Incarnation Crosses: Explained (Part 2)

Last month we began our look at the Incarnation Cross—an important but sometimes overlooked aspect of Human Design.

Here is a quick summary of Part 1 (you can read all of Part 1 here):

–Each person is born into this world with an Incarnation Cross that illuminates that person’s authentic life path… and yours can be found on your Human Design chart!

–Caveat: Your Incarnation Cross really won’t come into play in your life until you are first living in alignment with your Human Design Type and Strategy.

–If life were a theatrical play (thank you Mr. Shakespeare!), your TYPE would be the role you play in that production. Your PROFILE is the personality or character you bring to your role. Your INCARNATION CROSS is the plot line or story line that your character plays out in that role.

–While your Incarnation Cross is not a narrowly defined “purpose,” it is the broad what and how of what you are uniquely designed to do. There are many ways you could fulfill your path or story line—there is NOT one-and-only-one right way to live out your Incarnation Cross!

How Is Your Incarnation Cross Derived?

The top two black numbers and top two redEvelyn's Chart
in the columns of numbers on your Human Design chart form your Incarnation Cross. All of the numbers in these columns are called “Gate energies”—these are the energies we carry from birth. The top four numbers are in the positions of the sun and earth, and they exert more influence on us than the other Gate energies in our charts.

These top four numbers represent approximately 70% of the personality characteristics (Gate energies) that we are designed to express in life. Together these four numbers are given a name—an Incarnation Cross name—and they tell a major part of our life story.

There is no rigid interpretation of an Incarnation Cross. The meaning of each Cross is a combination of the four Gate energies that comprise it. The Gate energy in the conscious sun position—the top black number—is the most significant of the four. All of the other energies in your Cross, and in your whole chart, are expressed through the conscious sun Gate energy.

Also, some of the Cross names may be a bit misleading so don’t jump to conclusions about what your Cross means. For example, the Cross of Limitation does not mean you are limited. The Cross of Upheaval does not mean your life will always be chaos. Many Crosses were named for the low expression of their energies but each Cross has a high expression too, and we’re all capable of living the high expression of our Cross and of all the energies in our chart.

Why is it Called a “Cross”?

Evelyn_Levenson_-_MandalaThe word “Cross” here has a visual, not a religious, basis. When you look at the mandala of my chart on the left, you see that the four longest “arms” on the image form a cross, or “x” across the mandala. These “arms” represent the four Gate energies that form my Incarnation Cross.

The long golden arm on the right represents my conscious sun energy—Gate 48. Opposite that, the long red arm on the right represents my conscious earth energy—Gate 21. The conscious sun and earth Gates are always exactly opposite each other on the mandala.

The long golden arm on the bottom represents my unconscious sun energy—Gate 39. Opposite that, the long golden arm on the top represents my unconscious earth energy—Gate 38. The unconscious sun and earth Gates are always exactly opposite each other on the mandala.

For those of you who love details, the two “crossing” arms are never at a perfect 90-degree angle. The unconscious energies are determined at 88 degrees (approximately 3 months in calendar time) prior to our conscious energies (which are formed at our time of birth). The circle of the mandala represents an entire year of time, and the sun and earth move counter clockwise around the mandala each year.

And for those of you curious about why the short and long arms on my mandala are different colors… here is the answer! Each colored arm, long or short, represents a Gate energy in my chart. The arm’s color is determined by the color of the Energy Center that the Gate is connected to on my body graph (which is the large triangle in middle of mandala). Even if a particular Energy Center is open (white) on my body graph, the arm on my mandala related to it will be the color of that Center when it is defined (colored in).

How Many Incarnation Crosses Are There?

First, there are three kinds of Crosses: Right Angle Crosses, Juxtaposition Crosses, and Left Angle Crosses. The kind that appears on your Chart is determined by your Profile.

The Right Angle Profiles are 1/3, 1/4, 2/4, 2/5, 3/5, 3/6, 4/6.
The Juxtaposition Profile is 4/1.
The Left Angle Profiles are 5/1, 5/2, 6/2, 6/3.

There are a total of 64 Gate energies, and the sun moves through all 64 over the course of a year (like the sun moves through all 12 astrological signs each year).

64 Gates x 3 variations = 192 Incarnation Crosses

Each Right Angle Cross appears 4 times, once in each quarter of the Human Design year, with the same 4 Gates each time—just in different arrangements.

This is why you’ll see some Crosses with the number 2, 3, or 4 after them. The Cross name remains the same, just the variation number changes. The meaning of these Crosses remains essentially the same although the position of each Gate energy does influence the meaning. The Gate energy in the conscious sun position (top black number) is the most influential.

Each Left Angle Cross appears 2 times, once in the first two quarters, and once again in the last two quarters. Again, the name and meaning of the Cross remain the same when it repeats (it’s made of the same 4 Gate energies each time), but it is influenced by the relative positions of the Gate energies—especially the conscious sun energy.

Juxtaposition Crosses do not repeat; each has a unique name.

How To Find Out About YOUR Incarnation Cross

The name of YOUR Incarnation Cross is usually found on the bottom half of your Human Design chart (if you received your chart from me) below the line that says Profile. If your chart doesn’t show yours, send me an email with your birth data and I’ll send you a chart that shows the name of your Cross.

There are several books available about Human Design that describe the Gate energies, but few that address Incarnation Crosses. Check on Amazon and Jovian Archives for reference materials. I particularly like Chetan Parkyn’s book Human Design (on Amazon) which looks at each Gate energy in some detail (but does not describe the Crosses).

In the absence of information about your specific Incarnation Cross, read about each of the four Gates that comprise your Cross and weave your own story of your life path from those Gates.

If you choose to have a Human Design Reading with me, your Incarnation Cross will be explained and explored with you as part of your Reading.

Bottom Line

Put your focus on living in alignment with your Type and Strategy, first and foremost. Then your Incarnation Cross will unfold and express naturally in your life.

4 Responses to Incarnation Crosses: Explained (Part 2)

  • Alejandra says:

    :grin: Thank you Eveyln, as usual it is a pleasure to read you!

  • Kathy says:

    Thanks…this was helpful to me! :razz:

  • Ray Vander Borgh says:


    I was wondering what yours was; found it was right cross of tension. Just like mine. I’m also 1/3 profile as well, except not projector but manifesting generator. For the right cross of tension what have you found so far, Eveyln? It was last year since you posted this. You’ve probably found more on your cross and had a chance to observe your experience of it since then. I can’t seem to find much in terms of specific information about the cross – always seems like a summary only, sparce.

    • Evelyn says:

      Hi Ray, I’m finding that I can help people to restore the flow of their energy (the high expression of the cross) without creating the tension of the low expression. And when I do create tension (usually not consciously) I at least know where it comes from. As a Projector, when I use my energy correctly it’s much easier to avoid the tension. How are you experiencing this cross now that you are more aware of it? I suspect it’ a bit different for you as an MG than for me!

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