Human Design Terms


Human Design offers you a framework for understanding how to live your life as the unique individual that you were created to be. It shows you your genetic imprinting and the gifts and challenges you are here to experience. Human Design gives you a framework for discovering how your environment and the people around you influence you. When you know yourself at this deep level, you can make changes which will significantly improve your well being so that you are free to function at your very best in an authentic way.

As you start or deepen your journey, it may be helpful for you to review some terms that are part of the shared vocabulary of Human Design. So please enjoy this list of terms and their definitions.





Mandala: The Mandala is the colored wheel which surrounds the Body Graph. It is somewhat like a clock in the sense that it marks the themes which are activated at the time of birth and 88 days prior to birth.  The outer ring of the mandala is divided into 64 partitions that represent Gates. The 64 Gates are representative of themes which are understood through the 64 Hexgrams of the I’Ching. Each Gate is  further divided into six Lines. They are are somewhat like the second hand on a clock, and indicate a deeper understanding of how the theme of the Gate is experienced. The 12 astrological signs are placed on the inner wheel of the Mandala, indicating the astrological influences upon the design.

Body Graph: The Body Graph is in the center of the Mandala.  It lays out the calculated imprints which are taken from the outer rings of the Mandala and puts them into a visual format that can be related back to the human body. The Body Graph shows how the Gates activate the body’s nine energy Centers, which are derived from the Hindu Chakra system. The relationship between centers is understood through the Sephiroth of Kabala.

Centers: The Nine Centers in the Body Graph are represented by the square, and triangular or diamond-shaped areas within the chart. Each one is related to a different realm of experience… inspiration, thought, manifestation, love, ego, emotion, instinct, adrenalized action and fertility. Centers can either be Defined (colored in) or Undefined (not colored in). A defined center indicates that there is a consistency in the experience it reflects. An undefined centers indicates an openness to other people’s experiences who have definition in the center. It gives the person without definition the potential to understand it at a very deep level. Type and Authority are determined by how the Centers are Defined and connected to each other.

Motorized Centers: The Emotional Solar Plexus, Root, Heart/Will, and Sacral Centers are all motorized. This means that they move energy through the body for work and activity.

Awareness Center: The Spleen, Ajna and Emotional Solar Plexus are all Awareness Centers. The Awareness Centers give us the ability to process information and awareness about ourselves.

Gates: There are a total of 64 Gates which correspond to the 64 hexagrams of the I’Ching. Each gate in the Body Graph has a number (which doesn’t change its position in the chart). Each number indicates the hexagram that it is related to, which can be studied to understand the theme it represents. When a gate is colored in it is defined, and like the colored in centers, is able to be experienced consistently. Each  defined  Gate  in  the chart adds a different “flavor” to  your personality.

Channels: There are 32 channels in the Human Design body graph. Channels are lines that span all the way between two Centers. When an entire line or Channel is colored in (defined) then the centers on either end of the channel will also be colored in (defined).  Centers are open (not colored in)  when they have no fully colored channels attached to it.

Type: Human Design groups people into 5 different “personality” or energetic categories called Types: Manifestors, Generators, Manifesting Generators (a sub-group of Generators), Projectors and Reflectors. Each type has a unique strategy for making decisions and cultivating practices which affirm their unique gifts.  Read more about the types HERE.

Strategy & Authority: Each energy Type has its own Strategy and Authority. Strategy and Authority point to the parts of us that guide us into our unique process for making decisions which support our genuine gifts.  Strategy and Authority lead to better self understanding, clarity, and the ability to live an authentic life.

Conditioning: Conditioning is a term for how you live out the energetic, emotional and mental influences of the people and environment around you. Undefined Centers are very sensitive to Conditioning.  That is not necessarily a bad thing.  It is just a thing to understand and to cultivate awareness around.  Defined centers can also be influenced by others and the environment, and will show up as consistent patterns of behavior which may or may not serve the individual.

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