How to Read Your Human Design Chart: Channels

You may be looking at your Human Design chart and saying what do all these colours mean?!

When you are learning how to read your Human Design Chart or just understand it better, one of the components you will want to look at are your Channels. They represent some of your unique gifts in this world.

Amy Doyle

Amy Doyle

Holistic Counsellor

See All Posts

One way to read your Human Design Chart is to look at the image in the middle. You will see nine geometrical shapes that represent the energy centres and in each shape, numbers within a white or black circle. The placement of the numbers never changes – it’s the same for everyone.  

The numbers represent the 64 gates (hexagrams of the I-Ching) – think of these as different energies that run through your human design system. 

A Channel consists of two opposing gates that meet and connect two energy centres (the shapes) together. 

A channel allows energy to flow through the system and establishes communication between two centres. Each channel is characterised by a specific theme or gift.

How many Channels are in Human Design?

There are a total of 36 channels in your Human Design Chart. These channels sit across three main frequency categories known as circuits. 

  • Individual circuit has 15 channels
  • Tribal circuit has 7 channels
  • Collective circuit has 14 channels

You can have channels in a number of these circuits. Each circuit brings in different energy. It simply shows how much energy you have within you to contribute to different areas of your life.

  • Individual channels: people who are primarily interested in themselves (can appear to be self-absorbed – for the greater good of humanity of course!) and are acoustically oriented. They are here to empower others.  
  • Tribal channels: people who are primarily interested in their family and close community, often needing more physical touch and contact. They are here to support others. 
  • Collective channels: people who are primarily interested in humanity as a whole and are more visually oriented. They are here to share with others. 

What does a black channel mean in Human Design?

When channels are defined (coloured) they provide consistent, reliable communication between the two energy centres they connect in your chart. The gifts they bring grow and evolve just as you do, the more you embrace them the more you grow.

In a traditional Human Design Chart, a black channel represents a conscious channel, meaning you are likely aware of how this energy plays out in your everyday life. 

If you have downloaded your chart from this website the channel will be orange (for aesthetic purposes only).

What does a red channel mean in Human Design?

When you are looking at your Human Design Chart image, you may notice you have red channels (or purple if downloaded from this website – again only for aesthetic purposes). 

A red channel means it is unconscious and you may not have realised this energy was there – unless pointed out by others.  Or you may have thought that everyone felt that way.

A mix of red and black (or purple and orange) means it’s a combination of conscious and unconscious energy and you may not have realised the full breadth of potential available to you or been able to articulate the gift within.

What does a white channel mean in Human Design?

When channels are white (not defined) they are referred to as open. This is where you can learn from others and they can become an incredible source of wisdom to you.

If you have a channel with one end white and the other coloured it is not a defined channel. The coloured gate is called a ‘Hanging Gate’. This hanging gate is often looking or waiting for the other side in order to live out its special quality. The beauty of hanging gates is that you often attract people into your life who have the exact gate you need.

How many channels do people usually have in Human Design?

As long as you are not a Reflector (the rarest of the Human Design energy types) you will have one or more defined channels. 

Remember channels connect energy centres together. They not only exist within a particular circuit (individual, collective or tribal) but they also have a Manifesting, Generating, Manifesting Generated, or Projecting quality to them as well. If you are having trouble resonating with your Human Design Energy Type looking at your defined channels can be helpful along with deconditioning activities.

What are the most powerful channels in Human Design?

It is said the format channels in Human Design are the most powerful. This is because when they are defined they have a huge influence on us and can override many other energy dynamics in the chart. 

The three format channels connect the Root Centre to the Sacral Centre. Think of it in terms of energy arising in the Root creating pressure, before pushing through to the Sacral where we take action. 

You can experience noticeable fixed themes, tendencies or patterns within your life when one or more of the format channels are defined (coloured):

  • 42-53 (The Channel of Maturation): experienced as cyclical movement that has a beginning, middle and end to everything you experience
  • 3-60 (The Channel of Mutation): experienced as pulsing or bursts of energy that create rapid changes seein you go through a process of chaos to order, dark to light, a void of time where you are unsure of what to do next to taking aligned action
  • 9-52 (The Channel of Concentration): experienced as logical and focused step-by-step energy that brings an intensity and determination to improve things

Having only one gate of a format channel can create certain pressures (including depression and confusion) in your Human Design experience. So be sure to check out the gate energy overview if you have one or more of these defined.

Curious to know more about your Gates and Channels? Keep an eye out on the Human Design Blog page as I work through each of the 64 Gates and 36 Channels over 2023.

Meet The Author

Amy Doyle

Amy Doyle

Amy is a Holistic Counsellor who helps her clients move from this idea that they are broken or missing pieces of their own puzzle, to owning their story, claiming back all parts of themselves and merging together as one team to allow them to rest and be in their deepest expression.

See All Posts

If you loved this article please feel free to share this on your favorite social page

Inner work tips and tools

Sign up to our newsletter, no spam, just free helpful advice for life-harmony seekers.

We respect your privacy. We will never pass on your details. We promise.