What Numerology Is All About + How To Calculate The Core Numbers That Define You

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woman's face behind swirling numbers

When you think of the Universe and everything in it, it seems a little chaotic, right? But when you strip everything down to its most basic identity, it all comes down to numbers.

In a spiritual sense, numbers are the answer to everything.

Whether you know it or not, you (just like everyone else) already find meaning in numbers. Birthdays, anniversaries, lucky numbers — they all mean something to you, right? Numerology is the same.

What is numerology?

Numerology is a study of numbers and how they fit into our lives. Like astrology, numerology is another way to learn about the world around us and ourselves as individuals in a spiritual way.

We as people already depend on numbers for so many things in our lives. With numerology, you have a chance to take those numbers that already have meaning and use them to learn more about who you are as a person and what your role in the world is.

Numerology takes names and numbers and links them together. Each letter and number has a specific vibrational frequency attached to it, which connects the two.

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The importance of numbers in everyday life is credited to Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher who changed the way we use numbers in the modern world today.

When it comes to the study of numerology, it isn’t just how numbers present themselves in our lives that is important. It’s also about connecting the unique personality of each number to individuals to help them understand their life’s purpose.

You can think of individual numbers and numerology as a whole as guides to help you stay on the life path created for you by the Universe.

When you pay attention to how numbers manifest themselves in your life, you may notice patterns or trends that are there to help you learn more about what your purpose is on this earth.

How does numerology work?

As mentioned, numerology takes letters and numbers, and assigns vibrational frequencies to them. This is done for single-digit numbers 1-9, as they are the basis for every other number that exists, as well as for Master Numbers 11, 22, and 33.

Each of these numbers and their vibrations are associated with specific personal traits for an individual.

Every number can also be reduced to a single digit by adding up the numbers that comprise it; the unique meanings of these single-digit numbers relate to a larger meaning that can be further deciphered in a numerology reading by a numerologist. Master Numbers work a bit differently, as they cannot be reduced any further to single digits.

Additionally, numerical value can be assigned to letters of the alphabet, depending on what kind of number you are trying to determine, specifically your destiny number. The mathematical formulas that occur as a result of each letter add up to give specific insight on a person's traits.

What are the other types of numerology?

There are several different types of numerology methods.

While the western form of numerology is based on Pythagorean numerology, using numbers 1-9 and letters A-Z, there is also Chaldean numerology, Kabbalah numerology, Abracadabra numerology, and New Kabbalah numerology.

Chaldean numerology: Originating in Babylonia, Chaldean numerology is based on numbers 1-8, and uses a person's current name rather than their birth name. Numbers associated with letters do not occur in alphabetical order (i.e., A does not equal 1, B does not equal 2, and so on).

Kabbalah numerology: Based on the Hebrew alphabet, this type of numerology only has 22 vibrations and results are determined through the meaning of an individual's name.

Abracadabra numerology: Generally the least popular form of numerology, Abracadabra numerology is based on a person's first name, using a series of triangles and numerical values to deduce information about that person. Letters add up to 365, representing an entire year.

New Kabbalah numerology: Developed by using the modern Roman alphabet, New Kabbalah numerology concerns itself with events rather than a person's traits. This type of numerology relies on Pythagorean methods to determine specific time periods.

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Types Of Numbers & Numerology Charts

While most people may only be concerned with Life Path numbers, there are several numerology charts you can determine, including your birth date number, expression number, soul urge number, power number, and personality number.

Your Life Path Number

Some say that your Life Path Number is the most important number to know because it is what best helps you understand who you are, what kind of life you are meant to lead, and the lessons you will learn as you achieve your life purpose.​

Your Life Path Number is determined based on the day, month and year you were born.

How to calculate your Life Path Number: While you can use a Life Path calculator, you can also do so manually by adding all the numbers in your birth date (MM/DD/YYYY) until you get to one singular number.

Here's an example:

Write out your birth date: April 26, 2001

April = 4

26 = (2 + 6) = 8

2001 = (2 + 1) = 3

Add the total numbers from each group: (4 + 8 + 3) = 15 = (1 + 6) = Life Path 7

When calculating your Life Path Number, you do not want to reduce the double-digit numbers 11, 22 and 33, as they are Master Numbers. For example, if you were born on the 11th or 22nd of the month, you would not add 1 and 1 or 2 and 2 to get a reduced number.

Additionally, if you were born in 1993, you would not reduce 1 + 9 + 9 + 3, which is 22, to get 4. Instead, you would continue to add the rest of the numbers in your birth date to the Master Number until reduced to one number.

Master Numbers are very significant and influential in the Universe. Because they have such powerful qualities attributed to them, it can be more challenging to master them and integrate them into your personality than the rest of the numbers.

When it comes to reading your Master Number, it’s important to read about your Life Path Number as well because it is the foundational energy that defines your life purpose. In other words, you can’t have 11 without 1, 22 without 2, or 33 without 3, so that number is just as important as your Master Number.

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Your Soul Urge Number / Heart's Desire Number

Also known as your Heart's Desire number in numerology, your Soul Urge Number represents your deepest desires and what truly makes your heart fulfilled.

Your Soul Urge number uses your full birth name to determine your true motivation, urges, intentions, and how you inspire others. Essentially, this number is what you were born to do.

How to calculate your Soul Urge number: Because this number is based on your full birth name, write out your name in its entirety. Then, assign each vowel its corresponding numerical value:

A = 1

E = 3

I = 9

O = 6

U = 3

Y = 7* (Y counts as a vowel when it’s the only vowel sound in the syllable)

Write your full name: MARY ANNE SMITH

Assign each vowel a numerical value: AYAEI = 1 + 7 + 1 + 3 + 9 = 21

Reduce to a single number: 2 + 1 = Soul Urge Number 3

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Your Expression Number / Destiny Number

Your Expression Number, also called your Destiny Number, revels your abilities, personal goals, and your strengths and weaknesses that influence how you follow your life path. This number is how you show up in life, and may also determine hidden traits you didn't know you possessed.

How to calculate your Expression/Destiny Number: Your Expression Number is determined using your full birth name, where each letter, both vowel and consonant, correlates with a specific numerical value:

A, J, S = 1

B, T, K = 2

L, C, U = 3

M, D, V = 4

N, E, W = 5

O, F, X = 6

P, G, Y = 7

Q, H, Z = 8

R, I = 9

Write your full name: MARY ANNE SMITH

Assign a numerical value to each letter:

MARY = 4 + 1 + 9 + 7 = 21

ANNE = 1 + 5 + 5 + 5 = 16

SMITH = 1 + 4 + 9 + 2 + 8 = 24

Add the numbers from each individual name:

MARY = 21 = 2 + 1 = 3

ANNE = 16 = 1 + 6 = 7

SMITH = 24 = 2 + 4 = 6

3 + 7 + 6 = 16 = 1 + 6 = Expression/Destiny Number 7

Your Birth Day Number

Your Birth Day or Birth Date Number reveals your special talents and skills that you were blessed with at birth, which you can now share with the world.

Your Birth Day Number is determined by the day you were born, and is by far the easiest to calculate!

How to calculate your Birth Day Number: You can find your Birth Day Number by simply knowing the day you were born. So, for instance, if a person's date of birth is May 14, 1992, their Birth Day Number is 14.

Note that this number is not reduced and can include a double-digit figure.

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Your Personality Number

Your Personality Number is the side of you that you allow others to see; it's the part of you that you show openly to the world.

Similar to your Rising sign in astrology, this is the way others perceive you. So, rather than hiding a certain part of who you are, your Personality Number highlights the persona you want others to know.

How to calculate your Personality Number: Your Personality Number is calculated using the consonants in your full name, using the numerical values correlating to each letter:

J, S = 1

B, K, T = 2

C, L = 3

D, M, V = 4

N, W = 5

F, X = 6

G, P, Y = 7

H, Q, Z = 8

R = 9

Write your full name: MARY ANNE SMITH

Determine the consonants: MRY NN SMTH

Assign numerical value to each consonant:

MRY = 4 + 9 + 7

NN = 5 + 5

SMTH = 1 + 4 + 2 + 8

Add the numbers together:

4 + 9 + 7 + 5 + 5 + 1 + 4 + 2 + 8 = 45

Add the two digits and reduce to one digit:

4 + 5 = Personality Number 9

Your Power Number

Also known as your Goal/Reality Number, your Power Number is something that can only be calculated when you reach midlife. It's your inner power that has always been in you, but its resonance only becomes more apparent once you reach ages 40-45 or a few years later.

This power energy is used to accomplish your goals, determine how you will make a difference in the world, and find ultimate happiness and satisfaction in life. But this energy takes a year or two to reach its full force, and the person's outlook on life may change in that time.

Once the Power Number's energy is realized, it remains at full force for the rest of a person's life.

How to calculate your Power Number: Your Power Number is calculated by adding together your Life Path Number and Destiny Number. That number is then reduced to a single digit.

For example, MARY ANNE SMITH's Life Path Number is 7, and her Destiny Number is 7.

7 + 7 = 14 = 1 + 4 = Power Number 5

Your Attitude Number

While your Attitude Number may seem similar to your Personality Number, they are quite different. Also called your Sun Number or Achievement Number, your Attitude Number determines the way you present yourself to the world, particularly in first impressions.

This number represents how you act around others and present yourself, as well as the talents and skills you were born with. Note that if your attitude number is similar to your Birth Day Number or Life Path Number, you are influenced by both the positive and negative energies of that specific number.

How to calculate your Attitude Number: Your Attitude Number is determined by the numerical values of your birth month and birth date, but not including your birth year.

Write out your birth date: April 26, 2001

Calculate your birth day and month:

4 + 26 = 30

3 + 0 = Attitude Number 3

Your Psychic Number

Your Psychic Number, also called your Driver Number, determines your basic personality, the way you see yourself, and what you truly desire. This number can also tell you information about your sensory personality, which is based on the connection between numerology and psychic abilities.

How to calculate your Psychic Number: Your Psychic number is determined by your date of birth, excluding your birth month and year.

Write out your birth date: April 26, 2001

Add up your birth day if it's double digits:

2 + 6 = Psychic Number 8

Karmic Debt Numbers

While Karmic Debt numbers aren't something you can calculate, they do appear in your chart. Karmic Debt Numbers are lessons that you take from one life to the next, and each determines a specific set of challenges an individual will need to work through.

The Karmic Debt Numbers are 13, 14, 16, and 19. If any of these numbers appear when you're calculating any of your core numbers (your Life Path Number, Expression/Destiny Number, Personality Number, Birth Day Number and Soul Urge Number), you are carrying karmic debt.

While this may seem discouraging, know that it's more likely than not that you will have karmic debt numbers in your numerology chart. You aren't fated to struggle with bad karma, it just means you have difficulties to overcome.

Angel Numbers

Angel Numbers aren't something you can calculate; in fact, Angel Numbers will appear to you, rather than you seeking them out.

Angel Numbers appear as repeating number sequences, which can be spotted anywhere — license plates, the clock, important documents, addresses, and phone numbers.

These Angel Numbers are delivered by your guardian angels who are looking out for you, in an attempt to send you important messages from the divine realm. These messages are meant to keep you on your life path, while helping you fulfill your soul mission or life purpose.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who has written hundreds of articles about relationships, trending news and entertainment, numerology and astrology. Follow her on Twitter for more.