The Incarnation Cross in Human Design gives you a deep insight into your life theme. By grasping the incarnation cross, a deeper level of self-knowledge opens up to you and you can lead your life with greater clarity and direction. In this blog post, I would like to introduce you to the meaning and theory of the Human Design Incarnation Cross. I hope you enjoy reading it!

What is the Incarnation Cross in Human Design?

The Human Design Incarnation Cross is made up of the aspects Sun and Earth on the personality side (right conscious side) and the design side (left unconscious side) in the Human Design Chart. These 4 aspects together form the cross, which is also visually recognisable as such in the Human Design Rave Chart (Human Design Mandala) (see picture below).

This cross consists of two oppositions (opposite gates in the mandala) – a conscious and an unconscious opposition. The first conscious opposition arises at the time of birth. The second unconscious opposition arises three months before, creating an angle of 88° to the conscious side. Strictly speaking, the cross is not right-angled. It is therefore an inclined cross due to the 88°.

Human Design Incarnation Cross as Mandala / Rave Chart
The four gates of the Human Design Incarnation Cross are usually distributed over the four quarters of the Human Design Madala. These four quarters represent initiation, upliftment, community and transformation (see illustration below). The themes of all Incarnation Crosses are not arbitrarily determined from the outside, but form a common cycle with themes that “logically” follow one another in time. The Incarnation Crosses therefore not only describe life themes, but also long-term development cycles and sociological processes of humanity.
Incarnation Cross Human Design The 4 four parts of the mandala

How do I interpret my Human Design Incarnation Cross?

You determine your Incarnation Cross by first determining your Human Design Chart. You can do this here free of charge. In your chart, you now look at the first two planets from above (Sun and Earth) on both sides of the chart.

The Sun and Earth on the left represent your unconscious self. This opposition reflects what you are meant to be. The unconscious Earth describes how your being is embodied on Earth. The unconscious sun describes your charisma, i.e. how others perceive you.

The sun and earth on the right-hand side represent your conscious self. They represent your mission in life, while the gate of the earth in turn describes how you bring your mission into the world.

Not everything that happens between the sun and the earth works smoothly and harmoniously in the world, as we realise every day. This is probably also the reason for the many different philosophies that try to understand these mysterious tensions. But why is there this friction and discord? One simple explanation is the existence of the tilted wheel, i.e. the 88 degrees that creates the complexity of humanity. At 90°, life on our world would probably be deadly dull.

Definition of terms: life theme, life task and vocation

The terms life theme, life task and vocation are sometimes understood differently. Some experts say, for example, that the conscious sun describes the life task, while the Incarnation Cross describes the life theme. But from my point of view, the two terms overlap so much that I find it confusing to separate them. That is why I use both terms as synonyms.

Life theme and life task

The life theme or life task describes our lifelong development task in this world. The Incarnation Cross in Human Design, which is directly linked to these two terms, is therefore something greater than “just” following one’s own specific talents. The Incarnation Cross describes a life theme that is given to us from birth and has a lot to do with self-responsibility. However, it often only becomes relevant in mid-life, when we reach the peak of our mastery in life. Perhaps it is only at the end of our lives that we fully understand how the life theme has been fulfilled in our lives.

In addition to the Human Design Incarnation Cross, there are other cycles in the life path that result from the planetary movements in the Human Design Mandala. As shown in the illustration below, these are the first and second orbits of Saturn in the mandala, the half orbit of Uranus and the orbit of Chiron, which is strictly speaking an asteroid and not a planet. These cycles in turn have their own qualities which are related to the quality of the Incarnation Cross.


Within the cycles described above, which every human being goes through, there are your own personal hero’s journeys. According to the myth researcher Joseph Campbell (1904-1987), a hero’s journey consists of 12 stages. The vocation, which we often colloquially associate with the inner “call” that we can follow, is the first stage of a hero’s journey. These callings of several hero’s journeys contribute to the life theme like milestones and give it a common thread. These callings can of course also touch on areas of life other than our profession and manifest themselves in a variety of creative qualities.

The Human Design Incarnation Cross and the planetary cycles can be used again and again as an overarching answer to life’s questions of meaning. But as enriching as it is to understand the overarching Incarnation Cross, the magic of life is to follow the calls of the vocations we perceive and choose through our Human Design strategy and authority.

Incarnation Cross Human Design Development Phases

The conscious Sun with a key role for the Incarnation Cross in Human Design

The gateway of the conscious Sun and its hexagram line is considered to be the most influential aspect in the entire Human Design Chart. Its influence in relation to all other planets is estimated at around 70 per cent. Consequently, the conscious Sun also has the greatest influence in the Incarnation Cross. It acts as a reliable constant, while the other aspects are somewhat more diffuse and only unfold fully in the course of life, especially the unconscious aspects on the design side (left) of the Human Design Chart. It is similar to astrology with zodiac signs and ascendants. The zodiac sign shows up fairly early in life, while the ascendant is often not recognised until mid-life.

It is also important to know in which quadrant the conscious Sun is in the Rave Chart (Mandala) as this describes your mission in life (see picture above). If it is in the first quadrant Q1, your life is primarily about understanding and discovery. If your conscious Sun is in Q2, your mission has to do with building or creating (materialising). The Sun in Q3 is very much about relationships and community and in Q4 about transformation.

Facts and figures about the Human Design Incarnation Cross

There are 192 Incarnation Crosses in Human Design with a total of 678 variations. ⅔ of these Incarnation Crosses are personal (the life theme essentially has to do with me personally) and therefore in the majority. ⅓ are transpersonal (the life theme essentially has to do with me in exchange with others) and fixed in nature (clear path).

Despite the relatively small number of Incarnation Crosses compared to the number of people in the world, the life themes they contain must be regarded as highly individual, as they manifest differently for each personality. Almost all crosses can be assigned to one of the Human Design Types. This alone makes the spectrum of life tasks larger and more individualised. This is because each life task can only be achieved with the corresponding strategy of the type. An individualised view of the Incarnation Cross therefore always requires a special Human Design Reading.

The Incarnation Cross and the Human Design Profiles

In order to understand the Incarnation Crosses, we also need to look at the 6 lines of the hexagram and therefore the Human Design Profiles. This is because the profiles determine whether we are dealing with a personal (right), transpersonal (left) or fixed cross. The following table shows the correlation between profile and destiny (personal/transpersonal/fixed). It also shows the frequency of occurrence.


Profile Cross Destiny Occurrence
1/3 right personal often
1/4 right personal seldom
2/4 right personal often
2/5 right personal seldom
3/5 right personal often
3/6 right personal seldom
4/6 right personal often
4/1 Juxa fixed very seldom
5/1 left transpersonal often
5/2 left transpersonal seldom
6/2 left transpersonal often
6/3 left transpersonal seldom
Based on Jansen H.-W., Das Kreuz mit den Kreuzen im Human Design-Mandala (2023), p. 30f.

The table shows that the number of profiles is not evenly distributed (see last column). Without going into too much detail, it is important to know that there are harmonious profiles in which the lines are in the same position in terms of trigrams (two trigrams on top of each other make a hexagram). From this it can be deduced that very few people’s lives are “harmonious” in terms of their life’s mission, but rather involve tension. However, a harmonious or disharmonious profile should never be labelled as good or bad.

Personal (right) Incarnation Crosses in Human Design

Personal Incarnation Crosses represent a personal life task. These are the crosses with the personal profiles 1/3, 1/4, 2/4, 2/5, 3/5, 3/6 and 4/6, but personal does not mean that you should have nothing to do with others in this type of Incarnation Cross. However, you are allowed to spend a lot of time with yourself before you devote yourself to the collective. But then it is certainly about making a contribution to society.

In the following Incarnation Cross list you will find the 16 themes of the personal Incarnation Crosses:

  1. The right crosses of the Sphinx
  2. The right crosses of explanation
  3. The right crosses of contagion
  4. The right crosses of the sleeping Phoenix
  5. The right crosses of planning
  6. The right crosses of consciousness
  7. The right crosses of dominion
  8. The right crosses of Eden
  9. The right crosses of the vessel of love
  10. The right crosses of service
  11. The right crosses of tension
  12. The right crosses of penetration
  13. The right crosses of Maya
  14. The right crosses of the laws
  15. The right crosses of the unexpected
  16. The right crosses of the four paths

Transpersonal (left-hand) Incarnation Crosses in Human Design

The transpersonal Incarnation Crosses are a supra-personal life task. These are the crosses with the transpersonal profiles 5/1, 5/2, 6/2 and 6/3. People on the outside are always needed to fulfil the transpersonal life task. These life tasks often involve being there for others and getting involved. Companions and allies play an important role in life. Left crosses need right crosses.

In the following Incarnation Cross list you will find the 32 themes of the transpersonal Incarnation Crosses:

  1. The left crosses of the masks
  2. The left crosses of the challenge
  3. The left crosses of revolution
  4. The left crosses of devotion
  5. The left crosses of diligence
  6. The left crosses of uncertainty
  7. The left crosses of the spirit
  8. The left crosses of duality
  9. The left crosses of moving on
  10. The left crosses of identification
  11. The left crosses of dominion
  12. The left crosses of separation
  13. The left crosses of sharing
  14. The left crosses of confrontation
  15. The left crosses of the level
  16. The left crosses of education
  17. The left crosses of healing
  18. The left crosses of prevention
  19. The left crosses of upheaval
  20. The left crosses of demands
  21. The left crosses of endeavour
  22. The left crosses of individualism
  23. The left crosses of fanfare
  24. The left crosses of the cycles
  25. The left crosses of limitation
  26. The left crosses of concealment
  27. The left crosses of wishes
  28. The left crosses of distraction
  29. The left crosses of alignment
  30. The left crosses of the alpha
  31. The left crosses of incarnation
  32. The left crosses of refinement

Fixed (Juxaposition) Incarnation Crosses in Human Design

The fixed Incarnation Crosses are a fixed life task and an activation of the 4/1 profile (juxtaposition). These crosses are about bringing one’s own fixed life task or life message into the world; the fixed life theme stands between the personal and transpersonal crosses and therefore has its own fixed life path under the observation of the other crosses.

The Incarnation Cross list of fixed Incarnation Crosses totals 64 different designations. Due to the large number, I have refrained from listing them.

The influence of the Incarnation Cross on professional development

In my Human Design Readings, I like to consult the Incarnation Cross when I look at professional life from a high altitude (meta-level) with my clients. Whether I work on the Incarnation Cross in depth with my clients depends very much on their age. Especially when my clients have passed the age of 40, looking at the Human Design Incarnation Cross makes a lot of sense.

In this context, I like to combine the Incarnation Cross with information from the current life cycle, such as the Uranus opposition, which can be associated with the midlife crisis, or the Chiron Return, which makes the person’s wisdom visible. I like to use the gates of the south and north lunar nodes to make the direction in life even more transparent. The Incarnation Cross and the planetary life cycles can reveal exciting information for professional development. An Incarnation Cross Reading with the above combinations is very interesting and helps you to understand yourself.

3 tips as a guide for your life theme

1. Look at the Human Design Centres of the gates in the Incarnation Cross

To view your life theme from a meta-level, you can look at the characteristics of the Human Design centres where the gates are located in the Human Design Chart. This will give you a first impression of which themes have a major influence on your life.

2. Do not approach your life theme with impatience

Up to the age of 30, it’s all about discovering your individuality, e.g. by trying things out to recognise your strengths and talents. After that, it’s about processing what you have experienced in order to develop your mastery later on. The development of your mastery is directly related to your life’s work. That’s why it makes sense to focus more intensively on your life’s work from around the age of 50. So don’t be impatient at an early age. The life theme will call when the time is right.

3. Carry your Incarnation Cross with responsibility

The life theme is about bringing something into the world that will help you progress and benefit others. Even if the connections between self-interest and giving are not always clear, you can sense from your good emotions that you are on the right path. Because emotions are the bridge between your incarnation and your higher mission.


The Incarnation Cross in Human Design not only reveals deep insights into our individual life theme, but also serves as a powerful orientation aid on our personal and professional journey. By looking at the four central gates, it enables us to recognise our true calling and follow it courageously. The tips presented offer practical approaches to accepting and mastering our life tasks with patience and a sense of responsibility. In this way, the Human Design Incarnation Cross becomes a signpost that encourages us to follow our inner calling, remain true to ourselves and realise our full potential. Let us embark on this path with openness and dedication in order to make the best of ourselves and the world.

Have you already worked on your Incarnation Cross? What are your insights? Feel free to write them in the comments below.

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FAQ: Questions about the Incarnation Cross – Human Design

What is the Incarnation Cross in Human Design?

The Human Design Incarnation Cross represents the overarching life theme based on the position of the sun and earth at the time of your birth and three months before.

When does the Incarnation Cross play a role in life?

The Incarnation Cross in Human Design plays a decisive role in the second half of life. It becomes particularly relevant from the age of 40, when the search for deeper meaning and fulfilment in life increases.

Are there different types of Incarnation Crosses in Human Design?

Yes, there are 192 different Incarnation Crosses, divided into three categories: personal (right), transpersonal (left) and fixed (juxtaposition). Each cross has a unique meaning and shows different life paths and themes.

How can knowledge of the Human Design Incarnation Cross influence personal and professional development?

Understanding your Incarnation Cross helps you to better recognise and utilise your own strengths and weaknesses. It promotes deeper self-acceptance and self-realisation in your private and professional life.


Geschrieben von: Thomas

Thomas ist Inhaber der Human Design Berufsberatung und von TW Coaching & Consulting. Er ist Systemischer Coach, Emotionscoach und Human Design Experte. Nach 20 Jahren Berufserfahrung in der Wirtschaft widmet er sich heute in seiner Coaching-Tätigkeit psychologischen und spirituellen Themen rund um die Berufung und Persönlichkeitsentwicklung