Self

Human Design: The Art Of Being A Projector

Look around you, and everything you see, aside from nature, was once just a thought. 

The laptop or phone you’re reading this article on, the clothes you wear, your desk, your coffee mug… They all started as ideas, before being transformed into a physical reality. The ability to imagine things, and then create them, is a hallmark of humanity. 

We live in an age where ideas represent the very fabric of economies, political systems, nations, and the world itself. In the Age of Information, with the rise of social media, and thanks to the ease with which we can all now become content creators, a growing importance is now lent to “thought leaders,” those who are able to come up with new ideas and that have the potential to change the world.

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Enter the idea of Human Design. Human Design is a system that attempts to explain the building blocks of the self. Its method, similar to the chakra system found in Eastern philosophies, is to identify different energy types, and to provide people with unique approaches to maximize their life force. 

Within this complex map of behaviour and energy, there are thought to be four different energy types: Generators, Manifestors, Projectors, and Reflectors. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at Projectors, the thought leaders, and energetic guides of this particular system.

What is a Projector within the content of the Human Design System?

The creator of Human Design, Ra Uru Hu, claims Projectors originated on Earth in 1781, making them a relatively new energy. 

Projectors are sometimes referred to as the “seers” of society, and due to their depth of vision, they are here to guide. Because they often have a strong connection to the imagination, their role is to direct other types to bring ideas to reality by directing energy. As a result, most adult Projectors make good leaders, coaches, advisors. 

(Thomas Barwick / Getty)

Projectors and projector energy has been on a rapid rise, growing to around 20 percent of the current population. Famous Projectors include Barack Obama, Brad Pitt, Nelson Mandela, Marilyn Monroe, and Princess Diana. They’re less adept at taking consistent action directly — think of them more as a composer of an orchestra, rather than a musician. 

Perhaps more than any other type, their authentic behavior is particularly at odds with modern culture and they are the most susceptible to outside conditioning, making self-awareness and inner-work essential.

What makes Projectors unique is that they’re non-energy types. On the BodyGraph, the distinct chart based on someone’s birth, there are nine different energy centers, outlined in a way similar to the chakra system. A defined center is a fixed and reliable inner experience. An undefined or open center is sensitive to outside influence and conditioning.

There are four “motor” centers in the system, the Root, Solar Plexus, Sacral and the Heart/Will. These are hubs that generate energy from within. For example, Generators have Defined sacral centers, giving them access to lots of sacral energy. Projectors typically lack Defined motor centers, meaning they rely on others and have to be very deliberate in how they spend their emotional authority and Projector aura and energy. 

The different Projector types

Within the Human Design System, Projectors are the most diverse group. They fit into three different categories or sub-types, depending on the constellation of specific BodyGraphs. 

These are:

  • Mental Projectors 
  • Energy Projectors
  • Classic Projectors

Their differences largely depend on a person’s Inner Authority, which Ra Uru Hu explains as “what you can trust to make decisions.”

Mental Projectors

Mental Projectors have a defined Ajna center connected to the Head or Throat center, with no definition below. The Ajna center is the source of awareness, conscious mind, ideas, concepts, and processing of information. 

Because Mental Projectors have a lot of open energy centers, they absorb a lot of information from their environment, and rely upon the Ajna center to manage and make sense of this “data.” 

Making up 2 or 3 percent of the population, this is an incredibly rare energy type. Ra Uru Hu noted that, due to so many open centers and no inner authority, Mental Projectors often struggle. “There is a dilemma here for the Mental Projector, because for them, Authority is really a questionable thing and not something that is simple at all.

Classic Projectors

The common non-energy type Projector has no defined motor center or definition above the throat, meaning they have to rely on external forces for energy in the same way as Mental Projectors, but are a distinct category. 

Although they lack inner motor definition, unlike Mental Projectors, these people have an Inner Authority, either Splenic Authority or Self-Projected Authority

Remember, the ethos of Human Design is to connect deeply to the body’s intelligence and not to trust the mind. Because they have defined centers below the throat, Classic Projectors are very complex beings able to rely on their inner world and bodies, in a way Mental Projectors can’t.

(praetorianphoto / Getty)

Energy Projectors

An exception to the rule of Projectors as non-energy types, this sub-type of Projector has a defined motor center (but not the sacral center). These people have so much energy, and can rely on themselves to act as their own source of energy. They are closely related to Manifestors (similar to Manifesting Generators). Energy Projectors have an Inner Authority from the Solar Plexus, the Ego center, or the Splenic Center.

Understanding Human Design Projector in greater detail

Each of the energy types within the Human Design system has unique qualities that include its Aura, Strategy, Not-Self Theme, and Signature. These are useful guides for understanding, how best to use energy, and when to detect when misaligned or on the correct path. Below are details of each quality for Projectors.

Aura

An aura is said to be the true nature of a person’s energy field. This precious energy is the “vibe” you get from interacting with someone, a quality you can’t quite explain, but you feel is palpable. Many approaches to the self, from West to East, include different descriptions of an aura, and Human Design is no different.

As part of the system, each energy type has a specific aura. Projector’s aura is focused and absorbing. The nature of Projectors is to see deeply. With these two traits combined, Projectors tend to create deep relationships with others, and their aura represents this.

Not-self theme

The beauty of Human Design is that it provides practical guidance on how to detect when acting in alignment, and when not. I’ve found the chakra system can sometimes be confusing, as you first have to identify which chakras are blocked, or open, before knowing where to focus your attention. 

Human Design is different. Once you know your energy type, the sign of misalignment, or Not-Self theme, is clearly laid out. For Projectors, this theme is bitterness.

Recognition is a big part of Projectors DNA. It ties in with the gift of seeing, and of contributing ideas or innovations. But the biggest pitfall for Projectors is the bitterness that surfaces when they fail to be recognized. It was this explanation that drew me into Human Design, because it seemed to explain processes I’d learned about myself through years of self-inquiry.

I’m a writer and a content creator. I work with ideas and share them with the world.

(Alexander Spatari / Getty)

My process has been one of oscillating between inspiration, fulfillment, gratitude, and, yes, bitterness. Any time I feel I’m not getting the recognition I deserve or comparing myself to others, that familiar bitter feeling can sink in.

There is, of course, an element of hubris involved. A Projector puts a lot of value on what they contribute. If you didn’t see value in your ideas, you wouldn’t feel bad for not being recognized! But the balancing act is cultivating inspiration, and then following the Projector strategy of waiting for an invitation rather than trying to force recognition.

Signature

The signature in Human Design is unique to each energy type. It acts as a symbol for alignment. The signature for Projectors is success

By now you might be getting an idea of the bigger picture. Projectors guide energy and contribute original or insightful ideas. They are viewed as masters of systems, and lots of Human Design guidance encourages Projectors to develop expertise in certain fields, those that feel naturally right.

I will draw upon my personal experience to explore this in greater detail, as I feel this is a concept that can be easily misunderstood. The ethos of Human Design is to undo conditioning and live authentically. The idea of success, in modern society, is very narrow, and can become a stumbling block to finding your personal success.

The mind, or ego, always wants more. I’ve found the need to redefine success in order to stay committed to my path, without bitterness overwhelming me. It’s not about followers or reach or fame. Success can be having the courage to put your ideas out into the world, or being vulnerable enough to share your personal experience.

I always keep in mind the ground zero approach — if just one person benefits from an article I write, that’s a success! Never underestimate the power of one conversation, or one insight, or one idea. Whether you are an emotional projector or an energy projector, you have a skill at igniting people. What feels like a passing comment might set off a chain of events that better the world, all without you being consciously aware. 

Strategy

What’s the solution, then? On the surface, the Projector’s process looks disempowered. 

As someone who is highly ambitious and driven, the idea of waiting for an invitation felt absurd. I want to initiate! I want to be in the driving seat! On closer inspection, though, this process started to make a lot of sense to me, and a lot of it comes down to the invite itself.

There are a few elements at play. The first is trust. As a Projector, it’s vital that you drown out external expectations, or attachment to outcomes or what other people require of you, and connect deeply with your inner radar of interest. 

What lights you up? Follow that, and do so with all the conviction and inspiration you can. When in full alignment with your biggest passion, you don’t have to seek invites, they will be attracted to you.

And then there’s the invitation itself. There’s a need to embrace a metaphysical approach (Human Design is a metaphysical, energetic system, after all) when viewing this Strategy. Invites appear in a number of ways in your reality. 

It could be that you notice a few people asking you similar questions on a topic, reading a book or listening to a podcast, or other synchronicities that signify your gifts and knowledge are wanted.

Projectors risk giving unsolicited advice if they act without invitation. That’s why refining intuition is important. Many invites aren’t direct invitations, but subtle indicators, usually in the form of non-verbal body language. 

Learning to read this will amplify your skills as a Projector, because you’ll “read the room” and know when you’re invited subconsciously to share your viewpoint.

Tips for Human Design Projectors

Being a Projector isn’t easy, but Human Design offers a valuable framework to learn how to harness your gifts, your openness, and your inner nature. To draw from the wisdom above and summarise, below are a few helpful tips to thrive as a Projector.

Be conscious of your energy and your environment

More than any other energy type, Projectors have to use their energy wisely. With so many undefined centers, you’re open to influence from external factors, and that includes the energy of others. 

Who you spend your time with, and the environment you live and work in, is vital. This is especially true if you have no Inner Authority and rely on your environment. In balance, this means relying on trusted friends or mentors to act as a sounding board for your ideas. Out of balance, this might look like putting yourself in an environment that has a negative impact on your wellbeing.

I would highly recommend a form of meditation of bodywork to get familiar with your energy, and energy which isn’t yours. I’m like an energetic sponge, and over the years I’ve had to work a lot with letting energy move through me. Otherwise, even a five-minute walk in a crowded place could make me feel overwhelmed by the amount of sensory input I’m receiving.

Follow your bliss

We live in a culture that emphasizes productivity, outcomes, results, and ROI. This doesn’t quite work for Projectors. 

In fact, it goes against the conventional view of thinking of your audience and marketing your ideas to them. Because of their magnetic energy when in alignment, Projectors’ best approach is to follow their bliss and embrace the ideas that spark inspiration into their life path. They really know how to manifest something.

When in that state, trust that invitations will come, and try not to worry about recognition or validation. Ironically, the desire for recognition could be one way to put barriers in the way of uncovering what you’re most inspired by and, as a result, what you’re here to teach or master.

Deepen your understanding of invitations

Here’s a fun journal exercise: see how many forms of invitation you can describe that are indirect. Although these are personal to you, you’ll begin to detect patterns in the way that invitations enter your consciousness. 

(Westend61 / Getty)

Be as creative as you like! For example, you might notice that you frequently think of someone who, when you reach out, tells you that they were thinking of you too. When this happens again, you might see this as a psychic invitation to reach out to someone you’ve not spoken to in a while.

Synchronicities are a big part of invitations, too. I use this for studying all of the time. If I see a topic appear more than once, I switch on and feel that I’m being “called” to learn more. Human Design is one of them. I’ll share an example of how this happened to give you an insight into my approach with “invitations.”

Human Design was in the peripheral of my awareness as my partner mentioned it a few years ago. I appreciated what she had to share, but it didn’t fully register until recently when I asked “the universe” for guidance on my approach to content creation. After a few perceived failures, I felt something was off, and wanted feedback.

A few days later I hosted an event attended by my partner and a friend. I asked them to reflect as honestly as they could, to highlight any blind spots (Projectors are known to not be the most aware of things they do naturally). My partner told me to embrace eccentricity and stop worrying about what my audience might want.

Not long after that, I started researching Human Design for Goalcast, which is where I began reading about the Projectors strategy. It aligned with what I’d learned and understood intuitively about myself, and it was a huge lightbulb moment that reaffirmed the new direction of my creative practice and approach to life.

Be your own champion

I’m very lucky in that I have a number of family and friends who support what I do. They’re the ones I turn to when I’m struggling, when I’m downbeat, and when I am, of course, feeling bitter and unrecognized. This type of support is invaluable; Projectors get a lot of value in feeling seen for what they’re contributing.

As an extension, it pays to become your own champion, too. I was struck by a Wim Hof quote in Goalcast’s exclusive interview. When asked how he responded to being labeled as crazy or a freak for years before scientists paid him attention, and the credit of his method took off, he said: “I was always there, but the world was not there.”

Don’t wait for the world or others to acknowledge you, your mission, your talents, or the message you wish to share. Stay as connected to the core essence of what it feels like to be inspired. Don’t be swayed by doubters, both external, and internal. And believe deeply in the inner guidance that shows you the way.

Always be there. And one day, the world will catch up.

Ricky Derisz

Author exploring the soul of self-development, the mystery of existence, and the heartful path to maximising the human potential. Follow the link above for your free copy of my book, Mindsets for Mindfulness — discover the re-enchanted worldview, the true meaning of mindfulness, the relationship between mental health and spiritual awakening, and the 10 mindsets to overcome the ego on the journey of growth. https://www.mindthatego.com/mindsets-for-mindfulness

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Ricky Derisz