Four Areas to look at in your Human Design Chart
Human Design is big and complex. But rather than get frustrated about where to find more information, I wanted to tap into that sensation we’re craving for a deeper level of self-awareness, and self-realization. Thankfully, there are so many depths to Human Design, aside from your Design Type and Inner Authority. If you want to learn more about HD, this post was written with you in mind.
My BFF Braden and I love mystical subjects. We often personify astrology signs just in order to understand them more thoroughly, and therefore understand those we love in a more wholesome way. So we tiptoed into HD together. I bought an HD book in 2013, but I didn’t understand it. Years later it resurfaced, and I went to my best friend to talk about it. Together, we learned that he is a Manifesting Generator and able to be an incredible well of information if he is living according to his design.
Despite being college besties, a lot of our friendship has been spent long distance. We learned Human Design together, even from afar, but quickly felt a lack of information about the complex subject. The material was there, but it was hard to decipher.
So I travelled to Mexico to visit him and do an intense deep dive on the subject to support one another. We’re both educated journalists (Brayd is a former magazine editor), and we felt determined to investigate… and share. It was like being back in journalism school but a less angry/stressed version of ourselves.
Since Human Design is one of my favourite modalities and something I use daily to help me navigate my life and my relationships, I asked my BFF Brayd if I could access his deep well of knowledge and if he would share four areas to look at in the Human Design chart to help beginners and intermediate explorers understand deeper aspects of their charts. Here’s what he had to say:
Look, we all love astrology.
Learning our moon sign reminds us of how to take care of ourselves. Discovering our rising sign can help guide us to the experiences that make our lives meaningful. Don’t even get me started on the North Node path.
But Human Design? Now we’re getting into the nitty gritty of self-awareness. (And, spoiler alert, the more self awareness we have, the better our lives feel.)
Human Design describes our specific energy, how to honour it, and how to harness it. HD moves past the poetry of astrology and into the practical details of our selves—not what we do, or who raised us, or what traumas we’ve experienced, but who we are on a soul level.
By now, we’ve all entered our birth time at mybodygraph.com and we know our type and our authority. Our type is what kind of energy being we are and how that energy works. Our authority is how to best make decisions based on our exact energetic makeup. This one is a true gift, because it allows us to ignore that incessant voice inside our heads—the one that offers conflicting and often questionable guidance because of how conditioned it is by the society it happens to be a part of, the family who raised it, and the traumas that affected us a children—and instead make our decisions based on the feelings inside us. Doesn’t that sound so simple and so… right? And, more than that, it points to exactly where inside yourself you can check in with for that guiding feeling.
If we just get a good grip on these two bits of information - our Type and our Authority - we can change our lives. But Human Design goes deeper than that—way deeper. The only trouble is, that information isn’t obvious just by looking at a chart. It requires a professional HD reader to decipher it, or else it requires hours studying what the different aspects of the chart mean. And even then, we’re going to have to pay for books or the proprietary software.
So here are four of my favourite places to look at in our HD charts:
1. Get a clearer understanding of your Emotional Energy
Inside the human shape on your HD chart, you’ll see your nine energy centres. Each of them will be either defined (coloured in) or undefined (white). The one defined in pink, the solar plexus centre, is the energy centre that governs our emotions. For about half of us on earth, this centre is defined and for the other half, it’s undefined. Understanding the difference is life-changing.
For those of you who, unlike me, have this centre defined, your emotions are always operating on a consistent wave throughout your life. That wave moves from high, when you feel full of hope and optimism, to low, when you feel despair and sadness, and all the points in between. You can count on your emotions to always be gradually changing from one to the other throughout your life. And both the highs and lows offer you valuable information about your life. In fact, if this centre is defined in your chart, it is automatically your authority. Your feelings matter! It’s a highly sophisticated mechanism for feeling life and making wise, emotionally intelligent decisions based on those feelings. (The trick is not to rush it. If you have a big decisions to make, see how it feels one day and then check in again the next day, so you have time to experience it from different points of your emotional wave.)
For those of you who, like me, have an undefined solar plexus centre, your emotions do not operate in this way. In fact, you’ll notice that when you’re completely alone, you enjoy a pleasant feeling of neutral emotions. But undefined energy centres work like a radio tower. They pick up the frequencies of people with defined energy centres and amplify them. That means, if you’re in the presence of someone with a defined solar plexus, their emotions enter your aura and become magnified. This is great if they’re on the high point of their wave. But after spending time with with my friend on the low end of her wave, the sense of despair—seemingly coming from nowhere—is almost overwhelming. Do you have friends who might make you feel this way? There is good news: These are not your emotions. This is just your body feeling what it’s like to be someone else! Essentially, you’re an empath, here to understand life by feeling how others feel. It will be important to clear out and expel this energy centre so it doesn’t become clogged. Try to sleep alone every now and then, to clear your undefined energy centres out instead of absorbing that energy from your partner.
2. Turn your Fears into SUPERPOWERS
The triangle on the left side of your chart represents your splenic centre. This an ancient energy centre shared by all life on earth, including plants! It’s where we feel our deep, primal fears as well as our intuition and our instincts for survival.
This is a complex centre with seven gates emerging from it. Each gate represents a basic fear that is active in our lives. But the fear is not meant to consume us—it’s meant to drive us forward with intelligence. It’s part of our unique motivation for action and it guides what we offer to the world. So by understanding each fear, we can gain awareness—literally raising our consciousness—so that the fear doesn’t overwhelm our psyche, it simply prompts us into action.
THE SPLENIC GATES
Gate 48: The fear of inadequacy. This is a feeling of not having enough knowledge or talent to cope with life. The trick to turning it around: recognize that this is only a spark to remind you to keep studying, keep learning, and keep honing your skills. You already have the talent. Now how will you let it grow?
Gate 57: The fear of the future. The feeling of not being prepared for what’s to come. Empower yourself by recognizing that you are one of the humans meant to generate the plan (and the fallback plan). We can’t know the future. But we can trust ourselves to be ready for it.
Gate 44: The fear of the past. The feeling of not wanting to repeat the mistakes prior generations made. Flip it on its head by simply… not repeating those mistakes. End your generational trauma, refuse to carry unhealthy behaviours into the future. (And recognize that you’ll always be a person with a good eye for trends and patterns—total superpower.)
Gate 50: The fear of taking responsibility for others. This is the feeling of not wanting to be in charge of others happiness. Overcome this by recognizing that you’re not responsible for their happiness and nurture others’ independence.
Gate 32: The fear of failure. The feeling that you won’t be able to survive on the physical plane. Transcend this fear by recognizing that failure is an illusion. What we call “failure” is just one of many possible results from our actions. What matters is what we do next, how we make the best of those results. Remember, Play-Doh was a failed attempt at wallpaper cleaner.
Gate 28: The fear of death. The feeling that we could die at any moment. And it’s true! The trick is to let it motivate you to overcome complacency and honour the fact that life is precious, limited, and fleeting. When those with this gate feel unbalanced, the fear of death can be paralyzing. Those with a good grasp on this fear know how to take risks—because why the hell not? We could die tomorrow. That’s why they call it the Gate of the Game Player.
Gate 18: The fear of authority. This can manifest as an uncertainty in one’s own authority, and therefore giving it up to others, always seeking the answer in somebody else. But in its healthy form, this is a person who is ready to challenge authority when that authority has proven itself untrustworthy. These are the people who start revolutions.
3. Stop taking advice meant for other people
You see those four arrows at the top of the chart? They look simple, but their meaning is huge and complex—so complex that I can’t fully go into it here. But essentially, they’re called “variables” and they represent how our cognition was meant to flourish. If we dive deep enough, they can tell us everything from how to eat, where to eat, what environments suit us for living, and how to manifest our dreams.
Clockwise from top left, the arrows represents digestion (which includes not just food but also new information and experiences), environment, perspective, and awareness. Left arrows denote yang energy: focused, active, and strategic action. Right arrows have yin energy: passive, receptive, and peripheral observation.
With four arrows and two options for each, there are 16 possible combinations, full of complexities in terms of how they manifest in each person. (Jenna Zoe offers a few paid programs for finding out, for example, how best to eat.) But for now, here are a few useful takeaways:
The bottom right arrow:
If this arrow points left, you are a specific manifestor. Whatever you want to achieve or gain in this life will be done best if you get really specific about it, down to the detail of what you want to happen. Ask the universe for the exact position you want at the exact company you want to work at.
If this arrow points right, you are a non-specific manifestor, like me! We find more success if we ask the universe to bring us general experiences rather than getting bogged down in the specifics. Ask for a new, more challenging job that brings more abundance, but be open to what that ends up looking like. The universe will fill in the blanks in a way that’s more beautiful than we could ever anticipate.
The top left arrow:
If this points left, you are someone who needs to focus on one task at a time, and daily routines work well for you.
If this points right, you’ll always get more out of life if you can allow yourself to go with the flow, let life come to you, and respond to it based on your authority.
You see what this points to, right? All those times you read an article that told you to get serious about your morning routine, to be disciplined in your approach to life and learning… that would have been incorrect advice for someone with a lot of right arrows. This is the gift of Human Design. Those things about ourselves that we wish we could change, that make us feel small and bad about ourselves? They might actually be exactly the way we’re supposed to get those most out of life. It’s time to embrace our individuality.
4. Look at the Energetic Chemistry you have with others!
In every chart, there are a series of gates emerging from the energy centres. These are little red or black lines that stem from one of your energy centres. Some of these connect to other gates coming from other energy centres, and these create channels. Both channels and gates are like a list of our gifts and abilities—the black ones are conscious, and we’re probably aware of them. The red ones are unconscious, and we might not realize they’re a part of us. (But I bet the people around us do.)
If you have matching gates that match those of someone else, this indicates a likelihood of friendship. You’ll just get each other, and you’ll tackle life in much the same way.
If you have one gate and someone else has the corresponding gate coming from the opposite side, together you create a channel. This is called an electromagnetic connection, and often these indicate the potential for a romantic connection.
For instance, Vaness has three gates emerging from her throat centre that match up with three gates coming from her partner’s solar plexus, G centre, and splenic centre. And when you watch them together in a room, you can literally see how she’s able to speak for him—and when she does, he sits there silently, nodding along to everything she says. Their electromagnetic connection is undeniable. It’s beautiful and fascinating to watch.
Reading deeper into our chart, and the charts of our loved ones, is endlessly fascinating and can be really illuminating. But it’s important to remember that what Human Design is trying to do is put cosmic, endlessly complex energies into limited human words. There may come a point where you feel like something from HD doesn’t sit well with your soul. That’s OK! Trust yourself.
I always take author Ainsley Mcleod’s advice when I’m taking in new spiritual info and ask myself these two questions: Does this make sense? And, does this empower me? If so, carry on. If not, I just let it go. The point of all this stuff is to come to know ourselves better. And the deeper part of ourselves knows when it’s being seen. We feel it.
Braden Alexander is a writer, editor, and spiritual seeker who uses astrology, Human Design, and metaphysical teachings to help people reconnect to their soul’s purpose. www.bradendalexander.com.