Astrology is cool and all, but sometimes you’re in the mood for an alternative perspective on what’s been “written in the stars” for you that month. (Hey, just because you’re a Virgo doesn’t mean you always act like one, right?)
Enter numerology, an ancient teaching developed by the Greek philosopher, Pythagoras, that follows the theory that when numbers continually pop up in your universe, it’s not a coincidence—they actually mean something. Whoa, deep.
The most important number you need to know to make sense of it all? It’s called your Life Path number and it’s based on your date of birth. It’s meant to provide insights that connect your past (i.e., the personality you were born with) with your future (how those characteristics will impact who you will become and what obstacles you face).
How to Calculate Your Life-Path Number
Here’s how you calculate it: First, take your birthday (say, June 26, 2019). This translates numerically to be 6/26/2019. Next, you need to reduce each number in your birth date to a single digit number. With this example, that means 6 (your birth month); 2 + 6 = 8 (your birth day); and 2 + 0 + 1 + 9 = 12, then 1 + 2 = 3 (your birth year). Finally, add all these numbers together (6 + 8 + 3) and you get 17, which, reduced to single digits again (1 + 7), becomes 8. That’s your Life Path number.
But what does it all mean? Find out more about each of the possible Life Path numbers (and the astrological signs they associate with) below.
Your Number: 1
Ruled By: The Sun (just like your zodiac alter ego, Leo)
Typical traits for anyone who’s a “1”? You’re a confident, natural-born leader with a take-charge persona that lends itself well to a variety of situations, whether you’re corralling colleagues for a big meeting or introducing friends who don’t know each other on the playground. People tend to gravitate toward your individualistic ideas, but that’s also something you continually struggle with: second-guessing your opinions before you voice them. (Hey, we all self-edit from time to time.)
Your Number: 2
Ruled By: The Sun (just like your zodiac alter ego, Cancer)
If there’s one thing you believe in, it’s collaboration and keeping the peace. When a fight (even a passive-aggressive one) breaks out in your presence, you’re all about getting your friends and family back on the same page. You’re also highly sensitive, which can sometimes be problematic when it comes to letting minor disagreements go. But the overall persona of a “2” is focused on love, harmony and partnerships.
Your Number: 3
Ruled By: Jupiter (just like your zodiac alter ego, Sagittarius)
It’s hard to compete with the versatility of a “3.” Your best traits? You’re not only adaptable, you’re fun. You’re creative and imaginative, but you also have good follow-through—a rare combo that serves you well as you set goals and chart your path. One of your bigger challenges, though, is to stay positive and upbeat when something gets in the way of your dreams.
Your Number: 4
Ruled By: Uranus (just like your zodiac alter ego, Aquarius)
Practicality and trustworthiness are your biggest virtues, but “4s” also tend to be quite independent and spiritual. You love your own company, but you’re also quite comfortable around close friends. Still, if you can go off the grid for a bit, it’s a luxury. Another standout trait of a “4” is how hard you work, although sometimes you struggle to balance your drive with taking time out to do self-care.
Your Number: 5
Ruled By: Mercury (just like your zodiac alter egos, Gemini and Virgo)
You’re a free spirit, but one that’s motivated by one central ideal: the prospect of new experiences and adventure. At the same time, you’re super intelligent, so you act rationally when it comes to making decisions and you problem solve as you go. (A good to trait to have when exploring the unknown.) As a “5,” you also have a lot of energy, but you’re grounded, too, which means that no matter where your adventures lead, you always come back home. That said, routine is your biggest challenge—how to create one and stick to one.
Your Number: 6
Ruled By: Venus (just like your zodiac alter egos, Taurus and Libra)
Family is your guiding light, and as a result, you don’t shy away from responsibility and long-term goals. Your focus is about finding something meaningful, and so you give your all to everything you’re a part of, whether that means pitching in to help a friend or pursing a promotion at work. A put-together home is also your biggest sense of pride (it’s where family congregates, after all), but you can sometimes get too caught up in being the host with the most when it’s OK to just sit back and relax.
Your Number: 7
Ruled By: Neptune (just like your zodiac alter ego, Pisces)
As a “7,” you lead with your heart, not your head. You take pleasure in the emotional side of things, and love to grapple with the deeper meaning of life. You’re obsessed with reading, writing and doing research—anything that helps you get to know something on a deeper level. Still, all that pondering can become your Achilles’ heel—sometimes, you can get so lost in your thoughts that you forget your reality, whether it’s a deadline or a time check. (No wonder you’re always running late!)
Your Number: 8
Ruled By: Saturn (just like your zodiac alter ego, Capricorn)
Holy ambition, “8s.” There’s nothing you love more than external achievements and success, which almost always translates into wealth. You’re tough, but also even-keeled and hard-working at everything you do. Your main goal through it all is security—both financially and in relationships—which is why you don’t give up easily. The trade-off is that you can be a bit of a control freak, but you’re always working on easing up.
Your Number: 9
Ruled By: Mars (just like your zodiac alter egos, Aries and Scorpio)
Your guiding purpose is to give to others—you’re a true humanitarian in all that you do. You’re also a born leader, so you have no problem speaking up about a cause you care about or working hard to get others on board. You tend to be creative, but only as long as what you’re building gives back to the world. Your goal is to improve yourself in your pursuits—something that can occasionally frustrate you if something you’re angling toward doesn’t come to fruition.
Two Exceptions to the Rule
If you calculate your Life Path Number and get either an 11 or 22, those don’t need to be reduced. Instead, they’re considered “master numbers,” which means you’re in a league all your own. In the case of 11, you’re a combination of the traits associated with both 1s (two ones) and 2s (1 + 1 = 2). If you get 22, this number is considered to have more power than all the rest. You most closely associate with a 4 (2 + 2 = 4), but combined with the traits of an 11.