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The 5 Human Design Aura Types – Understanding Your Life & Energy in Context

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An overview of the five Human Design aura types: The influence each one can have, and how to live in alignment with your unique strategy and authority in order to flourish, according to the system.

What Are the 5 Aura Types in Human Design?

Human Design types | Image shows a lily beside an aroma stick on a white background.

The Human Design system is a specific way of approaching life, based around the principles and concepts of the I Ching, astrology, Kabbalah, the chakra system, and quantum physics. 

I’m going to walk you through the different aura types in this Human Design guide.

Founded by Ra Uru Hu (formerly Alan Krakower), the system states that all human beings are one of five energy ‘types’ and discovering your own aura is the first thing to do when learning about the philosophy. The different types are:

  • Manifestors
  • Generators
  • Manifesting Generators
  • Projectors
  • Reflectors

Technically there are four types, with Manifesting Generators being a subtype sharing traits with both Manifestors and Generators. For the sake of clarity and because despite having similarities MG’s are unique in their own right, I always talk about the 5 different aura types.

According to Ra Uru Hu, the types interact in a beautiful dance, collaborating for mutual benefit.

Understanding your own unique chart will open up the world of Human Design to you.

So, what separates these different energy types? It’s tied to our unique designs, which are based on the positions of the planets on your birth date and birth time, as well as three months prior. 

(An important note, just to really confuse you… When we talk about planets in Human Design, it’s not the same as the planets you’re familiar with from school – although it does include them! But it also includes the sun, moon, north node, and south node.)

This information can be used to create a personalised free Human Design chart, called a body graph, and is expressed as the personality and design lines, which are the lists of black and red numbers beside each planet. 

Every type has its own strategy.

You can also identify your Human Design profile from your bodygraph, which is the closest thing to your astrological sun sign.

Having access to and understanding your own unique chart will open up the world of Human Design to you.

How Do the Human Design Energy Types Influence Personality?

Your personality type governs your character to some extent, but more so the different ways in which you should interact with the world around you, and the auras of other types. Every type has one of several Human Design authority types, and its own strategy to help them work with, rather than against their energy flow:

Human Design inner authority diagram.
Human Design inner authority diagram.
  1. Splenic authority (Splenic center defined) 

Tied to primal, intuitive feelings.

  1. Emotional authority (Solar Plexus center defined) 

Feels things out through an emotional wave of information.

  1. Ego authority (Heart center defined)

Operates on willpower.

  1. Sacral authority (Sacral center defined)

Sounds like an ‘uh-huh’ (yes), or ‘nuh-uh’ (no) coming from the gut.

  1. Self-projected / G center authority (G center defined)

Manifests as an internal voice, which may spill out of the mouth.

  1. Environmental authority / Mental Projectors (no defined centers)

Bounces ideas off of others to gain clarity.

  1. None / lunar authority (no defined centers, but able to rely on lunar cycles for guidance)

Requires time to be certain of a correct action.

How the energy centers are connected is ultimately what determines your energy type.

In Human Design, the important thing is living in alignment with your strategy and making any major decisions according to your inner authority, which combined are said to help achieve a fulfilled and peaceful life.

You can discover more about these concepts through sites like this, or if you prefer you could hire a Human Design expert to help you to interpret your body graph and what it means for you.

One of the things you’ll learn about is the 9 energy centers in the human body; how these energy centers are connected (or not), and whether they’re open or defined, is ultimately what determines your energy type.

An undefined center has no consistent access to a reliable energy source, whereas defined centers do. And in fact, while I’ve referred to energy types throughout this article, there are actually two non-energy types within Human Design (Projectors and Reflectors).

Learn more about definition and split definition in Human Design.

Let’s take a look at the specific connections of each Human Design type:

The 5 Human Design types.
The 5 Human Design types.
  • Manifestors: Have a direct connection from a motor center to the Throat center. Undefined Sacral.
  • Generators: Have a defined Sacral, no connection to the Throat center.
  • Manifesting Generators: Have a defined Sacral with direct connection to the Throat center.
  • Projectors: Have no direct connection from any motor centers to the Throat center. Open Sacral center. At least two other centers are defined. Non-energy type.
  • Reflectors: No defined centers. Non-energy type.

Now let’s look at each type and the aura functions a little more closely…

The Manifestor

Diagram of the Manifestor.

Pure Manifestors make up around 9% of the population.

Manifestors have a powerful energy.

RoleManifestors are here to get things started and initiate new ideas.

Manifestor AuraClosed and repelling; the opposite of the Generator’s aura.

TraitsPowerful forces of nature with potential for great impact.

Strategy: Inform others of your plans and initiate

Manifestors have a powerful energy which harnessed correctly, can be hugely influential. The correct way to proceed without hitting a lot of resistance is simply by informing others of what to expect, before acting. Crucially, this is not the same as asking permission.

Inner Authority Variations

  • Splenic
  • Emotional
  • Ego

Not-Self Theme: Anger

Being in the company of the wrong people or suppressing their true feelings or wishes can bring about the false self theme for Manifestors. 

Signature: Peace

On the other hand, when a Manifestor is able to enjoy autonomy, execute their creative flow, and honour their true nature without opposition, they will experience their signature of peace.

Read more about the Human Design Manifestor.

The Generator

Human Design Generator diagram.

Pure Generators make up around 38% of the population.

The importance of the Sacral response cannot be overstated.

RoleGenerators are here to build.

Generator AuraExpansive, open, enveloping, and inviting; the opposite of the Manifestor’s aura.

TraitsEnduring, with consistent access to life-force energy making them the worker bees of society.

Strategy: Wait to respond

For Generators and Manifesting Generators, their strategy is to wait and respond. While the word ‘wait’ may be confusing, in practice it simply means waiting for the gut feeling of their Sacral response to make itself known before responding. They’ve no need to fear waiting – their holistic energy field draws others to them.

The importance of the Sacral response for both types cannot be overstated. Initiating and making big decisions based upon mental thoughts instead of listening for a yes or no Sacral sound interferes with access to Sacral energy.

Inner Authority Variations

  • Sacral
  • Splenic
  • Emotional

Not-Self Theme: Frustration

Incorrect energy usage results in all authority types of Generators experiencing their false self theme, for example, if they attempt to initiate.

Signature: Satisfaction

The signature is derived from feeling the benefits of living in alignment with their strategy and inner authority.

Read more about the Human Design Generator.

The Manifesting Generator

Diagram of the Manifesting Generator.

MG’s have a blend of Manifestor and Generator energy, and make up around 32% of the population.

There’s some debate around whether the MG’s strategy.

RoleManifesting Generators are here to build and find the most efficient way to mastery.

AuraSensitive, receptive.

TraitsEnergetically intense, dynamic, and powerful.

Strategy: Inform and respond

There’s some debate around whether the MG’s strategy includes informing. Some suggest that since they are technically a subcategory of Generator types, they are not designed to inform, which is a Manifestor trait.

Inner Authority Variations

  • Sacral
  • Emotional

Not-Self Theme: Frustration and anger

The false self theme of the MG is no surprise, since these are the note-self themes of the Manifestor and Generator.

Signature: Peace

Likewise, the signature of the Mani Gen is also peace.

Read more about the Human Design Manifesting Generator.

The Projector

Diagram of the Projector.

Projectors make up around 20% of the population.

Projectors who wait will be rewarded.

RoleProjectors are here to direct and guide others; this is the most efficient use of their energy resources.

Projector AuraProjecting and absorbing.

Projectors absorb, expand, and reflect the energy of others, which can leave them drained.

TraitsEfficient leaders and teachers.

Strategy: Wait for an invitation

This is the only way for Projectors to proceed if they want to be heard, otherwise their words will likely fall on deaf ears. Adult Projectors who wait will be rewarded by the right people inviting them to share their uniquely great wisdom.

Inner Authority Variations

  • Emotional
  • Splenic Projectors
  • Self-projected / G center
  • Ego / heart-projected
  • Mental Projectors / environmental

Note: Mental Projectors always have a defined Ajna center and a defined Head and / or Throat-center. All other centers below the Throat are undefined centers / open centers.

Mental Projectors with environmental authority have a unique way of interacting with the world that is unlike any other type. Alongside Reflectors who have lunar authority, they are the only other type with an authority which is not internal.

Not-Self Theme: Bitterness

Bitterness can be experienced when the Projector absorbs too much energy from others without sufficient rest, or from trying to initiate an invitation.

Signature: Success

When a Projector is in alignment with their strategy and authority, they’ll experience recognition and, ultimately, success.

Read more about the Human Design Projector’s aura.

The Reflector

Diagram of the Reflector.

Reflectors are lunar beings who make up around 1% of the population.

Reflectors are sensitive to lunar cycles.

RoleReflectors are here to absorb energy and reflect it back into the world.

Reflector Aura – Resistant, sampling, and reflecting.

TraitsObservant and wise, with a gift for reading people.

Strategy: To wait a full lunar cycle

As a lunar being, a Reflector is sensitive to lunar cycles and tends to feel differently about situations depending on the position of the moon. 

With this in mind, they should focus on how they feel in the present moment, and embrace their strategy to wait for a full cycle of the moon to pass before making important decisions.

Inner Authority Variations

  • None / lunar authority

Not-Self Theme: Disappointment

Experiencing disappointment is a sign to the Reflector that something in their life is not working.

Signature: Surprise

When a Reflector is living correctly, they’ll experience a feeling of awed surprise and wonder at the beauty in the world.

Read more about the Human Design Reflector.

What the Science Says

I’m a big fan of psychology, and there are undoubtedly some fascinating concepts within the Human Design system.

However, there is no evidence to support it as a reliable theory.

A particular element that concerns me is how people can be pigeon-holed according to their so-called ‘type’, especially in terms of ‘signature’ and the ‘false self’.

According to Human Design philosophy, living your type’s signature – or living ‘correctly’ as it’s referred to within the complex system – grossly oversimplifies how a human being experiences the world.

Feelings are transient, and everybody is susceptible to them.

The human condition involves a spectrum of incredibly complex and versatile emotions, and our circumstances inevitably influence these, week by week, day by day, and even minute by minute.

Yet Human Design suggests that anyone having a bad day or week is, essentially, failing.

Worse – that success is attainable according to a set of rules specific to each person’s aura.

The reality is that feelings are transient, and everybody is susceptible to them – all of them – occasionally. That’s human – and it’s healthy. Facing adversity is what builds resilience1.

Further, if you carefully examine the signature and not-self themes of each type, the precise terms used are in some cases direct synonyms for each other. 

For the remaining few that are not literal synonyms, when the words are taken within the context of their meanings, the overlap is seen again. For example, surprise is not a synonym for peace, but in the context of a Reflector’s not-self theme, its meaning is awe and wonder at the world, which could be said to be a form of peace and satisfaction.

It’s also worth noting that nobody can be happy all of the time. Even when living in alignment with the (arguably arbitrary) rules of Human Design, it is entirely natural that everybody will experience fluctuating emotions – and that’s a positive thing:

There is no light without darkness.

Unknown

Likewise, there is no success without failure, we can’t attain peace without first working through our frustrations and disappointments, and experiencing hardship can help us to appreciate the good in our lives2.

In fact, studies have shown that having a sense of purpose is a critical element of wellbeing, both for the physical body3 and mentally4. In other words, striving for a goal is itself a key component of happiness.

Signature reading Kate, with a heart.

Sources

  1. Seery, M. D. (2011) ‘Resilience: A Silver Lining to Experiencing Adverse Life Events?’, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(6), pp. 390–394. doi: 10.1177/0963721411424740.
  2. Croft A, Dunn EW, Quoidbach J. From Tribulations to Appreciation: Experiencing Adversity in the Past Predicts Greater Savoring in the Present. Social Psychological and Personality Science. 2014;5(5):511-516. doi:10.1177/1948550613512510.
  3. Cohen, Randy MD, MS; Bavishi, Chirag MD, MPH; Rozanski, Alan MD Purpose in Life and Its Relationship to All-Cause Mortality and Cardiovascular Events, Psychosomatic Medicine: February/March 2016 – Volume 78 – Issue 2 – p 122-133 doi: 10.1097/PSY.0000000000000274.
  4. Yoona Kang, PhD, Danielle Cosme, PhD, Rui Pei, PhD, Prateekshit Pandey, MA, José Carreras-Tartak, BA, Emily B Falk, PhD, Purpose in Life, Loneliness, and Protective Health Behaviors During the COVID-19 Pandemic, The Gerontologist, Volume 61, Issue 6, September 2021, Pages 878–887, https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnab081.

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