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Learning the Lingo The Bodygraph The Open Centers

If you're particularly intrigued by a certain Human Design term or concept, hop right to it by clicking on one of the the links below. (To return to this list, just click on one of the many 'Top' links located on the right side of page.):

Type and Strategy

-- Generators
-- Projectors
-- Manifestors
-- Reflectors

Definition and Openness
(Nature vs. Nurture)
Red & Black
(Conscious and Unconscious)
The Magnetic Monopole
Human Design, a chiropractic
adjustment for the body and soul


Human Design as a system is all about celebrating (and investigating to the very depths) the uniqueness of each individual.  Well-trained Human Design analysts can literally sit you down, look at your Bodygraph, and talk to you for about 2 weeks without running out of material.  As a genetically endowed human being living in an abundantly complex universe, there are literally limitless possibilities within you.

And yet, at the same time, when it comes to the practical application of this knowledge, there is so little you actually need to know.  For example, Human Design boils the human population down to four Types:  Manifestors, Generators, Projectors and Reflectors. Each Type has a particular Strategy for living that can enhance health and well-being, as well as minimize resistance and emotional suffering.

Some like to think of Type as the particular kind of cell or biological form that we happen to be living in.  So, if our planet is a single living organism, then we human beings are a bunch of cells in this organism, and there are four distinct groups of us.  Some of us 'cells' tend to do particularly well with a certain kind of fuel or food, while others of us do better with other kinds.  Our Strategy is what leads us to the proper nutrients -- the right people, environments, opportunities and experiences.  So when we follow our Strategy, we learn how to keep our ‘form’ healthy, how to make good decisions, and how to recognize when we’re on the right path. 

This is why people often say that learning about your Type and Strategy is like receiving a manual for your life, or like getting a cookbook that shows you how to nourish your body (and brain!) so that it can operate at its very best … and take your 'soul' for the fascinating, flowing and life-affirming ride it’s meant to have.

As I wrote earlier, there are four main Types in the Human Design System.  Of course, there is endless variation within each Type, but for now, let’s remain on the surface.  Here are some of the basic qualities associated with each Type:


Generators are infinitely creative, energetic and productive Buddha beings.  They have enveloping auras, taking everyone and everything in.  They’re here to be absolutely authentic, to be deeply satisfied by their work, and to be respected for the valuable energy they bring to relationships, jobs and environments.

Generators make up approximately 70% of the human population.  So they’re everywhere!  (Which is a good thing, because this world needs a whole lot of people who are capable of perfecting and building things in increasingly efficient ways!)

There are two kinds of Generators – Pure Generators and Manifesting Generators.  While the two certainly have their differences, they both are here to RESPOND FIRST, and ACT SECOND.  Living in a manifestation-obsessed culture, however, the majority of Generators learn early on to be proactive, to initiate their lives based on the ideas they have in their heads, without ever checking in with their intelligent 'gut-brains' to see whether they actually have the energy they need to not only do the work, but to love it. 

Generators must learn to respect themselves and value their own energy if they are to discover and live out their unique life purpose.  The best way for them to do this is by waiting for life and opportunities to come to them, and then to pay attention to the wisdom of their highly responsive (and vocal!) bellies.  When presented with an opportunity that is right for them, they literally come alive.  They might even hum. 

The genuine response of Manifesting Generators can be super intense; they can be like dynamic rocket ships, birthing projects into being with a productive burst of energy that keeps on going until it falls flat, and recharges.  Once initiated, they are nothing less than Buddha Warriors; their energy is not only built for efficiency; it is unstoppable, which is why it’s so important that they learn to be patient and selective before saying ‘yes’ to something.

The response of Pure Generators is more fluid and rhythmic.  It’s less about incredible staying power, and more about letting go into the flow, going step by step, and making quantum leaps in mastery when they’re ready.  Pure Generators are deeply resilient.  More than anyone, they can embody the true art of pacing, learning to be with obstacles until they have their break-throughs.  They have the potential to truly enjoy the rhythms of the earth, the seasons, and to act as deeply stabilizing forces on the planet.

When Generators push too hard trying to make things happen, or spread themselves too thin doing things that don’t truly excite them, they can really end up feeling frustrated and/or angry, even like slaves.  They can also meet a great deal of inner and outer resistance.

All Generators, thus, are here to learn the same beautiful lesson: to relax, be patient, and to trust that when they allow life to come to them, life simply flows through them. In the end, for Generators, response is the easiest path of all, and life is designed to be an eternal adventure!

Some famous Pure Generators:  Einstein, Dalai Lama, Bill Clinton, Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Carl Jung, Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Mozart

Some famous Manifesting Generators:  Hillary Clinton, Jimi Hendrix, Clint Eastwood, Sigmund Freud, Marie Antoinette, Friedrich Nietzsche, Mother Teresa



Only 21% of the population, Projectors are bright, curious, energetically sensitive beings who are deeply interested in others.  They have very attractive, penetrating auras that go right into the core of people.  Projectors are here to learn, to interact, and to facilitate the doing of others, as opposed to do, do, do themselves.  They’re also here to be recognized for their true gifts, to understand the nature of systems, and to guide and integrate the energy of the people around them.  Projectors bring the potential for a new form of leadership into the world.  They’re not designed to work using their own energy. Instead, they’re here to surf and direct the energy of others. 

Projectors, more than anything, need to be seen for who they are and invited by those who see them before they can live out their life purpose. Like Generators, most Projectors are taught early on to initiate their lives based on ambitious mental agendas.  Many end up working harder than anyone else, for people who just don’t ‘get’ them, and end up feeling exhausted, invisible and/or deeply bitter.  In their attempts to get noticed, or to share what they see and know (which quite often is a LOT) to the people around them, they can end up ‘feeding their many pearls to the pigs’ and/or being experienced as interfering and annoying, as opposed to the incredibly wise beings that they are.

The main Strategy for Projectors is to wait for the invitation, especially when it comes to the major decisions in their life.  This means waiting to be invited into a ‘marriage,’ a relationship, a career/calling, or a place to live. ‘Right’ invitations come from people who see them clearly, appreciate their gifts, and both want and need their guidance.  Waiting for the invitation is like a healthy screening process, ensuring that their highest potential is appreciated, their knowledge is wanted, and that their guiding talents are utilized by those who truly need them. 

Awakened Projectors live a life full of trust.  They trust that the right people, the right invitations, the right opportunities will see them, will come to them.  It is this trust, this faith, that ultimately gives them the courage not to live a life full of compromise – which is about the worst (and most tempting!) thing a Projector can do.

Once Projectors have accepted a ‘right’ invitation, they are free to respond, manifest, reflect, share their knowledge, guide, lead or whatever they like.  So this ‘waiting’ is truly only about the entry process to the big life events.  Sometimes all Projectors need is one ally, one person who totally gets their genius, to turn a life of invisibility into one of promising recognition.

A few famous Projectors:  Barak Obama, Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth II, Mick Jagger, Osho, Woody Allen, Barbara Streisand, Fidel Castro, Shirley MacLaine, James Joyce, Brad Pitt, John F. Kennedy, Hugh Hefner, Karl Marx, Marilyn Monroe  



Manifestors are freedom-loving, potently energetic, and rare warrior beings (only 8% of the population) who are designed to be proactive, to lead and to have a big impact.  They have powerful, self-contained, provocative auras that can either ‘repel’ people, or let them in selectively.  They are the only Type that is actually here to act on their own, to initiate projects, relationships and experiences, to get balls rolling. They can be deeply empowering to others, especially if they cultivate good listening skills. Manifestors, historically, have been the leaders of the world, although their top-down style of leadership is losing its hold, as other forms of co-creative, energetically attuned, movement-backed leadership styles are gaining momentum.

Adult Manifestors are not here to be told what to do, or to ask permission.  When they feel controlled, manipulated or unable to move and act freely, they can feel angry, and either do their thing despite everyone around them, or become deeply repressed, turning their anger against themselves.

Ironically, Manifestors (unlike all of the other Types) are typically conditioned not to be Manifestors!  Because their parents can find them difficult to ‘control’ or emotionally access as children, many of their parents make the mistake of putting an all-too-tight leash around them, preventing them from following the beat of their own drummer, and ultimately teaching them to sit back and wait for things to happen, or, to get lost in work lives full of drudgery often initiated by others -- as opposed to going out and making wonderful things happen, empowering and inspiring others to work in fulfilling projects, which is one of their greatest potentials. 

Manifestor children need to understand how unique and creative they are, and that even though they themselves might not be aware of it, they have a big impact on the people around them, simply by being themselves.  If harnessed well and channeled respectfully, there is no limit to their power of manifestation. 

Manifestor children also need to learn how to ask for permission, and to learn basic social skills that show politeness and respect.  It’s not that they are not capable of of doing what they want without permission. More than any other Type, they are exceedingly equipped to act alone (which is why they may not experience the same level of 'neediness' that other Types do).  The thing is that if Manifestor children don’t ask for permission, they can wind up with so many anxious adults around them that their wings are inadvertently clipped. Because Manifestor children have an intrinsic sense of their independence, it can be hard for them to learn how to ask for permission.  Letting them know that doing so is really for their own good, that it actually will increase their freedom, not diminish it, can really help!

Manifestor adults need to learn how to inform others before they go ahead and take action – especially the people who are likely to be impacted by their actions.  When they don’t inform the people in their lives, they can be met with great resistance and a lack of cooperation.  Their friends, family members, co-workers, employees can feel disregarded, unneeded, and/or bulldozed.  When, out of an understanding of their own impact, Manifestors show basic human courtesy and take the time to fill people in on their dreams and plans, they can inspire an astounding amount of cooperation and enthusiasm from the people around them, and of course, manifest wonderful projects, creations and achievements in the world. 

A few famous Manifestors:  Al Gore, Adolph Hitler, George Bush, Johnny Depp, J. Edgar Hoover, Krishnamurti, Jerry Seinfeld, Susan Sarandan, Ruchard Burton, B.F. Skinner, Jack Nicholson, Robert DeNiro, Ra Uru Hu (the man who brought Human Design into the world)  



Of all the Types, Reflectors are the most rare.  They make up less than 2% of the population.  They are deeply open, receptive, sensitive beings, able to take people in, enjoy the feeling of being surprised, and cultivate tremendous wisdom.  Life moves through them all of the time.  But just because it moves through them doesn’t mean it ‘sticks.’ Reflectors have what in Human Design is called a “Teflon” aura; it is designed to take everything in, yet keep nothing at the same time. (Think of Ammaji, also known as 'the hugging guru' -- a Reflector able to hug thousands of people in a single day, some very sick, without the slightest trace of burnout or infectedness.) You could say that Reflectors have the capacity to graze environments, to literally digest the atmosphere, and to reflect back all of the collective energies, themes and issues that they pick up and metabolize. 

Finding the right environment, the right community, the right collective ‘meal’ to digest and reflect back, is so deeply important for Reflectors.  The more ‘positive’ the frequency they can reflect, the more wonderful they can feel, and the more powerful a role they can play in the world around them.  At their most awakened state, Reflectors are designed to have entire communities revolve around them!  In fact, Reflectors are here to transcend what most of us experience as a personal agenda.  They have the potential to actually be a PLACE.

Because Reflectors are so gifted at reading the collective temperature, like canaries in coal mines, they can also spot anyone or anything that stands out from the crowd.  If someone steps out of line, a Reflector will notice before anyone else.  If someone is actually living an authentic life, if someone has risen above and beyond the limitations of ‘group-think,’ a Reflector will notice this too. (An awakened Reflector, more than anyone else, will rejoice in the happy surprise of a genuinely authentic, free being.)

Because Reflectors are so unusual, they are often deeply misunderstood.  Very few parents or teachers, for example, are able to reflect Reflectors back to themselves.  It follows that many Reflectors don’t know who they are or how they operate.  When they don’t understand their unusual gifts, they can suffer a great deal and experience deep disappointment.  Some can become quite disturbed and lost, out of this understandable confusion. 

The Reflector’s Strategy is different than any other Type, in that it is completely connected to the cycle of the moon.   Ideally, Reflectors need to wait out a full moon cycle (approximately 28 days) before making important decisions.  It is through this waiting period that they talk to caring yet neutral listeners, listen to their own voice as they speak about their situation, and gather all of the information that they need, including the necessary wisdom to know what and who is truly right for them.  To fully understand and apply their beautiful yet complex Strategy, Reflectors benefit more than any other Type from a deep knowledge of Human Design.

A Few Famous Reflectors:   Ammaji (the hugging guru), Vladimir Horowitz, Doestoevsky



In our everyday lives on this planet, many of us find ourselves pulled in a million directions, often away from our own internal sense of what is right for us.  Without even realizing it, we take in and come to own the values, beliefs and habits of those around us.  We walk around with our parents, teachers, peers, bosses, institutions, cultural leaders, even global trends speaking to us through ‘shoulds’ in our minds, telling us what to do, and why not doing it would be a bad, even dangerous idea! More often than not, the conditioning forces in our lives contradict each other, making our task of ‘figuring out’ what to do even more difficult and confusing.

Of course, just as it is in our nature to have active crazy minds, it is in our nature as human beings to be influenced, to be penetrable.  Our Openness is one of our most wonderful qualities. Without the nurturing influence of others, few of us would ever reach our full potential as unique and yet interconnected human beings. And yet, when it comes to the process of making decisions, we can get so lost.  So ‘under the influence’ that we can’t feel our truth at all. 

What we call Authority in Human Design is that place we can turn to for Truth -- that part of us that we can trust to make our decisions in life, and to honor our own right timing.  Not everyone has the same kind of Authority, so one person’s decision-making process can look and feel much different from another’s. Just as an example: One person might be designed to rely on her intuitive 'hits' in the moment, while another might be designed to 'feel out' people, situations and opportunities over time before knowing who and what is right for him.

Human Design puts each of us in touch with our own unique truth-detecting system, so that in any given moment, we can make the most of the gifts we receive from the outside world without losing ourselves, or our ground, in the process.



Your Profile can shed light on your life purpose, or the unique role that you, as a beautiful unique cell on this planetary organism, are meant to play out in life.  It can also shed light on some of the major themes you are likely to encounter in life, as you move toward living out your true purpose.  At least when it comes to Human Design, your life purpose is nothing that you have to go out and try to make happen.  It is designed to happen naturally, as a result of your living your life as yourself.

There are many different profiles in the Human Design system, each with its own gifts, challenges and set of paradoxes. Learning about yours in a Reading can actually bring a great deal of relief and permission to be yourself.

To learn about PROFILE READINGS,

BLACK AND RED (Personality and Design)

In order to arrive at a complete Human Design body graph, two calculations are necessary.  One is called the Personality calculation.  Represented by all of the black lines in your Bodygraph, the Personality is derived by your actual time of birth, and reflects aspects of what you’re likely to find in a traditional astrology chart. 

The other calculation, which is unique to Human Design, is called the Design Calculation.  Represented by all of the red lines in your Bodygraph, this is a prenatal calculation, made exactly 88 days, or degrees of the sun, before the day of birth.  Some say this is when the soul fully enters the body before we are born.


PERSONALITY (the Passenger) 

The Black in your Bodygraph points towards what you already know about yourself, what you find most easy to relate to in your reading.  This conscious part of you reflects who and what you think you are. 

For the more ‘spiritually’ inclined, think of the Personality as your Soul Identity -- that part of you that is eternal, that at least in some form (or non-form), existed before you came into this body, and will exist after you leave it. 

For the more ‘earthly’ inclined, think of your Personality as your mind, your witnessing capacity, the ‘you’ that goes to therapy to work on issues that you are all too aware of.  This Personality is connected to – or finds its voice through -- the neo-cortex of the brain, that part of you that can self-reflect. 

It is your Personality that has so much trouble ‘getting’ that it’s not only intimately connected to, but utterly dependent on the body.  It tends to want to be in charge, and to think that it actually is in charge of your life, your body, and your personal growth process -- even though it isn’t.

One of the most central premises of Human Design is that the Personality is not intended to be in charge.  Instead, it is designed to hang back and enjoy the ‘ride of life’ as a highly intelligent witness, or passenger. 


DESIGN (the Vehicle)

The Red in your Bodygraph points to what you don’t know about yourself, what you don’t have access to.  In Human Design, the Red is termed ‘unconscious,’ although the meaning is quite different than what we normally think of in psychological circles.  Unlike the Freudian or Jungian ‘unconscious,’ the unconscious in Human Design is more akin to the body’s mind, or your genetic hardwiring. 

If your Personality is the passenger, then your Design is the vehicle taking your Personality for the ride of its life.

You could say your Design is that miraculous physical intelligence in your body that makes sure that your eyes blink, your heart pumps, and that you breathe while you sleep.  Your Design also includes the very qualities, behaviors and habits that others are much more likely to notice in you than you are in yourself!  It’s what you do, the way that you do it, whether you know it or not.  The Red represents your innocence -- the genetically inherited aspects of you that can come suddenly, and as a surprise.

Though you cannot control or intentionally access your Design, you can certainly come to know and recognize it over time – through your life’s journey and the feedback you receive from other people.  Ideally, you can learn to make decisions in a way that honors this invisible yet very real part of you.


MAGNETIC MONOPOLE (Feel free to take this literally or symbolically.)

If your Design is the vehicle and your Personality is the passenger, then the obvious question becomes: Who's driving?! In a sense, you could say that the driver is the marriage between the Personality and the Design. In Human Design, we call this strange, yet divine union the Magnetic Monopole.

Simply put, the Magnetic Monopole is like a powerful magnet sitting smack dab in the center of your body (right inside the Bodygraph's only diamond shaped center, the G- or Identity Center). This is the center that is associated with your sense of love and direction.

This is not your ordinary magnet, in that it doesn’t have both a positive and a negative pole. It doesn’t both attract and repel. It only attracts. A magnetic MONO pole. One pole. Mechanically speaking, it literally pulls everything towards itself. For example, it pulls your Design (body) and Personality (soul) together. And in doing so, it gives you the experience of being whole and unique. Through this holding together of your different parts, it also gives you the experience of being an independent entity, separate from everyone and everything else -- which according to most mystical and scientific thinkers, is an illusion.

The Magnetic Monopole doesn't just pull your 'parts' together. It also pulls toward you the people and relationships you are meant to have. In that sense, you could say that it pulls you along in life, in the direction you’re meant to go in, with the people you’re meant to be with. It’s often talked about in Human Design circles as a cable car that is hooked up to an invisible grid.

The Magnetic Monopole is the driver, because only it knows where you're meant to go as a 'whole.' Your conscious identity (i.e. your Personality, the Black part of your Bodygraph, your thinking mind) has half of the story. And your unconscious body (i.e. your Design, the Red part of your Bodygraph, your genetic hardwiring) has the other half. Only the monopole has the whole story. And that’s why it must be in charge of the driving. In this way, you (or at least who you're accustomed to thinking you are) must ultimately surrender to a life much greater and perhaps quite different than you had 'in mind.'



Human Design, in essence, celebrates that we are not just our Mind, but a deeply interconnected combination of body and mind (or body and soul).  It gives us a very practical strategy for living that takes our ‘unconscious’ potential, our body’s intelligence, into consideration.  It allows us to live our lives in ways that honor the marriage between what is conscious and unconscious in us, between those things we have at least some control over and the many many more things that we don’t.  And in doing so, it helps us rejoice in and surrender to the incredible uniqueness that comes out of that marriage.

In a way, Human Design is an invitation to think of your body and mind as the ultimate soulmates! 
Imagine a life where you truly felt that your body was exactly the one that 'you' were meant for, exactly the one that you needed to express all of who you were!


NATURE VS. NURTURE (Definition and Openness)

One way to think of a Bodygraph is as a blue print of your genetic make-up, your hard-wiring.  It’s like a snapshot look at the “DNA” of your waking personality, a map of how energy flows within your body, and between you and your environment.  The Bodygraph includes what you put out, what you transmit into the world, as well as what you take in.


To learn about NATURE/NURTURE readings,


When we speak of Definition in Human Design, we’re referring to your Nature.  We are talking about what you are uniquely designed to be and do in life, your potential, your life force.

The colored in areas of your Bodygraph have so much to say about what kind of ‘student’ you are when it comes to the school of life.  They indicate what is fixed and reliable in you, what makes up those parts of your nature that are consistent and free from outer influence.  They also reflect what you transmit into the world around you, simply by being you (as well as what you most likely take for granted!).

An example: Any time you have a center that is colored in, it means you have a consistent way of processing the kind of energy represented by that center.  So if you have a defined or fixed Ajna center, this means that you have a specific and consistent way of processing information.  You have a consistent way of thinking.



When we speak of Openness in Human Design, we are referring to the parts of you that are open to being Nurtured.  Through the ‘white’ (or transparent) parts of your Bodygraph, you can see the specific areas in your life where you are open, flexible, where you take in the ‘other’ and the world around you.

While your Definition speaks to the kind of student you are, your Openness shows you where you are meant to go to school in life.

While you can be deeply nurtured by others through your openness, you can also be deeply and negatively conditioned.  Knowing your design does not only allow you to see how ‘negative conditioning’ operates in your life; it teaches you how to turn negative conditioning into positive nurturance – simply by learning how to make decisions in alignment with your Nature.

To learn more about your Open Centers, click here!



Human Design doesn’t ask us to ‘get rid’ of anything; for everything in us has a value and purpose.  But it does invite us to allow things to shift things around a bit.  Most importantly, it takes the authority out of the Mind, which is usually busy trying to convince us to be who we’re not, and delivers that Authority to the very parts of us that we can count on to be consistent.  In other words, it takes our decision-making out of our Openness, and returns it to our Definition.  The more decisions we make from our Definition, the more free we are to enjoy and learn from our Openness, with a sense of healthy non-attachment. 

Instead of losing ourselves, we find our wisdom.  And our Mind, instead of spending all of its precious energy trying to solve our own problems, based on an over-identification with everything we’re soaking up from our environment, becomes this incredible place of wisdom.  No longer meddling in our own decision-making business, it is free to become the “Outer Authority” it’s meant to be -- to be able to teach, awaken and stimulate others with its unique form of brilliance. 


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Copyright © 2009, Roselyn Ann Aronson. All rights reserved.

Rosy Aronson, Ph.D. Roots and Wings, of AIWP Rosy@RosyAronson.com Phone: 510-703-1373