Move Over Astrology, ‘Human Design’ Is Back



Ever since I shelled out $50 for a Human Design reading – a New Year’s special from a woman I follow on Instagram that piqued my curiosity – my social media has been filled with a particular kind of New Age speak. “I’m a manifesting generator 1/3 with splenic authority,” a YouTube commenter declares below a short I’m watching. A reel on Instagram promises to teach me “How to love a Reflector” in 30 seconds; a “Projector’s guide to success” is waiting for my double tap.

Chances are, if you’re on social media and the algorithm has detected a sniff of passing interest in astrology or spirituality, you too have been treated to similar posts. But what exactly is Human Design? And why do so many people suddenly care more that their partner’s a Projector than a Pisces? A hippyish blend of astrology and Myers-Briggs personality tests, Human Design was the brainchild of Robert Krakower, a Canadian ad executive who moved to Ibiza in the early 80s.

In this hedonistic paradise, Krakower had a mystical experience with a “Voice”, which transmitted information to him over what was presumably a very intense eight days. Inspired, he changed his name to Ra Uru Hu and in 1989 wrote a book, Rave I’Ching, sharing what he’d learned. Yet despite being around since the 1990s, Human Design has really hit its stride over the past couple of years – according to Google Trends, searches exploded around the same time Covid-19 did, and its popularity has only increased since. It’s been endorsed by many personal development influencers, from Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow to global manifestation expert Lacy Phillips.

Ra’s system categorises people into five different energetic “types”: manifestor, manifesting generator, generator, reflector or projector. Your birth chart – similar to a natal chart in astrology – reveals information about your personality, how you relate to people, how you work, your life’s purpose and the name of your first pet (OK, I made that last one up).

“When I got a good understanding of my chart, I felt very seen. My profile is a two five, which is a hermit/heretic. And a lot of the things that sit within that profile really resonate with me, how I am in social situations. It’s made me feel a bit more accepting of myself.”

– Erin

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