An Introduction to Numerology

Many of us have what we think of as “lucky numbers,” but is there anything more to this notion than fun and games? According to numerology, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

In numerology, numbers represent more than just their mathematical values. The ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras (c. 570–c. 495 BCE) is generally credited with developing numerology, though some of its concepts may predate the age in which he lived. 

Our birthdays are very important in numerology because they supply the numbers used in determining our life path number. The life path number is derived from the month, date, and year in one’s full birthday. It can be any number between 1 and 9, or it can be a “master number” of either 11, 22, or 33. By knowing our life path numbers, numerology asserts, we gain a better idea of both who we are and who we have the potential to become.

What is my life path number?

You can calculate your life path number by adding the digits in your birthday and producing either a single digit number from 1 to 9 or one of three double-digit master numbers. 

To find your life path number, write out your birthday in this format (using two digits for the month and day and four digits for the year): MM/DD/YYYY. For someone born on May 30, 1980, the birthday is written as 05/30/1980. The following numerology calculations come next:

0 + 5 = 5
3 + 0 = 3
1 + 9 + 8 + 0 = 18

Since 18 is a double-digit number, the 1 and 8 are added to get 9. This leaves the numbers 5, 3, and 9, which also get added:

5 + 3 + 9 = 17

Finally, add the 1 and 7 to get 8 for your life path number. Another way of writing it would be 17/8, with the double-digit number comprised of the two numbers you added to get the 8. 

There are three life path master numbers in numerology: 11, 22, and 33. These numerology master numbers can be found in one’s actual date of birth itself—being born in November, for example, or on the 22nd day of the month, or by using the same calculations described earlier. 

For someone born on Feb. 2, 1996 (02/02/1996), the same birthday numerology formula used above would result in a life path number of 11/2. The 11, in this case is a master number and supersedes the 2 as the life path number because the two-digit master number is said to be more powerful on a vibrational level than any single-digit life path number. 

For those who would rather let an online tool do the math, you can use a numerology calculator that will find your life path number after you supply the birthday. 

What does my numerology life path number mean?

One’s life path number is said to be helpful in offering guidance on how to apply life lessons and navigating the vicissitudes of human existence, while also influencing your character, temperament, and even the decisions you make.

What are some other core numerology numbers?

There are five core numerology numbers in a person’s numerology chart, with the life path number considered the most important. The other four core numbers are:

Expression number: The expression number is also referred to as the destiny number. It uses the concepts of name numerology, with each letter of the alphabet assigned a numerical value. Numerologists believe that the expression number can be helpful for people assessing their innate strengths, weaknesses, talents, and abilities.

Personality number: The personality number, which is comprised of the consonants in one’s name, is about how we present ourselves to the world: what we reveal, what we keep hidden, and what impressions, especially first impressions, others have of us. 

Heart’s desire number: Using the vowels in your name, the heart’s desire number provides insights into what motivates us and want we truly want out of life—even if it is hidden in our subconscious until we begin to engage in self-reflection practices to help shine a light on our deepest desires. 

Birthday number: The birthday number uses the numbers on the date of birth. It is believed to reveal our special talents, or unique gifts we bring to the world. For people born on the 10th day of the month or later, the birthday number is derived by adding the two digits together. Someone born on the 17th, for example, would have a birthday number of 8.

Numerology includes more than the five core numbers. Other numbers, such as the karmic debt number, and concepts, such as compatibility in relationships, are important for students of numerology to piece together all the intricacies and connections as circumstances evolve. 

As in other Personality Typing systems such as the Enneagram and Western Astrology, classification in a particular numerology grouping does not limit a person’s potential or freedom of choice, but instead can be seen as a vibrational indicator of how an individual can make the most of a lifetime. 

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