Human Design vs. Gene Keys – What to Study and Master?

This article is also available in: German

Recently, a lot of people asked about the difference between Gene Keys and Human Design. This article is supposed to be a neutral space Gene Keys and Human Design to coexist harmoniously. I am into the Gene Keys from Richard Rudd and I have basic know-how in Human Design readings for my chart. I am happy that my close friends have taught me the basics of Human Design in the last couple of months.

In this article, others will also report about the difference between Human Design and Gene Keys. So, you have all relevant view points on this subject.

Now, you might ask yourself: What is Human Design? What are the Gene Keys? How is Human Design compared to Gene Keys? Are the two systems complementary to each other? Can I study and teach both systems at the same time? What are the advantages and disadvantages of both systems?

What is Human Design?

I am always keen to learn and to understand why people fall in love with a system like Human Design or Gene Keys. So, I did my research as much as possible through my close expert relationships, my personal reading experiences, and online researches.

Without a foundation, you can’t build a stable house. So, let us begin with the basics for newcomers.

A lot of people know the popular personality test ‘16 Personalities’. Here you have the possibility to access your personality type out of 16 personalties. To access your personality type, you have to freely attend the online test that looks like below.

Human Design 16 Personalities

The Human Design System does not work with a preset test with questions as 16 Personalities does. Your personalized test score is astrologically calculated with your birthday, city of birth (only used for the correct time zones), and exact time of birth. Very important: Neither Human Design nore the Gene Keys are a new form of astrology, both only use the astrology calculations to locate the positions of the planets.

Human Design

In my life, for a long time, I had been very critical and skeptical about astrology, planets, spirit guides and maybe you are also one of the skeptics. I believe it’s great to be constantly self-critical while having an open mind about the results of any kind of system that tells details about who you are and who you one day will become. From my experience, life is not a one-sided preset.

Human Design was developed by Ra Uru Hu in 1992. Human Design is a great way to expand your world view for yourself and others when used with an honest, caring, and loving approach.

Human Design is divided into four design types; Generators, Manifestors, Projectors, and Reflectors + the Manifested Generators which have been discussed to be the fifth design. When we read our test scores of 16 Personalities, the results are self-explaining and there are no charts to read. The test scores of Human Design are very far in-depth, and the system is about parenting, relationships, money, dreams, history, and the future.

For example, this is how the Human Design Chart looks like.

Human Design Chart

On the left side *Your Human Design Chart* is the red-colored ‘Design’ and at the right side the black colored ‘Personality’ . The informations below are the 1-64 Hexagrams of the I Ching and the numbers from 1 – 6 are the lines, for example, 1.2, 2.2, or 19.6. In the middle of the chart are the nine centers, from Root Chakra (physicality) to Crown Chakra (consciousness) and the connection between the nine centers in red or black are the channels that either are active or not.

I have to say that a lot of my human design chart readings were very accurate in the way I express myself. At the same time, a part of my higher self stays self-critical, while not giving to much energy into my physical mind of the ego structure. I honestly reflected my experiences and current status quo and whenever a professional reader shared an insight of my chart, it was astonishingly accurate.

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What are the Gene Keys?

How is Gene Keys compared to Human Design?

Gene Keys is a mystical system for your higher purpose that was developed by Richard Rudd in 2002. The Gene Keys are quite new compared to Human Design, which has been first published in 1992.

Gene Keys and Human Design both use the same astrological mechanisms to calculate your hologenetic profile.

Here is an example of a Gene Keys Hologenetic Profile.

Gene Keys Profile

The Gene Keys Hologenetic Profile differs a lot from the Human Design Chart. Instead of the nine centers in Human Design, Gene Keys utilizes eleven spheres. There are currently three different self-study sequences (Activation – Green Spheres, Venus – Red Spheres, and Pearl – Blue Spheres) on the official website. Each Sphere includes a hexagram from 1-64 and one line (1-6). In the hologenetic profile, you can see that each sphere has a different theme. For example, the top green Sphere is the Sphere of Life’s Work. The hexagram 60 of the Sphere of Life’s Work is about the Shadow of Limitation, the Gift of Realism, and the Siddhi of Justice and the Line 3 is the Changer. Here, Human Design uses self and non-self and Gene Keys use Shadow, Gift, and Siddhi.

For more details and how to start in Gene Keys, read my extensive article about Gene Keys here.

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How is Human Design compared to Gene Keys?

We already noticed that both systems utilize the Chinese I Ching and its 64 hexagrams, an ancient universal system that can be found in art, music, nature, and science. Both systems also have the 6 lines and the same planet constellations.

Gene Keys and Human Design use similar and yet very different linguistics for the 64 hexagrams and the 6 lines. In Gene Keys the 64 hexagrams are described in Shadow, Gift and Siddhi and in Human Design they are described in Self and Non-Self.

In Gene Keys it’s all about the Spheres and the Hologenetic Profile, how the Spheres interact with each other with the lines and the roles of the Shadow, the Gift and the Siddhi, which are embedded in each Hexagram. In Human Design it’s all about the nine centers, self and non-self, and how the nine centers interact with each other through the channels.

Gene Keys compared to Human Design is about your higher purpose in life, while the focus of Human Design is about recognizing talents, unfolding individuality, and living integrity. In general, both systems are about parenting, relationships, prosperity, dreams, history, and the future.

In Gene Keys there are no specific design types. In Human Design compared to Gene Keys are the four main design types, Generator / Manifestors / Reflector / Projector that are mechanically built around the 12-line types.

Three of the 12-line types are for example 1/3 – 6/2 or 5/1. In both systems, you discover the same hexagrams and lines. If you have a 55.6 in Human Design, you also have a 55.6 in Gene Keys. So you can look at a Human Design Chart and you also know the details of the Gene Keys Profile and vice versa, because they utilize the same mechanisms for reading DNA.

What I love about Gene Keys is, that Richard Rudd also implemented natural Human Design wisdom in Gene Keys, because Richard Rudd deeply studied Human Design before developing Gene Keys.

One of the big differences that I sensed but wasn’t aware of until others shared their insights, is that Gene Keys is a more feminine transmission and Human Design a more masculine transmission. Gene Keys uses the concept of trinities (Shadow, Gift, and Siddhi) and Human Design uses the concept of dualities (self and non-self). This is a very important fact, that can’t be denied.

My blog Beyonduality basically is about the essence of the trinities in which the heart is prioritized over the mind and we act from the heart. This is acting from your intrinsic intelligence and understanding rather than giving our intellect the power for decision-making.

We can also easily recognize this from the fact, that Human Design divides your personality in four main designs, Manifestor, Generator, Reflector, and Projector. You can only be one of those four design types, thus it’s a different perspective to describe your authentic energy. In Gene Keys, each hologenetic profile is unique. Tendencies for your personality type can be found within the 6 lines and the 11 Spheres. Here, everything else is up to your imagination.

What others say about Human Design and Gene Keys

I decided to make all statements anonymous. Those are all statements that I found to be relevant.

This is what others say about Human Design compared to Gene Keys.

  1. One of the biggest differences for me is that Human Design is dualistic, having the self and not-self, which to me seem equivalent to Shadow and Gift in Gene Keys. Bringing in the Siddhi transforms the work completely and opens every key to another realm. I tend to use Human Design for more practical, everyday things, and Gene Keys for overall life contemplation.
  2. For me when I use the systems with clients, it’s progressive. Beginning with Human Design because between the visuals and the “this or that” nature it’s the perfect starting point in my experience. Gene Keys is the next step, the “zoom in” point, and is usually in one of the follow-up. I use the systems in client development, not teaching the systems as a whole. So, delivering what is necessary.
  3. I’m not a teacher – however … Richard Rudd’s descriptions of Gene Keys are deeper – but that requires deep awareness, and I think it can only happen alone – it’s not choral singing. Human Design – 1. Different types of work completely differently energetically. 2. 7-year deconditioning process 3. For me understanding – “Your mind is turning your intelligence into a joke because intelligence without awareness is just a bad joke. It is what happens when you think that your mind is going to guide you to the promised land. It is not equipped.” – Ra Uru Hu
  4. Human Design is more masculine and left-brained and Gene Keys is more feminine, right-brained, poetic and creative. Human Design is supposed to be truth. Gene Keys is a living transmission.
  5. Human Design analyses the charts very strongly. There are general statements e.g. for all those who belong to a certain type. And because of the specific constellation of the planets, there are very specific statements about each one. When I get into a design, I can explain it. The Gene Keys sequences offer an introduction to self-exploration and self-development. Each of the 64 Keys concerns you. In my opinion, when I talk to someone about their profile, it only offers very good access because the themes and patterns are immediately recognizable.

Thanks, everyone for your great statements.

I would love to have your experience in the comment area below. The most relevant comments will be a part of the next update of this article. So, feel free to leave a comment.

Are the two systems complementary to each other?

Yes, personally understanding both systems can be of great help for you. Especially, when people around you are into Human Design and you are in Gene Keys or vice versa, it is always great to have a general knowledge of both systems. At the same time, this depends on your soul’s purpose.

Are you a teacher and a student?

Then both systems can massively enhance your knowledge. However, never forget that you have to be an embodiment of living the core values of those systems. When you are only studying a system like Human Design or Gene Keys intellectually, you are missing the most important fact. You will never be fully authentic.

Are you a student?

When you are not interested in teaching about a particular system, I believe it’s not so urgent to know the basics of both, Gene Keys and Human Design. 95% of people are students from the design of their life’s purpose and they won’t need to be passionate about teaching others by coaching or workshops.

At the same time, in private and personal life, we are always teachers for ourselves and others. The difference is, that our friends and relationships do not necessarily have to be aware of the fact that you study Gene Keys or Human Design. You don’t have to tell them about astrology, hexagrams, lines, or channels and you can just be gently holding space for them. You can inspire friends without creating more complexity for them. Your open heart and listening to their challenges are enough for that.

Can I study and teach both systems at the same time?

For sure you could study two systems simultaneously, however, I would never recommend you to study more than one complex system (permission slip) at a time. We all have our individual 7-year cell renewal cycles and it is recommended to master one complex system at a time. So, I recommend you to primarily focus on one of the two systems because they are very rarified, in-depth, and different.

You also wouldn’t study 10 languages at the same time, right? This is a half-hearted attitude, so make a commitment and devote yourself to one system at a time to be recognized as an authority and an authentic role model, for yourself and others.

And when you notice a system isn’t exciting for you anymore, you can always stop it immediately and start another one. Just without a start, there will be no ending. So start.

I know I am not exaggerating about 10 different languages. To deeply embody Human Design or Gene Keys could be like speaking 5 – 10 languages fluently at the same time. That’s why both systems are self-coaching systems in essence. Teachers can just guide you to a general understanding and can inspire you to broaden your world view. This is great because when you decide to learn a new language, teachers are also able to quickly accelerate your learning curve. But integration and practice in your daily life can only be achieved by you.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Human Design and Gene Keys?

I took this question into this article because we are always interested in the ‘bad and good effects’ of a system. In detail, I am sure you can lose yourself in both, Human Design and Gene Keys. My perspective is, that the impact of both systems has to be experienced in your daily life. When we only learn theory, we would never be able to drive a car. It’s no difference to Human Design and Gene Keys. To truly master a system, you need patience, clarity, and endurance of at least 5-7 years and more.

The advantage of both systems is, that we gradually learn how to unlearn and let go of old negative belief systems. I can’t speak so much about Human Design in this perspective, and I believe that this ‘unlearning’ is one of the major differences in Gene Keys to Human Design.

A system is only as good as the teacher. Human Design has many teachers in many languages. Besides the foundation, there is no ‘main’ source of a resource like in Gene Keys. Right now, Gene Keys has everything available at their official website and Richard Rudd further creates new programs. Ra Uru Hu, the founder of Human Design is not actively developing Human Design anymore, because he died several years ago.

For me, this is a big factor to be careful of Human Design Teachers, because not every teacher can be as pure as the original creator. This does not mean that I am not careful and self-critical of the Gene Keys teachings. Even today, I am always staying on guard and being self-reflective and careful because life is not stagnating, it’s highly fluent.

I won’t go into certain details of the advantages and disadvantages of both systems. In certain points, they balance each other out and enhance your wisdom. In certain points, Gene Keys and Human Design can be dangerous, while only studying them from the physical mind and the ego.

I love that Gene Keys is very expanding and all 64 Hexagrams are seen as a part of you because we collectively constantly interact with each other and activate and deactivate different genetic sequences in our daily life.

And as I have written before, a system is only as good as the teacher and the student. This is a universal truth of existence because you are just not able to be aware of a level of consciousness hidden within a system far beyond your current awareness.

It’s like sitting in a Formula One and you can’t see the magic of the car, because you are not able to start and drive it. And even if you could drive a Formula One, it would be not as exciting as to an experienced Formula One driver, driving the car.

If you can’t see the beauty of a system, it’s not because of the system, it’s because you are not aware of the inherent beauty yet.

What’s my note to any kind of system to unlock more awareness for you?

A system is only as good as the teacher and the student. Choose your teachers wisely. The best way to do so is to not seek a teacher. You have to gently and naturally invite a teacher into your life. By doing so, you open the world to your higher mind. Your perfect teacher in the form of synchronicity will be in your life when needed. This is how it always worked out for me. I was never actively seeking a teacher.

When you push yourself to find a teacher or you are being pushed by a teacher to follow their teachings, you probably won’t have the experiences that your soul truly longs for. Then you only get the experience, in which your physical mind (ego) divides you further into physical reality and creates more disharmony. In this case, you gave your egoic mind the full power of decision making, which all the times end in disaster.

This is not something bad. We are human beings. We all face those situations to different degrees. To know the experiences, we need to experience for our soul and which experiences not, is one of our main lesson as a human being. It is the beauty of humanity and transcending this beauty is beyond beautiful.

Thanks a lot for reading my article!

I am a big fan of Gene Keys and Human Design because they helped me to have a deeper understanding of my essence of consciousness.

I hope I was a good guide for you in this article to have a general understanding of my life’s philosophy for self-studying in your personal development, Gene Keys and Human Design.

Now, it’s time to drop your comment below for all relating questions that you have. I answer them personally, as quickly as possible.

Also, share your points of view and experiences.

Dominik Porsche
Dominik Porsche
Hi, nice to see you here. I am Dominik, dad, student, teacher, Gene Keys Guide, consciousness explorer, open-hearted and spiritual inspiration for the people around me. On Beyonduality I accompany you on a joyful and courageous journey to discover your Soul Purpose, your authentic energy expression. The project Beyonduality guides you in integrating and transcending your spirit awakening experiences through the Gene Keys Teachings. My vision as a dad is to accelerate the process of remembering – that we are spiritual beings – not only humans in flesh. So, we remember our inner truth of abundance and can all live in peace and harmony.


  1. Hi!

    Very interesting article! I also have the basis in HD and I came to GK the years ago and now I am the referent for Italy which is still a very small community. I also use both systems but I definitely feel that GK is a living transmission that affects awareness on an unconscious level. To me HD is a sort of “Identity card” if your energetic type with very good suggestions for life while GK is the “road map” of your life’s journey

  2. Very interesting! In my Gene Keys profile, in the Golden Path, my chart profile shows me as a Projector type (channeler type) but in Human Design, I am a Manifestor type. These are so different– I find it hard to absorb the teachings of one if I also embody the other.

    • Thanks for sharing. From my understanding only Human Design uses the terms of the Projector and Manifestor type. In Gene Keys and in the Golden Path those terms are not used. However also Gene Keys uses the HD astrological calculations at birth, so if you are a 6/2 type in HD, you should also be a 6/2 in GK. You can check that in HD, you will find the same hexagram number in the personality sun in you Lifes Work and the personality earth in evolution. Also you find the design sun in in your radiance and the design earth in your purpose in GK. So my 6/2 is also a 6/2 in Gene Keys 🙂 and that should be same for you. If not, you should check to get your profile again 🙂 and if its still different when you use exactly the same data, i recommend to ask the GK or HD support for your profile case. Greetings

  3. Pretty wonderful that I was able to web search my question and read your blog that answered my question quite thoroughly! I appreciate your time in writing this blog.


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