Human Design Incarnation Cross Meaning

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This post is part of the Human Design Basics series and I’ll be covering the Human Design Incarnation Cross meaning and the significance of the four gates that make up the cross. Be sure that you have your chart nearby before you dive into this post. If you don’t have your human design chart yet, you can get one for free on Genetic Matrix. Sign up for your free Genetic Matrix account here. 

an image of the human design bodygraph with text that reads human design incarnation cross life purpose what each gate of your cross represents in your life PLUS the most important questions to ask yourself to get into alignment

Introduction to your Human Design Incarnation Cross Meaning

In Genetic Matrix, look at the left-hand side of your Human Design Chart and you’ll see something called an incarnation cross. Here is the Magical Unicorns chart with the human design incarnation cross circled.

The meaning of your Human Design Incarnation Cross is, essentially, your life’s purpose.

If you are struggling to understand your purpose, know that you are not alone.

It is very common, especially in our western culture, to struggle with the concept of life purpose. Many people struggle with feeling a sense of purpose in their life and there are a few reasons for that.

First, our culture, particularly new-age or religious culture, often tells us that we need to “find” our purpose. Purpose becomes this elusive thing we have to hunt for and dig around to find. And, of course, that if we don’t find the needle in a haystack that our soul is doomed for eternity.

Secondly, many people believe that their purpose and their job are the same things. And, they think that if they don’t find the right job, then they aren’t living their purpose and that their life is a waste.

And, most painfully of all, through religious or social conditioning, we come to believe that our purpose is to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of others. We ignore our own inner authority and wisdom and do what we think will earn us love, recognition, and approval.

If you are struggling with these things, I want you to know this:

You are…

overflowing with wonder, awe, and marvel…

…filled to the brim with remarkable gifts…

…made of stardust and magic…

…the contrast of shadows and light…

…the soil and the seed…

…the moon and the sun…

…Venus… Mars… Jupiter…

…the mysterious sky that holds it all up…

…the Divine, in a body that goes by your name…

…playing a game of hide and seek with yourself…

…here to play with the tools in your Human Design chart…

…incarnated to explore the full spectrum that life has to offer you…

Your life purpose is about being alive, with your exact body, mind, heart, shadows, and light.

To avoid the confusion,

We’re in an illusion. 

How much poison can you swallow?

Trevor Hall, This is Blue, Well I Say

In the gravity of humanity, you forget all of that magic.

You got wrapped up in the story of separateness and became conditioned by the world around you.

Your Divinity became hidden by stories of brokenness.

But, by the mystery of Grace, you get glimpses of the magic, the alchemy, and the miracles that are available to you.

And in those precious moments of synchronicity, you remember.

You see yourself clearly, recognize your Divinity, and look at yourself with Wonder and Awe.

You realize that it was you that you were looking for the whole time.

Compassion, forgiveness, and Grace become your way of being.

And then, you forget again.

It’s how the game works.

The aim isn’t to stop forgetting. It’s to keep remembering.

When you’re hiding behind the tree called “a bad day”…

…or you’re confused about how you ended up here…

…or lost in the woods of shame, hopelessness, or despair.

Your Human Design, especially the meaning of your incarnation cross, is a tool to help you remember. 

In fact, in the Human Design Map + Portal, folx often tell me that it didn’t tell them anything they didn’t already know.

And, at first glance, that might seem like a “bad” thing. But, it’s actually a very healing thing. It’s like the pressure releases and a deep sense of permission washes over them. They can finally stop fighting with what they already know and just LIVE.

Instead of something you need to aim for, your incarnation cross (aka life’s purpose) is something that you already ARE. You will be THAT no matter what you do in your life.

Even if you end up in jail. Or meditate on a mountain top for your whole life. Or watch Netflix stuffing Cheetos down your throat.

It doesn’t matter what you DO. You are THAT. No matter what.

The Four Gates of the Human Design Incarnation Cross

The four gates in your cross are really where human design incarnation cross meaning reveals itself. Each gate that make your incarnation cross are like a specific set of tools, practices, and boundaries to help you remember your Divinity.

They are “the gifts” GIVEN TO YOU to make your game of life more fun and meaningful. And, as a bonus, mastering your specific set of tools will benefit others by default. But they are for you, FIRST.

Each gate has a specific purpose within your incarnation cross. I’ll talk about those in just a moment but first, let’s look at where you’ll find these gates in your chart. Here is Magical Unicorn’s chart with the gate of the incarnation cross circled.

The four gates that make up the Human Design incarnation cross are:

Conscious Sun

The number in the first black square on the right-hand side of the chart. On Magical Unicorn’s chart, its human design gate 43.

Conscious Earth

The number in the second black square on the right-hand side of the chart. On Magical Unicorn’s chart, it’s human design gate 23.

Unconscious Sun

The number in the first red square on the right-hand side of the chart. On Magical Unicorn’s chart, it’s human design gate 29.

Unconscious Earth

The number in the second red square on the right-hand side of the chart. On Magical Unicorn’s chart, it’s human design gate 30.

And each one reveals specific tools, practices, and boundaries that will help Magical Unicorn live their best life.

Here is what they each represent:

The Conscious Sun

The gate of your conscious sun is the most potent gift and purpose in your life. You are here to embody the wisdom of the gate in the way that only you can. 

It is like a magic wand that the Divine is inviting you to harness throughout your life. 

When you accept the invitation and consciously use the magic wand in your life, it aligns you with a life of magical synchronicity. 

Anytime you feel “stuck” or “blocked” or in your not-self theme, the self-care practices and energy boundaries for your conscious sun gate will hold powerful clues to creating movement. It is your most potent source of inner and outer transformation. 

(I share all of the self-care practices and energy boundaries for all four gates on your incarnation cross in the Human Design Map.)

You can always come back to your conscious sun and trust that it’s the “right” place to put your faith and your deeds. 

As you master the energy of your conscious sun and step into its full potential, it will lead you up the spiral of transformation. It will polish the mirror of life and reveal the Truth of your Divinity (aka heal your being-ness).  

Everything else in your chart (and your life) supports you in the mastery of your conscious sun gate. 

Life always will come down to this potent question:

Am I honoring my conscious sun?

(Get my free gates cheatsheet to understand more about your conscious sun gate.)

The Conscious Earth

Your conscious earth gate shows you the practices that will bring you back to your center. Embodying the wisdom of the gate serves as the ground under your feet and empowers you to do your “work” in the world. 

The more stable and robust your foundation with your conscious earth, the more easily you will be able to Gracefully accept the gifts of your conscious sun. 

Likewise, if you are embodying the “negative” frequency of your conscious earth, you are likely to feel off-kilter, insecure, and unable to do what matters most to you.  

In addition to creating stability and balance in your everyday life, the practices of your conscious earth gate will also be just what the doctor ordered during times of chaos, restlessness, and pivotal moments. 

In these times, there is an opportunity to transform something in your inner world and you can seize that opportunity by aligning your thoughts, feelings, and actions with those of your conscious earth. 

(I share the empowering beliefs and aligned practices for each gate of your incarnation cross in the Human Design Map.)

In doing so, you create a stronger foundation, more stability, and more resilience in your life. You become rooted. Grounded. Strong. 

With the magic of your conscious earth, you have everything you need to continue on your path. 

When life feels unstable, ask yourself this question: 

Am I grounded and stable in my conscious earth?

(Get my free gates cheatsheet to understand more about your conscious earth gate.)

The Unconscious Sun

Your unconscious sun gate is the trigger that invites you into deeper levels of self-acceptance, forgiveness, and unconditional love for yourself. It will be your guide as you navigate your shadows and polish the mirror of life. 

Throughout your life, you will likely find yourself returning to the “negative” side of your unconscious sun’s spectrum. It will awaken your deeper fears of inadequacy and “not-enoughness. ” It will open deep wells of shame. 

You may even tell yourself that if you could be more in tune with the energy of your unconscious sun, then you will be enough. Then you will have everything you need. Then you will be worthy. 

But the poison is the medicine. 

Your unconscious sun is the blaring sign that it’s time to expand your self-concept. It is showing you that you aren’t seeing yourself clearly and that are holding yourself back. 

It is showing you that you have forgotten your Divinity. 

You can use the magic of the unconscious sun to remember. The practices become your healer. The revelation. The stainless mirror. 

By observing your unconscious sun in action and using it as a gateway for healing your shadow, your aura will become “purified.” 

Your energy will radiate out into the world and become incredibly magnetic. Your fractal will be drawn to you and your magic, like a moth to a flame. 

And even still, your Unconscious Sun will continue to taunt you with these questions:

How can I love every part of me, even the places where I feel inadequate? In what ways can I use my unconscious sun as a gateway into radical self-acceptance?

(Get my free gates cheatsheet to understand more about your unconscious sun gate.)

The Unconscious Earth

Your unconscious earth gate reveals the practices that ground and connect you spiritually. Embodying the wisdom of your unconscious earth is your unique path to that thing that some call God. 

(I share the practices for each gate of your incarnation cross in the Human Design Map.)

It builds your spiritual foundation and creates a connection with yourself, your community, the collective, and the cosmos. 

By calling on the strength and wisdom of your unconscious earth, you will be able to navigate the shadows of your unconscious sun with Grace. Tapping into the energy of your unconscious earth will be a soothing balm to your spirit and will heal the wounds that hold you back. 

In that healing clarity, your unconscious sun gate radiates even brighter, making your aura fiercely magnetic to those who are on your spiritual fractal. 

And, most importantly, surrendering to the practices of your unconscious earth will lead you to the greatest discovery you could ever hope for — the experience of Unconditional Love.  

When you’ve lost your way spiritually speaking, ask yourself:

How can I devote myself more to my unconscious earth?

(Get my free gates cheatsheet to understand more about your unconscious earth gate.)

What to “do” with the four gates of your Human Design Incarnation Cross

No matter what your gates are, they are showing you the exact tools, boundaries, and practices to implement in your life and will help you improve the quality of your life.

I recommend starting off by understanding the basic energy of each gate in your incarnation cross. (Get my free gates cheatsheet.)

Then, turn use that basic energy to develop the questions posed in this post.

For example, if you have human design gate 57 in your conscious sun (like I do), the question becomes:

Am I honoring and trusting my intuition?

Then, begin asking yourself those questions on a regular basis. You can use the questions as prompts for journaling, for pulling tarot cards, or for contemplative meditation.

Whatever method works best for you, allow the contemplation to bloom. You will gain so much clarity this way!

Then, when you’re ready, you can start doing deeper experiments with the gates of your incarnation cross. In the Human Design Map + Portal, I give a full set of boundaries, practices, and tools for each gate of your cross PLUS guide you through deconditioning and clearing “blocks”.

That’s a wrap on the four gates of the incarnation cross!

I hope that you have found this post useful in learning about your incarnation cross.