What is inner authority in human design?

Mar 14, 2022 | Human design | 0 comments

In human design we often talk about the concept of authority. Authority is used in our decision making process when we are living authentically. It works with our type’s strategy to help align our actions with divine timing. But what does it mean when someone talks about “inner authority” in human design? Let me explain.


In human design we often say that the mind is not the authority. This really just means that as 9-centered beings, our mind is not the best suited decision-making apparatus for us. We cannot think our way through life. The mind doesn’t have the ability to consider intuition or emotional or spiritual awareness. This makes the mind a poor choice for authority. In human design authority simply means how we gain the insights necessary to make correct and aligned decisions. Where people get confused is that there are 2 main kinds of authority—inner authority and outer authority.

Let’s talk about outer authority first because I think it’s a little easier to understand at first. One thing our mind is really good at is helping other people uncover insights. When we have an inspiration, we like to share our ideas, concepts and beliefs with others. In the process of sharing, our thoughts may trigger a deep insight for the other person. This is our mind acting as an outer authority. We are using our mind to provide insight to someone else. When the mind is an outer authority, we are not using it to make our own decisions. Instead, we are offering our thoughts to someone else for them to apply their own strategy with what we’ve shared. This is outer authority.


Inner authority is authority coming from within us. When we’re out of alignment or not living our design, we may try to use the mind as an inner authority. We may think about a problem or situation and make a decision from the mind.


When we are operating according to design, we will make our decisions from intuition, from our sacral response, from our emotions or any of the other authorities in human design. We’re looking inward towards our body’s innate wisdom to make our decisions. In human design, inner authority is often simply called authority. When you get your human design chart, whatever your authority is on that chart is your inner authority.


There are two authorities which are a little less clear cut. Some projectors have an authority we call mental authority (or environmental or sounding board). This describes an authority in which you utilize a group of trusted friends to help. This still isn’t considered an outer authority though. The purpose of this circle of friends is to allow the person with mental authority to talk through the situation and hear themselves. By reflecting what is being said, this group of friends allows the projector with this type of authority to uncover the insight necessary to make an aligned decision. It’s not an outer authority because the projector isn’t asking what they should do or looking to others to make a decision for them.


The other exception is, of course, reflectors. Reflectors have no inner authority. This is because for a reflector their strategy of waiting a full moon cycle is the only aligned way for them to make a decision. Naturally, this isn’t practical for every decision in life. Reflectors should use their strategy for the big decisions—career, relationships, where to live, large money decisions, etc. For the more everyday decisions, a reflector can use a sounding board similarly to a projector with that type of authority.


Hopefully this has helped to clarify that there’s nothing unique about inner authority in human design. It’s just what we often shorten as authority. Outer authority is a different story, however. If you’re operating from the mind as your inner authority, you’re not living your design. Want to learn more about living your design? Check out my human design services.

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