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Human Design and Shadow Work

When I first meet people who are interested in Human Design, they tend to focus on their energy types (Manifestor, Generator, Manifesting Generator, Projector and Reflector). Once someone finds out their energy type they then become focused on their Strategy and Authority which make up our inner guidance and decision making process. With these few pieces of information, most people can use their Human Design for significant change in their life. But Human Design can offer so much more…

Perhaps you’ve heard the term ‘shadow work’. Used quite often by life coaches, light workers and healers, shadow work is the inner work where an individual gets to look at their more negative or least desirable traits and behaviours. Our shadow side is the part of us that we often try to gloss over or bypass because we have been conditioned by society to always be positive, bright and loving. Along with our triggers, our shadow side can show us parts of us that if we took more notice, we can transform and use to improve our lives and relationships.

How can Human Design help with shadow work?

The Gates and Channels in our BodyGraph (Human Design Chart) can point us in the right direction. (You can get your free BodyGraph from

The Gates in our chart show us the traits and behaviours that we have. Each of the Gates has a ‘highest expression’ and ‘lowest expression’. These are where our traits and behaviours are working for or against us respectively.

Let me take you through an example.

Gate 1 is the Gate of Self-Expression. Creation is a primal force and the energy of this gate has the potential to manifest inspiration without any limitation.

When an individual who has this Gate in their chart is in the highest expression of the Gate they ooze with creativity and honour their most unique, authentic and creative self expression. They naturally attract attention and inspire others to also express themselves.

When an individual who has this Gate in their chart is in the lowest expression (shadow side) of the Gate, their creativity is stifled. They are creating in order to gain validation or approval rather than to let it be a natural expression of themselves. When expressing themselves for these reasons, the individual may find themselves blocked in their own creativity because it is not coming from a place of natural expression. There may also be a fear in expressing themselves and so creativity again becomes blocked.

Learning this can help an individual look at where their creativity is coming from. Whether it is being used naturally or being forced.

I have the Gate 36: The Gate of Crisis Resolution in my chart. This can sometimes make me feel as if there is an impending crisis on the horizon and cause me to feel instability. But when I am working in my highest expression, any crisis or challenge that comes my way is met with objectivity and clarity. This helps me navigate what I am going through relatively easily to come to a solution.

However, whenever I am working in my lowest expression, any challenge or crisis can make me feel anxious and somewhat defeated. Trying to control these situations only makes things worse for myself. By allowing myself to experience what is going on and remembering that I can use my Human Design Authority, I am able to step out of the shadow side and get through to the other side of challenges and situations I am facing.

This is not to say that being aware of this will always lead me to a positive experience. I am human after all! It helps me to see where I’m blocking myself. It helps me to see why I feel so anxious about certain situations and then look at where I need to change things up. It is about practice over and over again until it becomes second nature. Just as it takes time to learn behaviours, it also takes time to unlearn them!

However, this is only one example. A person’s BodyGraph is made up of many Gates (unless you are a Reflector energy type). Each Gate represents a different part of you and all have their own highest expressions and lowest expressions (shadow sides). It may be that you are showing signs of your shadow side in only a few of the Gates. I’ve had clients who have been showing signs of their shadow side in a majority of their Gates and the inner work to transform behaviours and patterns gets to be deeper and takes a bit more time.

The Channels in our chart are another place where we can see where our shadow side is more apparent. The Channels in our chart indicate themes and talents that will show up in our lives over and over again. Each of these has it’s own challenges (shadow side). Again knowing the challenges of these particular themes for your life can put you in a better place to be able to navigate them.

I have the Channel of Openness (12-22) in my Chart. I am at the mercy of my emotions. I can appear calm and assured but underneath it all is emotional wave after emotional wave pulling away on me. I don’t have a problem expressing my emotions, but it can sometimes impact others in ways I don’t intend.

For me to work with this Channel I need to be clear with myself and what I want to express, before I lurch head on into saying or doing it. But I must also ensure that I don’t bottle up my emotions to appease others, as this blocks my own manifesting abilities.

My energy affects those around me, and can impact how they feel themselves. This is something I have noticed in recent years. Although I can not control how others feel, I know when my own energy is not conducive to being around other people. This helps me to determine when I am more social or when to take alone time.

How can Gates and Channels help me work on your shadow side?

Human Design Gates and Channels helps us to become more aware of certain parts of our personality, our energy, our traits, our gifts and our purpose in life. And they don’t just show us all the great things about us. They also shows us the less desirable things. And it’s okay to know that. They are not things that we need to brush over or try to eliminate completely from our lives. The more aware we are of certain things, the more we can learn to accept or change them.

Imagine not knowing that you were being your own worst enemy when it comes to starting new things in your life. Going through life always wondering why things weren’t working out for you no matter how hard you try. Once you know how a shadow side is showing up in your life, it is easier to notice when it happens and what has occurred to make it show up. This can then point us in the direction of our emotions. What are we feeling when this happens? How do we want to feel when this happens? You may have heard the saying that a lesson will keep appearing for you until you take notice and change your reaction or behaviour towards it.

My own relationships with others have improved just by being aware of my own energy, traits and themes. I’ve been able to follow my dreams and my life purpose just from learning about myself through Human Design. Although my energy type, Strategy and Authority have helped me on a daily basis, it is through learning about my Gates and Channels and how the shadow sides show up in my life that have made the biggest impact.

If you would like to know more about how Human Design can help you to change your life feel free to book a consultation call with me today.

Much love,

Harmesch x

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