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Human Design Gate 16 – Gene Key 16 – The Mastery Maven

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. 

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

Download All 64 Human Design Gates Cheatsheet (for free!)

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)

I have the full 48-16 defined in my chart and both gates are defined on the conscious side. 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. 

None of this is a hard and fast rule, of course, because life is life and there are many other factors that can play into things – a big one being the conditioning of the 6th line. 

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 energy in our chart. 

At the time of this writing (age 45), I am still “on the roof” with the line 6 energy in my chart. 

And when it comes to gate 16, I can see that 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. 

Of course, gate 48 plays into this perfectly because it holds the potential for feelings of inadequacy and not knowing enough. 

So, when you combine the belief that you don’t know enough and that you have to make everything perfect, it can completely set you up to not really do much in your life. You end up going in circles, often reinventing the wheel, and never feel quite “ready” to go all in on anything. 

And, I didn’t really begin to see this pattern in my life until a few years after 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 (Human Design Gate 27 vibes!) and it included videos. 

I, of course, had no experience with filming or editing videos and 100% brought my perfectionist/inadequate feelings into the process. 

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. 

I remember talking to my business coach about it and her telling 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 actually get something out that could help people than to never produce anything because, in my mind, it wasn’t good enough. 

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. 

And as much as I’d love to say that I never struggled with perfectionism anymore, that just isn’t the case. I do still find myself obsessing over tiny details and throwing the baby out with the bathwater when things aren’t “just right.”

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 actually to enjoy the process of practice and repetition. I’ve come to embrace the idea of B- work, letting others see me not being perfect and not waiting until things are perfect before putting them out into the world. 

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.

Do you want a deep dive on your Human Design type + strategy, authority, profile, and all four gates of your incarnation cross? PLUS get unlimited access to Q + A and deconditioning support? If so, you’re going to LOVE the Human Design Map. Buy yours here.