Within the practice of numerology, it's believed that we can better understand the world around us by observing numerical patterns in our daily lives. But, this spiritual discipline can also help people better understand their inner world, too. With the help of a simple equation, anyone can discover their Life Path number, a single-digit number that is said to reveal who you are, your deepest values, and the challenges you may have to face.
In order to find your Life Path number, simply take your birthdate and reduce it down to its numerical value. For example, if you were born on July 5, 1989, you'd first identify the separate values of the day, month, and year: July is the seventh month, so its number is seven. Your day of birth is, obviously, five. Finally, your birth year can be reduced down to a single number by adding its digits together (1+9+8+9 = 27) and then adding that sum's digits together (2+7 = 9). So, you now have three numbers you need to add together (7+5+9 = 22) and yet another sum to reduce (2+2 = 4).
Depending on your birthdate, you might end up with another double-digit number after this step — just keep reducing until you get down to a single-digit number. In this example, four would be your Life Path number.
If you're a total newcomer to numerology but are familiar with astrology, numerologist Felicia Bender says to think of it as similar to your Zodiac sign — a representation of both your personality and, in the abstract, your future. "It provides you with what your optimal expression is and also what your tendencies and obstacles will be," she says. In other words, this number can tell you a lot about your personality, but possibly more importantly, it suggests what will be your life's greater purpose.
To use our earlier example, a number four Life Path suggests that you thrive on structure and crave security. When you work within the parameters of your Life Path number by, say, sticking to a steady routine and maintaining your health, you'll feel more present, Bender says. "When we are in alignment with our Life Path purpose, we feel on track, energized, and on point," she says.
By contrast, if you're on a number four Life Path and make risky decisions, splurge on unnecessary expenses, or skip your annual medical checkup, Bender says you're likely to feel out of your element and more than a little aimless. "Everything we experience in our lives has to do with this purpose — everything," she says.