Familiar with your sun sign? Cool, you should also know your numerology number

If you’ve ever dedicated a good chunk of your day analysing Taylor Swift’s music videos for easter eggs, then you know that numbers hold special meanings. (Will the world ever find out what the 3:15 time on her Grammys watch necklace meant?!)

But numbers are helpful for more than just deciphering Tay’s music videos and lyrics. They can actually determine your path in life—at least, according to numerology. This practice 'is an information system and it is a language' that believes the numbers 1 through 9 all have different meanings, says Felicia Bender, resident numerologist at AstroStyle.com and author of Redesign Your Life: Using Numerology to Create the Wildly Optimal You. In fact, everyone also has something called a 'numerology number' that can clue you in to hidden parts of your personality, kind of like your zodiac sign (a.k.a. Sun sign) in astrology.

Remember learning about the Pythagorean theorem (a² + b² = c²) in math class? Well, the same Greek mathematician who came up with that, Pythagoras, is considered the founder of numerology, according to Bender. 'He posits the idea that numbers carry with them not only a quantitative value, like one apple, two apples, three apples, but also a vibration and a frequency,' she explains.

Essentially, Pythagoras believed that numbers can provide a sort of 'code' to explain and even predict the role every person will play in their life. He even said the entire universe could be reduced down to numbers and that life happened in cycles that could be predicted by (you guessed it) numbers.

Sounds like some pretty lofty claims, but Pythagoras developed a simple process that absolutely anyone can use to find their 'life path number' in numerology. All you need is your birthdate to calculate your life path number (more on that in a bit!). Through that single digit, 'the qualities of your soul may be revealed,' says Linda Joyce, a professional astrologer and author of The Day You Were Born: A Journey to Wholeness Through Astrology and Numerology.

Intrigued? Ahead, learn all about what numerology numbers mean—plus, how to calculate yours and even use it to your advantage, according to numerologists.

What do the numerology numbers mean?

Just like your Sun sign in astrology, your numerology number reveals something about your personality (whether you like it or not). However, these two spiritual methodologies 'are not in conflict,' Joyce explains. 'One is not better than another, but everyone has their favourite.'

Each school of thought is based on the notion that everything is connected and exists in perfect synchronicity with everything else. Numerology gives numbers characteristics, while astrology does the same thing—just with planets (hence why you have a Sun sign, Moon sign, Venus sign, etc.).

While you might feel like a total Taurus or a solid 6, Joyce still recommends using both in your life, because numerology and astrology each work in their own way. 'Both systems see the world as a set of symbols that represent different characteristics,' she says.

Here's what to know about each numerology number:

Number 1

Remember Kelly Clarkson's hit song, 'Miss Independent'? Yeah, that's you. If your numerology number is one, you're also a natural-born innovative leader, say Bender because 'the one is the number of action [and] new beginnings.' And beyond an independent streak, Ones tend to be 'very entrepreneurial,' she adds.

But on the flip side, Ones might battle with their self-esteem. To overcome this struggle, 'you must see your own uniqueness and stand on your own two feet,' Joyce says.

Number 2

You're all about love, cooperation, harmony, and partnership, and you can even call yourself an 'intuitive diplomat,' because Bender does. When a fight goes down between friends, for instance, you always play the mediator to help squash the drama. In numerology, number two is also known as the 'relationship number,' meaning people with this as their life path or destiny number are 'very sensitive emotionally and intuitively,' Bender says.

However, Twos can also be very childish and insecure, even acting as shapeshifters and people pleasers at times, Bender adds: 'They're developing their sense of patience.' The best thing you can do for yourself (if you haven't already) is 'learn adaptability, service, and consideration for others,' Joyce says.

Number 3

Hello, creative communicator! If you're a Three, you like interacting with others, especially in artistic ways that show off your ~imagination~. Threes are always looking for new ways to express themselves, according to Joyce. (Perhaps this is your sign to open that Etsy store you've been dreaming about?) And when you find one, you love nothing more than being in the spotlight, adds Bender.

'They are all about creative self-expression and emotional sensitivity,' Bender says. 'Anything having to do with the written or the spoken word is right up their alley.' On the other hand, their weaknesses might be dealing with depression and self-doubt as emotional highs and lows, she notes.

Number 4

If you're a Four, practicality is the name of your game. You're a serious and stable worker, known for being industrious. (Meaning there's an Employee of the Month plaque just waiting to put your name on it.) 'The Four uses limitation and order to build and create,' says Joyce.

Fours are often teachers and knowledge seekers who prioritise security, Bender adds. However, a weakness of this numerology number is its occasional stubbornness.

Number 5

Your life's a wild ride—full of freedom, sex, change, experience, entertainment, and adventure—and Bender even calls you a sensuous freedom seeker. Five is basically the numerological equivalent of 'carpe diem,' so there's no better reason to seize the dang day. Overall, your number represents expansion, change, and unexpected happenings, says Joyce. However, Fives can also be impulsive, which isn't always a positive trait. (Translation: Buckle up, buttercup.)

Number 6

Does everyone call you the 'mum' of your friend group? Well...they're right, because 'the Six in numerology is the cosmic parent,' Bender says. You're a nurturing visionary with an inherent love of home, family duty, service, and responsibility, the experts agree.

You also tend to be responsible and unselfish (hence why you make sure all your friends get home safe after a night out). Just know that your number is 'challenged to embrace beauty, love, harmony, sympathy, and understanding wherever possible,' says Joyce. However, Sixes can also be crushing perfectionists and idealists, and that drive for excellence can manifest itself in controlling tendencies, Bender adds.

Number 7

You're a seeker, but not the Harry Potter kind. (Sorry, that'd be cool.) Rather, Sevens are 'spiritual seekers' as well as analysts who are intellectual and data-driven, Bender explains. You seek the truth, but at the same time, you may be reluctant to delve into life's deep questions at times. Those identifying with this number can also be skeptical, closed off, and superficial at some points.

It all comes together, Joyce says, in 'introspection, mental analysis, and understanding.' (Maybe it's time to add some meditation into your daily routine?)

Number 8

Eight is all about financial manifestation and material satisfaction, according to Bender and Joyce. Yup, you're all about money, power, control, and authority—and, on the other side of the coin, greed and avarice.

Madonna's 'Material Girl' might be your 24/7 soundtrack, but just know you'll be challenged to deal with the material and practical things of life, says Joyce. (Read: Don't swipe that credit card every chance you get.)

Number 9

Always looking for a way to give back? Then you're a Nine, or the 'compassionate humanitarian,' Bender says. (No pressure, though!) This number is known for its philanthropic nature, humanitarian tendencies, and overall selflessness. Because you have so much empathy and compassion, you might be a bit self-sacrificing here and there.

But as much as you might feel the urge to give back, you're still challenged 'to learn the satisfaction of giving,' says Joyce, and you might even be a bit belligerent at times, Bender says. That's okay, though—everyone's a work in progress!

Master Number 11

Master Number 11 energy pushes people forward, almost through a doorway (as the shape of the number suggests you can look at it that way), says Joy Woodward, a numerologist and the author of A Beginner's Guide to Numerology: Decode Relationships, Maximize Opportunities, and Discover Your Destiny based in Edmonton, Canada.

Elevens have an 'incredible intuition as well as this ability to sort of see a little bit into the future,' Woodward says. No, that doesn't mean you're a legit psychic—but you might be something of a trendsetter and leader.

Master Number 22

Twenty-twos have very foundational energy, meaning, they 'are true visionaries where they are able to conceive of things that don't exist and in a very practical way, bring them to life,' Woodward says. They break down barriers, but are practical about their approach. For instance, Woodward had a client who was the first female SWAT team member in her city. Her number? Twenty-two.

What are master numbers in numerology?

Master numbers are repeating numbers, such as 11, 22, 33, and so on, says Bender. These numbers come with more intense challenges, she explains, as 'those with master numbers get kind of thrown into the fire because they're meant to be healing, teaching, and leading in a grander way,' she says.

Despite being thrust on a path to greatness, these numbers are inherently in conflict with themselves, Bender notes. Take 11, for instance. You can look at it as a two, or as a two ones. While the two is the lover in numerology—known for being diplomatic, patient, loving, and group-oriented, per Bender—the one is the opposite. 'It's the leader, it's the ego, it's the self, it's the entrepreneur, it wants to win,' she explains.

So, master numbers often present yin-and-yang-like qualities, which is why they can be intense and challenging, Bender says.

How do you calculate your life path number?

If you can add, you can find your life path number—it's seriously that simple. Here's how to do it:

If your birthdate is December 28, 1989, a.k.a. 12/28/1989, start with the number of your birth month: 12. Break it down to 1 and 2 before adding them together to make 3 (1 + 2 = 3). 'In numerology, we’re always reducing to a one-digit number,' says Bender. Keep that in mind as you put together all the pieces of this puzzle.

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Repeat that with your birthday number, meaning 2 + 8 = 10. Because 10 is a double-digit number, add its components together—1 + 0 = 1—so your ending number is 1.

Next, repeat that again for your birthday year, adding up all four digits together (1 + 9 + 8 + 9 = 27). Again, if the total is a double-digit number, like it is here with 27, add those two numbers together again to get a single digit (2 + 7 = 9).

Finally, to calculate your life path number, add those three digits up: 3 + 1 + 9 = 13. Normally, that result would be your life path number, but since 13 is two digits, you still need to reduce to a single digit by adding 1 and 3 together (1 + 3), finally giving you the—drumroll, please—life path number of 4.

Simple, right? (Well, compared to calculus it is, anyway.)

How do you calculate your destiny number?

Your destiny number (or name number) is secondary to your life path number, and it's basically how you express the goals of your life path number, Aliza Kelly, a professional numerologist, astrologer, and author of the manifestation deck and guidebook There Are No Coincidences, told WH.

So, if your life path number is eight, which is associated with prosperity and abundance, but your destiny number is six, which is associated with healing and spirituality, you can channel both by becoming a yoga teacher and opening your own studio, for instance.

To figure out your destiny number, take the alphabet and assign each letter a number one through nine, starting from the top, says Joy Woodward, a numerologist and the author of A Beginner's Guide to Numerology: Decode Relationships, Maximize Opportunities, and Discover Your Destiny. Then, use your full birth certificate name to figure out your number. Here's a quick key:

  • 1 = A, J, S,

  • 2 = B, K, T

  • 3 = C, L, U

  • 4 = D, M, V

  • 5 = E, N, W

  • 6 = F, O, X

  • 7 = G, P, Y

  • 8 = H, Q, Z

  • 9 = I, R

So, say your name is Amy—you would add 1 (A) + 4 (M) + 7 (Y). Add those together to get 12, then add 1 and 2 together to get 3. Voilà, your destiny number!

Well, there you have it: A new (to you) way to help guide your life and make the choices that will lead you down the right path—no complex math required.

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