The meaning of the Arrows in Your Human Design Chart

Aug 20, 2021 | human design

This is the beginning of a 16 part discussion and open exploration of variable and how it manifests in your life. I’m going to be quite clear, I am not the expert, you are!! The Variable Arrows give insights into your cognition, how your brain & mind operate when dropped into your life.
I’m the type of person who needs to understand the entirety of a concept before I can move on. Like I need to read the end of the book or watch the end of a movie before I watch the rest. I need to know how it ends, see the whole picture and put the pieces together from the whole concept, then fill in the blanks with the details. When I first looked into the arrows, it was the most convoluted topic and couldn’t find any concrete information of what they actually mean. I had to do some digging, go back to the source (Ra lectures), and figure out what’s really going on through implementation. And even now, it still seems convoluted. So that is the purpose of sharing the variables in this manner. It’s an opportunity for exploration where we can all learn from each other and openly discuss in a safe space what we notice in our lives.
I will be pulling from tidbits of information I found as a research resource, as food for thought, things to think about directly from original teachings. If something doesn’t fully make sense, or doesn’t resonate, please share! Ultimately, you are your own authority and expert.

:: SHARK ? :: focused mind – always active, always hard-working. Actively takes charge of their own survival, focuses on the objectives and thinks in terms of competition [relevant?]. Is an expert in their field and has enormous staying power, the ability to concentrate and a sharp mind. Fear of failure makes him or her a perfectionist, who has to focus completely on one target, is hardly ever relaxed and usually physically active.

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ?

This is as left as you can possibly get!
My mom is an emotional + Root defined Projector with this variable. She has two defined motors, with spleen head and Ajna also defined. She was a 2nd grade school teacher her whole career. She’s 67 and even retired she tutors kids about 20 hours a week. She is very active, and started walking 4-5 miles a day 4 years ago a couple years after she retired. She kicks my butt some weeks with her step count. Even though she’s a Projector, ( hello naps anyone??) I’m convinced because she has this cognition, that has made a crucial impact on how she was (and still is!!) able to do what she does on a consistent basis. She doesn’t poop out. She’s extremely hard-working, and having a teacher’s schedule with all the downtime, provided her the ability to work hard, take breaks, and then get back to it.
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For this type of cognition, Strategy and Authority come first in order to navigate life and step of out of the mind when making decisions. You need to be very focused on what you wish to create in your life. Focus is everything to you. Having a specific focus will bring you the most fulfillment. Knowing how to operate, your design strategy and authority will provide you with the tools you need to navigate life effectively. ?

:: LION :: ? focused mind – awake, relaxed. Actively takes charge of their own survival, loves to relax and, while doing so, exactly sees what comes next. Is always mentally active and responds quickly and strategically when the right person is near. Has a well-developed sense of perception for their environment and on impulse knows how to set the appropriate focus for themselves and others.

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ?

This left mind/brain (top two arrows) operates best in a laid-back environment. You are best able to find your focus when you are truly relaxed. That’s not to say you need to be sedentary, but you will do best in an environment without a lot of pressure, or you will do best with periods of activity coupled with periods of rest so you are able to refocus your objectives and goals. The question here is if you have this variable and if you find yourself in work situation where you are constantly under pressure with no breaks, how does that affect your mental health and well being? How do you feel?

The word OBSERVER (or for Left arrows OBSERVED) is used here to portray your role in your environment. The optimum environment for you would be where you OBSERVE your surroundings and everything moves around you. You’re like the Buddha sitting there in the center, and everything and everyone orbits around you. When you’re too busy, you can’t see, can’t focus. All your other Left arrows (and collective Left culture) may condition you to think you need to be in an amped up environment, yet the opposite is true for you. When you’re in a relaxed environment, you have the ability to focus, which leads you to have more meaningful authentic interactions with others, and not fall into “not-self” non-aligned tendencies of Anger, Frustration, Bitterness, or Disappointment. If you find yourself falling back into those feelings, that is a clue to take a look at your environment and surroundings and it’s an invitation to make a change. How can your environment best support you? ?

 :: DOLPHIN :: ?  focused mind – meditative activity. Likes to indulge contemplatively in their favorite activity, while being extremely present in the Now. That way, one thing after the other comes into focus. The strong presence leads to a wealth of knowledge which can be very valuable to others. Frequently puts themselves under mental pressure to step up performance.

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ? 

The Design Brain here is the only Right configuration making it Passive. Your brain is Receptive, your brain takes everything in. Your brain is relaxed in a very active & focused life, leading to your Strategic mind (arrow #4). Your active environment nurtures your activity. For you, being busy is more important than thinking. Doing is more important than thinking. By being active, you take the pressure off the brain so that it doesn’t have to think or attempt to intellectualize anything, it can simply just exist, receive, be, while your body and mind have the capacity to Do.

Your RIGHT Design arrow take everything in. It absorbs from your environment and the people in it. Everything else about your configuration is active, and you might also have an active conscious mind. The most important thing for you is to find activities that are active, yet meditative. Playing golf, cleaning, gardening, yoga, or any activity that is passively active, yet requires movement, to give your brain the opportunity to process what it has absorbed. ? 

 :: PANDA :: ? focused mind – Flow. Is in a passive flow with experiences, relaxed and laid-back, while mentally focusing on one area in order to become an expert in it. Despite thinking in a strategic and target-oriented way, the body is relaxed and prefers to pursue interesting experiences. The secret is to listen to the body and tap its wisdom.

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ? 

The body is indeed its own animal. Your consciousness is along for the ride in this earthly plane within your body. Your body indeed has its own intelligence, yet it cannot live without the mind/Soul. You have to feed your body, take it for walks, etc. It’s almost as if your body is your own personal pet, and one that you are so intimately connected with.

With this configuration, your body is facing the Future, to the Right, and your personality is facing the Past, to the Left. You may find yourself experiencing an internal struggle. The thing to remember here is to take your mental awareness into your body. Meditation and yoga would be excellent practices for you! The mind may be so convincing that your body needs to be super active and focused, yet it is in the stillness and spaciousness of the body where the mind can be at ease. Finding ways to Unify body and mind will be immensely helpful for those with this configuration. Tapping into your body’s innate wisdom will aid you in navigating your life. ?

 :: DOG :: ? Universal mind – always active, always hard-working. Actively takes charge of their own survival, works attentively on the goals and, at the same time, playfully observes everything around. Always looks for the one thing to focus on, and always finds so much else. Sees things that others cannot see and gets distracted from their focus by others. This stimulation from the outside helps strengthen awareness.

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ?

You are a strategic being who sees things others don’t see, yet you may find it difficult to prove or validate what you see. You have a wide angle view and take everything in, yet all of your Left arrows, and in particular your Left mind (#4) provides you with some focus and strategy. This ability to strategize can provide you with a way to articulate what your perspective picks up.

You can even handle a busy and active environment. Whether you find yourself in a passive or active environment, If you find yourself somewhere that makes you yawn, sleepy, or uninterested, that is your clue your environment isn’t the proper fit. Being in an active environment leads to your ability to see clearly with a wide angle view and then you can strategize what you see, what you have taken in to share with others.

Also, one thing to clear up about active environments. You don’t necessarily need to be physically active or busy 100% of the time, or even in it 100% of the time. it’s more about having access to being in an environment where there is some bustle, some kinetic energy, interaction, almost like the energy of a marketplace or coffee shop, metaphorically speaking. ?

 :: CAT :: ? Universal mind – awake, relaxed. Actively takes charge of their own survival, likes to relax and, at the same time, playfully and with changing focus observes everything around. Acts quickly and strategically when their interest is aroused or there is imminent danger. Life cannot be planned, and awareness will be strengthened through a large number of experiences and vast intellectual stimulation

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ?

You have a very active brain and strategic mind and yet your life and story line (#2 & 3) is very passive, peripheral. You need a relaxed environment to be able to soak in all that you see and notice and bring it to you your strategic mind.

If this is your configuration, one thing you must remember is your mind may try to influence your life to be active and focused. This actually may not be appropriate for you. Your body and life work best when you simply allow it to be in a flow state. There are tools you can utilize to bring these into harmony, one being Strategy & Authority to find out what works best for you, and the other is honing in your digestion, how you digest life.

It may be tempting to allow your mind to rule and make your decisions for you, but you must remember that your mind is a passenger here for the ride. Remember to focus on the flow! ?

 :: HORSE :: ? Universal mind – meditative activity. Likes to indulge in their favorite activity as a form of relaxation and, at the same time, playfully and with changing focus observes everything around. Likes to experiment, has an acute sense of perception and gains experiences in order to gather wisdom. Maintaining a regular and high level of activity will provide protection and strengthening at the same time.

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ?

Your brain is here to be passive, to absorb, and that is its work. It doesn’t try to do anything with what it takes in, it simply takes in, and that is appropriate.

As for your environment, busy fingers provide a quiet mind. Having some kind of meditative activity releases the pressure on the passive brain and creates the right situation to absorb information.

Being in an active environment / meditative activity also paves the way for a peripheral perspective to see clearly, to see all the Many options and possibilities, leading to clarity within a focused and strategic mind. Meditative activity could be making art, playing an instrument, sewing, knitting, running, yoga/Pilates, cooking, whatever you enjoy and brings you joy.

Utilizing your Strategy & Authority is a great ally for you in navigating your inner world through the outer world. ?

 :: RABBIT :: ? Universal mind – Flow. Is in a passive flow with experiences, relaxed and laid-back and, at the same time, playfully and with changing focus observes everything around. Life is a series of experiences that cannot be planned. The mental pressure to be more focused than life allows can be considerable. Is very alert in the Now, so as to attract the right people.

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ?

Your brain (#1) is here to be passive, to absorb, and that is its work. It doesn’t try to do anything with what it takes in, it simply takes in, and that is appropriate.

Here we are seeing the move towards the Right, towards taking it all in. Passive brain (

31), relaxed environment (#2), wide view on life (#3), but the kick in the pants is this Strategic mind (#4) here! If the mind is left to its devices and ends up being the one in charge, you could find yourself getting all goofed up.

Being in the right environment will cultivate your perfect relationships. Your relationships are key for you. You wait for the interaction, you wait to get called out. You have a depth of awareness from all that you have taken in in your life, and others will request and want to draw from the deep well of everything you have taken in. Your environment is also key. Being in the right environment opens the door for you to meet the right people and encourage those relationships that will draw your depth out of you. You will then be able to strategically explain that which you have taken in, and be an enormous service to others.

The thing to remember here is to not put pressure on yourself or try to be like anyone else. Just trust that you being you is enough because just you being in the right place at the right time will cultivate those moments where your gifts will be called upon and needed by those around you, and from those interactions, everyone benefits. ?

 :: BEE :: ? Relationship-mindedness – always active, always hard-working. Actively takes charge of their own survival, works hard for their objectives and is very relationship-minded. Is present and productive, most of all for the benefit of relationships. Sees very specific things and needs matching and stimulating relationships to be nourished and put their acquired knowledge at other people’s disposal.

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ?

You have an active brain(#1), you do best in an active environment (#2) and you’re focused(#3), which leads you to an open and receptive mind (#4). Your open and receptive mind sees things no one else can see, but you may not necessarily share what you see, unless it is called out or drawn out of you by another. This is where your relationship mindedness comes into play. The right relationships draw your gifts out of you.

The internal progression towards the Right is less about individual strategic movements and more about collaborative efforts each person makes toward the collective whole. The arrows represent internal cognition, the BodyGraph represents the Role you play in the game of life. We have collectively been in the Cross of Planning (very Tribal business oriented) where the majority of the people have been internally strategic. The irony of this is that as we move into the shift of 2027 into the Cross of the Sleeping Phoenix (the era of the charismatic individual), the majority of people’s internal cognition will be Right, which is relationship minded, a sense of collective oneness, a deep realization of interdependence with one another.

So focus on your relationships and stay active to keep your mind open to new possibilities of awareness. ?

:: OWL :: ? Relationship-mindedness – awake, relaxed. Actively takes charge of their own survival, likes to relax and is relationship-minded. Sees all the details in other people and deeply absorbs what is seen. Requires matching and relaxing relationships in order to put their acquired knowledge at other people’s disposal and to reflect the awareness of the person opposite.

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ?

You have an active brain (#1), require a relaxed environment (#2), have a focused perception (#3), which leads your mind to be open and receptive and takes everything in. You are the type of being that requires others to draw out your gifts, and that is where you get your sense of fulfillment. You are here to focus, to be specific, to have your field of interest and then teach what you have learned and acquired. Your relationships are everything. Being alone is not appropriate for you. Utilizing your Strategy & Authority will line you up with the right relationships. ?

:: CAMEL :: ? Relationship-mindedness – meditative activity. Likes to indulge in their favorite activity as a form of relaxation and is very relationship-minded. While being active, deeply focuses on the other person without purpose or objective. Is modest and possesses considerably more knowledge than expected. Needs the right relationships to become an important resource for others.

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ?

You have a passive brain (#1), a Receptive mind (#4), which is dropped into your active (#2) and focused (#3) life. You are not a strategic being, not at all, and the more you try to rack your brain being strategic, the less things will work for you. You need your activity and focus, but is doesn’t matter what you do, it could be anything. Your brain doesn’t need to be involved in your activity. You’re activity doesn’t require you to be problem solving, your activity and focus allows your open and receptive mind and brain to process what you’re experiencing. The meditative repetitive activity allows your brain to process and soak everything in. Playing a musical instrument, knitting, drawing, yoga, running, gardening, etc. are the types of activities where your brain/mind is receptive.

And through the right relationships, what you have soaked up will be drawn out by those who need your gifts. That is where you will find your fulfillment. ?

:: SHEEP :: ? Relationship-mindedness – Flow. Is in a passive flow with experiences, relaxed and laid-back, while at the same time, focuses on a subject or a person in a receptive and relationship-minded manner without having any intention. Is a considerable resource for others and gathers all possible knowledge out of experiences. When in the flow, devotes themselves to everything with a sincere readiness to make sacrifices.

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ?

You’re very Right oriented. Passive brain (#1), relaxed environment (#2), open and receptive mind (#4). You do best with a specific focus. When you are able to focus with a narrow view, your receptive nature allows for more space for you to take in. You might be the type of person who has visions that no one else shares, and that is your gift. Being selective about who you share your visions with will lead to greater success. ?

The right arrows operate under the premise of openness, of receptivity. It is difficult to describe in a world where strategic thinking and planning is perceived as more valuable, where what you do defines you as a person. This is not the case for the right brain/mind, or the right life. The Right is the way of flow, of synchronicity, the Left is the way of strategy and focus.

Both ways of being have validity and add value to our world and culture. One is not better than the other, they simply have different functions in the world. The more we can see the other and their gifts, the more success, satisfaction, surprise, and peace we will all experience knowing how to utilize each other’s strengths. Everyone has a part to play. Strengths are seen through awareness and recognition.

:: BEAR :: ? No-mindedness – always active, always hard-working. Actively takes charge of their own survival, focuses on the objectives. Observes him- or herself while life unfolds almost on its own. The mind is peaceful and quiet as long as survival has been secured. Inwardly interested in many different things, while outwardly presenting the life of a strategic and active personality.

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ?

Your brain (#1) likes being active, being strategic, stimulation and focus. You do best in an environment (#2) that puts pressure on you to produce something, an environment where others require things from you. Being in the right place at the right time with the right people will draw your gifts out of you, your gifts being everything that your perception (#3) and your mind (#4) have absorbed and taken in. You are a storehouse if information. ?

The right arrows operate under the premise of openness, of receptivity. It is difficult to describe in a world where strategic thinking and planning is perceived as more valuable, where what you do defines you as a person. This is not the case for the right brain/mind, or the right life. The Right is the way of flow, of synchronicity, the Left is the way of strategy and focus.

Both ways of being have validity and add value to our world and culture. One is not better than the other, they simply have different functions in the world. The more we can see the other and their gifts, the more success, satisfaction, surprise, and peace we will all experience knowing how to utilize each other’s strengths. Everyone has a part to play. Strengths are seen through awareness and recognition.

:: OCTOPUS :: ? No-mindedness – awake, relaxed. Actively takes charge of their own survival, likes to relax and is receptive to the environment. Knows how to observe him- or herself in experiences, while the body acts as an active anchor for everything else, providing protection. Likes to indulge in different experiences, thereby accumulating knowledge and becoming an important resource for others.

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ?

Your brain (#1) is the only active and left part of yourself here in this configuration. Your story line, your life (arrows #2 & #3) are here to be relaxed, and not under any pressure to do and/or create. You do best simply being in an energy of “Being,” being in an environment where you can simply exist, take it all in, create and share your gifts.

Utilizing your Strategy & Authority are your tools to get yourself into the right situations for you and your cognition, your variable to be at peace. It always always comes back to that.

As a primarily Right being, you are here to take in an be Receptive of the world around you. It’s not about what you do that defines you, it’s about how you take in that information and share it with others. That is your contribution. ?

:: COW :: ? No-mindedness – meditative activity. You are focused on your favourite activity and like to indulge in it contemplatively as a form of relaxation. In doing so, you absorb and accumulate everything with my mind and body, without a strategic plan of what to do with it. This activity is important to keep the mind at ease and avoid pressure. The fruits of your labor are highly valuable and a resource for others.

:: Is this your cognition? :: You’re the Expert! ?

You have a Right brain (#1), Right mind (#4), have a wide-angle perspective (#3), yet you do best in an active environment (#3). Your ideal environment brings activity out of you. Busy hands doing things that bring you joy, Though the activity itself is not important. How to figure out what activity is right for you? Go back to Strategy & Authority. Use those tools to figure out what is correct for you.

When you are in your correct environment, you see what you are intended to see, and be around the right people that require your gifts of everything that you have taken in from your own life experiences. ?

:: ALF :: ?+? No-mindedness – Flow. Is in a passive flow with experiences and the environment, and is very receptive to everything that’s happening around. Without firm intentions or plans life will unfold with ease, if one can simply live in the Now, without pressure. Is a valuable resource for other people, as the depth of awareness created by experiences has a transforming effect on others.

:: Is this your cognition? :: ?+?

At last, we have come to the Quad Right configuration. You are creative without any structuring, and the only structuring you benefit from is by following your Strategy & Authority (S&A). As long as you apply those tools to discover what is correct for you, you will naturally find yourself in the right place at the right time. The information you have taken in is a valuable resource to others and they will draw it out of you as needed.

In relation to the all Left being, where S&A leads them to the perfected focus, for you as an all Right being, your S&A gives you the capacity to function independently and navigate this transitional time of being in a partially strategic cultural mindset. ?+?

JK Rowling and Paramahansa Yogananda both have this configuration

Knowledge is empowering, so enjoy your own experiment! You’re the boss ??

Well, this completes the end of this little exploration you have joined me on! It’s been a pleasure to share this with you! Thank you! I’m sure there will be more, but for now…. ?
The thing about Variable is that it emerged ~23 years after Ra’s original encounter with “the Voice.” And what makes Leftness and Rightness are number configurations of what lies beneath and within the arrows.
The big takeaway for me here is that this knowledge cultivates a greater understanding within yourself and in others knowing that each one of us operates differently and we all have unique gifts to share. Also remember that nothing is set in stone when it comes to figuring out how you best operate internally. It’s all a part of your own experiment and seeing how the program plays out in your life. You are your own Authority! You are your own expert in yourself, utilizing your Design to see how it fits for you! When it comes to Variable, you get to write the book. Keep it fluid. If you have any 3rd lines, you know what works and what doesn’t, and that level of trial and error helps all of us. If you don’t have any 3rd lines, that’s great too! You have other tools in your design that provide you with information. It’s all about discovering yourself and empowering you to step into that higher vibe version you dream of.