Ever made a wish on the clock at 11:11? Then you might already be familiar with the synchronistic power of numerology. Numerology is the study of numbers and their mystical meanings, and in this ancient practice, all numbers are believed to have unique vibrations. The numbers in our life can be used as tools to help us better understand ourselves and navigate our lives with a greater sense of purpose — and knowing how to find your life path number and use it to your advantage is one of the best ways to start aligning with this energy.
Numerology is a mystical divinatory art, similar to astrology. And just like astrology, numerology can be super personalized — as everyone has a unique numerology chart and life path number. “Life path numbers help us to understand the physical world and where we’re going in life,” numerologist and tarotstrologer Tai Soleil tells Bustle. “Once you know your life path number, it can be used to [make sense of your path] when you get distracted or discouraged.” Our life path number represents our core essence, our lifelong purpose, and our modus operandi, so it’s considered the most significant aspect of our personal numerological makeup.
Read on if you want to know how to find your life path number and apply its meaning to your life.
What Is A Life Path Number?
Life path numbers are calculated based on our birthdates (just like our astrological birth charts), so we can think of life path numbers as sort of the zodiac signs of numerology. These numbers speak to our core values, modus operandi, and overall missions in life. Life path numbers can be any single digit number between 1 and 9, or one of the three master numbers, which are 11, 22, and 33. Each of these numbers is associated with unique qualities, strengths, and weaknesses — and they’re believed to hold deep meanings and wield great influence over our paths in life.
The meaning of our life path number is to help us realize greater possibilities in our life and align with our soul purpose. They’re considered the most significant numbers in our personal numerology charts — similar to the importance of the sun sign in astrology. “Life path numbers help us on our personal hero’s journey, guiding us through stages toward completion,” Soleil says. “Life path number meanings will always bring us back to reality.”
How Do I Find My Life Path Number?
The first step is to format your birthdate as a numeric date — so if your birthday is October 3, 1992, you’ll format the date as 10/3/1992. This is made up of three numbers: One for the month, day, and year. So in the case of our example, we’re working with 10, 3, and 1992. Next, you’ll reduce each of these three numbers into single digit numbers (or master numbers, if they come up). To do this, simply add together the individual digits of any multi-digit number until you have a single-digit number for each (since we have 10 for the month, we’ll add together 1 and 0 to get 1; and because we have 1992 as the year, we’ll add together 1, 9, 9, and 2 to get 21, which we’ll then reduce once more by adding 2 and 1). Finally, those three month/day/year numbers are added together and reduced to a single digit number or master number, which represents our life path number.
If that sounds confusing, let’s break it down using our example birthdate of 10/3/1992, which is reduced to the numbers 1, 3, and 3. The number 1 is for the month (because the month is 10, and 1 + 0 = 1), 3 for the day (because the day is 3, and 3 is already a single-digit number), and 3 for the year (because the year is 1992, and 1 + 9 + 9 + 2 = 21, which is reduced again to get the number 3 by adding together the two digits of the original sum, giving us 2 + 1 = 3). Now that you have three numbers, you’ll add them together to get your life path number. If the number is a double-digit, add those digits together until they’re reduced to a single number. In the case of our example, the life path number is 7, because 1 + 3 + 3 = 7.
The only exception to the single digit number rule of life path number calculation is if the numbers 11, 22, or 33 show up, as those are considered “master numbers” in numerology. If that’s the case, you can leave those numbers as is instead of reducing them to a single digit number.
How Do I Use My Life Path Number?
Once you know how to find your life path number, you can start looking into the qualities and vibrations associated with that particular number and applying them to your life. The meaning of each life path number is based on ancient numerological teachings, and many numerologists make connections between life path numbers and other modalities like astrology, as well.
“Aligning to your life path number is all about reflecting on your values and life goals,” numerologist Jasmine Wolfe tells Bustle. “The energy of that number is always there, whether you’re cognizant of it or not, but how you want to use it is up to you.” Learning how to work with your life path number and understanding how its energy manifests in your life can help you better understand your own inner workings and motivations.
However, just as is true with zodiac sign meanings, life path numbers should be used as a spiritual guide rather than a rulebook — as your relationship to them will be unique depending on how you interpret their energy and the way you choose to use it. “Understanding life path numbers is like coming home to who we’ve always been while also recognizing who we can become,” Wolfe says. “But first, you have to see how its [energy] has shown up in your past, how it’s manifesting in the present, and how you’d like to utilize it in the future.”