What is Numerology?

The simplest way I can explain it is that numerology is the study of numbers and their associated meanings and/or the practice of translating words or letters into numbers and then correlating them to certain meanings.

St. Augustine said, “Numbers are the Universal language offered by the deity to humans as confirmation of the truth.” Whether you find these meanings simply fun and interesting, or you believe they have a divine/mystical origin, that’s completely up to you! As always the guiding principle in this school will be to take what works for you and to leave the rest <3

Numerology has existed since numbering systems were created and many mystics throughout the ages have preferred numerology to other esoteric studies because numbers were considered more ‘practical’ and tangible.

There are many ways we can use numerology today for self development and magical study. There are several key numbers in your life that can give you insight into your personality and journey/purpose in this life.

Your birthday leads to your life path number. Your name is a hugely important ‘number’ in many numerology systems. And one of the most helpful numbers that I love to reference is your personal year number (essentially your ‘theme’ for the year).

In this post I’ll be sharing the traditional associations for each number and then linking below instructions on how you can start digging in and calculating your name number, life path number, personal year cycle, and more.

Numerology will also help you understand the meaning of tarot cards as all 78 cards each have their own numerological association; astrology relates heavily to numerology as well.

And if you’re looking to deepen your spirituality or belief in divinity I love looking for repeating numbers on license plates, phone numbers, street signs – anywhere you see numbers.

I like noticing repeating numbers since it feels like a little message from the Universe. I firmly believe that much of magic is simply paying closer attention to your body and the world around you, so this can be a fun and easy place to start.

For our purposes here in this space I’ll be talking about Pythagorean/Western numerology, but there are many other fascinating numerological systems – Kabbalah and gematria, the Abjad numerals in Arabic, Chinese numerology, and Chaldean numerology are some big ones. Here is a great place to start if you’re interested in other systems!

Pythagoras, the Greek mathematician, philosopher, and mystic, believed that reality is mathematical, that numbers set a limit to the unlimited, and that all concepts could be expressed in numbers. He sought the meaning of the universe and existence through numbers.

On that lofty goal, let’s get started!

‘Zero’ originated started as the Hindu word for ‘blank,’ came to Arabic as the word for empty ‘ṣifr,’ and when it reached Italy it turned into the latinized version ‘zephirium’ until it was italianized to zero.

By itself 0 represents emptiness, the void, darkness, limitless possibilities, and rebirth. It’s associated in astrology with Pluto because of it’s deep, changing, and questioning nature.

Because every letter in Western numerology is associated with a number 1-9 and because there is no 0/0 month and day, you’ll never have 0 by itself as a key number for you. When you find it in a number such as 10 it adds emphasis to the number in front of it, but disappears when you reduce it. For example, October as a birth month is 10 but the 0 by itself has no value so it simply reduces to 1.

#1 is the Leader. It represents ‘man’ standing by himself, our independence and ego. It is a pioneering number and as it’s the first number it represents new beginnings, vitality, and originality. People with strong 1s take charge and crave risk, excitement, competition, and originality. Without this energy we wouldn’t have the willpower, daring, and determination to go after new things.

A 1 personal year is all about developing self-confidence, taking responsibility for your words and actions, learning to be a tolerant and patient leader, and the ability to be independent and whole by yourself.

In astrology 1 is associated with the Sun – life giving, creative, bright, confident, ambitious, and vital. In tarot the 1s represent new beginnings, opportunities, and potential.

#2 is the Harmonizer. It’s associated with motherhood, the feminine, partnerships, balance, caring, and harmony. It is a mediator, a considerate and intuitive energy that seeks to find compromise and peace. It craves security, union, cooperation, understanding, and is very idealistic. Without this energy we wouldn’t find peace and equilibrium within ourselves and our relationships.

A 2 personal year will be about learning to find stability within relationships, balance and harmony, and finding peace within yourself. Deepen your relationships with others and dig deeper into your own emotions to see where you need to bring some love and compassion towards yourself.

In astrology 2 is associated with the Moon – emotional, peaceful, balanced, and sensitive. In tarot the 2s represent choice, balance, partnership, and duality.

#3 the Child. It’s creative, free-spirited, friendly, sociable, imaginative, and sometimes a bit spoiled. It doesn’t think too much about consequences or the future, but instead represents a big, intense, excited energy of expansion and communication. Without this energy we wouldn’t dream of the future, we wouldn’t know what it’s like to have a new idea and run with it or what it’s like to feel spontaneous, creative, and free.

A 3 personal year you’re learning how to allow your energy to expand. Rather than being slow and steady, withholding and stagnant, you’re here to burst forth into ecstatic expression. Let all that pent-up energy inside run free and see where it wants to go without applying too much logic or letting yourself feel self-conscious. Meet new people, share your ideas, and allow yourself to be externally focused rather than spending too much time on self-reflection.

In astrology 3 is related to Jupiter – adventurous, joyful, and creative. I’d also associate it with Mercury – expressive and communicative. In tarot the 3s are about community, finding support, and growth.

#4 is the Foundation. It represents home, building, laws, stability, and hard work. People with a lot of fours march to the beat of their own drum, they are trustworthy, honest, unique, and accomplish what they set out to do. It also takes on the role of the teacher, finding systems and practices that work and sharing those processes with others. Without this number we wouldn’t have the grounding to build from. After ‘man,’ woman, and child (1, 2, 3) next comes the foundation of a ‘home.’

A 4 personal year is the time to get your foundation in order, literally and figuratively. Tend to your living space, your finances, your family, and your body. This year you’ll crave security, order, and the calm, steady confidence that comes from having your sh*t together.

In astrology 4 is associated with Uranus – self-disciplined, helpful, and logical. I don’t 100% vibe with Uranus being #4, for me the sign of Cancer is the strongest association since it craves home, family, and stability. The 4s in tarot represent stability, reflection, and manifestation.

#5 is the number of Exploration. From the stability of the four we begin to crave change, innovation, travel, rebellion, and movement. This number wants to be different than others and to not follow social norms. It’s an odd number so it’s a number of action and impulse. It’s curious and enthusiastic. Without this number we’d be ‘safe’ at home all the time and wouldn’t crave freedom and growth. It propels us to leave our security and expand out into the world.

A 5 personal year is all about leaving your comfort zone and exploring – your creativity, new places, new connections, new ideas. Allow yourself to be passionate, to take risks, to stand up for your views and opinions that are different from others, and to travel to new places big and small.

In astrology 5 is associated with Mercury – adaptable, curious, and freedom-loving. I also strongly identify it with the sign of Leo – passionate, creative, and youthful. The 5s in tarot are associated with change, instability, and conflict.

#6 is the Nurturer. It represents family, marriage, responsibility, abundance, and taking care of your surroundings. It teaches us to have trust in ourselves and our communities and that we must work together to all be taken care of and provided for. Without it we’d be missing a sense of belonging, cooperation, and loving support.

A 6 personal year is about finding harmony and stability in your larger family and/or community. It’s also a year to appreciate the beauty in your life and to enjoy things like art, music, food, and celebration. If the odd numbers are expansion and action the even numbers are all about resting and gratitude and savoring things before growing and changing again.

In astrology 6 is associated with Venus – trust, harmony, family, and compassion. In tarot the 6s are associated with cooperation, communication, and balance.

#7 is the Seeker. It is a number connected with spirituality, wisdom, mysticism, solidarity, and philosophy. It seeks to understand the mysteries of the universe and often withdraws for reflection and intellectual contemplation. Without this number we wouldn’t pause to consider our life in a deeper way. It invites us to see beyond ourselves, not just in terms of larger communities like in 6 but in terms of life and death, spirituality, and evolution.

A 7 personal year is all about deep thought and considering your existence. It’s an odd number so it propels us toward change but this number in particular isn’t so much about external change, it’s more about our desire to find more meaning in life and a connection to a higher power, whether that is our own higher self or divinity.

In astrology 7 is associated with Neptune – wise, intuitive, and unique. The 7s in tarot are associated with knowledge, reflection, and assessment.

#8 is the Leader. It represents money, power, courage, authority, achievement, and vision. It is pure drive and our ability to create success. It seems like an odd combination considering that it’s an even number of rest between the spirituality of seven and the completeness of nine, but the more I consider it, it makes sense. Once we have found our place in the Universe there isn’t anything standing between us and what we know we must create. We can see clearly and the things we desire come more naturally and powerfully than they did before.

An 8 personal year involves accepting your innate talents and strengths, finding ‘success,’ however you define it, and working towards your goals and vision with a surge of energy. It is also a year to work on your self confidence, owning and accepting your desire for career and financial security, and allowing yourself to be a ‘master’ at the things you’re good at.

In astrology 8 is associated with Saturn – ambitious, successful, and practical. The 8s in tarot are associated with mastery, action, and accomplishment.

#9 is the Humanitarian. I half-jokingly call it the ‘grandparent number’ because it’s the ending of a cycle. It’s energy is compassionate, generous, idealistic, and desires to leave the world a better place by sacrificing time, energy, and money for the good of others. After the journey through partnerships, family, community, success, and creativity this number reflects on life’s mysteries and experiences and seeks to give and to help others flourish before it’s own cycle starts again. If you have a lot of 9s in your chart you’ll definitely get called an ‘old soul’ a lot!

A 9 personal year is a year of reflection and taking stock of the previous eight years of your life. It’s a time of withdrawing into your own council and thinking about your choices and experiences so that next year you can start anew. It’s a year where you seek to use your gifts and strengths and wisdom to help others. It’s a hard year, sometimes, if you have a lot to ‘account for’ or you’ve gone through a lot of change, but by the end you should feel very at peace!

In astrology 9 is associated with Mars – active, determined, and helpful. The 9s in tarot are associated with fruition, attainment, and wisdom.

Technically after number 9 the cycle repeats itself. 10 is reduced to 1, 11 is reduced to 2, and so on. But there are some traditions that read into repeating numbers aka ‘Master Numbers’ and I find it fascinating, so I thought I’d share!

Number Eleven is considered the master Healer. It has the clarity and power of double 1s but also the balance and nurturing nature of the 2. If you have a 11/2 life path you are idealistic, intuitive, and considerate.

Number Twenty-Two is considered the master Builder. It has the analytical and creation abilities of the 4 but the balance and vision of the double 2s. If you have a 22/4 life path you are intuitive, inspiring, and grounded.

Number Thirty-Three is considered the master Teacher. With the communication abilities of the double 3s and the nurturing and caring of the 6 a 33/6 life path is the perfect energy to empower and guide others.

After that point it’s rare that the combined numbers in a birthdate would add up to higher, but theoretically you could keep going with 44, 55, etc.


What are your lucky number(s) and what meaning do they have?

What numbers make up your phone number, your license plate, your apartment/home? Take a look at passwords and pin numbers and the next time you need to change them you can choose a number that represents your current aspirations!

Calculate your life path number here and then I recommend Felicia Bender to read about life path numbers and personal year numbers. I love the useful and straightforward way she explains them.

Check out your ‘name’ number aka your Expression/Destiny Number here.

Further Reading

Biddy Tarot’s tarot + numerology overview where the tarot correspondences came from!

Repeating numbers guide from the AstroTwins

Café Astrology’s Numerology overview

You may also like