Types: a matter of… definition
As we saw in the “Gate, Lines, Channels” session, when two centers are connected through a channel, we say that they are “defined” and they appear in full color in the chart. When a center is not connected to any other center, we say it is “undefined” and it appears in white in the chart.
Definition is a basic concept to understand how energy works in an individual’s chart. We can say that whatever in the chart is defined is consistently reliable and available, and whatever is not defined is open to external influences.
Out of nine centers, all of them or none can be defined, and this points out to a great diversity of possibilities.
From this diversity comes the concept of “type”: according to what centers are defined we have different types.
It is useful to say, at this point, that out of nine centers, there are four that are so called “motors”: the Sacral, the Solar Plexus/Emotional Center, the Ego/Will Power center, and the Root. They are the sources of energy that has the power to move the whole energy in the chart – and in our lives – towards action and manifestation.
The Sacral is the most powerful motor as it is the center of vitality, the Solar Plexus is the center of emotional energy, the Will Power center is the center of drive and motivation and the Root is the center of adrenaline and motion.
Another center that plays an important role in determining the type is the Throat because it is the hub where all energy is under pressure to go to in order to communicate through language or to manifest activity.
When the Sacral is defined and NOT connected to the Throat we have a Generator type and when the Sacral is defined and connected to the Throat we have a Manifesting Generator.
When the Sacral is not defined and the Throat is defined and connected to one of the remaining three motors we have a Manifestor; when the Sacral is not defined and there’s no Throat/motor connection but at least two defined centers, we have a Projector; when NO center is defined we have a Reflector.
We have a total of five types, that function and operate in five different ways.
Four or five types?
Different schools of Human Design approach the matter of types from different points of view and this has brought up some sort of controversy and confusion.
Ra’s description of types was based on the kind of “aura” that the different configurations generate. According to this approach there is no difference between the aura of a Generator and the aura of a Manifesting Generator as they both have an “open and enveloping” aura even though with s “subtle distinction that lies in its [of the latter] auric frequency”.
Nevertheless, there are significant differences in the way they function and even in the way they apply their common strategy (to respond), so it seems more practical to treat them as two separate types.
Why knowing one’s type is important?
At the very beginning of Human Design, when Ra first started to experiment with reading and teaching, there was no clear distinction of types as we know them today. There were only “definition types”, based on how many definitions were present and how they were connected to each other. A “single definition” is one or more definitions connected to each other to form a single block of definitions. A “spilt definition” is two definitions or blocks of definitions who are not connected and need to be bridged. A split definition can also be “triple spilt” and even “quadruple split”. These “definition types” are still relevant in interpreting a chart during a reading, but the emphasis has gradually moved to the so called “aura types”, probably as a natural consequence of noticing the differences when particular centers (the Sacral and the Throat) and definitions (Throat connected to a motor) appear in a chart.
Sacral and Throat seem to be making the difference in determining the overall texture of a chart, defining how the energy of a particular individual is going to be: is it an energy that is made to do or to wait, to initiate or to respond? Or both?
Understanding this element of Human Design is crucial, because in this first evaluation of one’s energy lies the whole concept of “strategy”, the very first move towards making a decision, the very first step of action. It seems to be clear that timing is of the essence…
 Lynda Bunnel, The Definite Book of Human Design, 2011, HDC Publishing