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Human Design Glossary and Chart Meanings

This Human Design glossary of chart meanings is a comprehensive list of the terminology you’ll come across within the Human Design system and as you navigate this site.

Human Design Glossary and Chart Meanings to Help You Decipher Your Body Graph

Human Design glossary | A woman points at words in a book as she reads.

The following list is in alphabetical order:

This refers to the four arrows beside the Head and Ajna energy centers on your Human Design bodygraph. They are left or right-facing and indicate your traits in certain areas of life.

Human Design arrows are also known as variable.

An energy field extending outwards from the body by approximately six feet, with the ability to communicate information about our identity and traits to those around us. 

Auras behave differently, according to our energy type.

Note: energy type is also known as aura type.

The way in which each different aura type is designed to make a correct decision. 

Note: there’s a hierarchy of defined energy centers to determine your authority.

Authority is governed by which of your energy centers are defined, and depending on your type, you may have inner authority or outer authority. The variations include:

  • Emotional authority
  • Sacral authority
  • Splenic authority
  • Ego authority
  • G Center authority
  • Environmental authority
  • Lunar authority

Note: when you have multiple defined centers, there’s a hierarchy for determining your authority.

A body graph or body chart is the visual representation of your genetic design, and the blueprint of who you were born to be and what your role on earth is.

Your own chart is calculated using your birth date, time, and place, with the positions of the planets at that time and three months prior determining the energy / information with which your body is imprinted.

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Each center is represented on a body graph by a geometrical shape.

There are nine energy centers in Human Design:

  • Head center (pressure center)
  • Ajna center (awareness center)
  • Throat center (manifestation center)
  • G center (identity center)
  • Heart center (motor center)
  • Spleen center (awareness center)
  • Solar Plexus center (awareness and motor center)
  • Sacral center (motor center)
  • Root center (pressure and motor center)

These are based around the seven chakras of the Hindu system, with two additional centers (the G center and the Solar Plexus).

Each center is represented on a body graph by a geometrical shape and may be coloured (defined) or white (open / undefined). The definition of your centers determines your aura type.

The chakras are the seven original energy centers in the Hindu chakra system.

Channels are the pathways between the gates located in our energy centers. They may be defined (creating definition) or undefined. 

Conditioning refers to the customs and cultural behaviours we adopt in life which often run contrary to our design.

Conditioning effectively blocks us from embracing our authentic selves and living in alignment with our true nature and life purpose.

If you examine a body graph, you’ll notice it looks a lot like a circuitboard, with three circuits (Individual, Tribal, Collective) and six sub-circuits.

These circuits are known as circuitry.

De-conditioning is the process of consciously letting go of society’s imposed expectations.

Definition indicates a reliable source of consistent energy and may relate to gates, channels, and centers. In gates and channels it’s indicated by black or red fill, and in centers by red, yellow, green, or brown.

Open centers have no defined gates at all.

Definition is created by two defined gates at either end of a channel, and a defined channel also creates definition in each adjoining center.

Note: undefined white centers are those with no defined channels, but which may have defined gates. In contrast, open centers have no defined gates at all.

The red numbers on the lefthand side of a body chart are known as the design line. It represents unconscious traits.

Also known as the body line because it symbolises the physical body, these numbers correspond to the position of each planet 88 days prior to the moment of your birth time. 

The tiny downward facing red or black triangles beside some numbers and planets within the design and personality lines of a body graph.

Detriments indicate planets in a sign opposite its domicile rulership. Essentially, the nature of planets in detriment symbolise a frequency of energy that is diminished / not in alignment with an expected theme in the collective, or is incomplete / requires more work.

Sometimes a detriment will have an upward triangle (exaltation) on top of it, forming a star. This indicates a gate is in juxtaposition, and may oscillate between both energies.

In the Human Design system, everything starts and finishes with life force energy, the source of which is primarily our defined energy centers.

Refers to the tiny upward facing red or black triangles beside some numbers and planets within the design and personality lines of a body graph.

Exaltations indicate planets which have the effect of domicile ownership. Essentially, the nature of planets in exaltation symbolise an elevated frequency of energy.

Sometimes an exaltation will have a downward triangle (detriment) on top of it, forming a star. This indicates a gate is in juxtaposition, and may oscillate between both energies.

When we are not living in alignment with our design, we experience the false self theme. This varies according to aura type, and indicates that a person needs to focus on living their strategy and authority.

Gates are located in our energy centers and stretch halfway across the channels which connect our energy centers. They may be defined (creating definition) or undefined.

Refers to the genetic coding we are imprinted with at birth, according to the Human Design system.

A system developed from Human Design, and with which traditional Human Design has been integrated, to become Integral Human Design.

The symbols used in Human Design to signify planets.

The six lines of the I Ching, one of the ancient principles that forms Human Design, are known as a hexagram.

A New-Age system developed by founder Ra Uru Hu, synthesising the following principles:

  • Astrology
  • Numerology
  • The I Ching
  • The chakra system
  • Kabbalah
  • Quantum physics

Covered in more depth in this post about how to read your Human Design chart.

An ancient Chinese divination text on which (alongside other philosophies) Human Design is based.

Refers to the transfer of information from neutrinos as they pass through the body at birth.

The incarnation cross can be seen as a cross on Human Design mandalas where the personality sun / earth and design sun / earth lines cross.

The incarnation cross is a role or function we each naturally come to inhabit when living correctly to our full expression.

An approach developed from the fusion of traditional Human Design and the Gene Keys system.

According to Human Design, we each have a bio-magnet, known as a Magnetic Monopole, positioned within our sternum and driving the trajectory of our lives.

Electrically neutral particles with a tiny mass which are said to imprint information on every human being at the time of birth. This information is represented on your Human Design body graph. 

An alternative term for the false self theme.

The black numbers on the righthand side of a bodygraph are known as the personality line and represents conscious personality attributes.

The personality line corresponds to the position of each planet at the date and time of actual birth.

Refers to the planets, as well as other celestial bodies including the sun, moon, north node, and south node, denoted by glyphs or symbols.

There are 12 profiles in the Human Design system, made up from combinations of the six profile lines.

Alongside your energy type, your profile can provide additional insight into your design.

A graphic illustration made up of a body chart combined with several of the systems Human Design was developed upon. It comprises:

  • I Ching
  • Zodiac
  • Sephirot fo the Kabbalah
  • Hexagrams
  • Chakras

An alternative term for the rave I Ching.

The pseudonym of Alan Robert Krakower, who founded Human Design, following a mystical experience in 1987. 

The feeling experienced when living in alignment with your strategy and authority. Signature varies according to energy type.

Not a technical name, but these refer to the tiny red or black stars beside some numbers and planets within the design and personality lines of a body graph.

A star is actually made up of an upward and downward triangle on top of each other. These are exaltations and detriments (see above) and indicate that a gate is in juxtaposition, and may oscillate between both energies.

The correct way for each type to interact with external stimulus and use their energy most effectively. These are:

  • Manifestor – to inform
  • Generator – wait to respond
  • Manifesting Generator – wait for a response, and inform
  • Projector – wait for an invitation
  • Reflector – wait a lunar cycle (full cycle of the moon)

Relate to hexagrams which consist of six lines, with the bottom three known as the lower trigram, and the top three as the upper trigram.

There are four or five different types (also known as aura types or energy types) in Human Design.

When strategy and authority are followed and people are living correctly, humanity exists in perfect symbiosis.

There are four main types and one sub-type known as:

  • Manifestor
  • Generator
  • Manifesting Generator
  • Projector
  • Reflector

Human Design types are determined by definition within a body chart, which is calculated using the birth data of an individual.

According to Human Design, there are specific sets of roles to fulfil – a life theme, if you will – and guides to live by for each different type, and when followed humanity exists in perfect symbiosis. These rules can be further broken down and nuanced when examined alongside profile and defined gates.

Refers to the 16 possible configurations, or variables, created by various combinations of the four arrows.