How To Find Your Numerology Life Path Number + What It Actually Means
If you've ever mapped your astrological birth chart, or even found your enneagram type, calculating your numerology life path number might be worth considering. Similar to your sun sign in astrology, your life path number can tell you a lot about—you guessed it—your life path.
Here's how to find yours, and what it says about your relationships, career, and life's mission.
What is a life path number?
"This number will help you understand why you came here and what you are here to do," she notes, adding that it not only speaks to your strengths and talents but also the challenges you'll face in life.
According to numerologist Michelle Buchanan, numerology is based on the idea that every number (and letter) has its own unique energetic vibration. "Numerology studies the way these vibrations influence the story of your life and personality," she previously wrote for mbg. So when you figure out your life path number, she adds, "you can start to uncover your destiny and the life lessons you will face along the way."
How to calculate your life path number.
All you need to find your life path number is your full date of birth. Once you know the number, you can dive into what it means for you and how to work with it—but more on that later. For now, here's how to calculate it.
- Write out your full birth date (i.e., 1969 rather than just 69). We'll use the example March 29, 1969.
- Add up the individual digits, continuing to add them until you get a single-digit life path number between 1 and 9. March 29, 1969 (or 3-29-1969), would give you: 3+2+9+1+9+6+9 = 39. From there, 3+9 = 12, and 1+2 = 3. This birthday has a life path number of 3.
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What your life path number means
1: The independent leader
Life path 1's are the independent leaders of the world. According to Kaerhart, these people are proactive and represent the initiators, innovators, and visionaries of our society. "Self-doubt will be their biggest struggle to overcome. They must embrace their unique nature and learn to trust themselves," she adds.
Buchanan echoes this point, noting that 1's can often feel different from others. They must find the confidence and courage to walk a path less traveled and learn to embrace their individuality, she says.
Career-wise, these folks are suited for careers where they can work on their own (or at least be in charge), such as an independent contractor, a business owner, or a life coach, according to Buchanan. They're most compatible with life paths 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7.
2: The peacekeeper
Known as the peacekeepers, 2's are detail-oriented, nurturing, intuitive, creative, and supportive, Buchanan says. However, they must learn to love and believe in themselves—and learn to say no, she adds.
"As the most resilient number," Kaerhart explains, "the 2 leads with the heart just as much as it does with its rational mind. This is a number that reaches its long-term goals through consistent dedication."
Buchanan notes that this nurturing energy makes them ideal for careers that involve uplifting and empowering others, such as a counselor, energy worker, mediator, or teacher. Compatibility-wise, these people get along best with life paths 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9.
3: The communicator
Life path 3's, or the communicators in numerology, tend to be more emotionally sensitive and highly empathetic, according to Kaerhart. They must learn the art of patience while dealing with conflict, she notes, adding they can become "caught up in negative aspects of self-expression, becoming judgmental or indulging in gossip."
Buchanan agrees that eliminating gossip and drama is necessary for this life path, adding that their lesson is to not exaggerate negativity or overdramatize problems.
With their natural gift for self-expression, communication, and creativity, Buchanan says 3's thrive as artists, musicians, dancers, or chefs. As far as compatibility goes, 3's mesh well with life paths 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 9.
4: The builder
The "builders" of society, Buchanan says, are systematic and methodical. They make natural leaders and organizers, bringing stability to their environment, but they must learn to build a stable foundation (emotionally, physically, mentally, and materially) in their own lives.
As Kaerhart notes, these people can be inflexible and stubborn, so it's important they also learn not to project their incredibly high standards onto others, and even themselves.
Buchanan says career-wise, 4's make great managers, editors, accountants, and analysts. When it comes to compatibility, 4's will have the best luck with life paths 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, and 8.
5: The traveler
"If this is your path," Kaerhart says, "expect to ride a cosmic wave of constant change and transformation throughout your lifetime." She notes that those with this life path are not meant to stay in one place or career their whole life but rather go out and explore all that they can.
That said, Buchanan adds, they must learn the art of moderation and find healthy ways to stimulate their senses.
Because they live for excitement and variety, these people thrive in careers involving travel and hospitality, event planning, communications, and marketing. Compatibility-wise, life path 5's will get along well with life paths 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9.
6: The nurturer
The true caregivers of society, life path 6's love to help and be of service to others, according to Buchanan. But as you may have guessed, one of their biggest lessons is learning to find the balance between giving and receiving, Kaerhart notes.
"These are the people who will go to the ends of the earth for those they care about," she says, but they must not overstep others' boundaries, and must learn to balance their home and work life.
And speaking of work, these folks will feel fulfilled in a career that allows them to help others and be creative simultaneously, Buchanan explains. Think therapy, teaching, the arts, or coaching. In their relationships, 6's are typically most compatible with life paths 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9.
7: The seeker
For life path 7's, nothing matters more than finding the answers to all of life's burning questions. As Kaerhart explains, "The biggest motivating factor in a 7's life lies in the pursuit of truth, knowledge and committing itself to a sacred calling."
According to Buchanan, they need to learn to communicate and express their emotions and affections. And as Kaerhart adds, they also must learn to trust their own gut and share their vision with the world.
Career-wise, 7's do well in jobs where they can be both contemplative and analytical, Buchanan says. They may find themselves drawn to careers in spirituality, philosophy, psychology, research, and health. These folks are most compatible with life paths 1, 4, 5, 7, and 9.
8: The powerhouse
Life path 8's, also known as "the powerhouse" of numerology, are ambitious, hardworking, and often very (materially) successful, according to Kaerhart. As the bridge between the material and spiritual world, she notes, these folks must learn to stay grounded with a strong sense of purpose in order to have a healthy relationship with money and power.
One of the biggest challenges for this life path is working through personal power issues—and learning not to let anything or anyone disempower them, Buchanan says, adding that they must also learn not to disempower others.
As talented leaders and problem solvers, Buchanan adds that these people are often drawn to self-employment or positions of authority. Think business advisers, property developers, lawyers, and politicians. Compatibility-wise, they get along best with life paths 2, 4, 6, and 8.
9: The humanitarian
Known as "the humanitarian," life path 9's are both creative and concerned with being of service to others. The number 9 is associated with endings, so Buchanan says this life path's biggest lesson is learning to accept, let go, and move on from any misfortune of the past.
As Kaerhart adds, they can also forget themselves in their quest to be of service to others, leading to them taking on too much. As such, "they must learn that sometimes holding on to attachments causes more pain than letting go," she says.
In their professional lives, these people thrive when working creatively for their community. They make great teachers, philanthropists, activists, and artists, she notes. Romantically, they're most compatible with life paths 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 9.
Tips to make the most of your life path number.
Understanding the significance of your life path number can shed light on multiple areas of your life, from your home and family to your career and romantic relationships.
As Buchanan explains, "Numerology can be used for many things, but some of its most common applications are to help foster greater self-awareness and understanding, uncover personal and professional interests, and evaluate relationship compatibility."
Take romance, for example: Life path numbers, Buchanan says, "can reveal if you and your partner are walking on the same path and heading in the same direction."
Long story short, Kaerhart says, "Knowing this number empowers and guides you to step into the most authentic version of yourself."
The bottom line.
Does the description of your life path number resonate with you? We've only just scratched the surface of all numerology can reveal. The more you understand your life path and your numerological chart as a whole, the more you can use it to nail down your purpose and learn your life's greatest lessons.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.