Part I: Incarnation Cross & Life Purpose in Human Design

At the bottom of your Human Design cheat sheet is the incarnation cross which talks about everyone’s favorite topic: finding your life purpose.

If you don’t have a copy of your incarnation cross, I use this software for everything, including client readings

Here’s where you find your incarnation cross:

And if you’re more of a visual learner, here’s the video version of this post:

What does the incarnation cross have to do with life’s purpose?

If your life is a tv show, the incarnation cross is your trailer, which may differ from season to season. 

  • Your angle gives us the genre. 
  • Your profile is the character. 
  • Your cross is the plotline that develops and moves season after season.

And with all tv shows, some seasons draw you in, and seasons that leave you wondering, wtf did I watch?

Keep that in mind when you work with your incarnation cross.

Life purpose isn’t something you have a straight shot to hit. It’s a cycle that grows and shrinks throughout different chapters of your journey.

Your reincarnation 

I encourage you to tap into your practice when working with incarnation.

In Chinese folk religion, I work with the concept of karmic cycles. Reincarnation is about the spirit’s growth throughout lifetimes until the realization of completion. My practice is rooted in ancestral and lineage-based contracts and cycles. Naturally, this weaves into the way I approach Human Design.

What are the stories that have been passed on from generation to generation?

What belief do you hold that challenges or grows what’s currently in place?

This is a part of deconditioning. It acknowledges what isn’t part of you and what comes from elsewhere.

When I work with male clients, they usually come from backgrounds attributing emotion to a lack of masculinity. This punishes men and forces them to suppress emotions.

This man acknowledges his background but chooses to feel like feelings, breaking a generational contract.

The people impacted by his energy could feel resistance, even disgust, at this decondition. Others may be inspired to do their own shadow work around emotions. Then there are those who are indifferent.

An example of how the incarnation cross shows up

Let’s create a character, Kara, who doesn’t identify with her family’s idea of a woman. She didn’t feel domestic, didn’t care to keep her appearance in an expected manner, and didn’t want children.

Her incarnation cross is the cross of tension. 

Her goals make her happy, and she disrupts the people around her. It fueled her will to push through a male-dominated dream job that required physical labor, challenging her familial tradition.

(In this case, let’s say she works in wildlife conservation).

Since she has a right angle cross, she is amplifying this energy as the overarching theme of her tv show. 

For example:

  • Season 1: feeling locked in a box because of familial upbringing, concluding with a realization that it’s not what she wants.
  • Season 2: finding an opportunity to work in wildlife conservation. When she goes to family dinners, her family is appalled by her employment. The season ends with her calmly leaving a dinner, making her family tense.
  • Season 3: she meets a man at her job, and they have a rivalry. She feels tense over pressure to keep up, and he feels tension over not letting her bypass him. The season ends with them bonding over their tension, finished with a gaze that leaves the audience wondering if a romantic connection exists.

See how her story doesn’t end with season 1? The story continues with more seasons with different expressions of tension.

Personal note: I love the cross of tension because I enjoy working with discomfort. People with the cross of tension can be seen as instruments. Tune and play it right, and it’s a captivating song that moves the world. Flaccid and overtuned, the string can snap, hit you in the neck, and leave a scar – an opportunity for shadow work!

The North and South Nodes: the start and finish of the tv show

Look back at your Human Design chart.

You’ll notice these two symbols:

This is the north and south node.

When a tv show is created, there’s a starting point and, naturally, an ending point. Sometimes it ends abruptly, and sometimes the ending seems predictable.

Your south node represents the start of the tv show and its earlier seasons. This is where your backstory is shown and how it dictates your decisions throughout these seasons.

Your north node is the direction your tv show heads towards. 

In the context of reincarnation, you can see your south node as contracts and wisdom you reincarnated with. Your north node is the journey of working through your contracts as you work through this incarnation.

Where type, strategy, and authority wrap into incarnation cross

Your human design chart is a bunch of jigsaw puzzle pieces that create the whole of you. 

So let’s finish this post by wrapping your type, strategy, and authority into your incarnation cross.

We will use the example above with Kara’s cross of tension.

Remember, she was born into a household that demanded domestication and marriage in daughters. Kara was against this tradition and wanted to pursue a physically demanding job, which caused tension in her family and brought her a rival-turned-potential-love-interest.

We’ll use a sacral Manifesting Generator as an example and see how that manifests in the first season of her tv show.

Outside stimuli to be responded to (strategy): Kara’s mother calls, saying that a lovely man is looking for a wife.

The internal response coming out of the throat (authority): Kara groans.

Conditioning: But she says yes anyway to make her mother happy.

Not-self (frustration): Kara goes on a date and gets increasingly frustrated because she’s disinterested. 

Signature (satisfaction): The moment her aura is detached from his after the date, breathes a sigh (authority) of relief.

Incarnation cross: A few days later, Kara’s mother calls again. This time, Kara firmly admits that she doesn’t want to get married or have a family, sending a shock of tension through her mother.

Cool, right?

Life Purpose