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Exploring the Incarnation Cross in Human Design

Erin Claire Jones

3 minute read

Our incarnation cross speaks to how we’re here to express our purpose. I receive so many questions about the incarnation cross, and though this is never the first piece I recommend diving into, I wanted to share a simple way to explore this piece of the chart in case you’re curious.

There are 192 different incarnation crosses, so without memorizing all of them, how can you explore this piece of human design? Let’s break it down.

Where does it come from?

The incarnation cross is made up of 4 gates: the top two gates in the right column (personality sun and earth) and the top two gates in the left column (design sun and earth.)

Where do you begin?

The top right gate is the most powerful entry point as it speaks to your purpose and how you’re designed to express your light in the world. It represents a core life theme. If you’re going to start anywhere, start here.

And then what?

The bottom right gate will speak to what will ground you and what you’re meant to receive as you pursue your purpose. The top left gate reveals another aspect of your purpose that you may be less conscious of. And the bottom left gate is another powerful tool for grounding your body and energy.

Let’s use me as an example

My incarnation cross is made up of 4 gates: gate 23, 43, 40, and 29.

What does my incarnation cross say?

My greatest gift is found in gate 23. This is all about conceiving of unique insights and seeing things in novel, new ways.

What grounds me on my journey is gate 43. This is my ability to communicate my knowledge and explain my insights in simple ways that make my insights obvious and palatable to others.

I may also feel driven to experience all kinds of new things to gain wisdom (isn’t this the truth?!) I am here to share my feelings and dreams with others to inspire a sense of possibility in them. This comes from gate 30.

And what grounds me in my body is my ability to wholeheartedly commit to things, without needing to know where they’re taking me, and to always trust my authority to know what’s worth my commitment. This comes from gate 29.

This fits beautifully for me

So much of my work in human design is exactly this — thinking through new ways to communicate about this system and simplifying my insights to share them with the world.

What has brought me grounding throughout this journey is my full-bodied commitment to studying and sharing human design, even in 2015 when it was not popular or well-known and when there was no evidence it ever would be. Something in my body told me the commitment was right, so I trusted it fully and surrendered to the journey.


… And this is just a taste of exploring the incarnation cross. If you’re curious to dive in more, I recommend purchasing our gates and channels class, which dives deep into all 64 gates and 36 channels.


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