This article is an attempt to address many of the questions we regularly receive from our clients and students about formal training in Human Design, and is intended to give the prospective Human Design student an overview of what’s out there and some of the different educational paths available.
If you’ve had a Human Design Foundation Reading and felt a resonance with the knowledge you might be curious about how the system works and how deep the knowledge goes. Whether you just want access to the Human Design knowledge for your own benefit and exploration or to work with others, you may be interested in a more formal educational process and considering professional certification.
Early on in the process of bringing the Human Design knowledge to the world, the messenger of the Human Design System, Ra Uru Hu offered training in the system over the course of days and weeks. However, he later came to see how there was a need to give people more support and time to experiment with and live their design and set up an educational organization, the International Human Design School (IHDS) for this purpose. He initiated this process and later asked Lynda Bunnell to help and ultimately take over the school that she currently runs today.
As established by the IHDS, the starting point for all formal education associated with Ra’s source material starts with the “Foundation Courses” beginning with the Living Your Design workshop. Along with the Foundation Reading, a personal one-on-one analysis of your unique birth chart called a BodyGraph, this workshop begins the transformational process of experimenting with your design by introducing the most important aspects of the Human Design System. It empowers us to live according to our true nature with an understanding of the main concepts and themes of Human Design that include:
- Centers of the BodyGraph
The LYD workshop is offered in various formats including live classes scheduled over a month or two or in an intensive format where all material is covered in one or two weekends. Some also offer it in a hybrid format consisting of video lectures for self-study supplemented by live meet-ups where you can gather in real-time with others and ask questions and receive personal support. Many IHDS Certified LYD Guides offer a private one-on-one format for this training as well.
Once you’ve completed the Living Your Design Workshop and had a Foundation Reading from a certified professional analyst, you are eligible to enroll in the next of the Foundation Courses called Rave ABCs. This is the first level of the IHDS professional and general educational track which offers a deeper understanding of the mechanics of the Maia. This course focuses on the following aspects of the system:
- Black – Red, Personality and Design
- Channels and Circuitry
- Hexagram Structure
Rave ABCs is usually taught in a live group format over a period of two months and is designed to satisfy a student’s curiosity about the basics of the BodyGraph while laying a solid foundation for the development of skilled analysts and/or informed general students.
The next level of professional and general education is called Rave Cartography which serves as a prerequisite for all advanced education that follows. This is a longer and more dense course often spanning months of study and adds much depth and detail to the foundation built in Rave ABCs and Living Your Design. The course content focuses on the following:
- Nine Centers
- The not-self and its nine strategies
- Angles and the 12 Profiles
In addition, many teachers will include an exploration of the 36 Channels in the Rave Cartography material which includes each of the 64 Hexagrams or Gates of BodyGraph.
Along with the Living Your Design workshop, Rave ABCs and Rave Cartography provide the knowledge and tools needed for a solid foundation in the Human Design System. Depending on the timing of when these courses are offered and how long you need to integrate the information, the three Foundation Courses will generally take 6 months to a year or more in time. Once this process is complete, there are several paths in Human Design education depending on your individual aims.
After the Foundation Courses, the shortest path to formal certification is to become a Living Your Design Guide (LYDG). This requires taking an additional course from a certified Living Your Design Guide teacher to prepare you to personally host and conduct the Living Your Design workshop. The Living Your Design Guide (LYDG) program consists of approximately 40-50 hours of classroom training along with mentoring and auditing an LYD workshop under the direction of your instructor. The goal of the program is to educate, prepare, and certify you to support newcomers in the experiment of living their design.
The LYDG program is not intended to prepare and certify individuals to give Foundation and other types of Human Design readings. That is the purpose of the Professional Analyst Training Program (PTL) in which you are eligible to enroll once you have completed the three Foundation Courses.
The Professional Analyst Training Program takes about two years or more to complete and consists of four programs:
- PTL 1 – Consists of three semesters and a minimum of 200 hours with a focus on developing professional analyst skills and practicing keynoting within a deeper exploration of the Human Design System.
- PTL 2 – Consists of two semesters and a minimum of 48 hours.
- Connections – Partnership Readings including connection mechanics, partnership analysis, and an interactive workshop
- Cycles – Solar Return, Saturn Return, Uranus Opposition, and the Chiron Return, mechanics, and an interactive workshop
- PTL 3 – Consists of one semester where you learn to do Incarnation Cross Analysis and reading keynoting in the context of the Quarter.
- PTL 4 – Consists of one semester over 10 weeks of mentoring, practicing, and preparing you for the final test and certification from the IHDS Board.
At the completion of all four PTL programs, you will be certified as a professional Human Design Analyst and approved to give Foundation Readings, Partnership Readings, Cycle Readings, and Incarnation Cross Readings by the IHDS.
After the completion of the three Foundation Courses, there is also a separate educational path for those interested in the career and business development applications of Human Design through the BG5 Institute. Their BG5 Business Consultant Certification Program trains business consultants, coaches, and engineers to bring the Human Design System to the business community over three semesters:
- Semester 1 – Prepares the student to give BG5 Career Design Overview which introduces one’s clients to fundamentals of their unique career design. There is a focus on comparative analysis and small and large group dynamics and business skills.
- Semester 2 – Continues with what is needed for a full BG5 Career Design Analysis and Partnership Analysis. Students will also gain knowledge and experience in delivering all 16 BG5 Success Codes as well as Partnership Analysis.
- Semester 3 – Learning how to deliver an Alpha One Leadership & Small Business Penta Analysis. Students will also learn how to work with team leaders, managers, and business owners in engineering effective groups.
At the end of these three semesters and the completion of the final project, students will receive certification as a BG5 Career & Business Consultant.
Beyond these three main educational paths of LYD Guide, Professional Analyst, and BG5 Career & Business Consultant there are many additional advanced analysts and teacher training programs through IHDS, the BG5 Institute, and other international organizations. Several examples are the two-year Degree Differentiation Program (DDP) that combines the Primary Health System (PHS) with Rave Psychology, Family Analysis, Child Development, Rave Cosmology, and the Dream Rave.
All of these additional programs have the prerequisite of the three Foundation Courses taken through IHDS or BG5 certified teachers. These instructors and the other educational organizations associated with the International Human Design School are committed to ensuring the knowledge of the Human Design System in keeping with the integrity of Ra Uru Hu’s transmission. Generally, courses taken with any IHDS affiliated teacher are recognized by other IHDS affiliated teachers.
Following is a list of IHDS affiliated organizations that we have studied with and can personally vouch for the instructors remaining true to the source teaching. They offer a full path to certification in the mentioned training curriculum:
Our aim is not to provide nor withhold endorsement of any particular organization or individual but to list those we have personal experience with. There are many other individuals and international organizations that we haven’t worked with personally but are certified to provide much of the education listed above from LYD through Professional Analyst Certification. To see what a particular individual is certified to teach, you can check their listing on the IHDS Professionals page.
It is worth noting that there are other teachers who have taken the Human Design knowledge and developed it in their own way. Some of these teachers trained with Ra Uru Hu originally but have moved on to create their own certifications and programs. Most of these teachers have altered the original knowledge with different language or charting protocols and have developed their own training programs. Many have written books and produced video and audio content based on their adaptation of Human Design.
There are also many other readers and teachers out there who have never been affiliated with Ra Uru Hu nor IHDS and promote their own version of Human Design which may include a synthesis with other systems with the original or adapted versions of the BodyGraph chart and their own interpretation of it. Many have developed their own training programs and certifications, some with a very broad social media and web presence. These influencers have done much to promote Human Design as a system but their experience and adherence to the original source material can vary widely.
While some degree of evolution and mutation is expected in any system and body of knowledge, significant deviation from the structure and logic of the original transmission usually results in a loss in the integrity of the knowledge. It is my perspective that in these cases, the altered system being put forth is no longer Human Design and should be called something else.
I’ve seen and heard about some teachers offering programs to train “readers” over a short time frame before one sufficiently has the time to experiment and begin truly living as oneself. Some of these programs are more about marketing and attracting followers than they are deconditioning the often deep not-self strategies and behavior.
That said, there are yet others who do not have formal certification from an accredited organization but have a deep knowledge of the system based on years of personal research and experience. You may find them in various Facebook groups in the midst of much noise and distortion where they are generously sharing their wisdom, remaining true to Ra’s transmission of the Human Design System.
For those of you interested in a career or profession using the Human Design System, my (perhaps unsolicited) guidance would be to take it slow. I was fortunate enough to have one of my Human Design teachers suggest that I do just this, focus on my process more than marketing and promotion. Then the work will speak for itself and you can trust that those who are on your fractal will find you and your practice will grow organically.
In closing, I would urge anyone interested in pursuing a formal education in Human Design to move forward with due diligence. Do your research to make sure that what any group or individual is offering is resonant with your aims and to follow your inner authority in terms of what is correct for you.