The costume you wear

Published on 6 August 2022 at 00:41

The profile is one of the basic components of Human Design. 

It can be seen as a costume that we wear as we learn to play specific roles. These roles enrich our experience of life as we interact with and influence others through our specific role. There are 12 Profiles in total, with six primary roles that, when combined, represent specific basic themes.


The Profiles come from the positions of the Sun and Earth in both columns of the BodyGraph. They are the numbers that appear after the dot and this can be a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or a 6. We call these within Human Design Lines. The description of the Lines where the Sun and Earth are in the Personality side (the black column in your BodyGraph) is where you will likely resonate. Here you will find themes, traits and behaviors that you will recognize and identify with. On the Design side (the red column in your BodyGraph), the Line Values of the Sun and Earth form the second number in your Profile. This represents your unconscious behaviors, traits and needs. The two numbers in your Profile together represent important aspects of you. So it is definitely worth looking at your Profile because an important part of understanding our destiny is coming to terms with the roles we play. 


For myself, my Profile and what it means was an absolute Gamechanger in understanding why I was always running into things and why they always went the way they did. I am a 5/1; a Heretic/Investigator. What this means I will explain in this section. I will discuss all 12 profiles as briefly and practically as possible. The description of the 12 profiles should cover the initial charge. A deeper look into the profile is interesting, especially because this also says a lot about the rest of the Design of someone. If you are interested in this, please contact me!


The foundation of the Profile is the Hexagram (I Ching). The 64 Hexagrams (the Gates in the BodyGraph) all have 6 Lines which gives us a deeper level of differentiation than the

Gates themselves. When you understand the Lines, you also better understand the content of the Gates. The basic structure of a Hexagram consists of two parts. The Lower Trigram (Lines 1, 2 and 3) and the Upper Trigram (Lines 4, 5 and 6). The Line structure flows from Line 1 up to Line 6. Each Trigram has its own specific theme and each Line also has its own specific value. The 6 basic Line themes (or also called the Primary Roles) provide all the hexagrams in the BodyGraph with that same theme. So where Line 1 is the Foundation of the hexagram it is also the foundation of each Gate that is in Line 1. Below is the Hexagram illustrated with a description of the Lines behind it. These do not excel in loving descriptions. There are those who recoil from Human Design because of this. But if you realize that these words can also give meaning to things that you actually knew for yourself but would rather not see and therefore it is much easier to handle, it can also be enlightening. Fact is that if you really want to work on yourself you may also encounter the shadow sides. After all, we do not consist only of light and bliss. To be able to see the light we need the dark. I have therefore consciously chosen to use the words from the original language that Ra Uru Hu left us. 


As you can see in the image above, I use the metaphor of a house for this section. This makes understanding the six Lines and their qualities easier and more practical. The 1st Line is the foundation on which the house is built. The 2nd Line is the living space on the first floor of the house. Here the curtains are wide open, anyone can look in from the street and witness what is happening there. The 3rd Line is the space in between, or the staircase that goes from the first floor to the second floor. The 4th Line is the foundation of the second floor in the house. The 5th Line is the mysterious room on the second floor where the curtains are closed and from which the speculating people outside the house expect something and the 6th Line is the roof of the house where there is a view of everything happening in the other houses, the neighborhood or the surrounding area.  


The first three Lines of the house (the hexagram) are primarily concerned with themselves. This is the self-absorbing very personal process. The personal karma. These profiles are not in a hurry to come out and it may seem that they are more focused on themselves than on others. In fact, that is what they are here to do. They find their self-worth through contemplation and their own exploration. These are the interpersonal and reflective Lines. People who have a 1, 2 or 3 in their Personality (the first digit of the Profile) do not want to have too much to do with others.

Line 1: The Investigator

  • Lines 1 are born with the fear that they "don't know" and this drives them to discover ALL the details to create safety and a basic foundation.

  • They are driven to investiGate, research, analyze and over time become an expert with the goal of getting all the information that brings them safety and security.

  • The Line 1 is here to lay the foundation for the next two Lines. Line 4 is the foundation of the upper Trigram. 

  • The more the Line 1 knows, the less they fear. Knowledge is safety and security and they can be very empathetic in their desire to understand the other.

  • They like time to themselves, are unaffected and can seem self-focused, but they are tremendously sensitive to their impact on others where they tend to keep everything inside and need to be encouraged to express what they feel. 

  • In their not-self, they will look for experts rather than rely on themselves.

Line 2: The Hermit

  • Where the Line 1 is the academic, the Line 2 is the natural, or gifted child. There is usually no explaining how they "do" their talent or gift. It is innate and normal for them. They rarely need help to master their gift.

  • Lines 2 are self-contained, like to have their own time and space to nurture their gifts, reflect and do things their way.

  • They express their emotions outwardly, sometimes exploding when they try to understand what they are feeling, they are not aware of the emotional outburst or its effects.

  • A Line 2 may learn to go "inward" and step into the shoes of others. Their challenge is to be aware of their 'gift' or genius. This often comes so easily to them that they do not value it themselves and therefore do not see their value.

  • Others do see these talents and will encourage them accordingly.

  • But a Line 2 would prefer to devote themselves unconditionally to something and remain 'in the cave' like a hermit until they have found their gift or talent and have become good at it. This triggers the projection field and causes others to clamor for their gifts.

  • Lines 2 may be withdrawn while they wait for their genius or purpose. There is nothing wrong with that at all, as long as they listen to their Strategy and Authority.

Line 3: The Martyr

  • Lines 3 are very strong in discovering what no longer works through a process of trial and error, self experience and learning. This makes them catalysts of change and models the possibilities of material transformation.  Because of their adaptability, the Line 3 has the gift of being able to challenge, stand up and say, "this is not true" and share what is true and what does work.

  • A Line 3 does not like being told what (or how) to do something, they choose to do things their own way until they ask for help or guidance.  

  • The trial and error process requires perseverance and adaptability, and most Lines 3 will have experienced many setbacks by age 40. 
  • In their not-self, Lines 3 may run away or quit rather than persevere and may either feel ashamed of seeking attention or seek external validation rather than rely on their experience.


When we get to the upper Trigram the mechanism of the roles changes completely. This is a transpersonal, outward looking process. These roles have the essential need (and necessity) for social interaction with others to share the past and explore the possibilities of the future. 

Line 4: The Opportunist

  • The Line 4 builds on the security created by the Line 1 as a foundation. These are the connection people. Friendship is very important to them and with it they create a bond with others.

  • Lines 4 need stability in those friendships, relationships and community. They need to feel safe and trusted, friendship and their friends are very important to them: Brotherhood. Lines 4 are the foundation of the upper Trigram and they create safety and security within relationships. Their natural influence serves the community.

  • The quality of life for the 4th line is directly related to the quality of their network of friends and acquaintances.
  • They are not here to create new groups but move from one to the next as they follow their Strategy and Authority. In doing so, they will feel challenged if they do not know where they are moving to. The Line 4 here is to change the way people think about others.

    In their not-self they will shut another out, this means they need to be loved and nurtured and soon their wall will come down. They are also known to say "I feel good" when in reality they are not.

Line 5: The Heretic

  • Line 5 has the role of universalizing (teaching). This is the Line who of all the Lines carry the most transpersonal karma. They carry the responsibility of universalizing the message of the entire Hexagram. Serving through the other. The aura of the Line 5 invites people who are in crisis or in need to project onto them that they have the potential to save them.

  • The Line 5 thereby operates within a field of projection that entices the other into recognizing the potential power that the Line 5 has, but in doing so, a Line 5 can also be very distrustful as others see things in them that are not there, or may have

expectations of them that they cannot live up to. Others see in the Line 5 what needs to be healed in themselves, but rarely realize that what they see in the Line 5 is in fact themselves.

  • That makes it very important for the Lines 5 to follow their Strategy and Authority to know who to help and who not to help. Practical solutions are the key here.

  • The moment the Line 5 cannot lead or heal others, they can feel almost unseen. They may even be ignored when they are not needed. And this can feel terrible for the Line 5 but means no more than that their energy is no longer needed. Instead, the Line 5 can wait for the next crisis or occurrence that comes along in which the Line 5 can provide practical help. Until then, it is good to take rest and reflect.

  • In the not-self, the Line 5 may be a victim before it heals, may not feel good enough, may be full of bravado, and may be entangled.

Line 6: The Role Model

  • The 6th Line stands alone from the rest of the Lines and is best described as "sitting on the roof. Although this is sometimes seen or experienced as disinterested, this reservation and aloofness allows the Line 6 to look back over the other five Lines and also to glimpse the Line 1 of the next Hexagram. Where the Line 5 moves toward others, the Line 6 moves more away from others to go through a unique three phase life process to eventually be a Role Model.

  • The three stages of the Line 6 life process are:

    • Phase 1 - birth to about age 30 is a phase of external learning as a Line 3, i.e. through trial and error and 'bonds made and broken'. Driven to search for a soul mate which they will not find until they complete their second phase (which is around age 50). The Line 6 is not as resilient as the Line 3. Continuous learning by bumping your head means that at the end of the first Phase Lines 6 can naturally look at life in a somewhat pessimistic way and thus, in order to regain their optimism, feel the need to withdraw physically and emotionally and reflect on all those experiences they have had. The natural time for Phase 2 to occur. 

    • Phase 2 - From age 30 to about age 50, the Line 6 retreats (sits on the roof) from the external orientation to a more internal process. A time of healing and reflection, what is working/not working? Re-evaluating life and developing the resources needed for the next phase. This is also the time when they find a partner, settle down, raise children. Lines 6 feel more reserved and distant to the other in this Phase. But their wisdom is also seen more. In this Phase, the Line 6 feels most safe and secure. Their Line 3 period and discoveries are now integrated and become a basis or foundation for the "outer authority" they will express as Role Models.

    • Phase 3 - Begins with the Chiron Return around their approximate 50th year of life. This is when they come off the roof and are called out into the world as their authentic, optimistic Self, and become the Role Model. This is also the Phase when they can become vulnerable again if they don't know how to make decisions from their own authority. But the awake Role Model lives the example of a conscious being living their unique life purpose. It is not their doing that is important, but their BEING.


Geometries set in motion mechanical capabilities and limitations that frame the specific way(s) we interact with and influence others to fulfill our life purpose. Each of the 12 Profiles falls into one of three geometries, Right Angle, Fixed Fate or Left Angle. The image on the right illustrates this and also where the different Profiles are classified.

Source: The Definitive Book of Human Design, The Science of Differentiation, Lynda Bunnell and Ra Uru Hu, Spain 2011, p. 261.


The first seven Profiles fall into Right Angle geometry. People with a Right Angle Profile are self-absorbing and have a personal destiny. This applies to approximately 64% of the population. People with a Right Angle Profile are here to work out their own lives. Right Angle Geometry is focused on self-exploration and meeting and confronting personal challenges in life. They are not here to be absorbed into someone else's life process. They are here to investiGate, explore and re-experience and experience new perspectives.


This is only the 4/1 Profile and people with this Profile are the bridge between the Right Angle and Left Angle Profiles. They have their own fixed way of living that they cannot be moved from. They are neither personal nor trans-personal and about 3% of the population has this Profile. These people move on their own rails and have a fixed endpoint they are working towards and not deviating from their route. The power of a 4/1 Profile is that when you come into contact with it you are welcome to travel with it on that route. This Profile forms the bridge between the Right Angle R&D department and the transpersonal Left Angle Marketing department.


The Left Angle Geometry has a Trans-Personal Path with many intersecting lines. These four Profiles (approximately 33% of the population) cannot fulfill their life purpose on their own. They are not dependent on others, but the smallest moment of contact or connection can bring about a possible change in their life path or direction. Left Angle Profiles are more aware of the presence of others in their lives and are always ready to observe or engage in life. Trans-Personal Profiles have a connection to past incarnations and frequently have an inexplicable sense of recognition or familiarity with certain people or experiences. Where the Right Angle Profiles are here to create karma, the Left Angle Profiles are here to clear out karma that has been created. Your geometry is found as part of your Incarnation Cross which you can find more about in The Theater We Call Life (Incarnation Cross). 


In this section I will describe all the Profiles and their characteristics. Again, I will do this briefly and as practically as possible. There is so much to tell about the Profiles, but that goes way too far for these backgrounds. Pick out your own Profile and see what it does to you, if you recognize yourself in the costume you are wearing and if you resonate with this. If you want to know more, or investiGate if you want to be coached or guided in this because you are called to it, please contact me for an intake without any obligations or take a look at Coaching and Guidance for what I have to offer in this, both in the case of Corporate/Business and in the case of Personal/Private.

Before I start describing all the Profiles we need to understand how they express themselves in alignment and in the not-self. The second number in the Profile is the unconscious Line. This creates safety and foundation within the Profile, which means it needs attention first. When you don't (re)recognize or care for the unconscious (second number) then the conscious Line (first number) can't do its job.

In other words, "When the body/unconscious (second number) is taken care of, the mind/consciousness can shine brightly." For example, for me, with my 5/1 Profile, I must first do proper research and have a foundation and base of safety and security (Line 1) to know if I can meet the expectation of the Projection Field of Line 5. This foundation means that I have to ask thoroughly what is expected of me because then I know what projection is being made on me and whether I then have sufficient base to offer practical solutions or ways out to the other person. If I do not do this, or fail to do this because the projection field is flattering, and I am unexpectedly unable to meet the expectations, then I will be presented with an expensive bill. Then my reputation will be damaged and I will be 'burned at the stake'. The only way out left for me then is to leave. Because once damaged, you practically cannot heal it. I have been through this several times in my life and now I know why this happens and also what I can do about it myself. So if you want to work with me as a coach, you can be sure that I will ask if what you expect from me is also something that I can bring you. And if that is the case, and we are a match, then you can trust that I can guide and coach you well and in a connected way. I don't sell hot air. 


The 1st Line represents your mind, personality and how you think and always wants to create safety. The Line 1 wants to know "all things" to form a safe base from which it can work. Study, research, academic training are all your go to's.

The Line 3 represents the unconscious design. The body and your bodily experience.

1/3's want a solid foundation because it makes them feel safe, driven to seek authorities to help them create a secure base and foundation, especially in their process of trial and error. The unconscious Line 3 

process. They are resilient and able to speak the truth, but they do enjoy their introspection, ultimately asserting themselves as authorities and remaining in control of their personal destiny. They are there to be in charge of their own lives, as well as the voice of authority in their area of expertise. 1/3's can seem stubborn or resistant to taking advice from others, and in their truth they must do it themselves through direct experience to discover and learn.


The Investigator/Opportunist combines introspection with a natural gift for relationships. 1/4's have an inner urge to share what they have learned with others. While the conscious Investigator is focused on getting to the bottom of what makes things work, the transpersonal Opportunist looks for ways to bring that knowledge out into the open.

The 1/4 is a harmony profile, meaning the 1 and the 4 have similar themes, both foundational, one internal the other external, both concerned with creating foundations, one with certainty and the other community. 1/4's are also driven to seek authorities who can

teach and prepare them so that they can eventually become an authority on an area or topic that intrigues them.

To go into depth, they need time alone because they are not communally creative. Instead, they enjoy creative solitude, which is very healing and brings richness to their lives.

Invest and maintain in your networks, as they bring future opportunities. Remember, however, that withdrawal is also necessary to regain strength. 1/4's are quite stubborn when it comes to deep insights, they will most likely if their idea is rejected move on to another network that does accept their idea. That same firmness combined with empathy for others is what brings transition and evolution to our Tribal and Collective foundations.


There is an innate tension between the (conscious) Hermit Personality that wants to be left alone to do its own thing, and the (unconscious) Opportunist Design that wants to connect with others to radiate something. The conscious 2nd Line is naturally shy and unaware of his natural gifts and is waiting to be called by others to share them. The unconscious but naturally friendly 4th Line offers opportunities to call these gifts out by attracting people to the 2nd Line. Hermit/Opportunists are happiest when they are totally absorbed in their safe environment

by doing what they enjoy most. And as they dance contentedly to their own beat, they attract the attention of others calling them to share their essential nature. 2/4's have a built-in limited viewpoint that protects them and their unique genius from being corrupted by outside interference. Still, 2/4's must be careful which calls they answer, to avoid getting burned out. Attracting the right calls happens naturally when their lives are properly aligned by making decisions through their Strategy and Authority. 2/4 children should be encouraged and supported in education, as a good education will help them in the future.


In the 2/5 Profile we find the harmony of the two lines of projection. The very personal Hermit wants to be left alone to do his own thing and is unaware of projection. The transpersonal and seductive Heretic is wary of the projections of others, yet must interact with them to fulfill its karmic purpose.The conscious Hermit prefers to live in seclusion and does not want to be bothered. This projects the attitude of the Democrat. The Democrat who allows others to take responsibility. The unconscious Heretic is the Savior or General who waits for his chance to lead and bring his practical strength to bear. 2/5's who act on their true nature and live by their Strategy and 

Authority will have opportunities in life, especially if they are well trained in something they are naturally good at and can handle the projection field (projections of others, expectations of other people).


With the 3/5 Profile, the Line 3 is on the inside, the personality and what you identify with. The Line 3 has to figure out through trial and error what doesn't work and what does when it comes to one's identity/personality.

The Line 5 is the part that shows up unconsciously or how others see you through your aura and you are drawn to it to show up, solve problems and help lead the way.

When you put the Line 3 and the Line 5 together you get a sympathetic Profile because this Profile has experienced the true

experiments of life and are solvers. People see them as those who have walked in their shoes and therefore as leaders. If you want to keep a positive nature and outlook on life as a 3/5 from learning in the trenches, experiencing and experimenting with it, it is very important that you are positively empowered from an early age and live by the mantra "I am always winning or learning" there is no such thing as failure because every experience is a lesson.


The 3/6 Profile is a harmony profile. This Profile knows the possibilities where trial and error can lead to wisdom.The 3/6 Profile is essentially a double Line 3 in their first phase of life, creating experiences, learning by doing and discovering what doesn't work so they can focus on what does. By Phase 3 of the 6th Line in combination with his Line 3, they will express balanced and mature wisdom. The conscious Line 3 discovers what works and the unconscious Line 6 sees the possibilities of life and together the 3/6 stands up for the truth and uniquely models the transition that is humanity is possible when we heal our conditioning, become our 

own Authority and live as our unique, conscious and authentic self. It is also very important to this Profile that they have time for themselves. This is a Profile that does not get life handed to them on a silver platter, but they are designed to handle and deal with this just fine.


The Opportunistic Role Model has the potential to be an important and influential representative of what it means to live Authentically. 4/6's externalize their base and model through self-awareness what it means to live uniquely as "yourself".

This Profile consists of two transpersonal Lines, but its role is still one of personal destiny. The 4th Line consciously develops and uses its social gifts and personal networks to exert social influence, but the unconscious 6th Line rarely allows it to become intimately involved, for it must remain separate in order to see what lies ahead. 

4/6's have a natural inner tension between their conscious desire for connection and quality relationships and their unconscious desire to stand alone so they can objectively evaluate and decide what life is really about.

In relationships, the 4/6 the Line 4 needs deep connections and people who support their ideas. Nurturing these true relationships is important to them because these relationships are friends that will influence and bring opportunity to them on a very deep level. The Opportunist/Role Model has a generous spirit that wants the best for everyone and they are able to bring love into the world with their warm heart and wise head. The Opportunist/Role Model has the potential to be an important and influential representative of what it means to live Authentically.


4/1 people have no karma on this planet. They are not clearing nor are they creating karma. The Opportunist/Investigators are here to follow the track that has been laid out for them. They move like a train on the tracks whose direction is fixed and cannot be influenced. They are designed to study, learn and develop a solid foundation in a field that fascinates them.

Once they have established themselves as an authority (leaving their innate insecurity behind), they can go into their network and become an influential expert in their field. With their 4th Line people skills, 

they have a natural ability to know how best to communicate their knowledge. Their role is also to network and be the bridge between the "research and development department" of the Right Angle Profiles and the "marketing and education department" of the Left Angle Profiles. They are there to show us how life can be lived when all the Collective karma is cleared.


The Heretic/Investigator, the unconscious 1st Line, which represents the authoritative foundation, is connected to the conscious 5th Line which projects everything that foundation could or should be. The result is that the 5/1 Profile is the most transpersonal Profile. Transpersonal destiny means that you are here to deal with karma and that you are designed to have encounters with others that can be significant or potentially mutational for both you and them. These karmic encounters, more complex or simpler, are like déjà vu. Heretic/Investigators strive to make themselves appear attractive in 

order to attract protection from others. Providing practical solutions in crisis situations requires disciplined patience.  Heretic/Investigators thrive on this process, but must remember to return to their post when they have satisfied one projection, to prepare for the next. 


Living within a dual projection field, 5/2 Heretic/Hermits must be their own motivation. When the right projection sets things in motion, the Heretic calls upon the gifts of the Hermit and does what comes naturally to solve, serve, or invent a new way.

5/2's live an unusual life of constant projection. Although 5/2's can be reserved and uninvolved, they are also deeply gifted in an unusual way and it is very important for them to understand how to engage with life. They are waiting for the right inner call to something revolutionary, something they can lead others into.

It is very important for them to understand that they must rely on themselves to bring out their charismatic power and that they must make decisions from their own Authority and not from the projection field. Most importantly, Heretic/Hermits should not be pressured, they will come out on their own 'Divine timing' and be ready with a solution.


The transpersonal Role Model/Hermit is there to show us all how to live authentically without depending on outside authorities and to realize and accept our unique perfection. The 2nd Line and the 6th Line have something in common in that the natural gifts of the Hermit are always noticed and so is the observing and perceiving Role Model. Sometimes they feel out of sync with others because they have a different point of view and a wisdom that does not always match their age. For the 6/2's, harmony means no agendas or pressure to prove themselves, not getting involved in drama and participating in deep and meaningful conversations.  The 6th Line, 

when healthy, is fundamentally optimistic - hoping and dreaming of the best in life for everyone and themselves. At the same time, the unconscious Line 2 sees the weaknesses and self-hatred that exist in humanity. 6/2 Children need to be encouraged to discover their true nature and not be shamed for their "mistakes". They can be insecure in their gifts, and can be their own worst critics because they are always looking for perfection.


The Role Model/Martyr completes all 12 Profiles. It combines the conscious and detached Line 6, which seeks perfection in life, with the unconscious, restless, materially focused and mutative 3rd Line. Whatever Phase the Line 6 is in, the 3rd Line will always draw it into subjective experiences. This means that the 6/3's are the wisest Role Models. They eventually discover that uniqueness is perfection and that we can trust no one else in making decisions but ourselves.

Role Model/Martyrs are born with resilience, and an ability to sustain their own direction. Life works for them, if they can embrace the 

chaos and confusion of their younger years and receive all the essential discovery and lessons, for this is the basis for their valuable wisdom.

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