The Essentials Of Numerology Explained + How To Find Your Life Path Number
You know your zodiac sign, and maybe you've even found your enneagram type, but have you familiarized yourself with the field of numerology yet? If you haven't, buckle up because we're diving right in. Here's everything you need to know about numerology, according to experts.
What is numerology?
Numerology is essentially the study of numbers and their frequencies as they relate to our own lives, purposes, and paths.
According to numerologist Michelle Buchanan, Western numerology, which was created by Greek mystic and mathematician Pythagoras, is the most popular system used today. "Other numerology systems include Kabbalistic, Chinese, Tamil/Indian, and Chaldean, which date back even further," she previously wrote for mbg.
In numerology, every number is thought to carry a unique energetic vibration. "Numerology studies the way these vibrations influence the story of your life and personality," Buchanan adds.
How to calculate your life path number.
Your life path number is comparable to your sun sign in astrology. It doesn't exactly give you the full picture like a full numerology reading will, but it does give you a good idea of the general themes and direction of your life, so you can use it to help guide you. And the good news is, it's super easy to calculate.
All you need to know is your full date of birth. Let's use the birthday March 29, 1969, as an example.
You'll start by writing out your full birth date, including the full year. (So or this example, 1969 and not just 69). Add up each of the digits, and continue adding them until you get a single-digit life path number between one and nine.
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. So, this birthday has a life path number 3.
What each life path number means:
Life path 1: The independent leader
If you're a life path one, you're likely a natural-born leader and self-starter. According to Buchanan, you may feel different from others and it's important for you to find the confidence and courage to walk a path less-traveled. "You must learn to embrace your individuality," she adds.
Life path 2: The peacemaker
According to Kaerhart, two is the most resilient number in astrology. "The two leads with the heart just as much as it does with its rational mind," she says. Buchanan explains that a life path two is also nurturing, intuitive, creative, and supportive. "You must learn to love and believe in yourself unconditionally and find the balance between giving and receiving," she notes.
Life path 3: The communicator
As the name suggests, life path threes are the communicators in numerology. Kaerhart notes these folks tend to be more emotionally sensitive and empathetic, with Buchanan adding that their work lies in learning not to exaggerate negativity or overdramatize problems. "You must learn to eliminate unnecessary gossip and drama in your everyday life," she says.
Life path 4: The builder
Consider life path fours "backbone" energy. They're systematic, methodical, and organized, striving for structure and stability. But they must also find that stability in their own inner and outer life, Buchanan says, from the emotional to physical to mental and material realms.
Life path 5: The traveler
The energy of the life path five is far-reaching, according to Kaerhart, who says you can expect constant change and transformation throughout your lifetime if this is your number. Just try not to get too restless or indulgent, Buchanan adds, warning against escapism and addiction to avoid boredom, and encouraging the value of moderation.
Life path 6: The nurturer
Known as the nurturer, life path sixes are naturally caring, and like to live their lives in service of others. But as any giving person knows, it's important to give to yourself, too. "In your quest to help others, you must learn to find the middle ground between assisting and enabling," Buchanan explains.
Life path 7: The seeker
Life path sevens are the wisdom-seekers of numerology. As Kaerhart tells mbg, they're most motivated by the pursuit of truth, knowledge, and their own sacred calling, whatever it may be. And as Buchanan adds, "The emotional realm may feel awkward for them; however, they must learn to communicate and express their emotions and affections in this life."
Life path 8: The powerhouse
According to Kaerhart, life path eights are ambitious, hardworking, and often very materially successful. They have no problem with being an authority figure, but with that comes the responsibility of checking that power. "You must work through personal power issues and learn not to let anything or anyone disempower you or disempower others," Buchanan explains.
Life path 9: The humanitarian
And last but not least, life path nines are motivated by humanitarian efforts and service to others. This number is also associated with endings, being the final single digit. As such, Buchanan notes, "You must learn to accept, let go, and move on from any misfortune of the past. You must learn to accept and forgive anything that or anyone who has previously caused you pain."
There are three instances when your life path number may not be a single-digit number, but rather a two-digit "master number." Those numbers are 11, 22, and 33. If you calculated your life path number and it reduces to any of those three master numbers, you have a master number life path.
Master numbers are associated with struggle but, with that, achievement as well. Kaerhart explains that master numbers have heavy energy, as well as heavier lessons, giving these folks a lot of depth and great potential.
As an example, you might think 22 would reduce to four, or "the builder" life path—but 22 is actually like a supercharged four, she says, making them the "master architect."
Here's a closer look at master numbers 11, 22, and 33.
If you're a life path 11, think of yourself as an amplified life path two. The life path 11 is highly sensitive, practically to the point of being psychic, Kaerhart explains. However, this sensitivity can lead to nervousness, skepticism, and scattered thinking, so it's important for these folks to be mindful of overthinking and mistrust while also listening to their inner voice and intuition.
A life path 22 is going to be like a life path four to the extreme. Given that we know fours are the "builders" of numerology, Kaerhart says 22s are the "master architects." And if this is your life path number, congratulations, because she adds that 22 is the most powerful number in numerology. You're probably a productivity master, and you have the ability to do really great work in this lifetime.
Finally, we have 33. As Kaerhart explains, 33 is all about unconditional love and higher consciousness. Consider life path sixes, who are nurturing and concerned with humanity. The life path 33 takes that loving energy to the next level, and is considered to be the "master teacher," of numerology, as well as the most evolved, spiritually seeking number.
Before we dive into the meanings of different angel number sequences, it's important to note that angel numbers are not actually rooted in the ancient practice of numerology, according to Kaerhart. She tells mbg that angel numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, and if you have any particular connections to certain numbers or number sequences, you can absolutely ascribe your own meaning to them in the case of angel numbers.
With that said, the idea behind these numbers is that seeing them pop up as you go about your day can be taken as a divine sign from the universe or your guides.
Given that one is the first number, 111 is typically associated with new beginnings. And according to Richardson, seeing 111 means you're in a great place for manifesting your dreams. "111 is an indication that the energy around you right now is ripe for taking healthy risks, shifting patterns, or moving projects or relationships forward," she previously wrote for mbg.
When you see 222, Richardson says, think "metaphorical farming," as in, planting seeds, and working toward your harvest. "When you're wondering whether you’re on the right path in an area of your life, seeing 222 can be a welcome confirmation from the angels that you're headed in the right direction and should keep plugging along patiently," she notes.
And for what it's worth, 222 is also associated with harmonious partnerships, from business to romance.
According to Richardson, 333 is a number of prayers answered and a reminder that the universe knows what you want and what you are working toward. If you catch this number a lot, know that supportive opportunities and resources are heading your way, she says.
444 is an angel number that simply indicates you are divinely supported and your angels are near, Richardson explains, adding that seeing this number can bring a feeling of comfort and reassurance when you're feeling discouraged.
If you keep catching 555, prepare for a change—and potentially a dramatic one at that. As Richardson says, 555 is about big shifts and growth spurts. "Seeing 555 when things feel chaotic or unfamiliar is a comforting reminder from the angels that transitions can be intense, even when we are experiencing exciting changes we've longed for," she notes.
The energy of 666—despite its common association with the devil—is actually very grounded and nurturing energy, according to Richardson. She says it's not uncommon to see it when you're looking for more stability or healing in your life, and it can also serve as a reminder to strive for that balance.
777 is a deeply spiritual angel number, encouraging us on our own spiritual path. As Richardson explains, you may see it during phases in your life when you're focusing on that path and/or incorporating new spiritual practices. It also relates to being of service to the world, she adds, given that it honors the spiritual connectedness of all things.
The angel number of abundance, 888 is an extra-auspicious sign if you're in need of some luck. You might see it, for example, on a check from someone you're working with, indicating a prosperous connection or path, she adds.
If one is all about beginnings, nine is all about endings, and 999 is no exception. To see 999 is a sign that something in your life is coming to an end, Richardson says, adding that it can also show up if you're losing steam toward the end of a project, "reminding you that success or the finish line is right around the corner."
The bottom line.
There's a whole world of numerology to explore, and we've only just scratched the surface. The more you understand about numerology and your own life path number, the more you can turn to this ancient system for guidance on everything from romance to your career to your overall purpose in this lifetime.
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.