Today, I have a brand new guest interview for you with the lovely Katie Irvine from Sort of Spiritual. 

Katie is a Human Design Strategist and the creator of HD School, which is a well-organised, easy-to-process online course that teaches Human Design so that you can build your business around your Human Design, or just quench your thirst for learning in a really straightforward, upbeat, simple way.

In this episode, I picked Katie’s brain on all things Human Design, like strategies, authorities, what a Generator is, and how we can use Human Design in our business. Katie has this amazing way of simplifying complex information and repeating it in a way that feels so easy to understand and so straightforward, but in a really exciting, interesting way. 

There is so much information in Human Design, so if you love this episode, connect with Katie or even book a reading! Katie shares so much with us in this episode but if you want to know more, there are so many opportunities for you to learn more about Human Design and how you can use it in your business and your life. 


In this episode, we talk about:

  • What is Human Design and what does it mean for you?
  • The 3 key parts of Human Design to understand
  • How Human Design affects your decision-making
  • Katie’s amazing analogy to embrace ourselves and our differences


Tune in to the episode here:

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The Episode Breakdown:

Elley: Today, I have the amazing Katie Irvine with me. Katie, welcome to the podcast. I’m so excited to bring this to all of the ladies listening, because human design is so freaking interesting. But before we dive into any of that, could you give us an intro of who you are and what you do in business? 

Katie: Hi, I’m Katie. I run a business called Sort of Spiritual and my main focus is HD School, short for Human Design. It’s an online program where I teach people the Human Design System. I also do readings and sometimes make YouTube videos as well, but my main focus is creating HD School, which is super fun because I love learning about human design, so I get to learn things and teach things. 

Elley: I love that you stick to what you love doing and create the things that you want to create by just focusing on HD school, rather than putting all your eggs in a million different baskets. 

Before I pick your brain on Human Design, can you share your business journey with us? How did you get started, and how were you running your business before you knew about Human Design? 

Katie: I basically didn’t really have a business before Human Design. I hired a coach many years ago with the intention of creating a coaching business. I had a coaching certification and was really passionate about helping people.

I really wanted to coach on the topic of self-love because it’s such a transformational area for me, but it wasn’t really the hot topic that it is now, so my coach told me not to do it and to focus on nutrition and stuff like that. What happened was that I spent so much time building things that I then literally never used because it just never felt right, I wasn’t excited about it. I was constantly looking outside of myself and thinking I had to be doing what everyone else was doing. 

I also put so much crazy pressure on myself to be successful *right now*. It was so counterproductive because I spent years trying to build a business but I really didn’t stick with what I wanted to do that was true to myself or that I was really excited about. 

Over time, I transitioned to working for a different coach and a couple of years into working with her, she hosted a retreat and hired someone to do a Human Design masterclass. That was my first introduction to Human Design, I had never heard of it before. The coach was kind enough to run the chart for me and the more I learned, the more I realised – I’m supposed to be powerful, I’m supposed to have all this stuff, so how come I’m the assistant getting paid $20 an hour sitting at the back of the room and all these other women are making 6-7 figures? It highlighted how out of alignment I was, which felt so true for me given how I felt about my life and how everything at the time was going. 

I went full-in with Human Design about a year ago, so not only was I using it with clients but I was following my design in my business as well. I get to do the things that I want to do that are right for me. 

One of the first things I always talk about when it comes to Human Design and business is that it doesn’t matter what your design is – stop doing stuff that makes you feel like sh*t. 

Elley: So in the simplest terms possible, what is Human Design? 

Katie: Human Design is essentially a system to help you know yourself. At its foundation, it’s just a map of how you best operate in the world. It’s a synthesis of many systems, including Western astrology, the Hindu chakra system, a Chinese system called the I Ching, Kabbalah and quantum physics. Similarly to astrology, it’s based on your birth time, date and location. It creates what’s called a body graph. 

These days you can use a website to get your body graph – myBodyGraph is my favourite for beginners. You can enter your details and it will give you a Human Design chart that is essentially a map of how you are designed to operate in your highest expression. 

It is not you, it is a map. Similarly to how a map is not the land, it is a map of the land, there are differences between your body graph and who you are. You are not your body graph, you are you. But it is a really helpful tool to help you best understand yourself. 

Your chart will tell you your type, strategy and authority. These are the 3 big things to understand when you’re first experimenting with your design that will help you to understand how to use your energy and how to make decisions. 

Type and strategy always go hand-in-hand. There are 5 different types:

  1. Generators
  2. Manifestors
  3. Manifesting Generators
  4. Projectors
  5. Reflectors

Elley: So the type and the strategy go very much hand-in-hand, and then there’s the authority. Could you break down those 3 things for us? 

Katie: I’ll start with Manifestors because that’s what people think everyone is supposed to be and how they’re supposed to operate. 

The strategy for the Manifestor type is to initiate and inform. As a population, we believe that all of us are here to initiate and to get things started, and to a degree, we can, but we all have different ways of going about it. 

As a Generator, the strategy is to respond. Does that mean you can’t get anything started? No! What it means is that in order for you to get things started, it’s going to work best when you respond.

So what the heck does that mean? In Human Design speak, it means to respond to things outside of yourself. For example, a Manifestor would get an urge that they then act on. A Generator would instead get an idea but would wait until there is something outside of yourself to respond to. It could be an Instagram post, a conversation you overhear or a question that someone asks you. The way I look at it, it’s not meant to limit you, it’s meant to give you confirmation that this is the right thing to do. But one of the things I love about Human Design is how it limits us to a degree, because if we have every possibility in the entire universe, how are we ever going to get anything done? 

It can help you to really understand your strengths and how you’re designed to operate. If something is right for you, then as a Generator it will come to you in your external reality and you will respond affirmatively to it. 

Elley: So it’s understanding your strategy of how you do things so that you can do them in the easiest way possible for you because everyone has their own way of doing things. What about Reflectors and Projectors as well? 

Katie: A Projector’s strategy is to wait for the invitation. This one’s a little bit nuanced because when it comes to other people outside of you recognising the gifts of a Projector, it works best to have an invitation, but I wouldn’t tell a Projector to wait. The way I see it, for a Projector it’s more like – if you build it, they will come. 

If you really love something or you have a message you want to share, do that. 

Projectors are designed to be recognised, but it’s an interesting example because they’re also designed to wait for the invitation. For Projectors, there’s a certain amount of just doing what you want to do, but you can’t do it *to be seen*. It’s this catch-22 where you need to do things that make you visible so that other people can see you and invite you into things, but if you’re doing it to get invited to things, that doesn’t work. It’s such a different energy of just being yourself and getting noticed for being yourself versus *trying* to get noticed. 

Reflectors are the 1%. They’re really not a common type. They’re here to wait a lunar cycle and to help us understand ourselves – they’re like a mirror for ourselves. It’s commonly said that Reflectors are here to reflect the health of the community, so when a Reflector is happy and successful then their community is also happy and successful. 

For them, the biggest thing is knowing the right place to be and from there, they can operate however they want to. They’re very much designed to take time and move slowly because they are lunar beings and are impacted by the cycles of the moon, whereas all the other types are solar beings and are impacted by the sun. Reflectors need time over the course of a month to move through things and to experience all the different ways that they can be before they do anything big. They use their intuition on a day-to-day basis for smaller things. So they’re very different in how they operate. 

Finally, we have Manifesting Generators, who are a hybrid between Manifestors and Generators. Their strategy is to respond, like a Generator, but then they also have that additional piece of informing people that will be impacted by their actions, like a Manifestor. Manifesting Generators are designed to both respond and inform, so that they have support and a clear path to go forward. 

Elley: Then we have the authority. Can you talk about the different authorities and how they impact in life and business? 

Katie: The type and strategy is how you’re designed to do things, and then your authority is how you’re designed to make decisions. 

Human Design essentially says that in the 1700s when Uranus was discovered, our authority shifted from our mind to elsewhere in our body. Our mind is really good at convincing us that it is the authority and it knows what it’s talking about, but according to Human Design, it essentially reached its capacity in the 1700s. 

Don’t get me wrong, our mind is amazing for so many things, but in the world of Human Design it’s not the best thing to make decisions. I think we can often recognise this when we look at our decision-making process, when we ruminate on things, when we regret things or when we overthink things. That’s not a clear way of making decisions. Our body knows what’s best for us and what’s in the highest level of alignment for us, so that’s the idea behind our authority – that it will help guide us and not get distracted by the incessant chatter of the mind. 

The most common authority is the emotional authority, which means that you’re designed to make decisions and have clarity over time. However, the benefit to waiting is that often more information will be revealed to you that will either change your decision or further confirm it. 

If something doesn’t respect your time, it’s not the right thing for you. 

About 50% of the world’s population have emotional authority and need to make decisions slowly, but they’ve been conditioned to think that they have to make decisions quickly and that’s just not true for so many people. 

Elley: How many authorities are there? 

Katie: The 3 most popular are the emotional authority, the sacral authority and the splenic authority. Then there’s also an ego authority, a self-projected authority, a mental authority and a lunar authority. 

The next most common one is the sacral authority, and this is something that only Generators or Manifesting Generators will have. Essentially, it’s a gut decision, the idea being that it’s either a ‘hell yes’ or it’s a ‘no’. Sometimes it will just be a feeling of moving towards or away from something – that guttural ‘hell yes’ or ‘no’ feeling isn’t always going to resonate with everybody. Really, it’s just that idea of doing what is a ‘hell yes’ for you, and let the things that are a ‘no’ be a no. 

The next authority is the splenic authority. This is only about 10% of the population, so it’s not a very common one even though it’s one of the 3 most popular. 

The splenic authority is your intuition. It’s quiet and it’s quick, and it works in the now. In Human Design, the spleen is a center that’s very time-oriented, so if something is right for you, it’s right for you *right now*. It’s very much concerned with survival and what is right for you in this moment. 

Splenic authority shows itself with little tiny things like emailing someone or going to the store. It’s tricky because we’re so conditioned away from trusting ourselves, so usually, people with a splenic authority have a lifetime of ignoring those little things. It can be one of the more challenging authorities for people to connect to, but you can rebuild that connection. 

Elley: So we’ve gone through the type, the strategy, and the authority. For someone who’s just getting into Human Design and learning more about how it can help them in life and in business, what would you say are the main things that they should be focusing on? Are there other parts of their chart that are important to look out for, specifically for business owners? 

Katie: Your type, strategy, and authority are always the main points in Human Design. If you know nothing else but those things and learn them enough to live in alignment with them, you’ll be good. 

However, I think it’s really helpful in business and in life to understand your profile. There are 12 different profiles, which I won’t go through now, but your profile is made up of 2 numbers that are called lines. There are 6 lines and a profile is made up of a combination of 2 of those lines. 

Line 1 is the investigator – it needs to learn everything and it needs to have a foundation. 

Line 2 is the hermit – it has cycles of hiding and is also naturally talented at something. 

Line 3 is the experimenter – it’s designed to try things and is prepared to fail so that it doesn’t stay stuck. 

Line 4 is the opportunist – networking, having relationships, and building a community is really important. 

Line 5 is the heretic – they have a projection field around them, meaning that people project things onto them and see them as they want to see them, not as they are. These people need to understand their own impact versus taking on the expectations of other people. 

Line 6 is the role model – it operates as a line 3 experimenter until about the age of 30, at which point it integrates and learns from the experimenting and failing that it’s done and then at the age of 50 it steps into its full expression. 

Elley: It’s so interesting how there are all the different lines and profiles. It’s such a multifaceted thing, there are so many different aspects of it. 

I have one last question – In your personal opinion and in your experience, what do you think are 1-2 characteristics or personality traits of an empowered business owner? 

Katie: I think a characteristic of an empowered business owner is really knowing what you want and knowing yourself. It’s so easy to look outside of yourself for answers, but that’s not empowerment. 

As an empowered business owner, you have to understand yourself, to know yourself and to know what it is that you want – not what someone else is telling you to have. 

Know what’s important to you, know yourself and know that you have the answers. 

Elley: I love that, and that’s everything you do in Human Design – it’s finding out who you truly are and embracing that. Honestly, that’s everything I stand for in business, because Human Design aside, you have to do what you want to do and go for the goals that you want to go for. 

Katie: It’s something that honestly just helps me again and again, even on a personal level. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to other people, but when I do readings and as I see other people, it’s so clear to me that I am not that person. It makes it so clear to see how different we all are. 

Elley: I feel like if we were all the same and had the exact same Human Design, life would be so freaking boring. It’s cool to actually embrace how different we all are. 

Katie: I think of it as looking at the world and seeing us as puzzle pieces. If you don’t have one puzzle piece, then the puzzle’s ruined. You need all the individual puzzle pieces and you need them to be the way that they are. If you try to look like another puzzle piece, then you’re not going to fit in the puzzle. 

There isn’t enough room for you to be someone else, but there is exactly enough room for you to be exactly how you are. 

Elley: Oh my god, I love that analogy so much. I’m going to have to go back and listen to that as my morning pep talk. We all have our place in this world but it is about being ourselves, and I love that Human Design can do that. 

Katie, thank you so much. I feel like all of this information is so mind-blowing, so thank you for coming on the show and explaining it all to us!


You can follow Katie here:


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