through the summary of your Human Design BodyGraph.


Image from jovianarchive.com

Your Energy Type describes your overall personality type. Each Energy Type has a corresponding Strategy and Not-Self Theme, also detailed below:

Manifestor – Manifestors are usually pretty easy to spot: They’re the go-getters who know what they want and how to get it. They are innately very powerful, so their Strategy is To Inform, but they don’t do well when they’re not in control. They’re impulsive and also have a constricting aura that puts others on edge, which they’ve sensed their whole lives, so their Not-Self Theme (AKA the indicator that they’re not living their Design) is anger. Instead, they must learn to ask permission first and to share their plans with others.

Generator – These guys are the energetic marathoners; they can keep going even when they’re knackered. Generators have a very open aura, which makes them naturally magnetic. They’re very good at responding (not initiating) because of their strong Sacral response, hence their Strategy i To Respond. But they must remember it’s okay to stop doing something if it no longer lights them up. The fastest way for them to tell if this is the case is if they get frustrated: their Not-Self Theme.

Manifesting Generator – MGs are, oh-so-surprisingly, a hybrid between Manifestors and Generators. If the MG has a defined channel from the Sacral to the Throat centre (a “motor”), they have more Manifestor energy, thus the power to achieve huge things. These are the sorts of people who can multi-task and do better with multiple projects/hobbies on the go that light them up. They thrive in a self-paced environment, and know they’re not living their Design if they get frustrated, like Generators. Their Strategy, is similarly, To Respond.

Projector – Projectors form only 20% of the population and must wait for the invitation (their Strategy) to ensure they live according to their Design. They see things long before others, but mightn’t communicate this well and instead, come across as a bossy-boots or know-it-all, which ultimately makes the Projector feel bitter (their Not-Self Theme) for not being appreciated for their often very valuable insights. The trade-off for their supreme clarity is that they’re a non-energy type. They tire easily and gain energy only from interactions with others. Fun fact: There are three sub-types of Projectors.

Reflector – Rare birds, Reflectors form only 1% of the population. They have all nine energy centres open, making them incredibly adaptable, highly changeable creatures. They serve as mirrors to those around them, illuminating energies or situations that others mightn’t have thought of or wanted to see. Ironically, they see everyone so clearly but themselves. They need trusted sounding boards in their life, where their Strategy is to wait a lunar cycle, i.e. 28 days, to come to a decision. Disappointment is the biggest indication they’re acting out of their Design (their Not-Self Theme).


Inner Authority is how you should make decisions. If you have...

Sacral Authority – Trust your gut instinct. You’ll often feel or give a very distinct ‘uh-huh’/‘uh-uh’ response. If this isn’t clear, wait, rephrase the question, and try again. You do better with a yes/no question format because it gives you the best chance of an ‘uh-huh’/‘uh-uh’ response.

Splenic Authority – Trust your intuition. You often ignore it because it’ll only pipe up once, and you usually can’t explain why you feel a certain way towards someone/a situation. Those with this Authority do better when they learn how to discern between a stressor and a “knowing.”

Emotional (Solar Plexus) Authority – Don’t trust your emotions. Anyone with the Emotional Authority (approx. 46% of the population) should wait at least 24hrs to make a final decision, as they can easily get swept up in the moment and agree to things/react before they’ve had time to process. Moral of the story: Buy time to ride out your wave of emotion.

Ego Manifested Authority (only Manifestors) – Trust your voice. You know what to do with it. You know what you want, but don’t forget to tell others your plans. This way they’ll give your more freedom – exactly what you wanted!

Ego Projected Authority (only Projectors) – Trust your inner circle. You have very specific gifts but need to be invited to share them because you’re a Projector. Your inner circle will help to encourage you to develop said skills and gain confidence in your abilities.

Self-Projected Authority (only Projectors) – Trust your tone of voice. You need an objective supporter to hold up the mic and let you talk through any (major) decision. They’ll be able to notice by your tone of voice which way you really want to go deep down.

None (Mental-Projected; only Projectors) – Trust your tone of voice. You need to learn to feel more in your body because you’re so “in your head.” Much like the Self-Projected Authority, having a trusted sounding board who won’t give their opinion but just listen to you, will be imperative to picking up on auditory cues of which way you want to proceed.

None (Lunar; only Reflectors) – Trust time will tell. It usually takes Reflectors with Lunar Authority an average of 28 days to make a final decision that’s in line with their design. They don’t have to do nothing during this time, rather, give themselves a chance to trial the decision they might ultimately make. Know that changing your mind is okay.


Profiles are very similar to rising signs (or ascendants) in Western astrology; they allude to how you operate, your modus operandi. The rule of thumb is that if the first number in your Profile is numerically smaller (e.g 2/4) you’ll have a more inward, introspective focus overall, whereas a larger first number (e.g. 5/1) means that you do better gaining knowledge from the external world, then reflecting.

Line 1: The Investigator – Have a need for knowledge.

Line 2: The Hermit – Have a need for alone time.

Line 3: The Martyr – Have a need for experience.

Line 4: The Opportunist – Have a need for expansion.

Line 5: The Heretic – Have a need for influence over others.

Line 6: The Role Model – Have a need for insight and sharing it with others.


Definition in Human Design represents how many defined energy centres are connected to each other through defined channels. Translated, it’s how we relate to others and how we perceive relationships.

No Definition – No defined energy centres, so only Reflectors have this Definition. They need help from their inner circle to gauge relationships/a prospective partner.

Single Definition – Have one area of defined energy centres. They don’t need relationships to feel complete, they already have a sense of “wholeness,” but they do like them. Split Definitions are their best chance of feeling satisfied in a relationship.

Split Definitions – Have two areas of defined energy centres. They are the only Definition type that can find a sense of “wholeness” in a relationship, and are always seeking out a potential “other half.”

Triple Split Definition – Have three areas of defined energy centres. They have the most difficulty finding satisfaction in a monogamous relationship because they need variety – a challenging demand for any partner. Thus they’re most likely to have an open relationship type of arrangement.

Quadruple Split Definition – Are incredibly rare, as they have four areas of defined energy centres. Quadruple Splits appear different depending on who they’re with, as they have such set ways of working. When their Hanging Gates (channels with one half of it coloured in) match with someone who has the opposing Hanging Gate, they behave differently than if they were with someone who had a different Hanging Gate that matched theirs. Quadruple Splits have the greatest tendency to have secret second relationships, because they feel pressure to only have one partner, but need even more variety than Triple Splits.


There are 192 Incarnation Crosses and they essentially summarise your life purpose; what you’re meant to use your innate gifts to achieve in this life. There’s usually a couple of versions of the same overall Incarnation Cross, so when you look up yours (loveyourhumandesign.com is the best to do this), make sure the order of the numbers matches your Incarnation Cross.

Believe it or not, this is just the tip of the iceberg: Human Design goes so much deeper than this. If you’re having trouble reading your BodyGraph or want to learn more about your unique Human Design, you can order a reading from Steph or have her run through yours. Find out more here.

Steph King is your Advice Alchemist. She is a coach and consultant grounded in science, guiding with spirituality and practical advice. She offers personal coaching, custom readings and professional consulting. Find her on Instagram @advicealchemist and on her website.


Find your next best friend or soul mate on the ICBRKR app, available on iOS and Android, and share your positive energy with like-minded people.

To view related posts, click on the relevant hashtags below: