Human Design Series – The Archetypes

Human Design bodygraph

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Continuing in the Human Design Series, this post details aspects of the five energetic archetypes in Human Design. Because the style I use is Quantum Human Design (TM)*, you’ll see two labels for each type. The Quantum label is first, and the traditional label will be in parentheses.

If you haven’t read the Introduction yet, you can find it here: https://createconversationllc.com/human-design-series-introduction


Human Design is a system that combines astrology, the I’Ching, the chakra energy centers, the Kabbalah, and quantum physics. All of the esoteric systems plus the addition of quantum physics leads us to look at how we shape our reality. The general premise of quantum physics is that nothing is “real” until observed. To learn more about the discovery of quantum physics, a subject too complicated for this blog post, I recommend In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality by John Gribbin. https://bookshop.org/a/101979/9780553342536 

The basic premise of Human Design is that humans embody five energetic archetypes. You’ll fall into one of these five, depending on your birth data. Like astrology, Human Design relies on your birth date, time, and place to generate the chart. You’ll see other resources talking about the “roles” each type is here to play, but I don’t like looking at it in that way as it tends to make people feel boxed in. Instead, I look at the five energetic types to understand how your unique energy works and interacts with others.

We constantly influence each other energetically; for example, think of a time when you walked into a room and immediately felt energized and excited. That’s energy and human interactions of energy at play. It also works the opposite way: you’ve probably walked into a room, noticed the vibe was off, and felt uncomfortable. The more you pay attention to how you feel in your body, the more you’ll be in tune with your intuition. 

The Chart

The geometric shapes you see are energy centers, and the activation of the gates connecting channels to each energy center determines the definition. Some energy centers remain open in a chart, and some become defined (I’ll cover these in detail in another post). There are 4 motors, the sacral, will, emotional solar plexus, and root centers, shaded for ease of understanding. These centers provide energy in different ways, the sacral being the most sustainable and powerful. 

Go get your chart here to learn your type: https://createconversationllc.com/human-design-chart/. If you don’t know your time of birth, either try to get it as close as possible (morning, afternoon, night), or if you have no idea, choose noon. 

I caution you against trying to figure out which type you are through reading, as conditioning may have you acting as one type when you may be another. If I had attempted to take a quiz or read about the system and figure out my type, I would have chosen Time Bender (Manifesting Generator) because I was acting as a Time Bender my entire life until I burned out. That’s when I discovered I’m an Orchestrator (Projector) type. Very different! 

Initiator (Manifestor)

The connection of a motor connected to the throat (Will Emotional Solar Plexus or Root) characterizes this archetype. However, the sacral center remains undefined. 

Because this type doesn’t have a defined sacral energy center, they may find that they can’t sustain their energy like others do. And, because Initiators are said to be a small part of the population, they may feel different than others, but not sure why. The caveat here: There are many ways someone will feel different; this is just one example. Keep this in mind as I continue describing the archetypes.

People with this archetype may feel like they generate many ideas, and love the idea phase of a project. They may not love to see these through to the end, preferring to pass them on to someone else, while they go back to idea-generation.

Being an idea-generator doesn’t mean Initiators don’t have follow-through! All it means is that they may notice they tend to have great ideas and want to find someone to take that idea and run with it. Or, they may follow-through on their concept, it depends on where they want to put their energy. 

Initiators also tend to move very fast. If you have this energy, you may notice that you’ve worked through everything before taking action because you’ve accessed an internal creative flow that doesn’t depend on outside influences. 

A challenge for the Initiator type is to work sustainably for their energy, and to understand their internal creative flow/personal power. Embracing this connection goes a long way in the Initiator type, being able to bring new ideas forward and feeling centered in their energy.

Alchemist (Generator)

This definition of the sacral center characterizes this archetype, creating sustainable energy. The sacral center is a source of energy and shows the person when they align with decisions. This type does not have a motor connected to the throat, however. 

Because of the lack of the motor connection to the throat, the Alchemist types may get frustrated when trying to make something happen rather than waiting for something to respond. Wait to respond is a strategy, and is helped by the person connecting to their intuition through yes/no questions. Knowing how your energy responds to yes/no questions is essential to working with this type. 

The alchemist type also has a unique learning cycle that looks like stair-steps. Generally, a certain amount of a learning curve occurs until a plateau. In the plateau, you can feel frustrated that things aren’t moving fast enough and think you’re on the wrong path. The plateau is the wrong time to jump off, unless you notice that you keep getting no’s when asking questions. Generally, the plateau means you’re gathering energy for the next push, and in time, the way forward will reveal itself.

A challenge for the Alchemist type is learn how to use the strategy of wait to respond. Waiting for anything is highly frustrating as in Western Society: we’re taught to a) ignore our intuition and b) that we need to go make things happen. The sacral response tells you when you’re on the right track and when to change. Learning to trust it helps you know when to make changes or wait it out.

Time Bender (Manifesting Generator)

A Time Bender is a combination of the Initiator and Alchemist. The Alchemist and Time Benders are a large percentage of the population.

This definition of the sacral center characterizes this archetype, creating sustainable energy. The sacral center is a source of energy and shows the person when they align with decisions. The Time Bender type also has a mortor connected to the throat, which includes the sacral center, root, emotional solar plexus or will centers.

Like the Alchemist, however, the Time Bender still has the strategy of wait to respond, which can feel frustrating to someone who also generates ideas. The desire to skip steps to get to the answer is a characteristic of the Time Bender. Usually, missed steps must be corrected, so it helps to be aware of this tendency.

The Time Bender has the same stair-step learning cycle as the Alchemist. 

The Time Bender type has the same challenge as the Alchemist: learn how to use the strategy of waiting to respond. Waiting for anything is highly frustrating as in Western Society: we’re taught to a) ignore our intuition and b) that we need to go make things happen. The sacral response tells you when you’re on the right track and when to change. Learning to trust it helps you know when to make changes or wait it out. A difference in this type, is that because of the manifesting energy, the Time Bender types need to also learn to inform people around them of their plans. This type can move quickly and efficiently, and it helps let others know what’s up.

Orchestrator (Projector)

No sacral definition or motor connection to the throat characterizes the Orchestrator archetype. Like the Manifestor type, Orchestrators do not have sustainable energy. This type is a minor part of the population and, like the Manifestor types, may feel different from everyone else around them.

The Orchestrator type tends to take energy around them and process it differently. The type can burn out if they attempt to act as an Alchemist or Time Bender (most commonly, we think we’re all supposed to act as Time Benders). Burnout for an Orchestrator can look like hitting a wall after decades of attempting to fit in and work the way everyone else does. If someone with this type doesn’t understand their creative energy and is in an environment that doesn’t feed that energy, burnout is probably inevitable.

The biggest challenge for an Orchestrator is learning how to wait for invitations and which invitations are the ones to accept. This doesn’t mean someone with this type sits around during this process. The difference between responding to the environment (Alchemist/Time Bender) and waiting for an invitation is that knowing one’s value helps the Orchestrator type choose what to do while waiting. The Orchestrator is also issuing invitations by putting their work out into the world. 

Another challenge is recognizing that you may need more rest than you thought and must be in tune with what your body needs. Self-compassion and self-acceptance are huge for someone who carries this archetype.

Calibrator (Reflector)

No defined energy centers in the chart characterize the Calibrator type. People with this type tend to be highly sensitive, and their environment can significantly influence their health. They may also feel disappointed because they can sense what needs to change so everyone can live to their fullest potential. Unfortunately, no one is able make someone change, so understanding that this type serves as a mirror is crucial to living a fulfilled life with this level of sensitivity. This type makes up the most minor portion of the population, and may feel very different from most people.

The Calibrator type is also said to be a lunar being, meaning that they wait a complete moon cycle when making big decisions. Now, in this world, waiting a month to make big decisions seems slow, so I can see how that would be a foreign concept. For example, who has time to wait a month before deciding to buy a particular house? That strategy doesn’t work for most housing markets! I’d love to hear from people with this archetype how they find decision making works best for them.

A challenge is to embody what you feel and sense and use that to be a mirror for others. However, it is not your job to fix anything. Another challenge for this archetype is to learn to let go of trying to fix what isn’t working, and trust Universe/Source/Diving timing. 

If you want to know more about the system itself, I recommend Understanding Human Design: The New Science of Astrology: Discover Who You Really Are, by Karen Curry Parker  https://bookshop.org/a/101979/9781938289101


*Quantum Human Design is a trademark of Karen Curry Parker


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