No one takes the “woo” out of “woo woo” like Lauren O’Connell (AKA The Modern Astrologer). And this is why we love her! When it comes to astrology, people fall on one of two ends of the spectrum. You’re either like “I’m not leaving my apartment until Mercury is out of Retrograde” or you just think “No, Karen…you’re not a Scorpio, you’re just a bitch.” Regardless of your beliefs, Lauren’s modern approach (hence, why shes’s the Modern Astrologer) will make you think about astrology a little differently, and maybe even teach you something new. Ever heard of Human Design? We hadn’t before we met Lauren and now we are OBSESSED. Let’s just say, you’re in for a real treat!
Here at TSB, we lean towards the side of not leaving our apartment until Mercury is out of Retrograde so we’re all in when it comes to astrology. Because of this, we were even more intrigued when we heard about Human Design. It’s basically like an instruction manual for your life. However, there’s way more to it. Now we don’t want to give away too many details, as you’re about to get the full scoop from Lauren herself.
So here’s our interview with Lauren O’Connell.
How did you get into astrology?
My paternal grandmother used to read birth charts, palms, had a crystal ball… all the cool mystical things. I always thought it was fun but never took an interest in any of it myself until 2015 when I realized I was going through Saturn Returns. Saturn Returns is a time between the ages of 28-30 when big shifts happen in our lives as a way to nudge us towards our true paths. I remembered my grandmother talking about when people went through the Saturn Return shift – my parents, Aunts, Uncles, political leaders, celebrities… so it stuck with me as something I should prepare for. I could feel something shifting for me and I wanted to know how to best understand and utilize the energy. And so began the obsession of Astrology.
Many people ask for tips and resources they can use to learn astrology themselves. I unfortunately don’t have any because I just followed my curiosity down the rabbit hole in a non-linear way. My Mercury is in Cancer– I learn based on intuition and relating things back to people and feelings. It sits in my 9th house so I focus more on the big picture rather then details. So, I started by learning my own chart and then learning how to read the charts of people close to me. Once that made sense I then began to understand all of the details of Astrology. I studied really intensely for about year and a half before I started my business.
What’s the biggest misconception about astrology?
The biggest misconception about astrology is that it’s only about the Sun sign (the sign everyone knows based on their birth month). There is so much more to a birth chart than just the one placement of the Sun. Yes, the Sun represents a big part of our personality, and I think that that’s why people become so attached to that part of astrology, but you really have to take into account the whole chart. There are all of the other planets, the 12 houses, the 12 signs, and how all of these things work with or against each other. It becomes quite a large story.
Another big misconception, which relates back to the Sun sign, is the compatibility of signs – “Oh, he’s a Scorpio and she’s a Leo that would never work.” As far as compatibility goes, it’s much more about the Moon and Venus signs in our charts which play a big part in our love languages. That combined with what area of the chart planets fall into says much more about how people will get along then the Sun sign.
Because of these misconceptions, astrology has been dubbed silly and immature by many people. When used properly, the depth and detail it provides is an amazing tool not only to get to know yourself but as the way to understand others. Learning how we are different creates empathy and hopefully teaches us to get out of that “our way is the best way” mentality and learn to compromise. We can communicate to people the way they best understand, we can show love to people the way they are most comfortable receiving love, and so on. Once we have understood our charts and the basics of astrology, we then can add the layer of what’s currently going on in the sky (which are called transits) and how they impact us specifically based on our charts. Working with the transits is so helpful for decision making, understanding best timing to sit back vs act, powering through tough times, etc.
What has astrology done for you personally?
For me personally, astrology has slapped me across the face with a heavy dose of self-awareness. I now know myself extremely well and that is beneficial when it comes to explaining my feelings – which is something I was not great at prior to astrology. It has also provided the opportunity for me to become a better friend, more clear at what I want to do in my life, have a creative outlet, be more calm during stressful times (knowing that the energy is temporary)… so many things!
My favorite part though is how it’s provided me with a passion that I am naturally good at. When we do what we are good at and continue to get better at those things, we gain things like confidence, the ability to help other people, a sense of purpose, etc. And that, I believe, is when the universe will continue to reward us with more and more momentum and joy. So, if you do the work to get to know yourself and become bold enough to live in that truth, the next step is to trust that you will be guided by the universe into the direction you’re meant to be on.
Tell us about Human Design. What is it? And how did you get into it?
Human Design is, in a nutshell, a manual that shows us who we are designed to be. It provides us direction and action steps on how to work best with our unique energy. It combines Western Astrology, the Chinese I’Ching, Jewish Kabbalah, Hindu Chakra system, Quantum Physics and Human Genetic Coding (saaaayy whaaaa?? – don’t worry, you don’t need to understand these to understand your chart).
A Human Design chart is called a “Body Graph”. It is comprised of 9 Energy Centers that resemble the chakra system. The basics of a chart that are easy to read up on are:
Type – personality
Strategy – our personal way to make effective decisions. By following our Strategy we can move through life with ease, energy, and we will attract the right people and circumstances to us.
Authority – authority for our decision-making, what you can truly rely on to make consistently the right decisions
Profile (there are 12 profiles) – the Profile is two numbers, the first number in our profile is an element of our personality that we will be consciously aware of. The second number in the Profile may be unconscious and more hidden from us. Knowing our profile can help us see some of the themes that we will encounter as we move toward fulfilling our purpose.
Open Centers – Open Centers are where we take energy and information in from the world around us. Not only do we take in energies in our open Centers, we amplify them.
Defined Centers – represent aspects of your personality that are consistent and true about your personality all the time. This is the energy that you radiate out into the world.
I learned about human design through a podcast. I immediately pulled up my chart and started reading about my Type. It combines a lot of the stuff that I was familiar with (astrology, chakras, and psychology) but what was unique was that it was sort of a “How To” guide that provided actionable steps. And so began the obsession of human design.
How can Human Design help people in their daily lives?
Becoming familiar with the basics of your Human Design body graph, listed above, can help you get rid of self-defeating patterns and move through life easier, quicker and with more energy. It let’s you get in touch with what is inherently you and your strengths versus what you have been conditioned to be. Each Type has a different way of operating in the world and each has a unique decision-making Strategy. The ultimate goal is to learn and live by our Strategy. Through this we make decisions that are correct for us so that we can be our fullest expression of our authentic self.
A lot of what we are conditioned to do is to perfect the things we are not so great at in order to raise up to a certain standard. Human Design teaches that what we should actually be doing is focusing only on what we are naturally great at and leave the things we suck at to the people who excel in those things. When we focus on being better at the things that aren’t naturally “us”, we are then taken out of the flow that the universe is wanting us to master. Here’s the secret – life should be enjoyable. If we live in our Strategy and follow only what lights us up we can find that joy everyday.
Can you explain the different types and what they mean?
Manifestor – These are the trail blazers who are here to create movements, whether they intentionally try to or not! Their energy can’t help but be felt when they walk into a room. Manifesting energy in human design simply means you don’t need to wait for collaboration from the Universe in order to act. It’s an impulsive energy not driven by anything but the Divine expressing itself through you. A big part of living correctly as a manifestor is cherishing and honoring those impulses, because they’re rare and special.
Common challenge: Manifestors have a selective aura, so they will attract some people and repel those who aren’t right for them. This is the Universe’s natural sifting mechanism in motion, but this can feel like rejection or disapproval, so manifestors will spend their lives trying to please everybody, This is not the correct use of their energy and not what they came here to do – but it holds many of them back from fulfilling their true potential.
Generator – Pure life-force in motion, these people have an attracting aura and a juiciness to their energy. They are here to dance with life and engage their energy to move their community forward in a way that is meaningful to them. When they are doing what they love, people can’t get enough of them. They are also the natural hustlers and doers of society.
Common challenge: generators have to listen to their gut and honor their desires, rather than saying yes to things they feel they ‘should’ do. Because of their juicy energy, other people will want to use the generator’s energy for their own benefit. But generators have to be lit up and passionate about anything they engage their energy with otherwise they burn out – I tell generators that unless they feel it’s a hell yes, it should become a hell no!
Manifesting Generator – These are a hybrid for the new age of a generator plus a manifestor – when they’re living correctly they are like superhumans! Not only do they have the ability to initiate, like the manifestor, they can also make it happen like the generator.
Common challenge: MGs can often feel caught between wanting to run out the door and act on their impulses, and also wait for their gut feelings to kick in (the hell yes or the hell no). I tell MGs it’s super important to reserve the right to change your mind as you go, and to train your loved ones to accept that from you too, wherever possible. MGs will often ‘move’ quicker than generators but they’ll course-correct more often as well.
Projector – These people are here as guides for the tribe. They have an ability to see something the way others can’t – whether that’s reading into people, devising systems, or designing new ways of doing things, each projectors has a special ability of their own.
Common challenge: trying to prove they can hustle and keep up with the rest of the world. Projectors have inconsistent energy, and can easily spend their time beating themselves up over the fact that they can’t just ‘make things happen’. They are not here to do that. It’s also very common for projectors to be impatient if they don’t understand how their energy operates. The more you trust the flow of life as a projector instead of trying to keep up with the generators, the more stuff will start happening for you, ironically. And in the meantime, spend your time honing your special skill.
Reflector – These are super rare energy types in human design, with less than 1% of the population falling into this category. They are the true mirrors for society with the greatest potential for wisdom out of all the types.
Common challenge: energetically, they are like blank slates with very little of their own defined energy, and growing up in a world where you have to know who you are is confusing for these guys most of all. Understanding that you operate so differently from 99% of the world, and that that is okay, is the best place to start for a reflector.
Descriptions are via www.jennazoe.com
What are the open centers and what’s their significance?
There are 9 centers in the Bodygraph: Head, Ajna, Throat, G, Heart / Ego, Sacral, Root, Spleen and Solar plexus. Centers are areas of special energetic significance in our body. Our definition, everything that is colored in our chart, is who we are. The definition represents consistency. On the other hand, when the center is undefined (white), there is no consistency in experiencing its energy/attributes.
Undefined/open centers are where we take on energy from others. If we don’t follow our Strategy and Authority, the open centers are places where we get our deepest conditioning, creating great resistance. But when we live in our design, it is through the open centers that we get the greatest learning and wisdom. When the center is open, it doesn’t mean it’s empty, or broken – each design is perfect!
What’s the difference between a birth chart and a Human Design chart? Is one more useful than the other?
They are both similar in that there is a chart based on birthday, birth city and our exact time of birth. They are both amazing tools for self-awareness – strengths, weaknesses, and how we express ourselves. It depends on what you are using them for to determine which is more useful for you. Astrology charts have more layers to work with, which can determine things like what type of partner we should be with, what job we should be doing, etc. I’d say an astrology birth chart is way better for timing, predictions and understanding the day-to-day energy and how it will personally impact us. While human design is better for logically understanding how we should be directing our personal energies at all times.
What would you say to someone skeptical of Human Design?
I’d say, “You do you, boo.”
Although I wish everyone would be open to it so that they can be able to live in flow and be happier.
What has Human Design done for you personally?
Getting to know my Human Design was a big “ah-ha” moment for me. For the first time, the idea of how I am personally supposed to move through life, clicked. It has completely changed the way I run my business. Between my Strategy and my Profile, everything needs to come to me via my network rather then me initiating things. As a Manifstor-Generator, I have a lot of energy and interests so I tend to want to make shit happen at all times. Learning to not initiate things and to wait and have something to respond to was hard. So, instead of building out more avenues of my business the way I “think” I should, I instead wait for someone to request things of me, react with my Sacral energy and then create it.
I’ve learned to trust that things and opportunities will come to me. When they do, I then try my best to decide with my gut (sacral) rather then my head. I either say “No” and go back to waiting for the right opportunity or “Yes” and move forward at rapid speed. At this moment in my life, I am receiving so many “pings”, opportunities and connections and the more that I trust and react to these things, the more they are showing up.
We always want to live our best life and be our true selves, but sometimes we just don’t know where to start. Human Design is an amazing and unique way to understand how you should live your life and be your happiest self. Really you should just book an appointment with Lauren ASAP and see for yourself. Check her out @themodernastrologer and for more information about readings, visit www.themodernastrologer.com.