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Design and Transference; The Mind and Determination

Updated: Jan 10

Over the last year, a concept has come up time and time again across the Human Design space. The topic has remained the same, but the decided perspectives seem to vary from person to person. The topic, itself, revolves around determination. Determination, or our digestion, is the internal design, or body-side, variable- the arrow at the top left of our chart. Digestion, or nutrition, is something that can become so personal to us for various reasons. We live in a culture in which the latest nutritional ‘facts,’ and, due to what I would say is an endemic of poor gut function, ‘ideal’ diets or eating habits change month to month. We are all seeking out information on how to have a healthy, pain-free digestion process. The truth is that each us is different in our specific needs when it comes to diet, and no amount of heavy thinking can correct that for us.


Now, as I’ve shared, I’ve heard a myriad of perspectives on this topic, and I have spent the last year sitting with them, feeling out what feels true for me. Determination is a topic I’ve struggled to connect to over the last 3 1/2 years while moving through my own process. I shared some on this topic, found here, after having listened to the perspective offered by Sam Zagar, in which she reflected taking into consideration her strategy and authority (a key thing to note, everything comes back to strategy and authority!) It was right around this point in time that I was able to feel into my own determination so much more clearly for the first time after years of frustration, restriction, and constant G.I. pain. I do credit much of that shift to finally getting a more solid understanding of my own emotional authority, and in turn, feeling cognition. The puzzle pieces finally felt like they were coming together for me. It was never enough to eat locally or simply, because I couldn’t connect to what my body desired to digest, what turned my digestion on.


Of the concepts around this topic that I’ve seen offered, one that I’ve sat the most with is the idea that we can transfer between color. This is where we become a bit technical in this conversation. If you want some explanation on color within Human Design, you can check back for a post on the topic soon. When looking at source material on color, Ra Uru Hu says that the design side is, in fact, fixed, a place that is locked in to the specifics of our determination and environment. The design side is firm and fixed unlike the personality side, which is a binary and can transfer to the corresponding color, (i.e. colors one and four, two and five, three and six.) Ra does also mention design side color, moving between left and right, but not from one color to another. And this idea reflects what I’ve more often seen reflected in those around me, with example, indirect light people, eating in daylight, nervous touch people, eating in a calm, seated positions, hot thirst people, drinking ice water…


An image of the Guggenheim in NYC displaying the Hilma Af Klint exhibit in 2018
The Guggenheim, NYC 2018


This last week as the transits lit up a mental channel in my chart, I found myself really stewing on that idea of design side in transference. What does that look like in context of environment, for example? Environment, to me, has always felt like such a natural place to connect with within the chart. It is something outside of us, and something that seems so naturally seen, even within those outside of the Design process. I, myself, have always felt more comfortable in a city setting. The correct grocery store, a sanctuary of peace. It made so much sense finding out my correct environment, external markets, offered me a preference for spending free, working time amongst many other bodies, other auras. The external market dream, the grocery store, with a beautiful selection of what my closed taste desired most. But how could environment transfer color? We know being outside of our correct environment after the first Saturn return is detrimental for our well-being, but when a place can encompass many different environments, how can we be in any form of detriment or distraction? It either is or it isn’t, there isn’t some needing to be reminded of the correct environment when I find myself in a valleys landscape, especially when so often, the valley is a natural setting for a market environment! With this heady thought in mind, I decided to sit with some lectures and get some level of clarity around this much discussed topic. As shared above, Ra says that the design side of the body graph is firm and fixed, we may notice not-self themes show up, but his words feel clear, we either are in touch with our correct determination and environment, or we aren’t. There is no in between, no transference of color, no being reminded to realign when we encounter another’s way of being, though, this is not to say that there is no conditioning around food when we are within auric space of others. As I shared in my previous post on my experience with determination discovery, it very much took me getting to know my unique authority and cognition in order to really begin to feel, to notice, the way in which my closed taste, color two determination, shows up for me. And the longer I build awareness, the more I see ways in which my body has always held it's selectivity, its openness , or not, for particular foods. I have begun to see the seasons my body held for particular meal choices, whether that was for a week or years, and the sudden shift away from that preference eventually.


Determination is split up into lower and upper trigram, a phrase that offers acknowledgement when a color is within the lower three or upper three colors. Lower trigram colors being appetite, or color one, taste, or color two, and thirst, color three; and upper being touch, or color four, sound, or color five, and light, color six. Each of these can be right- passive, or left- active, facing. In, both, my own as well as learned discoveries and insights, I’ve come to understand that right facing variables tend to integrate the information at a speedier pace, but also, that the upper trigram might find it easier to begin putting into practice it’s determination, purely for the sake of it being more of an environmental shift rather than a matter of what it is that you’re physically consuming.



Waitress and patron at the counter in a local diner.
The local dive, 2016

Over the last year or two, it’s become apparent the critical nature of reflection within this process of integrating our determination. Coming at it from the mind, too quickly, may not only bring upset, as I found, but also can be highly detrimental, as seen in the case shared by Amaya Blanco Alzola on the Human Design Collective Podcast, here. Determination is not simply a diet change, it is a part of a larger process of integration within the system. It is, in and of itself, a decision that must be made through authority and when we’re flippant with this decision to pursue our correct determination, the hazards may be great. As shared in the example found on the podcast, returning to eating any which way outside of our unique design-way could lead us to severe health risks. Something I’ve witnessed firsthand in my own experimentation is that once we have integrated an aspect of design, our bodies do not forget. It is incredibly hard to function at the level we did previously in the culture we currently live in. One way I’ve seen this process of integration at work is within my ability to sustain long work hours, especially ones that require more focused or physical energy. One of the first processes I found myself deconditioning was that of my sacral center. I had begun the integration of rest before even coming to design, after several years of battling burn out and crippling anxiety, as well as frequent depressive episodes. I had stretched myself too thin, and could no longer take on the stress I’d pushed myself to working strenuous hours on someone else’s timetable. In turn, now, I do find struggle exerting my energy where I feel no drive, and especially anything beyond a few hours worth- a consideration I made while seeking employment in recent months.

I don’t know if any of this share has offered a definitive clarity on the topic of determination, but I hope I was able to express some much needed considerations we should all be taking in with regard to what we consume, in all manners of speaking. What does your authority say? How have you felt it in your body? That is, after all, the intention of this work. Sending well wishes your way.

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