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Human Design 101: Authority

Your human design authority is how you’re designed to make decisions.

Your type determines your strategy, which describes the mechanics of how you’re designed to move through the world. Your authority is about how you use your strategy to make energetically aligned decisions.

It represents your most reliable way of discerning whether something (or someone) in your outer reality is good for you or not. One of the key differentiating features of human design is that it tells us that we are not supposed to make decisions from our minds. Our minds are great for acquiring and storing information, but when it comes to decision-making, our bodies are in charge.

Strategy and authority are the two most essential pieces of your human design, and together they represent your unique path of least resistance.

There are seven different personal authorities in human design:


Emotional Authority - 47% (Manifestors, Generators, MGs, or Projectors)

Almost half of us have emotional authority. The emotional solar plexus is both a motor and an awareness center, and when you have it defined in your chart, that means that you have emotional authority.

In human design, emotional energy operates in a wave that goes up and down in a predictable pattern of “hope to pain.” Depending on which channels define your emotional solar plexus, your emotional wave might feel like really high highs and low lows, small undulations, or like a roller coaster where you experience a gradual ascent and then a steep crash down. What is consistent about emotional energy is that it’s a process that takes time.

For emotional authority, there is no truth in the now.

If you have emotional authority, that means you’re designed to wait for emotional clarity before making decisions. Cultivating emotional intelligence is the name of the game - this authority requires that you not only acknowledge and accept your emotions, but that you become a student of them.

For an emotional generator, that means checking in with your sacral “yes” over the course of your emotional wave. If you’re an emotional projector, that means giving yourself time to explore whether an invitation feels correct in your body over the course of your emotional wave. For emotional manifestors, this is about initiating only after you’ve had a full emotional wave to get clarity on your inspiration.

If you have emotional authority and don’t wait for clarity before committing to things, you’ll probably find yourself regretting your decisions later when your mood changes. This doesn’t mean that you’re flaky, or wishy-washy, or even indecisive. It’s a feature, not a bug. You’re designed to know over time what’s in your best interests, and waiting for emotional clarity is the healthiest way to approach making decisions in your life. What’s amazing about this authority is that the right opportunities and people will wait for you to get clarity - the waiting is actually part of a vetting process, and when you trust the process, it helps to weed out the things and people that aren’t worth your energy.

Emotional Authority Checklist:

  • Take time to process - you’re designed to make decisions over time.

  • When an opportunity shows up, ask yourself: How do I feel about this right now?

  • Find ways to carve out time for your process - if you’re a manifestor, informing those involved that you’ll circle back later with your decision is a great way to facilitate the process. If you’re a generator or projector, asking for a few days or inviting those who will be affected to check in with you later is a way to give yourself space to get clarity.

  • Check in with yourself over the course of a few days - am I still as excited about this now as I was yesterday? Does this feel right to me?

  • Commit to the decision only after you’ve sat with it for enough time to arrive at a place of calm, centered clarity.

Sacral Authority - 35% (Generators or Manifesting Generators)

If you’re a generator or manifesting generator with an open or undefined emotional solar plexus, then you have sacral authority.

The sacral center is a motor, and having it defined means you have access to a sustainable, onboard energy source that is constantly drawing life towards it. The defined sacral is designed to respond in the moment when opportunities come into its aura, and the response is an energetic “yes” or “no” based on your body’s intelligence. It’s literally pulling things in, assessing them, and then responding like “mm-hmm yeah I have energy for that” or “uh-uhn that’s not for me” or “no, not right now.”

The sacral center is the seat of our life-force energy, and that includes the energy for procreation and sexuality, so depending on which sacral channels and gates you have defined, your “yes” is going to have a specific feeling or flavor. It might feel almost parental, like “aww, I want to nurture this” or it could feel sexy, like “oh yeah, it’s on!” Sacral energy can feel restless, like there’s too much energy and nowhere to focus, or like you’re an animal ready to pounce and you’re just waiting for the right moment. There are 9 gates in the sacral center, each with their own particular version of this life-force energy, and getting in touch with your bodily sensation of “yes” will help you cultivate a sense of how your sacral responds.

If you have sacral authority, then that means you’re designed to make decisions in the moment based on that gut feeling of yes or no.

Unlike emotional authority, sacral authority does not require waiting for clarity, and you can trust that your gut response in the moment is correct for you. There is going to be waiting - the generator strategy always involves waiting to respond - but once someone or something shows up that you can respond to, you can trust your initial response.

For generators or MGs who have been conditioned to carefully think things through or make a pros and cons list before making decisions, this can be a tricky transition to make, but it’s amazing what happens when you surrender the need to know why and just let the body decide. One of the best things a sacral generator or MG can do is to find a friend who can ask them yes or no questions about important decisions to help them get in touch with their sacral response.

Sacral Authority Checklist:

  • Give yourself permission to make decisions in real time - you’re designed to know what’s right for you as things show up in your outer reality.

  • When an opportunity arises, listen for these sounds: “uh-huh”, “yup”, “mm-hmm”

  • Check in with yourself - Does this feel like a “hell yes!” or just a “meh”? Do I feel energized and drawn toward this opportunity or can I sense my body rejecting it on any level?

  • Practice getting out of your head and trusting what your body tells you.

Splenic Authority - 11% (Projectors or Manifestors)

If you’re a projector or manifestor with a defined spleen and an undefined emotional solar plexus, then you have splenic authority.

The spleen is our most primitive awareness center, and it relates to our immune and lymphatic systems, fears, and our most ancient survival instincts. The spleen operates in the now - it’s the part of us that is constantly scanning the environment, on the lookout for possible dangers and ready to react with lightning speed. The key difference for splenic authority versus sacral or emotional is that the spleen is not a motor, and as a result its voice is quieter and has a reflexive quality - it reacts to stimulus once, and then it goes back to scanning the environment.

For splenic authority, there is only truth in the now.

Splenic authority is like an existential alarm system. I have splenic authority, and I think of it like my spidey-senses - if something’s up, I can feel it in my body like a tingling, hairs-on-the-back-of-my-neck, “what’s that” sense that something’s in my environment and I need to pay attention. It’s like when you see a deer peacefully grazing in a field suddenly raise its head, turn its ears and open its eyes wide, and then bolt. The spleen will alert you once, and then it's done. This kind of authority is easy to ignore - it’s quieter than the mind, way quieter than emotions, and it operates at an almost subconscious level that often defies mental reasoning.

If you have splenic authority, it’s usually easiest to identify in retrospect. Have you ever ignored your intuition about a person or situation, only to find out later that your first instinct was spot-on? That’s splenic authority. It knows what’s best for your physical well-being at all times, and the key to splenic authority is in learning how to listen and feel into your intuition and not argue with it.

For me, a splenic “yes” is super subtle, spontaneous, and sometimes feels like goosebumps on my arms or almost a food craving like “ooh that looks delicious.” My splenic “no” is usually something my body does before I realize I’ve made any kind of decision, like I’m already wrinkling my nose in an “ew” before the mental appraisal is even complete, or I’ve crossed my arms or leaned away from whatever my spleen is assessing. Sometimes it’s not even a yes or no - it’s an instinctive movement like turning left when I always turn right, or pausing before I leave the house and grabbing a scarf without consciously knowing why.

Splenic Authority Checklist:

  • Give yourself permission to make snap decisions - your intuition is your most reliable sense.

  • Pay attention to how your body reacts when opportunities arise - do your ears perk up? Can you feel something entering your environment? Are your palms sweaty? Do you smell a rat?

  • Practice acting on your intuition without talking yourself out of it or letting your mind take over the process.

  • Cultivate the ability to be present in the moment - your spleen only tells you once and it’s essential that you stay tuned into what’s happening right now.

Ego Authority - 1% (Manifestors or Projectors)

If you’re a manifestor or a projector with a defined ego center that connects to either the throat or the g center, then you have ego authority. Depending on your type and which chart generator you use, you might see this called “ego-manifested” or “ego-projected” authority. They both mean that you are designed to make decisions from your ego center, also referred to as the heart or will center.

If you have ego authority, your ego speaks the truth.

The ego center is the small triangle to the right of the g center, and it represents the energetic archetype of will power. It’s sometimes called the heart center or the will center, and the language around this energy center speaks to its complexity. The defined ego is willful and assertive - it likes to take control and raise its hand when the right opportunities are available.

In the self-development world, the “ego” gets a bad rap - we tend to talk about someone being “in their ego” as a bad thing. In human design, the ego center isn’t necessarily about being narcissistic or having an inflated sense of self-importance. It’s more about whether you have consistent willpower, and the energy dynamics around the themes of self-worth, courage, competition, and where your heart is.

The ego center is a motor, and it operates in an on-or-off binary. It represents the drive to work, but only when you’re willing. There are a lot of cliches about this energy: having “the stomach” to do something, the urge to quit if “your heart’s not in it,” or how we can be triggered by someone’s “unmitigated gall.” These are all linguistically and energetically related to the ego center.

If you have ego authority, it’s about tuning into what your heart wants and whether you feel truly motivated to make it happen. It’s about whether you feel valued and determining what’s worth your precious energy. The ego center works when it wants to work, and then it needs to rest, so developing awareness around the way your energy ebbs and flows is crucial.

Ego Authority Checklist:

  • Tune into your heart’s desire - you’re designed to make decisions from the heart.

  • When opportunities arise, ask yourself: do I have the energy to do this and see it through or will I be making an empty promise?

  • Pay attention to whether you feel motivated, energized, and drawn towards something or if there’s a feeling of resistance or push-back.

  • Practice honoring your body’s energetic ups and downs - take breaks and rest between commitments.

Self-Projected Authority - 2.8% (Projectors only)

If you’re a projector with no defined centers below the g center, then you have self-projected authority.

The g center is the seat of direction, love, and identity, and having it as your inner authority means that your decision-making process is rooted in a sense of whether something “feels like you.” It is deeply personal, and all about your individual happiness. The g center is associated with the diaphragm, sternum, liver, and heart, and the physical sensation of “this feels like me” will emanate from this general area - not quite a gut feeling, but more like something in your chest - warmth or resonance, or a specific quality of breath.

For self-projected authority, the question is always "does this feel like me?"

This authority is about self-reflected consciousness. The connection between the g center and the throat is a design of speaking from your identity. This authority is exclusive to projectors, and it requires that you speak when recognized and invited, and as you hear yourself speak, you gain insight and clarity through listening to your own voice.

This is the design of needing a sounding board - it’s the process of talking it out with a trusted friend or advisor that allows you to discern what’s best for you in any situation. This isn’t about needing advice or input from anyone else, it’s more about someone else holding space for you to navigate a decision that is true to you.

The decision-making process for self-projected authority totally depends on having those trusted friends who can act as a sounding board for you, and it’s critical that you can identify people in your life that you can trust to participate in this process. Recognition and invitation is the strategy for projectors, and it’s essential that your sounding board friends understand how your process works.

When you’ve been recognized and invited into something, ask yourself if this opportunity feels like you, and if it will make you happy, and then talk it through with your trusted sounding board buddies. Listen to yourself as you talk it through - both for the quality and timbre of your voice, and the words that come out. Your truth and the right decision emerge through the process.

Self-Projected Authority Checklist:

  • Trust the power of your voice - you’re designed to make decisions by talking it out.

  • Reflect on who makes you feel seen and heard, and who asks you the kind of questions that resonate in your body - these are your sounding boards.

  • Pay attention to how you feel when you talk about an opportunity out loud - does this feel like me? Is this an opportunity for me to express my authentic self or do I feel like I’m going to have to hide some part of myself in order to succeed? Is my breath moving freely?

  • Talk it over with a trusted friend and let them know that you’re not looking for advice, but rather you need them to ask you questions that will help you navigate your truth.

Environmental Authority - 1.7% (Projectors only)

If you’re a projector with no centers defined below the throat, then you have environmental authority. This configuration is sometimes called “mental” authority, or even “none” depending on which software generates your chart.

This is a rare configuration, and it’s characterized by a lot of openness in the bodygraph. This authority is technically not an inner authority (which is why you’ll sometimes see it labelled as “none”) because there isn’t a reliable bodily sensation associated with it. The openness in the bodygraph means that you are extraordinarily sensitive to your surroundings, so for you it’s all about being in the right place with the right people. For a projector, “the right people” means people who are recognizing and inviting you in a way that is specific to your unique talents and gifts.

Environmental authority needs to gather information over time.

The right place is going to be somewhere you feel at ease, and it varies for everyone. This is literally about geography, and being in the correct environment is going to impact your physical health. This authority relies on your being in the right place and being able to talk through your decision with different people, gathering information over time.

Environmental authority requires sounding boards - those trusted friends that can hold space for you to talk through your decisions - and as different people draw different perspectives out of you, you can hear and see your decision become clear over time. Have you ever had the experience of saying something out loud and surprising yourself? Like you didn’t know you knew something until someone asked you the right question and then you heard the answer come out of your mouth? It’s like that. When the conditions are right, and the person in front of you prompts you in just the right way, the truth comes out.

Again, this is not about seeking advice from others. It’s just a function of your openness that you need someone else to act as a sounding board for you to bounce ideas off of - it’s almost like you can only see the truth once you get it out of you and see it reflecting off someone else.

Environmental Authority Checklist:

  • Take time to talk it out - you’re designed to find clarity through talking to others.

  • Find your happy place - the right environment is a critical ingredient for success.

  • Check in with yourself - do I feel truly recognized for my unique perspective? Is this invitation specific to me and the wisdom that only I can share?

  • Pay attention to how it feels to process decisions out loud.

Lunar Authority - 1.5% (Reflectors only)

If you’re a reflector, then you have no centers defined, and you have what’s known as lunar authority. This means that your decision-making process is about feeling into the truth over the course of at least one full lunar cycle.

Reflectors are totally unique. If you’re one of these rare types, then your experience of yourself and the people around you is completely different than everyone else’s. The moon moves through all 64 gates of the human design mandala over the course of one lunar cycle, approximately 29 days. This means that the moon is highlighting a different theme every 10 hours or so, and you are designed to be impacted by that movement more than any other type.

Lunar authority is tied to the cycles of the moon.

Lunar authority means that you’re designed to reach clarity as you cycle through that process. Without the defined channels and centers that other types have, you truly don’t have a reliable way of making decisions that’s tied to a bodily sensation. For you, it’s going to be about the right place and the right people, and the patterns that emerge over a predictable cycle of time.

Some reflectors might feel clarity after one cycle, and others might feel better about making major decisions only after 2 or 3 months. It all depends on your individual process, and the specifics of how you define and experience clarity within yourself.

Because of your openness, the right place and the right people are essential to your process. You are extraordinarily sensitive to location - the right place will make you feel healthy and strong, physically and otherwise. Being in the right place is part of the equation - and being around the right people is the other part.

Similar to the environmental and self-projected authorities, lunar authority means that you will benefit from talking to people about your decisions. Having conversations with people who can act as a sounding board for you will help you gain insight about whether a decision is right for you, and as you gather information over the course of a lunar cycle, you’ll arrive at a place of clarity through experience.

Lunar Authority Checklist:

  • Give yourself permission to opt out of external pressure - you’re designed to take at least a month to make major decisions.

  • Pay attention to your patterns - what comes up for you every month or so? Have you noticed cycles around creativity, emotional ups and downs, or energetic ebbs and flows?

  • Reflect on the people and places that feel good to you - who makes me feel seen? Where do I love spending time?

  • Surrender to the process - for you, life is a buffet that’s meant to be sampled. Allow yourself the freedom to try everything on and only commit to the things and people that feel right in the long run.


If you’d like to dive deeper into your unique design, you can contact me here for a consultation.

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