Life-Path Numbers: What They Mean And How To Calculate Them

Numerology dates all the way back to ancient Babylonia and Egypt, but modern-day numerology may not be exactly the same as it was in ancient times. Plus, the name "numerology" was actually coined in 1907 by Dr. Julian Stenton. History aside, those who study and use numerology find that it helps them do everything from figuring out where they put their keys to determining what career path they should take.


One of the numbers used in numerology is the life-path number. This number adds your day, month, and year of birth to determine your destiny. In fact, astrologer Erin River Sunday tells Woman's Day that, "The life path number is one of the most regarded in numerology because it's meant to reflect the individual's purpose on Earth." If you're curious about how to calculate your life-path number and what it all means, there's plenty to learn and a couple of ways to do the calculation.

How to calculate your life-path number

When it comes to calculating your life-path number, online outlets offer up a calculation that is different from what you'll find in many of the numerology books at your local bookstore. The Cut says that you'll want to add your month, then day, then year, and then add them all together. So, for someone born on 11/19/1974, the calculations would look like this: 1+1=2, 1+9=10, and 1+9+7+4=21. You'll then add the double numbers together: 1+0=1 and 2+1=3. Then add those three digits: 2+1+3=6, making this person's life-path number a 6.


However, this calculation spoils the fact that this person is actually a 33, which is a master number and has a different meaning than a 6. That's where the traditional way of calculating comes in, which is adding all of the numbers together in succession: 1+1+1+9+1+9+7+4=33. Buckland's Complete Book of Witchcraft is one place where you can find this specific calculation. There's a reason why you don't want to add those master numbers together when doing your calculations, but we'll talk about that in a moment.

And then there are the master numbers

There are three master numbers when it comes to your life-path number in numerology. Those numbers are 11, 22, and 33. Each of these numbers has an important place in numerology, and those with one of them as their life-path number will fall into the categories of visionary, planner, or messenger. 


They have those traits because the numbers each have a place in the story of creation. The number 11 is the vision of what is to be, 22 is the creation of those things, and 33 is the sharing of what has been envisioned and created, according to GaneshaSpeaks. If your life-path number falls under one of these master signs, it can mean that the universe has some big plans for you. If you don't have a master number, that doesn't mean that you don't have an interesting purpose on earth, though, as you'll soon discover.

Life-path number 1

One place your mind can instantly go to when it comes to understanding the number one in numerology is the beginning. It's the first number, right? Since it is a number for beginnings, you can also look at it as The Fool in tarot — a person who is always up for a new challenge, taking risks, and walking down interesting paths. The trip for ones is a journey of exploration and adventure, and it means constant movement and improvement.


If you are a one, you are a leader who enjoys independence. Because you are a leader, some numerologists see ones as a father figure — a strong, helpful presence to those who follow them. Much like The Fool, your do-it-yourself attitude can sometimes get you into trouble, so it's important for ones to know that they can ask for help. Your destiny to lead doesn't mean you can't have a group of trusted friends to help you get a leg up from time to time.

Life-path number 2

Number two is the number of patience, and that's perfect when it comes to this life-path number. If you are a two, you are considered the mother or the peacemaker. While not always true, moms are often the ones who are most patient and nurturing, and that is just how you are with yourself and the people around you. Although, there are times when you may need to stop focusing on those around you and remember to practice self-care.


Unfortunately, being such a caring person can open you up to being taken advantage of, leaving you at risk of developing trust issues. If you are a life-path number two, you will attract people with your sympathetic nature and would make a great teacher or mentor. One of your talents is likely breaking up arguments and being a negotiator, so you can take these talents into your path of choice when it comes to your destiny and your career.

Life-path number 3

In numerology, three is the number of creativity, which makes threes talented and creative individuals. Threes are also seen as the charismatic bunch when it comes to life-path numbers — you know how to communicate with people, but you love to be the one talking. 


Because threes get so focused on their creativity, your destiny is surely somewhere in the arts. In fact, threes often get so distracted with their creative endeavors that they let other important things in their lives slide. Because you enjoy talking, you'd do well taking up a career as an art teacher, even if you just wanted to host one of those drink-and-paint events that come in and out of popularity. If creativity isn't where you're most focused, but is a passion of yours, be sure to learn balance — as an odd number, you're one to struggle with balancing too many projects.

Life-path number 4

Much like the candle that refuses to be blown out on your birthday cake, number four is one of perseverance. In the case of life-path numbers, you, as a number four are an organized individual with a need to manage things. Because you stick around and make things work, you are the boss of the life path. Your take-charge attitude ensures that things get done on time and even in the right order.


Whether you want to launch your own business or be the leader of a team that's already established, your destiny is surely in leading other people — even if you are only managing yourself, you'll surely get things done. However, you're strong enough to lead hundreds when you put your mind to it. However, work isn't everything, so you want to make sure you take time outside of work for things like hobbies, family time, and getting outside for some fresh air.

Life-path number 5

When you see the number five pop up often, whether it's at 5:55 on the clock or your total was $5.55 at the store, it's the universe telling you that it's time for a change. Five is the number of changes, and when it comes to the life-path numbers, five is a symbol of someone who is free-spirited or looking for an adventure. As a five, you are the type of person who loves a challenge and doesn't fear change.


Because fives are the types that may find it difficult to hold down jobs and relationships, you would do best in a lifestyle that allows you to move about — think traveling journalist or all-out nomad life. Rather than letting boredom mess up your life's prospects, find ways to spice things up, whether it's being more adventurous at work (learning something new or taking the lead on projects) or finding a new adventure to go on for your next vacation.

Life-path number 6

Those with six as their life-path numbers are the lovers — you live life, love people, and you love being a helper. In fact, some would call you the caregiver of your family or your friend group. Helping others comes naturally to you, but because you're willing to be friends with anyone, you sometimes get taken advantage of. 


Rather than giving your compassion away for free, if you are a six, consider going into work in a caregiving field — from therapist to nurses aid, there are many options. If you already feel content on your current life path helping people without that being your job, you can also consider volunteering as a way to help people while still keeping boundaries that help you protect yourself from being used. Just because someone seems helpless, that doesn't mean they have the best intentions in mind for pulling you in to assist them.

Life-path number 7

Lucky number seven is a sign of personal growth. In terms of life-path numbers, this is the person who seeks out new opportunities and loves to keep learning and growing. You love wisdom, which also means you love to talk to people — whether you're telling them about something you've learned or you're hearing about their adventures and learning something new through them. 


While sevens don't mind academically connecting with others, they're typically known to be loners — you'd rather have your head buried in a book in the privacy of your own home than attend a social gathering. If you want to get the most out of your need for knowledge, consider attending in-person classes on any subject that piques your interest, whether it be a cooking class or a college course. By getting out of your own head, you can work on keeping your ego in check while experiencing things you can't find inside a book.

Life-path number 8

Before you read on, look at the number eight — what symbol do you see there? It's the infinity symbol! Eight is the number of manifestation and making things happen. Those with this infinite sign as their life path have power and an air of professionalism on their side. Time is on your side, and you are the person that can make things happen simply by putting your focus on chasing your dreams, whatever they may be.


Whether you want to be a leader or a mentor, eights do well when they are in charge, and they find motivation in what successes they can reach — whether it's a monetary value you're shooting for or a specific position within your career path. Eights need to watch out when it comes to their path to success, however, because it can be lonely at the top. Be sure to bring people into your life who have goals but also know how to help you find work-life balance, so you don't burn out.

Life-path number 9

As the final single-digit number, it may come as no surprise that nine is a symbol of completion when in numerology. However, as a nine, your life is not at all complete — you strive to be a helpful person to all you come in contact with. It's likely that the people in your community know your name and know they can come to you for your skills and advice. As a humanitarian, your generosity knows no bounds. 


Before you give all of your energy away to those in need, be sure you're taking some time out for yourself. Nines have a tendency to be giving but often forget to give to themselves. It's also important to know that you don't always have to do everything on your own — don't be afraid to ask for help or enlist volunteers for big projects. One person can't always do everything alone.

Life-path number 11

The number 11 is the first of the master numbers, and in basic numerology, it means individuality. As a master number, people with 11 are visionaries who have the ability to see things beyond what many of us see. They have an innate ability to come up with fabulous ideas, and they somehow always seem to have the energy to follow through with their plans. Folks under this life-path number are also said to have old souls, making them compassionate and caring. 


As an 11, you may love helping people because of your natural tendency as a healer. Use the deep knowledge you've gained in your many lifetimes and the creativity that causes you to always see new ideas to become a spiritual powerhouse. As an 11, you can really be anything you want to be, as long as you're able to envision it. When it comes to negatives — those with 11 life-path numbers sometimes suffer from self-doubt, so be sure to always trust your gut feelings and your visions.

Life-path number 22

As a 22, you are a master at your craft, which makes you able to create something out of nothing and teach those things to the people around you. Because you are a patient soul, people flock to you to gain your wisdom, seek your advice, and enlist your assistance in all sorts of manners. 


As a number with lots of potential, it is important for a 22 to find focus and balance — if you don't hold yourself accountable for reaching your goals, you may flounder. However, as 11 is an old soul with innate abilities for powerful intuition, so, too, are you, as the doubling of that number. In numerology, 22 is all about intuition and divining things that we can't see with the naked eye. While your ability to create what you think and envision comes from your drive to create, you may find it easier to bring things from your mind's eye into reality when you set tangible goals for success. As a builder of worlds, it's important to always have that blueprint to work from so that everything slides into place perfectly.


Life-path number 33

The number 33 is the number of communication, and as a master number, it is a symbol of the messenger — someone who is there to guide others through word, image, or anything creative, really. While 33s have the ability to heal, they tend to be found in careers where they can entertain masses of people at a time, like in the arts, a fitting place for creative individuals.


As the great communicators, it's easy to imagine a 33 working on stage, on screen, or even behind the scenes. While not all 33s are outgoing and looking to be the center of attention, those who want to share their healing abilities with the world by other means would do well as writers and fine artists. From a heartfelt story that brings a smile to someone's face on a bad day to a painting that takes us out of our minds long enough to relax during a stressful moment, the creative 33 is often the one behind these healing creations.

Life-path numbers and compatibility

While you may be able to get a feeling for who'd mesh well in relationships just by what you've already read about life-path numbers, it all depends on whether you believe that opposites attract or like-minded individuals have a better chance for stability. Ones and fives make a great paring because they both have an adventurous side — one as The Fool out on his adventure to start anew and five as the harbinger of change who doesn't mind when things are different. Two and six are the most compatible of all of the numbers, combing patience and love into a healthy combination. 


Three and seven combine creativity and a love for learning, making for a partnership that is filled with personal growth as long as loner seven is able to quell threes need to be a social butterfly. Four pairs just as well with seven and two, but as the number of perseverance, there's a chance they can make things work with multiple life-path numbers. Eight will find love with four and six, while nine also pairs well with six, as well as three or another nine.

When it comes to the master numbers, they pair well with single digits but may make the best of things if paired with another master. Two 11s may be a perfect match, while an 11 and a 22 will find new ways to communicate, and an 11 and 33 can be great if they work hard for it.