What do the Human Design circuits mean?

Do you know a little about Human Design, but you wonder why you would need to know about the circuits? I had the same curiosity and started digging into what they mean and how they could be applied to my life (or yours).  I don’t think it will change the way you do things per say, but it might give you an understanding of why you are an important piece in the puzzle of humankind.  We all express these energies in our life and they make the world flow, evolve and grow.

The Human Design body graph is made up of lines with interconnected energy that make up circuits – like the wiring in your home. Each circuit brings different energies and behaviors to each of us individually to help humanity evolve and each circuit does this in a different way.

Your Human Design Body graph can tell you what way you are here to help in this evolution. You may have just one; two or you can have all three types of circuitry.  There Human Design Circuits including individual, tribal and collective.

I understand the circuitry in your Human Design chart showing HOW you fulfill your part in human evolution during your life on earth.

You may be here to inspire change by simply be yourself (individual), or by caring for a group of people close to you (your tribe) or by sharing with the whole (the collective)?  Would this be something helpful or interesting for you to know about yourself? It was for me.

You are here to be different - individual circuit-human design (1)

Individual Circuitry is about activating change on an individual level.  It brings something different to the world and inspires change within others. The change is activated by “being” yourself.  Individual circuitry is made up of the centering (link) circuit, knowing (link) circuit, and integration.

Someone with individual circuitry discovers a new idea or new way of doing something.  It can be seen as “out there” at first.  They then bring the idea to their community (tribe of family – friends – classmates – coworkers etc.) and the community tests it out to see if it’s viable.  If it is validated and can be repeated, it will be adopted and passed along to the collective.

Do you feel misunderstood? Or maybe like people just don’t get what you are saying half the time? If you have a lot of individual circuitry in your body graph, you may feel alone at times because you have all these great ideas, but people are not always ready to hear them and understand them – but there’s nothing wrong with you.  Actually the more confident you are in being the “weird” one, the more you allow others to be themselves.  You can transform the world by being yourself.

Do you remember the song from Sesame Street: “One of these things is not like the other; one of these things just doesn’t belong?” This is the song that comes to my mind when I think about individual circuitry.  I personally feel like the one that doesn’t belong sometimes, but it’s a good thing. You cannot live out your destiny if you are trying to fit in. You are here to be different – so be yourself! If you are a parent to a kid with a lot of individual circuitry, it is important to support your kiddo’s full expression of their uniqueness.

My story of individual circuitry:

I have found that I don’t fit into the collective idea that work should take place during specific hours of the day (like 8-5) or in a specific way (like butt in seat at the office).  Some people do not mind this or may even like it, but it does not feel right for me.

I spent years feeling like I didn’t fit in, almost alone and definitely burned out and frustrated. At some point I had an epiphany of what I needed – more flexibility and more balance with my family life.  I then spoke up and asked for more flexibility, ability to work from home or working less hours so I can spend more time with my family.  The rules of the collective (corporation in this case) were stronger than my desire, and I was told this was not possible while I was an employee. My idea was definitely seen as out there.  Many of the employees had been working at this corporation for 30 years and had never asked such a thing.

I finally realized that the only way I could be more of myself was to leave my job and do things differently. So that’s what I did. I had to take a break, which is a risk of course, but I was able to return to my job in a different role – as a contractor. This allowed me to work in a way that is right for me.  I am not bound by the same rules of the collective at the corporation. It gave me (as well as my boss honestly) more freedom of choice in how I contributed to the team.

Human Design Individual Circuit example

I’m now able to pull together something I call a portfolio career. I work a set amount of hours at my corporate job which helps me contribute financially to my family.  I am free to also share things I love like Human Design and essential oils that fulfill my heart and mind in a different way.  I also have flexibility in where I work, I can work from home, a coffee shop, sometimes in the office and I can even work in my bed if I wanted to.

Can you see how if you have individual circuitry that you can make more change in the world by just being yourself…rather than trying to change other people’s minds? Even though this was an individual shift for me, it has expanded into tribal energy, which is the next step in evolution.  Now, my friends and coworkers are inspired by what I have done and are now asking me how I did it. I was not doing this with the purpose of changing the mind of someone else, or even the larger organization; I was simply being myself and doing what is right for me. In being myself I’ve inspired others to do what is right for them.

Human Design Tribal Circuitry - tribe (1)

Tribal Circuitry is about caring, reproduction (and raising kids), work and allocation of resources.  It is about the people close to you, your family, neighbors, friends, classmates, coworkers, employees, and etcetera. It is made up of the defense circuit and the ego circuit.

Tribal energy cares deeply about others in the community and feels responsible for them. It is the energy for marriage, agreements, business and education – all the things you might need to have babies and raise them, protect them, instill values and educate them – although you don’t actually need to have your own children to use this energy.

Tribal circuity is not logical; it’s about sustaining and protecting your community. If you live out the tribal circuit in a low expression, you can become co-dependent and put others needs before your own.

My story of tribal circuitry:

I have lived out the low expression of my tribal circuitry by being in co-dependent relationships and friendships in my early years. I put others needs in front of my own and I became deeply burned out by not valuing myself and my needs enough. To transform into the higher expression: it’s like the concept of taking the oxygen mask for you first.  I have now learned through many painful experiences that I need to “fill” my cup before I can give fully to others.

Human Design Tribal Circuit Mama Bear Tribe

Knowing a little more about how my Human Design works, I can now live out the higher expression of Tribal Circuitry. I have amazing tribes within my immediate and extended family as well as lifelong friends, where we care for each other deeply.  But, what I’ve been even more surprised by is that I have found a wonderful community with the parents who have kids the same age as mine.  Let’s call this my “Mama Bear” community. It’s a community that allows me to fill my cup but also deeply care for others.

Raising kids today is demanding and my cup cannot always be full on my own. Don’t get me wrong, it can be super joyful too, but you can’t do it in a silo, you need support. (P.S., if you are reading this and you are a single parent, I give you even more admiration!)

Parents in my Mama Bear community believe that it’s okay to do things different than what we might be told by social media, magazines or even from older generations.  We have been told that women can do it all – and that we can do it within our individual household silo.

My Mama Bear community recognizes the value of being supported by others outside our household that are going through the same thing.  We can share the load, we can watch each-others kids, we can drop in to each other’s houses when we need connection – or a break.  This is similar to how it might be if we lived in a communal space, or like a family or a tribe might do. We have our own little village. Having a village of support is not a new concept, but it’s not emphasized enough in current society.  I am on this earth to deeply care for my community of friends, even if we are not tied by blood or societal norms.

Human Design Collective Circuitry (1)

Collective Circuitry is about survival of humanity on a larger scale.  It is bigger groups of people or ideas like government, organizations, large ruling bodies and it is about knowledge, logic and experience.  It is made up of the sensing circuit and the logic circuit.

Everything starts as an individual idea, then the tribe adopts it and then it becomes part of the norm.

The collective speculates what’s to come next based on lessons from the past using logic.  It also reflects the potential and possibilities for the future and shares inspired stories and ideas. This circuit is about timing – the collective has to be ready to accept the new ideas.

The collective spreads the adoption of new ideas from the tribe and they become adaptive and eventually become the norm. Everything that is normal today in our collective society was once a weird individual idea! Think of the lights in our home that we take for granted and how one man made profound impact on society.

My story of collective circuitry:

Sharing Human Design is my most recent example of Collective Circuitry.  Most of the practitioners (like me) that are diving deep into the understanding of Human Design likely have some individual circuitry.  We may be seen as weirdos or woo-woo by some for sure.  But Human Design has been adopted by many communities/tribes.

Human Design Collective Circuit Example

I believe you are reading this post is because of collective circuitry. I definitely have the energy to share with the collective. It’s in my soul, I can feel it.  But more importantly, I think  it is because the collective is ready to hear about Human Design because it is helping people get out of pain – so the timing is right.  For me it’s not something that I try to get people to believe, it’s just a tool that has the possibility of making a difference in your life for a better.  It is a place in the collective where the world can have more understanding and acceptance for others for who they are.

I have an inner drive to share Human Design with as many people as possible (the collective) that I learn that help me have an easier, happier, less stressful life or just new information that I think is complex and can be translated in a more practical way.  For me, sharing things online is sharing with the collective. I have the opportunity to inspire a large group of people who are outside my individuality and my tribe.  I gently encourage everyone on this entire planet to be more of yourself. We are designed to be different, but we all fit as a piece in the bigger puzzle.


I hope this helped you a little to demystify the circuits a little.  Everyone has the potential to live out the highest expression of all of the energy in their Human Design charts and we are all here to do different things.

For now, if you want to hear more, check out my free podcast (Essential Oils by Design), find me on Pinterest or follow me on Instagram.

3 thoughts on “What do the Human Design circuits mean?

  1. This is really fascinating! In my studying of Human Design, I hadn’t seen the distinction between the circuits like this. Thanks! I have a question, though. I have two in the Individual and 1 in the Collective, but nothing in the tribal. What does that mean?

    1. From my understanding you will learn your lessons and integrate what you learn through an inner personal understanding and process where you have individual circuitry. If you had tribal circuitry, you would learn and integrate through relationships with others rather than from within yourself. For your collective circuit energy, it might be where you feel compelled to share beyond your community. It will be learning outside yourself but not in a relationship. The collective has accepted and integrated ideas (like the education system) where the individual might bring about new ideas that might not yet be accepted bc they haven’t been tested and created by the tribe yet. So look at what the lines in each of the circuits mean and that’s the energy that will be expressed according to the circuits Does this help? If not, feel free to ask more questions. 😊

  2. I’d read about the different circuitry but it’s only rather recently that I’ve learned about which gates/channels relate to which. I quite enjoyed how you’ve distinguished them here. I’ve got 6 channels in my chart, 5 of which are part of the individual circuit, and 1 tribal. The collective can screw itself apparently. LOL
    Out of my 24 activated gates, 8 are collective and they’re all just swinging about, hanging on a whim.

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