The “big picture” of the Human Design chart is the mandala that shows the 64 I’Ching hexagrams in the outer circle, the corresponding 64 gate numbers inside that, the 12 astrological signs inside that, and the Human Design bodygraph in the middle.
The 64 gate energies of Human Design represent the archetypes of our experiences and expressions as human beings. They are the foundational aspects of who we are and how we interact.
Each year the sun moves counterclockwise around the gates of the mandala (like the sun moves through the astrological signs), spending approximately 6 days in each gate. For deeper understanding, know that the sun progresses through all 6 lines of a gate before moving into the next gate.
As the sun (or any other celestial body) moves through a gate it “activates” the energy of that gate. This means that the energy is released to “flow” to us. The sun is considered the most dominant and important transit to be aware of.
The Rest of the Transits
All the other planetary bodies are also moving around the mandala, in their own timing. Together they form the “transits” which exert influence on everyone. When the sun or any other planetary body is in a particular gate, everyone on earth temporarily experiences the activation of that energy. We are all “bathed” in that energy. This is what is meant when you hear that a particular energy is transiting.
Which planet (or sun, earth, or node) is activating a gate will determine how that gate energy impacts us. For example, if the earth is activating a gate then that gate energy will be very grounding. If Mercury is activating a gate, that gate energy will affect how or what we communicate.
How Transits Work
The transits do NOT change your chart. The energetic structure of your chart remains the same throughout your life. But the transits affect us and can temporarily give us the “flavor” of experiencing that energy directly. A transit can even give us the temporary experience of having defined centers at either end of the transiting gate if the transit completes a channel in your chart (this is called an “electromagnetic”) or if multiple planetary transits bring an entire channel into activation at the same time.
Just remember that these effects are temporary and usually mild, if they are felt at all. However, if you are particularly sensitive personally or very aware of energies around you, knowing what the transits are doing can help you to make sense of your experiences and put these energies into their proper perspective.
Knowing about them can also help you to “leverage” those energies when they are available. For example, if you have an open Will Center (also called the Heart or Ego Center) and a particular transit completes a channel for you giving you temporary definition in your Will Center, you can know that you will have greater access to willpower energy and to deliberately exerting your will during that transit period.
I have two favorite resources for keeping track of the transits:
- Karen Curry Parker’s 2020 Human Design Evolution Guide, which focuses on the sun transits and provides affirmations, writing assignments, and EFT setups for each transit; it is updated annually. (this is an affiliate link)
- The Zen Human Design Pocket Ephemeris, which shows all of the transits for the year in a handy pocket-size booklet; it is updated annually. There is also a multi-year ephemeris in a larger book format available. I use the 2001-2025 edition. (this is not an affiliate link)
Also, most free online chart software will allow you to create a Just Now chart which shows all the planetary gate activations at the moment you create the chart.
How Does Your Personal Chart Relate to the Transits?
Your Human Design chart is a snapshot of the transits at the moment of your birth (shown as the black gate numbers) and at approximately 3 months prior to your birth (shown as the red gate numbers). As you understand your chart and the impacts of those gate energies on your life, you’ll begin to realize the potential impact that these transiting energies have every moment of our lives. Nothing stays still out there! The planets are always moving and always activating energies that affect us.
The imprinting of the transits at our birth is their most powerful impact on us. But also we swim in a sea of transit energies from the moment we are born.