The Human Design Podcast Episode #268 The Human Design Roadmap (Part 8): Incarnation Cross Made Simple

podcast Apr 18, 2023

We’re back with Part 8 of the Human Design Roadmap Series to help you answer the ultimate question, “Okay, I have my chart...NOW what?!” If you’ve discovered Human Design but are overwhelmed and confused, here is the freaking roadmap!

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Watch on YouTube
In this episode of the series, I walk you through arguably one of the most confusing parts of the Human Design chart: Incarnation Cross. This is one of the only areas of the chart where I hear people say all the time, "this doesn't resonate with me", and I talk about why in this episode. If you're interested in learning more about your IC, I highly recommend Brynja Magnusson's book.

I kick off with looking at incarnation cross is through the frame of Human Design (we'll get to the Gene Keys soon). Ra Uru Hu calls the Incarnation Cross "the job description of our aura." This means that whenever someone enters our aura, this energy will show up. I share about workloads and the difference between having a "heavy workload" vs. having a "light workload." Think of it like going to the gym - someone with a heavy workload, it's like they're at the gym daily putting in that energetic effort, really comfortable with the reps. For someone with a light workload, you may sporadically go to the gym - you'll be amazing while you're there and smash it out of the park, but you just don't turn up consistently. Because of this, the energy of your IC may not feel as obvious, and you may not resonate with it as much.

Ra often spoke to the fact that he felt hesitant to share about IC, because he felt once people were aware of it, they may latch on and try to force it turning up in their lives. In his eyes, that's not how it works. It's just something that automatically works as long as you follow your Strategy and Authority. No effort is needed!

In working with my clients, I've found that this can be where people struggle to find resonance or find it to be confusing. Let's start with how to find your Incarnation Cross Gates. If you have your chart, look at the top two numbers on each side of the chart. First are the two numbers on the right - Personality Sun and Earth, then the next two numbers come from the lefthand side - Design Sun and Earth. These are your IC Gates in this order. With each Cross, there can be different variations of the gate numbers because each cross turns up multiple times a year in the different quarters.

If you find the meaning of your Incarnation Cross and it doesn't resonate, I recommend diving into these four gates, because these are the most prominent energies in your design. Remember not to get stuck in your mind about this energy - stick to your Strategy and Authority and this energy will automatically show up.

Next, we take a look at Incarnation Cross through the lens of The Gene Keys. Richard Rudd calls our Incarnation the Activation Sequence or our "genius." It's our superpower and the work we are doing in the world. He believes we express our IC through the Shadow - the fear expression. You can look at each Gene Key (or Gate in Human Design), then dive into the Shadow expression for each. If you recognise that shadow turning up in your life, look into what it means to you, then you can choose to move towards the Gift Expression of that Gene Key and ultimately the Siddhi Expression. If the language within The Gene Keys book is too overwhelming for you, you can purchase my Gates PDF Resource to get a simplified version of this information.

As you work through each one, ask yourself these questions, and give yourself evidence of how this energy is already working within you:

  • What is true for me?
  • Where has this shown up in the past?
  • What resonates for me?
  • What doesn't resonate?
  • Where am I expressing the Shadow?
  • Where am I expressing the Gift?
  • Have I ever expressed the Siddhi?

Remember, you don't have to take anyone's definition of what your Incarnation Cross is, because ultimately, it's the author's opinion of how those four gates come together and express themselves. How they come together in YOU will always be uniquely different than how they turn up in everyone else. Ask yourself, "In the past, how have these themes come together for ME?" I share a bit about the mandala and how the energies of our Sun and Earth can operate as polarities - banging up against one another from time to time. When you look at these, ask yourself where these polarities are causing fear of self-sabotage for you. Then working on changing your mindset and understand that they are meant to work beautifully together!

I then recommend a new exercise where you study these four energies, see how they come together, then write your own Incarnation Cross definition. I share a story of a client of mine who did this activity and even renamed his IC to make it resonate for him. Some reminders as you do this, your Personality side will be just that - who you think you are, so it may resonate a bit more. Then the Design side is more of your being - it's more unconscious and you may not even think about it.

I share about the difference between Right Angle, Left Angle and Juxtaposition Crosses. If you are a Right Angle Cross (RAX), you have a personal profile (the small number comes first in your Profile). If you are a Left Angle Cross (LAX), you have a transpersonal profile (the big number comes first in your Profile). If you have a Juxtaposition Cross, you have the 4/1 Profile - it's right in the middle or sometimes known as a "fixed fate." Don't get caught up in the language of this though. 

Finally, I share about the Four Quarters. At the end of your Incarnation Cross, you will see a number and that identifies the Quarter (for example, I'm the RAX of Planning 1, so I'm in the first quarter):

  • Quarter 1 (2nd of February thru 3rd of May) - The Quarter of Initiation - Purpose fulfilled through the mind (thinking, initiating, teaching, or the "spark")
  • Quarter 2 (4th of May thru 4th of August) - The Quarter of Civilisation - Purpose fulfilled through manifestation and form (bringing the idea into the world)
  • Quarter 3 (5th of August thru 5th of November) - The Quarter of Duality - Purpose fulfilled through relationships and bonding (you have the ideas and learning, someone has brought it into the world, now you will help bringing it to the people and how they interact with one another)
  • Quarter 4 (6th of November thru 1st of February) - The Quarter of Mutation - Purpose fulfilled through transformation (you've had the idea, brought it into form, brought it into relationships, and then all of those come together and now it's time to uplevel/upgrade/change it altogether if it's not working)


Brynja Magnusson Incarnation Cross Book:
*Get Brynja's book if you're in AUS or NZ here:

Gates PDF Resource:

Want more on Human Design? Explore the ways to get involved below with courses, memberships, programs and more.

Get Your Free Human Design Chart:

Explore all Human Design Courses:

The Human Design Experience Membership:

Support The Human Design Podcast and your continued learning:

Want to sponsor the podcast? Apply here for the "Millions of Millionaires" project:

Instagram @the_human_design_coach

Human Design FB Group


join the greatest human design community in the world


get our weekly journal prompts, inspiration and tons of free resources

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.