Since this is the first time we’re diving into Incarnation Crosses here on the blog, I thought it might be helpful to start at the very beginning (a very good place to start, or so says Julie Andrews): what is an Incarnation Cross and why should I care?
What is an Incarnation Cross?
In Human Design, our Incarnation Cross basically outlines, for this specific incarnation on the planet, what the biggest themes in our life will be. By looking into our Incarnation Cross, we can get a good sense of what we’re here to learn and do, karmically/dharmically speaking.
Our Incarnation Cross is dictated by the gate that was activated by our conscious sun (the first number in black on the right hand column in the bodygraph). You know how in our astrological natal chart, our sun placement is a pretty big deal? Such a big deal, in fact, that most folks, even if they don’t buy into astrology, know their sun sign? Well, in Human Design, the sun is a MAJOR influencer in our chart, which is why whatever gate our conscious sun touches wields such influence over our purpose on the planet.
Why should I care?
🤓Analogy time**🤓: Think about a jigsaw puzzle. A bigger, organizing picture broken up into smaller pieces that all fit back together to recreate that original image. The big picture is our Incarnation Cross + our Profile (i.e. what we’re here to do + how we’re here to do it) and all the puzzle pieces are:
our open and closed centers (our intuition and how we interact with others)
our type, strategy, and authority (how we make decisions and where our intuition lives)
our channels (gifts we’re been given)
our gates (lessons we’re here to learn)
So many people begin and end their study of their own chart with their Type, but that’s basically the equivalent of flipping to the horoscope page in Vogue and claiming that you now understand your natal chart.
Just. No. 🤦♀️
The Incarnation Cross is my FAVORITE part of the chart to unpack with my clients, because it provides so much serious insight into so many of the major themes we’re facing during our time on the planet. So today, we’re going to dig into one of them that has (randomly? coincidentally?) showed up in several clients’ charts over the past week: the Left Angle Cross of Refinement in gates 19 & 33.
** 🤓those of you who have had a reading with me KNOW ya girl LOVES an analogy or a metaphor #nerd 🤓
Grab your bodygraph, and if you ran your chart at mybodygraph.com, look at the chart properties window on the right. At the bottom of that first section, your Incarnation Cross is listed (see Beyoncé’s chart above to the deets). Now, there are typically multiple variations on each Incarnation Cross: two if it’s a Left Angle Cross, four if it’s a Right Angle Cross, etc, so it’s important to note the first number that appears after the name of the cross. That’s the gate where your conscious sun lives and it’ll provide nuance and specificity in terms of how your Incarnation Cross will play out.
Left Angle Cross of Refinement
Folx with the Left Angle Cross of Refinement as their Incarnation Cross are very specific about their physical and/or energetic environment.
Sometimes this manifests very literally i.e. aesthetically: A messy home might drive you NUTS. A cluttered desk might impact your ability to focus. You might need to find that perfect shade of paint to balance out the color story in your canvas.
Sometimes the manifestation is more energetic: miscommunication or inefficient systems might be the bane of your existence because you KNOW there’s a better way forward, and if people would just follow your lead, things would be a whole hell of a lot better.
Regardless, in your eyes, chaos begets chaos, and one of the major themes of your life is bringing alignment and refinement to a chaotic, disordered world.
Now, one of the challenges that comes with this Incarnation Cross is around resisting the urge to give into melancholy. You’re someone who, in your heart of hearts, understands not just how things are, but how they could be (think 6/2 President Obama’s #pragmaticoptimism), and this can make affecting real change seem overwhelming. If you continuously focus solely on the lack, you’re going to end up depleted (and really bring everyone else down in the process). One of the things you’re here to learn how to do is to balance a realistic understanding of the work that needs to be done with an excitement about what’s possible when your powerful, creative, transformative changes are implemented.
Another lesson you’re here to learn: not every mess is yours to clean up. I’m going to say that again for the folx in the back.🗣️NOT EVERY MESS IS YOURS TO CLEAN UP 🗣️And choosing not to get involved is not evidence of failure.
At the end of the day, it’s about really listening to your authority and letting it guide you to the people, places, situations, and spaces that elicit a YES. Digging into your profile can give you insight into who those people or what those situations/places/spaces will be: if you have a 1/Investigator line in your profile, it’ll probably have to do with a niche area of expertise that you invest time studying and deeply understanding, whereas if you have a 2/Hermit line, your natural, innate talents will be a major factor.
Specifics for Gate 19:
Famous folx with this Incarnation Cross: Justin Timberlake, Ronda Rousey, Franz Schubert
People with gate 19 activated by their conscious sun placement tend to be incredibly sensitive to people, places and situations (and that sensitivity is amplified if they have a defined spleen). They can typically suss out their surroundings quickly and may struggle to maintain their poker face re: how they feel about what they picked up on. Herein lies the karmic/dharmic lesson: how much are you willing to allow your sensitivity to impact how you show up in the world? I like to think of sensitivity, especially splenic sensitivity, as an intuitive superpower. Those of us with it defined, and those with this Incarnation Cross, are super perceptive re: our surroundings. In terms of this specific cross, folx are very sensitive to patterns that need correcting, or plans that need to be revised, or physical spaces that need to be reorganized, etc. And just sensing that there’s a disorder or inefficiency or chaos that needs to be corrected can manifest as massive discomfort. You have the potential to impact and affect change in a huge way, but remember one of the 🔑MAJOR KEYS 🔑of Human Design: just because you can doesn’t necessarily mean you should. The lesson is around where to aim your sensitivity and transformative power so that you feel energized and fulfilled by taking action. Also, I’ll say it again: choosing to walk away and not involve yourself IS NOT FAILURE. Really lean on your strategy and authority to guide you toward the people, situations, and environments where you can make the greatest change/feel the greatest sense of fulfillment.
Specifics for Gate 33:
Famous folx with this Incarnation Cross: Barack Obama, Neil Armstrong, Louis Armstrong, & Percy Bysshe Shelley
People with gate 33 activated by their conscious sun placement have been given the gift of a creative reservoir that runs DEEP. You see so much potential in not only what can change and how it can change, but the long-term effects those changes will have. The other side of the coin, though, is a tendency to get easily overwhelmed by the gravity or time-intensive nature of the task that is bringing that space or situation back into alignment.
Picking and choosing projects intentionally and deliberately is one of the lessons of this specific Incarnation Cross. Reality check time: it’s not possible to shift every single environment or situation into your creative ideal. Some people aren’t going to be open to your insight or ideas. Other projects might be wayyyyyy too big to tackle alone. The key here is aligning yourself with the right people and causes that embrace your aesthetic or vision and desire your transformational guidance.
It’s also important to pick projects wisely because, quite frankly, the transformative force to refine is strong within you. You have the drive, the vision, and the skills to make big moves and shift energies, spaces and systems…but this requires energy, so make sure you’re really listening to your authority and following your YES. The work will be work, but you deserve for it to be joyful, fulfilling work.
Do you have the Left Angle Cross of Refinement? Does this resonate for you?
Let me know in the comments!
Bunnell, Lynda & Ra Uru Hu. The Definitive Book of Human Design: The Science of Differentiation. HDC Publishing, 2017.
Parkyn, Chetan. The Book of Destinies. New World Library, 2016.