The official name for Human Design Gate 16 is The Gate of Skills. But I call it The Mastery Maven because its primary action is to be devoted to the mastery of your craft.
About Human Design Gate 16 – Gene Key 16
Archetype Name: The Mastery Maven
In Action: to be devoted to the master of your craft
Keywords: talent, skill, enthusiasm, and your commitment to mastery
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Official Gate Name: Skills
Human Design Definition: The great art of enriching life by the harmonic channeling of energy.
Core Theme: To skillfully master something.
Bodygraph Center: Throat center and connects to the Splenic center via human design gate 48.
Tropical Sign: Gemini
(Want all of the correspondences and keynotes for the gates of your incarnation cross? The Human Design Map is for you.)
The Energy Spectrum of Human Design Gate 16
All energy in the Human Design chart exists on a spectrum of potential.
On the “positive” end of the spectrum, Human Design Gate 16 is the energy for talent, skill, enthusiasm and the commitment to mastery. Gates 16 believes that practice does not make perfect – it makes mastery and the grit of mastery is infinitely more rewarding than perfection. With this attitude firmly in place, its make it’s mark in the world with the mastery of it’s craft.
On the other end of the spectrum, Human Design Gate 16 is the energy for perfectionism or hiding who you are as a result of unhealed shame. It can easily become obsessed with the “right” way to do things or waiting to “be ready” before starting things.
If you don’t like the results that the “negative” side of the spectrum is creating in your life, you can raise the frequency of Gate 16 with a number of boundaries, practices, and tools.
(I cover the practices for the gates of your incarnation cross in the Human Design Map.)
The most important thing to raise the frequency of gate 16 is to notice your not-self themes (frustration, bitterness, anger, or disappointment) as clues to the places where you are investing energy into something that isn’t actually contributing to the mastery of your craft.
My personal contemplation of Human Design Gate 16 (Gene Key 16)
Both Gate 48 and Gate 16 are defined on the conscious side of my chart, creating the full channel of the wavelength.
The 16, in particular, is defined in my conscious moon in line 6.
Anytime we have a gate in line 6, it means that we will go through three distinct phases with that energy in our lives.
The first phase, which happens from birth to the first Saturn Return (around age 28), looks more like a 3rd line. There are lots of mistakes and failed experiments. But, unlike the 3rd line, the 6th line doesn’t begin to develop the emotional resilience necessary to “bounce back” from all of the failure until the second phase.
The second phase begins at the first Saturn Return and lasts until the Chiron Return (around age 50). And during this time, the 6th line goes “on the roof” to gain perspective, heal from the wounds of the first phase, and develop wisdom.
And by the third phase, after the Chiron Return, the 6th line steps into their role model energy and becomes an embodiment of the wisdom they developed while they were on the roof.
These are the same phases that anyone with a 6 in their profile will go through. If that is you, I explain these phases in more detail in the Human Design Map.
These phases are not hard and fast rules, of course.
Because we are more than our Human Design and things like trauma, social structures, and environment play huge roles in how we move through life.
And the 6th line in particular is very sensitive to social influence.
In our current culture, we aren’t exactly encouraged to take a step back from life to gather perspective. We are encouraged to go, do, be, and have all the things all the time.
If we live by that conditioning, it can absolutely prolong the healing that needs to happen for any of the 6th line energies in our chart.
At the time of this update (age 46), I am still “on the roof” with all of the line 6 energy in my chart.
And when it comes to gate 16, it has only been in the last few years that I’ve started to gain some perspective on old patterns of perfectionism and my obsession with getting things right.
Gate 48 plays perfectly into this. Its “lower” expression can become paralyzed by the thought that you don’t know enough.
So, when you combine the belief that you don’t know enough with the belief that you need to make everything perfect, you have the perfect storm of not creating much.
You end up going in circles, often reinventing the wheel, and never “feeling ready” to just move forward.
This pattern started to become clear for me once I started my business in 2009.
I would literally obsess about everything I put out into the world.
One of the first coaching programs I ever developed was on abundant self-care, and it included videos.
I had no experience filming or editing videos, and I let my inner perfectionist lead the show.
I genuinely believed that I should be able to sit down, turn on the camera, say everything perfectly from memory, and upload the video without a single edit…on the first try.
And I was so mad and ashamed because that isn’t how it went down. Ever.
I remember talking to my business coach about it, and she told me that it was OK for it not to be perfect.
She said something that changed my life:
“Done” is better than “perfect.”
She told me that it was more important to start helping people by just putting something out than to never produce anything at all.
May she rest in peace, I will be forever grateful for the perspective that she shared with me and how it started the deconditioning process around perfectionism.
I wish I could say that I don’t ever struggle with perfectionism anymore. But that would just be a straight up lie.
I still find myself obsessing over tiny details and throwing the baby out with the bathwater when things aren’t “just right.” True to that moon placement, it is deeply intertwined with how I relate to my inner world.
I can’t even tell you how many times my inner perfectionist has told me that the Human Design Map is shit and that I should burn it all down to the ground.
But, as I have gotten older and gained more and more perspective, it is much easier for me to catch myself in those patterns and stop them in their tracks.
And I have even started to enjoy the process of practice and repetition.
I’ve come to embrace the idea of “b minus work,” letting others see me as not being perfect and putting things out into the world because they’re important to me.
At the end of the day, I can see that perfectionism is actually an epic waste of energy and only serves my ego.
Perfectionism does nothing for the people I am here to help. It gets me all up in my head, bypassing the wisdom of my body and soul. And it completely blocks my ability to master anything.
And that is so good to know.
Now it’s your turn to contemplate Gate 16
When you stand in the truth that the gifts of gate 16 are always available to you (whether it’s defined in your chart or not)…
Do you struggle with perfectionism?
Are you willing to do things over and over again without shaming yourself for it?
What have you mastered and how did you do it? (Don’t get all perfectionistic and think that only huge accomplishments counts, everything counts.)
What do the things you’ve mastered tell you about the process of mastery? And how can you remind yourself of those things when you get stuck in perfectionism?
I encourage you to take some time with these questions. Take them out into your world and let their answers reveal themselves to you. Intend for deeper levels of clarity about gate 16.
And, if you have gate 16 in your Human Design Incarnation Cross, be sure to check out the Human Design Map where I go super deep into each gate of your cross.