Many of us spend a lot of time thinking about where we're going in life and if we're where we're supposed to be. And often, the answer isn't clear at all. But if you're able to calculate what's called your life path number, you might be able to get more insight than ever.
According to Tiffany McGee, a spirituality and relationship expert, founder of Nomadrs.com, and author of Manifesting Love: How to Unleash the Superpower That’s Deep Within You, numerologists consider the life path number a reflection of your natural talents, tendencies, and challenges. These sacred digits have the power to give you more information into what you're meant to do.
If you're feeling a little lost, uninspired, unfulfilled, knowing your life path number can lead you down the right path or, at the very least, give you some insight to point you in the right direction. "It is believed that this number can reveal important information about a person's strengths, weaknesses, and potential paths in life," explains McGee. So what are you destined to achieve? Are you ready to calculate your life path number and apply it to your life?
According to McGee, here's how to know you're ready:
- If you're feeling like you're in a rut: You're not excited about your daily activities or feel like you're stuck in a pattern of unhappiness.
- If you're unhappy in your job: You're not satisfied with your career or feel like you're not using your talents and skills to their full potential.
- If you're not living up to your potential: You're not sure what your purpose in life is.
- If you're constantly feeling restlessness or dissatisfaction: You feel like you're always searching for something more, and you can't quite put your finger on what that is.
If you match the criteria, keep reading. Here's everything you need to know about life path numbers, what they mean, and how you can find yours.
What is a life path number?
"Numerologists believe that, just like everything else in existence, numbers have energy," explains Erin River Sunday, a consulting astrologer at Birthdate Co. "The life path number is one of the most regarded in numerology because it's meant to reflect the individual's purpose on Earth. It's also sometimes called the 'Birth Path' or 'Destiny' number, again indicating its association with our soul's recurring themes and ultimate direction in this lifetime."
Your life path number may reveal things about you, like certain personality traits or skills you possess. On the flip side, it can also point to some of your shortcomings that you might have to work to overcome.
How to calculate your life path number
Finding your life path number involves a simple bit of math, so get out your notepad.
Sunday explains, "The life path number arrives through a simple calculation of adding up all the numbers of your birthdate. This includes the month, day, and year. When they’re added together, a number 0-9, or 11, 22, or 33 will result, and it is referred to as your life path number."
She notes that you'll want to reduce the month, day, and year of birth to a single digit and reduce from there. Any zeros are removed, so a 20 becomes a 2, for example. Numbers 11, 22, and 33 aren't reduced any further because they're master numbers.
Here's an example Sunday gave to illustrate the concept:
If your birthday is July 14th, 1991, that would be 7 + 5 + 2 = 14, and then 1 + 4 = 5. So, this person would have the life path number 5.
The 7 is for the month (July), we got 5 from adding the 1 and 4 in the 14th, and then we take the year and add each number individually as 1 + 9 + 9 + 1 to get 20. Remember, we remove all zeros, so we end up with 2. You add the 7, 5, and 2 to get 14, and then break it up as 1 + 4 to get 5 as the life path number.
If it seems too complicated, or you don't think you did it correctly, you can always use one of the many life path number calculators that are available online.
Life path number meanings
- Life path 1: If your life path number is 1, you're active, confident, inventive, and thoughtful, according to Sunday. These people make good entrepreneurs.
- Life path 2: According to tarot reader and energy healer Dilosh from Girl & Her Moon, people with this life path number are usually peace lovers who are good at being diplomatic and mediating disputes. They also tend to be emotional, sympathetic, and nurturing.
- Life path 3: Sunday explains that people with this life path tend to be cheerful, enthusiastic, funny, and communicative. If this is your life path, you probably love to entertain.
- Life path 4: If your life path number is 4, some of the words Dilosh says might describe you are: logical, intelligent, stable, orderly, serious, realist, and pragmatic.
- Life path 5: The words Sunday uses to describe people with this life path are adaptable, brave, charming and social. These people like being the center of attention.
- Life path 6: Dilosh notes that people with the life path number of 6 are known to be responsible, loving, empathetic, comforting and affectionate.
- Life path 7: According to Sunday, those with this life path number are typically dignified, natural, scientific, and studious. You probably enjoyed school, and maybe even went into education as a career.
- Life path 8: People with life path number 8 are real go-getters, according to Dilosh. You're probably ambitious, goal-oriented, and a high-achiever.
- Life path 9: If this is your life path number, you're artistic, compassionate, dramatic and philanthropic, according to Sunday. She notes that people with this life path number infuse everything they do with a deep sense of exploration.
If you're calculating your life path number and come across an 11, a 22, or a 33, that's what numerologists call a master number.
"Numerologists associate these repetitive numbers with great power and 'old soul' energy," explains Sunday. "There's an inherently nervous energy to master numbers that's begging to be channeled. People who find them in their name or life path will likely feel a strong pull towards achievement, self-sacrifice, and ultimate transformation in their lifetime."
According to Dilosh, the master number 11 is associated with people who are spiritual messengers, peacemakers, artists, healers, counselors, sensitive, perceptive, passionate lovers, patient, and musical, among other things.
If you find the master number 22 in your life path number, you may be a romantic or dreamer who uses your dreams and visions to inspire others, according to Dilosh.
The master number 33 means you are someone who has a spiritually empowering influence on others. Some of the other words Dilosh uses to describe people with this master number are generous, kind, humble, protective, understanding, creative, and charming.
McGee points out that finding your ultimate life path is a journey. "[It] requires self-reflection, experimentation, and an open mind," she points out. Once you've calculated your life path, McGee recommends taking the following steps...
Step 1: Start by reflecting on your values, passions, and strengths. Take some time to think about what you value, what you enjoy doing, and what you're good at. These can be good starting points for exploring potential paths.
Step 2: Don't be afraid to try out different jobs, hobbies, or activities. You never know what you might discover. This step can help you find out what you like and what you don't like and what you're good at.
Step 3: Once you've identified a potential path, start taking small steps toward it. Make a plan of action and set realistic goals for yourself. For example, if you desire to become a musician, why don’t you start learning how to play the violin?
Bottom line: While your life path may lead you in a totally different direction than what you were expecting, we're confident you'll learn so much about yourself in the process. Adapt as you go, and trust yourself.
Jamie Ballard (she/her) is a freelance writer and editor who covers news, lifestyle, and entertainment topics, including sex and relationships, TV, movies, books, health, pets, food and drinks, pop culture, shopping, and personal finance. She regularly contributes to Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, Good Housekeeping, and YouGov, among other publications. When she’s not working, you can find her running, traveling, or scrolling TikTok. Follow her on Twitter.
Ysolt Usigan is a lifestyle writer and editor with 15+ years of experience working in digital media. She has created share-worthy content for publishers Shape, What To Expect, Cafe Mom, TODAY, CBS News, HuffPo, The Bump, Health, Ask Men, and Best Gifts. A working mom of two, her editorial expertise in parenting, shopping, and home are rooted in her everyday life.