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Incarnation Crosses: Explained (Part 1)

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!

But what is it—really—and how can knowing about it help you right now?

There are very few published materials available about this significant yet somewhat hidden aspect of Human Design. This article explains the basics about Incarnation Crosses so you’ll understand their power and importance.

One caveat before we get started, though. 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. Some people—especially those around us who seem to thrive no matter what—have stumbled across what works for them in life (their Strategy) and figured out how to do it consistently. But most of us don’t have a clear handle on how to have our life really work until we learn about our Type and Strategy from Human Design.

Once you learn your Type and Strategy they should be your primary focus. But understanding your Incarnation Cross is definitely cool, and can be very inspiring! 

What IS an Incarnation Cross?

It is the path (or story line) that you are designed to live out during your life. It’s not an inevitable fate—you can choose to NOT live that path. But most of the time we can’t help but express our Cross, at least partially, because it’s what comes naturally to us.

If life were a theatrical play (thank you Mr. Shakespeare!), your TYPE would be the role you play in that production. For example, “the butler” might be a role in a play. YOUR role in this life is your Type:  Manifestor, Generator, Manifesting Generator, Projector, or Reflector, which means you are here to initiate, work, guide, or reflect—depending on your Type.

Your PROFILE is the personality or character you bring to your role. In the case of the butler, some butlers are quiet, some are stern, some are incompetent (usually in a comedy), some are smarter than their employer (Jeeves), some protect their employer (Batman’s Alfred), etc. There are many ways to play a butler!

For example, I am a 1/3 Projector, so my ROLE in life is to manage, guide and direct the energy of others (Projector Type), and the PERSONALITY style I bring to this role is being investigative and experimental (1/3 Profile).

The INCARNATION CROSS is the plot line or story line that the character plays out in their role. My Incarnation Cross is the Right Angle Cross of Tension. I am designed to figure out (1/3 Profile) how to provoke people to release tension and then guide (Projector Role) them to restoring the flow of energy in their lives.

While my Cross is not a narrowly defined “purpose,” it is the what and how of what I am designed to do. But there are many different ways I could fulfill that path or story line.

So your Incarnation Cross can be thought of as your broad purpose in life, made a little more specific by your particular Type and Profile, and further refined by the rest of the Gate energies you carry.

I now offer a specialized Advanced Human Design Reading call the Life Path and Soul Mission Reading, which specifically explores your Incarnation Cross (your Life Path) along with your Chiron energies (your Soul Mission). You can learn about that reading HERE.

In Part 2 of this article, we will cover:

-How Is the Incarnation Cross Derived?

-Why is it Called a “Cross”?

-How Many Incarnation Crosses Are There?

-How You Can Find Out More About YOUR Incarnation Cross

CLICK HERE to read Incarnation Crosses: Explained (Part 2)

6 comments… add one
  • Rico May 8, 2018, 2:06 pm

    Hello Evelyn and thank you for everything! Funny thing, I was searching generally for Incarnation Crosses, the first link I’ve clicked was yours and we both have the incarnation cross of Tension. I’m designed to be a projector, 2/4, Emotional and one gate away from being a manifestor. Do you notice people becoming “tense” around you? I have the spleen, ajna and head open. So I guess I have quite some energy that I could use as a projector. However, even with the identity colored in, I just don’t know what to focus on. More because so many things could work, I guess this is why we have to be invited regardless of anything else in the chart (since whatever that is will be working properly) Usually I gather tension and “electric” energy in my body when near people and devices, that I need to release to even be myself. Is this familiar at all or does it perhaps work different with the spleen defined (or some other factor)?

    Either way, thank you a lot and I hope you enjoy your day!

    • Evelyn May 22, 2018, 9:49 am

      Hi Rico, yes I have noticed that sometimes I cause tension or discomfort in the room or the people around me. I always thought it was my judgmentalness! Then I discovered it was my Cross of Tension. Mostly I’m a gentle “restorer of the flow of energy.” Defined Spleen is likely an important factor, as is the rest of the definition in the chart. And yes, the invitations (and our response via Authority) is what gives us clarity of direction, whether the G/Identity Center is defined or not. Best wishes to you and thanks for your comment/question.

  • AKI YOONG April 30, 2019, 10:28 pm

    My Incarnation Cross is the Right Angle Cross of Tension too. 1/3 generator.
    the energy of 38, 39 really need good timing to express. LOL

  • Mara May 17, 2019, 1:15 pm

    Hello thank you for this article. You helped me gain perspective on my profile in a great way. I now under stand that i am meant to be a guide who is an openly visible role model with the ability to attract people to a cause.

  • hodzy rice September 10, 2020, 4:41 am

    sounds terribly intriguing & i’d love to know more… hope to follow YOUR path for the time being ’til i can better utilize materials & services to enlighten mine. great stuff ✌

  • Jasmine Holley September 29, 2020, 12:40 pm

    Hi Evelyn, I am also 1/3 Emotional Projector and have the Right Angle Cross of Tension. My gaits are 21/48 | 38/39. Would you be able to tell me more about my gaits? This is all very new to me and I’d love a little more insight? Thank you! 🙂

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