Human Design Circuits 101: What They Are and Why They Matter

My Human Design content is always written through my heretical + alchemical lens. It may or may not align with traditional HD views. And this post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase after clicking one of my affiliate links, I may make a commission. 

In this post, I’m going to explain what the human design circuits and integration channels are and why they matter so much.

But first, let’s rewind a bit.

In the Human Design chart, there are 36 channels that are like your energetic spine. They give structure and flow to your energy. Each channel brings its own distinct type of energy to the bodygraph. 

But “under” those specific energies are energetic themes that group certain types of channels into “categories.:

Those “categories” of channels influence the specific energy that you express energy and how that energy flows through the bodygraph.

The first main category is the human design circuits.

So…

a human design bodygraph with text that reads human design circuits what they are and why they matter plus how your defined circuits inform your needs, values, principles, and beliefs.

What Are Human Design Circuits?

When you understand the your human design circuitry, you will have a “big picture” perspective on what your energy is about.

If the channels are like the bones, circuitry is like the nerves. It is the life force energy that moves the energy in the chart and has a “primitive mission” to communicate with the world. 

These “primitive missions” are the values, principles, emotional needs, and core beliefs that drive our behavior. 

They shape the types of relationships we prefer, the types of conflicts we may encounter in relationships, and the way we use our life force energy on any given day. 

For example, someone with a lot of tribal circuitry but no individual circuitry is likely to value family and community over individual empowerment. 

On a daily basis, this person will likely be doing things that support the growth of the tribe (i.e. caring for children, distributing resources, mating, etc.) 

And they are more likely to get into conflict with someone who has a lot of individual circuitry but not tribal circuits because their values will be very different. 

This, of course, is not a hard and fast rule because it is always possible to have a mix of circuitry in one’s chart. And certain conditioning can lead us to believe that our values are one thing when really they are another.

Human Design Circuits Role in Conditioning

Your circuitry informs your needs, values, principles, and beliefs.

But, you may have also inherited values, principles and beliefs from your relationships and environment. This means that the human design circuits can be a major source of conditioning.

For example…

If you grew up with people who have tribal circuitry and you yourself only have individual circuitry, you may currently believe that family comes first. Or, that sacrificing yourself is the way you earn love and belonging. 

But those beliefs are part of conditioning rather than what actually feels true for you.

These types of conditioned values and beliefs will create both inner and outer conflict. 

That is why understanding your circuitry is important; it will help you to see what you are likely to need and value on a very fundamental level.  As such, it will help you to see where some important human design deconditioning and healing opportunities are. 

Want even more information about the Human Design Circuits? I go even deeper in the 36 Channels Guided Course, which you will automatically get when you buy your Human Design Map. PLUS, you’ll learn how to decondition and clear “blocks”. Get yours here.

With all that, let’s explore the human design circuits…


The Individual Human Design Circuit

The Individual Circuit is one of the main human design circuits. It has a total of eleven channels and has two sub-circuits called knowing and sensing.

This circuit begins with the format channel 3-60 and is unique in that it moves energy through all nine centers in the bodygraph. 

Those with channels defined in the Individual Circuit play a unique role in the evolution of humanity; they are the ones who plants the seeds of change and inspire novel ways of thinking, being, doing, and living in the world. They empower others to make the changes necessary to thrive. 

Channels in the Individual Circuit: 

3/60, 14/2, 1/8, 61/24, 43/23, 38/28, 57/20, 39/55, 22/12 (knowing)

34/10 and 25/51 (centering)

The individual circuit has two sub-circuits: the knowing circuit and the centering circuit.

Want even more information about the Human Design Circuits? I go even deeper in the 36 Channels Guided Course, which you will automatically get when you buy your Human Design Map. PLUS, you’ll learn how to decondition and clear “blocks”. Get yours here.

The Knowing Circuit

The Knowing Circuit is a sub-circuit of the Individual Circuit and has a total of nine channels.  It moves through all of the centers in the bodygraph except the will center. 

It is important to note that, in this context, “knowing” is an intuitive sense; not intellectual knowledge. You may have heard of this type of knowing as “claircognizance” or “the sixth sense” and you tap into it through your body rather than your mind.

Those with defined channels in the knowing circuit are here to inspire the direction we go as tribes and in the collective. 

Channels in the Knowing Sub-Circuit: 

3/60, 14/2, 1/8, 61/24, 43/23, 38/28, 57/20, 39/55, 22/12

The Centering Circuit

The Centering Circuit is a sub-circuit of the Individual Circuit and has a total of two channels.  

It moves through the sacral, the G, and the Will. It originates in the G Center (aka the higher heart) gets energy from the sacral and the will center.

In this context, centering is about being fully present to life and responding with authenticity. Others may see it as “self-centered” if they are feeling disempowered in their own life.

Those with definition in the centering sub-circuit are here to inspire others into self-love through their sovereign behavior. It empowers others to live with radical integrity. 

Channels in the Centering Sub-Circuit: 

34/10 and 25/51


The Tribal Human Design Circuit

The Tribal Circuit, sometimes referred to as the community circuit, has a total of seven channels and has two sub-circuits called ego and defense.

This circuit runs through the lower half of the bodygraph, through the will center, and into the throat and it contains no format channels. 

Those with channels defined in the Tribal Circuit maintain family and community structures. They ensure that the tribe has its basic needs met and has the resources it needs to survive. This ensures the sustainability of the human species. 

Channels in the Tribal Circuit: 

54/32, 44/26, 19/49, 37/40, 21/45 (ego)

59/6 and 27/50 (defense)

The tribal circuit has two sub-circuits: the Defense Circuit and the Ego Circuit.

Want even more information about the Human Design Circuits? I go even deeper in the 36 Channels Guided Course, which you will automatically get when you buy your Human Design Map. PLUS, you’ll learn how to decondition and clear “blocks”. Get yours here..

The Defense Circuit

The Defense Circuit is a sub-circuit of the tribal circuit and has two channels. It moves through the spleen, sacral, and emotional solar plexus. 

The two channels in the defense circuit are channels that are the primal instincts for reproduction, raising children, war and peace, creating resources, and protecting the tribe.  Its main focus is on surviving on the material plain by ensuring the shared values and the reproductive sustainability of the tribe. 

In this context, defense is about ensuring that the tribe continues to survive. Those with defined channels in the defense circuit are here to do whatever it takes to ensure that happens. 

Channels in the Defense Sub-Circuit: 

59/6 and 27/50

The Ego Circuit

The Ego Circuit is a sub-circuit of the tribal circuit and has a total of five channels.

It moves through the bottom half of the bodygraph, through the will center, to the throat. 

The five channels in the Ego circuit are channels create the laws, structure, and resources necessary for the sustainability of the defense circuit.  

It’s main focus is on making sure that the tribe has everything it needs (including order) to go on reproducing and tends to value individual sacrifice to ensure sustainability of the tribe. 

In this context, ego is not a spiritual failing, in fact, it is the opposite. It is the awareness of being a human being on Earth that has mundane and material needs and that being fully human is the spiritual purpose of life. 

Those with definition in the ego sub-circuit are here to supply the needs of the tribe; this ensures that the defense circuit can do its job. 

Channels in the Ego Circuit: 

54/32, 44/26, 19/49, 37/40, 21/45


The Collective Human Design Circuit

The Collective Circuit is the largest of the human design circuits with a total of 14 channels. It has the Understanding sub-circuit and the sensing sub-circuit.

This circuit begins with two format channels 42/53 and 9/52 and it moves energy through all centers in the bodygraph except the will center. 

Those with channels defined in the Collective Circuit are here to share their experiences and experiments with others. This sharing isn’t personal, though, it is to pass information that helps humanity learn new things, grow from our mistakes, and make the world a “better” place. 

Channels in the Collective Circuit: 

63/4, 17/62, 7/31, 5/15, 9/52, 18/58, 48/16 (understanding)

64/47, 11/56, 13/33, 29/46, 53/42, 41/30, 35/36 (sensing)

The Collective Circuit has two sub-circuits: the sensing circuit and the understanding circuit.

Want even more information about the Human Design Circuits? I go even deeper in the 36 Channels Guided Course, which you will automatically get when you buy your Human Design Map. PLUS, you’ll learn how to decondition and clear “blocks”. Get yours here.

The Sensing Circuit

The Sensing Circuit is a sub-circuit of the Collective Circuit. You may have heard it called the abstract circuit. It has a total of seven channels.  It moves through the root, solar plexus, sacral, G, throat, ajna, and head and originates in the 42/53 format channel. 

In this context, sensing is about making sense of the past and using those experiences to improve society in some way. 

Those with channel definition in the sensing sub-circuit are here to have emotional desire and experiences that show them something about making the world a “better” place. 

Channels in the Sensing Sub-Circuit: 

53/42, 29/46, 13/33, 41/30, 36/35, 64/47, 11/56

The Understanding Circuit

The Understanding Circuit is a sub-circuit of the Collective Circuit. You may have heard it called the logic circuit. It has a total of seven channels.  It moves through the root, spleen, sacral, G, throat, ajna, and head and originates in the 9/52 format channel. 

In this context, understanding is about being able to recognize patterns through logic and understanding which hypothesis to experiment with.

Those with channel definition in the understanding sub-circuit are here to predict what may happen in the future and determine which things are worth experimenting with and which one’s aren’t. And through sharing the results of their experiments, they shape the way society operates. 

Channels in the Understanding Sub-Circuit: 

63/4, 17/62, 7/31, 5/15, 9/52, 18/58, 48/16


The Integration Channels

(not technically one of the human design circuits)

Technically speaking, the Integration Channels are not circuits.

The true human design circuits are about the way energy flow throughs a group of human design centers. And, what that energy is communicating to others.

The Integration Channels, on the other hand, are a collection of four channels that are the backbone of humanity. They show us what it means to be an individuated human being. 

Traditional Human Design says that the integration channels represent the evolution from primate to human. And, they make us distinct from one another.

Which means that if you have defined integration channels, you are here to be very distinct. You are not here to fit in and focus solely on self-preservation and empowerment. 

That may sound similar to the individual circuit but they are different. The channels in the individual circuit are empowering others to be individuals. The Integration Channels are embodying empowerment. 

Another important point about having defined integration channels is related to selfishness.

Being “selfish” has a really bad rap in our culture.

And in my experience as a master energy healer, the fear of selfishness is one of the most common “blocks” to authenticity. You may find it really difficult to act in alignment with your inner wisdom and higher purpose when you are afraid of being selfish.

And while the need for selfishness isn’t just for the integration channels, it is one of the key components. If you have integration channels, self-absorption, selfishness, and focusing on your survival (and thriving) is a core part of your energy and it would serve you well to love those parts.

Want even more information about the Human Design Circuits? I go even deeper in the 36 Channels Guided Course, which you will automatically get when you buy your Human Design Map. PLUS, you’ll learn how to decondition and clear “blocks”. Get yours here.

Integration Channels: 

10/20, 34/20, 57/34, 57/10

Important Note: Based on the way the bodygraph looks with the integration channels defined, it may appear that 57/20 and 34/10 are part of the Integration Channels but they are not, they are part of the individual circuit. 


When you understand the energy of the human design circuits, you will understand yourself on an even deeper level. They deeply inform your personal values, principles, and beliefs and can be a key indicator of where your deconditioning work is.

If you’d like a deep dive explanation of your human design, be sure to get your Human Design Map. With the map, you will get the information, skills, and guidance you need to decondition, heal your “blocks”, and align with your higher purpose. Get yours here.