I love learning about new ways to define a person’s aura, especially my own. But as much as I want to be into astrology, I just don’t vibe with my sign. I wish I were the daring, vivacious being my Aries sign says I am, but to be honest, that’s not fully “me.” Passionate and confident? Sure. But impulsive? No. Social butterfly? Definitely not. It was this incongruence that got me into numerology.
If you, too, don’t fully connect with your astrological sign, numerology might offer you an additional layer of explanation. Similar to astrology, numerology replaces signs with numbers to help explain your role in life. And just like the zodiac, each of the numbers has a ruling planet that bestows a unique set of traits.
Numerology is pretty ancient, and is typically attributed to the teachings of the Greek philosopher Pythagoras (yes, that dude who gave us the math theorem we used in high school). He believed that numbers tended to pop up in the universe, each with their own individual meanings, and created a system for interpretation which has been expanded upon endlessly in modern times. Which is to say, there are lots of potential number calculations you could make for your own life, but the most popular and common is the Life Path Number.
Figuring out your Life Path Number is easy; all you need is your birthday. I’ll use mine as an example: I was born on March 24, 1992, a.k.a. 3/24/1992.
The first number I get is correlated with my month of birth (March), which is easy: 3.
The next number is from the date of my birth, 24. In numerology, all double-digit numbers are broken down into individual numbers, meaning 24 is actually 2+4, so my second number is 6.
The last number is from my year of birth, which is 1 + 9 + 9 + 2 = 21, which breaks down to 2 and 1, leaving us with 3.
Finally, I add all those together (3 + 6 + 3) to get 12, which, broken apart and re-added (2+1), becomes 3.
Therefore, my Life Path Number is 3, which means I am creative and expressive—a writer! Ha! If I consider my Life Path Number and my zodiac sign, it seems to capture a better picture of who I am: someone who’s had confidence in self-expression and pursuing a creative path. But it also suggests qualities similar to other zodiac signs, hinting, perhaps, at my astrological alter-ego. This makes sense when I consider that each Life Path Number has a ruling planet, just like every sign does in astrology.
If you’ve never quite connected with your sign, or are looking for an additional insight into how the planets affect your personality, numerology might be the answer. Calculate your Life Path Number and then read on to determine your ruling planet and which traits you’ve inherited via your astrological alter-ego. Does your Life Path Number suit you?
Ruled by: Sun
Astrology Alter-Ego: Leo
Ones are born leaders, and ruled by the Sun—just like the Zodiac’s king, Leo. You are confident, vivacious and take-charge, whether you’re organizing a team at work or helping your best friend plan her very low-key but highly memorable birthday party. You march to the beat of your own drum, and others tend to follow. Your individualism is both eye-catching (think bright colors, bold trends in fashion) and assertive (you always share your thoughts and opinions).
Ruled by: the Moon
Astrology Alter-Ego: Cancer
Just like Cancers, Twos in numerology are also ruled by the Moon. You are open, expressive, balanced, and peaceful. You’re usually playing mediator whenever your friends get in a fight, and lend a listening ear whenever your siblings can’t figure out how to deal with their work problems. You are highly sensitive and loyal; the only thing that bothers you more than a disagreement with your family or partner is seeing one of them upset.
Ruled by: Jupiter
Astrology Alter-Ego: Sagittarius, Pisces
Ruled by Jupiter, Threes are imaginative, creative, dreamy, and upbeat, often with a “youthful” energy. You share your adaptability and gift of self-expression from Sags, and your creativity and emotionality from Pisces. You’re the artist of numerology, so you probably enjoy writing, acting, painting, or creating. You might be seen as a bit flighty to others, but you are tenacious about your values and pursuits.
Ruled by: Uranus
Fours almost never live by common conventions, just like innovative and unique Aquarians. You’re an independent-thinker, and quite spiritual, as at home in nature as you are in the company of your closest friends (of which you have plenty). You love taking something basic (a t-shirt, a tiny apartment), and adding your own signature flare. You’re also conscientious and intuitive, easily able to dodge around crappy weather or a fight brewing between your brother and parents over the holidays.
Ruled by: Mercury
Astrology Alter-Ego: Gemini, Virgo
Fives are quick-witted, quirky forces of nature, ruled by Mercury—just like Gemini and Virgo in the Zodiac. Your intellect is incredible; you’ve always got a witty one-liner, sharp comeback or solution to the problem at hand. You get your energetic nature and free-spiritedness from Gemini, with your rational mind and problem-solving skills from Virgo. You’re also surprisingly grounded; you live in the moment, but you’ll always come back home (whether that’s a place, long-rooted passion or partner).
Ruled by: Venus
Astrology Alter-Ego: Taurus, Libra
Just like their planetary ruler implies, Sixes are lovers — sensual, romantic, always looking for beauty (in the world, yourself, others). You share your desire for life’s finer things with Taureans, and your soft, balanced personality with Librans. You throw your heart and soul behind everything, whether you’re raising awareness for a personally meaningful cause, studying for your higher degree, or aiming to get into a niche field. You’re most at home in relationships, and you have impeccable taste.
Ruled by: Neptune
Astrology Alter-Ego: Pisces
Neptune is a highly spiritual planet, representing dreams, truth, empathy, and depth. Sevens embody this serenity and idealism, much like their Zodiac counterpart in Pisces. You love to explore emotionally and intellectually, and are most at home when you’re on your own—reading, writing, researching, or just pondering. You don’t find much value in convention, typically feeling drawn to people who are misunderstood or eccentric. You’re bright and hold tons of knowledge, but are never showy; very few people “get” you on a deeper level, although you easily understand others.
Ruled by: Saturn
Astrology Alter-Ego: Capricorn
Ruled by Saturn, Eights seek inner balance and external achievements above all else—much like steadfast, tough-minded, duty-bound Capricorns. You are likely ambitious and even-keeled, your cool exterior hides an inner-kindness and desire to connect with others. You’re very rule-driven, often struggling to step outside the box to try a foreign cuisine or see a challenging POV. But you will for those you love. Eights are incredibly loyal and desire security both financially and in relationships.
Ruled by: Mars
Astrology Alter-Ego: Aries, Scorpio
Just like the Zodiac’s two bold fire signs Aries and Scorpio, Mars-ruled Nines are impulsive and confident with strong personalities and opinions to match. You’re a leader by nature, but have no problem going against the grain if others don’t get on board—solo-traveling through Europe, or quitting your job to work on a startup idea. You have a humanitarian spirit, often unusually perceptive and engaged in the bigger picture; your goal is always to explore, express, and create as a means of giving something back to the world.
There are two times you don’t reduce the final double-digit number in numerology, and that’s with 11 and 22—the system’s “master numbers.” Elevens combine traits of both Ones (two 1s) and Twos (1 + 1), meaning they are geared toward innovation and leadership, but also drawn to community and bringing others together. Twenty-twos are a lot like Elevens, but with even more uniqueness and independent-thinking, á la the Four. Just think of these two numbers as the most intense and individualistic.
GIF by Madeline Montoya.