Welcome to the second installment in my Human Design 101 series. This series is intended to help break down the fundamentals of the Human Design system in such a way that they can be practically understood and applied. Today we’re discussing what is arguably the most important piece of any Design: Strategy + Authority.
You may wonder why I am lumping these two elements together, especially if they are so important. But it’s because they are so important—and so connected—that I’m lumping them. I have found, from my own experience, that studying and practicing them concurrently can make them much more accessible.
Okay, so what is Strategy and Authority?
First of all, everyone has both a Strategy and an Authority. They are the same throughout your life, meaning they aren’t changeable. They are determined by your bodygraph, and this is where you can find what yours are. (For a free bodygraph you can go to the following websites: GeneticMatrix.com, Taraka.io, MyBodygraph.com. You can also order a comprehensive chart reading from me HERE. Don’t forget to use the code READMEHD for a significant discount through the end of 2021.)
Let’s delve more deeply into Strategy first. Strategy is the way we are designed to interact with the stimuli of the world. Each Aura Type (go HERE to learn more about Types) has a specific Strategy. They are as follows:
Manifestors have the Strategy of Informing. This means that they are meant to engage with the world by informing others of the things they are initiating. This way, others can be prepared for and start getting excited for the new innovations Manifestors are bringing to the world.
Generators and Manifesting Generators have the Strategy of Responding. This means they are meant to respond to external stimuli rather than acting from internal aspirations. They are not here to initiate new ideas, but, rather, to bring the new ideas of the Manifestors into reality. They are here to respond with action when the world gives them cues about what is needed and how they can bring it into being. (Quick Note: When I say Generators and MGs are here to bring the new ideas of the Manifestors into reality, it doesn’t mean that you’re here to be an automaton slaving away for someone else’s dream. It’s more that you have a specific set of skills and talents that allow you to actually do what the ideas people are unable to. You will likely have your own way of bringing those things into the world, and that will provide you with a sense of autonomy.)
Projectors have the Strategy of Waiting For The Invitation. This doesn’t mean they need to receive a formal invite in the mail or a literal invitation from someone’s mouth to do things. What it means is that they aren’t Manifestors, so they aren’t meant to come up with their own ideas of what to create for the world. And they aren’t Generators or MGs, so they aren’t designed to play the role of the worker bee bringing ideas into reality. They are Projectors. They have a unique vision of how to view certain things so that others can better understand them. They often will only know what this special vision is for (or even that it’s special) until someone asks them for it (or invites them to share it). An invitation may come in the form of a friend offhandedly mentioning how they wish someone could invent a better way of building a backyard deck that could be less wasteful and more cost effective; or how frustrating it is when they can’t get their administrative team to communicate effectively at work and wouldn’t it be nice if there was some magical system they could share with their team to fix that problem? The Projector will know exactly how to solve that problem. If a Projector tries to offer their solutions to people who haven’t asked for it, they will be met with resistance (at best). Waiting for the invitation, however, allows them to swoop in with the solutions just as they are needed, super hero style. (When we follow our Strategies, happiness ensues.)
Reflectors have the Strategy of Waiting A Lunar Cycle. This means that when a Reflector interacts with the world’s stimuli—specifically when it comes to the more transformational moments in life, not so much with the insignificant mundane matters—they are designed to wait a full 28 days before acting. (There’s a specific reason for this, which we’ll discuss below in the section on Authorities.)
Before you get your knickers in a twist wondering why you have to do any of these things, let me explain why you might want to. First of all, you can do anything you want. You have free will. You are an autonomous being. You are the boss of you. If you are a Reflector, you can still act on your impulses and desires immediately when they arise. If you are a Manifestor, you can plow ahead with your plans without informing anyone. It’s not that you HAVE to use your Strategy. It’s more that your Strategy is part of your design to help you find the smoothest and most enjoyable path through life. If you act in opposition to your Strategy, you may be able to make some traction, but it will likely be difficult, ignored or ill-received. Following your Strategy will likely result in your endeavors being beautifully successful with minimal gruntwork and opposition. It’s kind of like having a built-in “easy” button that allows you to offer your magick to the world in the perfect way and perfect time for the world to wholeheartedly receive it and recognize you for it.
So, now you know your Strategy and why it makes sense to use it, let’s move on to Authority.
Authority is our own personal built-in decision-making app. The Human Design system tells us that we are not designed to make decisions from our minds. Our minds are wonderful tools, to be sure, and they help us to process and organize the data we receive in any given moment. But they are not capable of helping us to understand what our Souls truly desire for us. Desire is emotional, and emotions are found in the body, not the mind. This is where Authority makes an entrance. We each have a specific Authority that resides in a specific part of the body, and that gives us information from that part of the body. Of course, there’s a caveat here: two of the seven Authorities actually originate outside the body, but it remains true that they are also outside the mind. We’ll unpack this a little more below.
There are 7 possible Authorities in Human Design. (To find yours, check your bodygraph, or purchase a reading from a Human Design specialist. Go HERE to book a reading with me).They are Emotional, Sacral, Splenic, Ego, Self-projected, (Environ)Mental, and Lunar.
Emotional Authority resides in the Solar Plexus Center of the bodygraph, which resides to the Left of the belly button (or thereabouts) in the body. You have an Emotional Authority if your Solar Plexus Center is defined in your bodygraph. Roughly 50% of the population has an Emotional Authority. If this is your Authority, you are designed to rely on your feelings/emotions to make decisions that are resourceful for you. There’s a catch, though. Every person with Emotional Authority will have one of four particular waves of emotional transmission. (I’ll be writing another post on this later. For now, it’s not so important to know which wave is yours, but to know that this Authority has a wave.) Basically, no matter which wave you have, you must give yourself time to feel ALL your feelings around a possibility before you take action on it. This means you must feel all the highs of feeling the immediate “OMG this thing is so wonderful and amazing I HAVE to do it! I would be crazy not to!” followed by all the lows of the “WTF was I thinking? How could I have thought that would be a good idea?” until you get to a neutral emotional state where you can weigh the pros and cons from a stable emotional table. If you can wait the full wave, you will be able to make a resourceful decision for yourself and any actions you take based on that decision will likely work to your benefit. It should be noted, however, that Emotional Authority folks rarely, if ever, feel 100% sure of any decision. Having experienced both the potential positives and the potential negatives associated with a possibility makes it very hard to land on a perfectly solid Yes or No. If you have an Emotional Authority, and you’re feeling around 80% convinced of your feelings following a full wave experience, you can consider it a green light. Some Emotional Authority people will actually experience physical sensations in the left side of their abdomen during their emotional waves giving indications of how they’re feeling. Others will feel more of a general emotional experience throughout the body. If this is your Authority, experiment to see what your emotional wave feels like in your body. You will also need to experiment to learn how long your waves last. It is likely this will fluctuate with the significance of the decision to be made. Deciding what you want for breakfast may only take a few minutes. When asked for, say, a monetary donation to a charity, you may need to sleep on it to fully experience how you feel about it. And for life-transforming decisions, such as accepting a marriage proposal or a new job in a different city, it could take a couple weeks. Pay attention to your feelings, and, with practice, you will begin to learn your unique timings. (NOTE: Don’t be afraid to ask for more time if you need it. The right decision is worth the wait, and if it’s truly right for you, waiting the full length of your wave will also be right, so you’ll be supported in asking for more time.)
Sacral Authority resides in the Sacral Center of the bodygraph, which resides just below the bellybutton in the body. Only Generators and Manifesting Generators can have Sacral Authority. (Though, they do not always have Sacral Authority.) The Sacral Center is a motor center that contains life force energy. Having a defined Sacral Center indicates a consistent access to the generation of this life force energy. And the gift of the Sacral Authority is the internal awareness of whether or not we have the physical energy available for any given possibility. Because this Center is located just below the navel, we may better understand it as a gut feeling or gut knowing. It often communicates via sounds. The classic sounds are an uh-huh for yes, and an uh-uh for no, but it can also communicate with other sounds. Some Sacral Authority folks will notice they emit a delicious moan or a squeal of joy when their Sacral Authority is giving them the go-ahead. Others experience grunts of disdain or heavy sighs when presented with unfavorable possibilities. If you have Sacral Authority, experiment by listening to the sounds you make when you feel good and not-so-good about something. This will help you become more familiar with your own lexicon of Sacral sounds.
These sounds will also sometimes be accompanied by an internal feeling of expansion toward something or contraction away from something to indicate whether an option is resourceful or not. This is often especially true for Manifesting Generators with Sacral Authority. Again, experimentation will let you know how your Sacral Authority communicates with you. The bottom line is that the Sacral Authority will very clearly let you know if it is excited about a possibility (and supports choosing it) or if it feels drained at the mere thought of a possibility (and, therefore, vetoes this option). If you have Sacral Authority and you act in opposition to it, you will likely find that you start to experience symptoms of burn out and/or other health maladies, as your life force energy will be depleted rather than generated through acting on the. unresourceful decision. This Authority works collaboratively with the Generator’s and MG’s Strategy to respond. There is never a moment in which Generators and MGs are not responding to some stimulus. To ensure the most favorable and sustainable response, listen to the Sacral Authority, and honor it.
Splenic Authority resides in the Splenic Center of the bodygraph, which resides to the right of the bellybutton (-ish) in the body. Only Manifestors and Projectors can have Splenic Authority. (Though, they do not always have Splenic Authority.) The Splenic Center is the most primal center where our instinctual wisdom is stored. Because of its primal nature, it communicates with immediacy. This is the center that was originally charged with keeping us alive. It contains the instincts for fight or flight. The Splenic Center is the seat of our fears, as well as our instincts, and will often communicate through fear responses. This might look like butterflies in the tummy to express excited nervousness for something that is aligned, or an intense sense of panic letting you know that this particular possibility is not the possibility for you now. The “now” part of that is important, too. Splenic energy is immediate. It will give a subtle hit of wisdom and then it’s gone forever. As a result, it is always only giving a relevant response for what is available in the NOW. There may be a possibility that feels like a ‘no’ in one moment, only to become a ‘yes’ in another moment. This won’t mean it was a yes all along. Circumstances needed to shift in order for it to become a ‘yes’, so that positive confirmation is only applicable to that very moment.
Because this Authority is so closely related with fear, it can be challenging to act on its wisdom without the Mind jumping in and trying to rationalize things. It is very important for those with Splenic Authority to learn to recognize when this is happening and to disregard it. It may be very difficult at first, but a good way forward is to listen for the ping of Splenic wisdom, act on it, and then you can parse out those mental judgments afterwards during a debriefing of sorts. So, to recap, Splenic Authority will speak softly, instantaneously and only once. It will likely feel like fear or intuition. There may be a feeling in your body to the right of your navel that accompanies the Splenic response. If you find yourself questioning or trying to rationalize your Splenic wisdom, you have already missed your opportunity to act on its intel.
Ego Authority is also called Heart Authority, and to make things even more fun, there are two variations of it: Manifested and Projected. It resides in the Ego/Heart/Will Center of the bodygraph, which resides roughly around the left lower ribcage area in the body. One interesting aspect of this (these?) Authority is that it is not just the Ego/Heart/Will Center at play here. For the Manifested Ego Authority, the Ego Center will have a defined connection to the Throat Center. The Projected Ego Authority has an Ego Center with a defined connection to the G/Self Center. These connections are very important. We’ll explore these two Ego Authorities separately.
Manifested Ego Authority is reserved for Manifestors only. (Though Manifestors do not always have Manifested Ego Authority.) As already mentioned, Manifested Ego Authority involves a defined Ego Center connected to a defined Throat Center, but there will also be undefined Sacral, Solar Plexus and Splenic Centers. The Ego Center is our seat for will power. It’s a motor center, but it has a cyclical energy production that involves periods of output followed by periods of rest and inactivity [to recharge]. Those who have Ego Authority are designed to make decisions based on whether or not they have the available will power to act on a possibility. If you recall from the last Human Design 101 post on Types, Manifestors are here to initiate. They get things started. For a Manifestor with Manifested Ego Authority, they need to know if they have the energy (will power) required to begin any possible project.
The way the Ego Authority communicates for Manifestors is through the Throat Center, ergo, they need to talk things out before making a decision to start something new. And it’s not just about talking things out; but they need to be able to hear what they are saying. Folks with Manifested Ego Authority will receive the wisdom they need to make resourceful decisions by using their voice as a transmitter of that wisdom. When they have the freedom to word-vomit in a stream-of-consciousness style, they will find that they speak the information they need to move forward favorably. Not only will they hear the words they need to hear, but speaking this way will help them feel into how the Heart is responding. Is it expanding toward something or contracting away from something? Does it lighten and flutter, or harden and become heavy? With practice those with Ego Manifested Authority will determine the unique way your Heart/Ego/Will Center communicates ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to them. It’s important that they not let others try to convince them of doing things differently. It’s also important that they speak from the Ego Center and NOT from the Mind. This is not about personal introspection and inquiry. It’s more like spoken word cyphers. It’s basically giving the desires of the Ego/Heart/Will Center a direct express route to the Throat Center (the center of manifestation). If you are a Manifestor, you are designed to speak things into being (to initiate). If you have Manifested Ego Authority, you are designed to talk things out loud when faced with possibilities. Doing so allows you to hear your own Ego/Heart/Will wisdom so that you can know what and how to initiate. It also has the added benefit of allowing you to inform (your Strategy).
Projected Ego Authority can only be found in Projectors. (Though Projectors do not always have Projected Ego Authority.) As already mentioned, Projected Ego Authority involves a defined Ego Center connected to a defined G/Self Center, but there will also be undefined Sacral, Solar Plexus and Splenic Centers. This is a rare Authority, so if you have it, you can consider yourself in the company of Unicorns. Basically this Authority is a sort of collaborative decision-maker. The physical sensations will likely be similar to the Ego Manifested Authority in that the heart might experience an expansion toward or a contraction away from a possibility. However, this Authority really only kicks into action when presented with a possibility through an invitation. It is, in a sense, a way of determining the energy available for an action that is presented by an external source. In other words, this Authority demands an adherence to the Projector’s Strategy. Once the invitation is received, the Ego/Heart/Will Center will determine if there is enough will power energy to accept the invitation based on whether or not the invitation aligns with the Projector’s purpose or evolving identity (G/Self Center). If you are one of the rare folks with this Authority, it doesn’t mean you can’t make any decisions without being invited. As noted above, the Authority really earns its place when parsing out the more transformative possibilities with which we are faced in life.
Self-Projected Authority is also only found in Projectors. (Though Projectors do not always have Self-Projected Authority.) This is your Authority if you are a Projector with a defined G/Self Center connected with a defined Throat Center and with undefined Spleen, Solar Plexus, Root, Heart and Sacral Centers. These Centers lie in the middle of the physical body along the sternum (the breastbone running the length of the ribcage) with the Throat Center at the top and the G/Self Center at the bottom. As with the Manifested Ego Authority (above), the Self-Projected Authority requires talking things out loud to fully formulate [and hear] which possibilities are aligned and resourceful and which are not. If you have a Self-Projected Authority, it is important that you curate a sounding board of people you can trust to let you hash out your possibilities vocally. Be discerning! When exploring your invitations out loud in this way, you want to hear yourself speaking your own wisdom, not someone else sharing theirs. (This doesn’t mean you can’t go to friends for advice on challenging situations. Just don’t allow others to influence your decisions.)
The way this Authority presents in the body is often just as a quiet, but irrefutable, knowing, much like claircognizance. It may also be accompanied by sensations in the area of the sternum. (As always, you are encouraged to experiment to discover the unique way in which your Authority communicates with you.) If you find yourself making pro and con lists or playing devil’s advocate with yourself, then you know you have left the realm of your Authority and moved into Mind/Ajna territory. And remember, the Mind is never the place to go for making decisions. When you have a Self-Projected Authority, what you’re really doing as you talk things out is allowing the wisdom of your G Center (which is all about your identity and your purpose) to be transmitted through your voice (Throat Center) so you can hear it and take action on it. Learning to use this Authority properly will ensure you are evolving in the most authentic and aligned way, and will help you feel the most comfortable (and wonderful) in your identity and your life.
Those with [Environ]Mental Authority are also called Mental Projectors. Only Projectors can have [Environ]Mental Authority. (Though Projectors do not always have [Environ]Mental Authority.) If you have [Environ]Mental Authority, you have a defined Ajna Center and no defined Centers below the Throat Center in your bodygraph. This is one of the two external (outer) Authorities, meaning that the decision-making process comes from outside the body rather than inside, as with the other Authorities. Projectors with this Authority are often called Mental Projectors as their Authority is dictated by the definition in the Ajna/Mind Center. However, this does not mean they are meant to use their mental faculties (logic, reason, rationality) to make decisions. They are very open to conditioning from the outside world thanks to having so many undefined Centers in their chart. Being so vulnerable to external conditioning makes their environment of paramount importance for them. It is vital that someone with [Environ]Mental Authority be in an aligned and supportive environment as often as possible. This will naturally draw aligned people and possibilities (read: invitations) to them. As with some of the Authorities described above, [Environ]Mental Authority folks do well talking about their options out loud so they can hear themselves speaking what makes the most sense for them. This is especially true if they have a defined Throat Center. Speaking about their invitations out loud helps them to know more clearly if accepting an invitation will have a positive impact and be successfully received, or if they should wait for the next invitation instead. They are able to see the bigger picture due to the constancy of their Ajna energy, and are continually sampling the various experiences of mundane life through the openness of their undefined Centers. This gives them a unique wisdom from a unique vantage point. It is important that they put themselves in an environment where they will be recognized and appreciated for those unique gifts. When they use their voice to talk through their possibilities, they are, in essence, testing the waters to see how their vision will be received by those who are extending the invitation. It’s not so much about getting input from others in the form of advice around what to do or what not to do. It’s more that speaking it out loud will provide the Projector an opportunity to feel what it would be like to pursue any given possibility or invitation based on the responses of others as well as their own feelings in response to the speaking. Despite being called a Mental Projector, if you have [Environ]Mental Authority, you are not intended to use your mind to make your own decisions. You are actually here to use your mind to benefit, guide and support others in their endeavors, helping them find solutions to challenges they are unable to find on their own. Projectors are all guides, but Mental Projectors who are operating from aligned environments will display an elevated embodied wisdom, basically putting you on par with the Merlins of ancient Britain. It’s an extremely powerful and beautiful gift when used well.
Lunar Authority is the last Authority on our list. It is the other external (outer) Authority, and can only belong to a Reflector Type. As mentioned in the previous post on Types, Reflectors are considered Lunar beings, whereas all other Types are Solar beings. Reflectors have no defined Centers in the bodygraph. That means that they sample the world through all those undefined Centers which makes them very vulnerable to conditioning from the outer world. However, their gift to the world is to reflect what is going on around them, so, when used with awareness and conscious curation, Reflectors can be both a guiding light for those around them as well as create an enjoyable and interesting life experience for themselves. To do this, they must hone their Strategy and Authority.
The Lunar Authority is closely tied to the Reflector’s Strategy: It requires that they wait a full lunar cycle (~28 days) before making a decision. Obviously this only really applies to the more transformative and consequential decisions in their lives. This allows them to sample each of the inner Authorities as the Moon traverses through the different Gates and Centers. (More on Gates in future posts.) Having so much openness in their charts also means they are very sensitive to their environment. Like Mental Projectors with [Environ]Mental Authority, it is necessary for them to be in environments that are safe, supportive and aligned for them as much as possible. And having a trusted sounding board of friends, family, colleagues, etc. can be hugely helpful when they are navigating their lengthy Authority cycle. Like several of the other Authorities, Lunar Authority is enhanced by talking out the possibilities on the table. Talking things out every day to a trusted (and neutral) committee can allow the Reflector to hear the truth of each sampled energy experience during the cycle. Then, at the end of the cycle, they will have a clearer understanding of what felt best for them and can act accordingly. This is the only way to ensure they are making decisions that will be resourceful and favorable for themselves.
Whew! We did it! We made it through all the Strategies and Authorities! It was a lot of information. Feel free to return to this post again and again to fully digest and process it all in manageable chunks.
To recap, every single person has a unique Human Design. Two of the most important (and actionable) pieces of the design are the Strategy and Authority. It is through our Strategy that we engage with the stimuli of the external world. And it’s through our Authority that we make decisions about which of those stimuli to commit to or to pass on to make our lives more authentic, fulfilling and enjoyable.
If you do nothing else with the Human Design system, honing your relationship with your Strategy and Authority has the power to create transformative shifts in your life. Now that you know more about them, get to know yours by booking a reading today! (Go HERE.)