Using numerology to find your career path

Woman with flower in hair

Imagine that you outlined your journey for this lifetime before you were born. Consider the possibility that you pre-programmed the challenges you’re now facing in your life—with the intention of mastering these powerful lessons in order to live up to the great potential that lies untapped inside you.

This perfect life journey offers you the opportunity to use your gifts and pain as fuel to make the wor ld a better place—if you choose to live up to it. (That choice is left to your free will.) Your original plan was to be an inspired participant in the great human evolutionary adventure. You encoded this road map into the vibrations of the numbers of your birth date and name so that you could tap into that code whenever you needed to remember your destiny. Your greatest potential for this lifetime, your highest, most meaningful work is all clearly outlined in your name and birth date. (And yes, it’s necessary to quiet the mind in order to tap into this inner guidance.)

This code vibrates inside you for a purpose. As you journey through your lifetime your birth code vibrates out a message to everyone you interact with. They sense your path not by the words you speak but by the vibrations they feel from you. And because of this code everyone around you is able to feel the intention of your lifetime and help you stay on track (by adding pain or pleasure to your journey).

That’s what the ancient mystic and Greek philosopher Pythagoras, father of our modern number system, believed when, in 580 B.C., he designed a theory of numbers based on the digits 1 through 9. Pythagoras saw that everything in the universe operated in predictable cycles, and his basic units of measuring each cycle were these digits.

According to Pythagoras each number has a meaning or vibration, and by adding the numbers within your birth date and reducing them to single digits, you reveal the nature of the work you came here to do.

Today we still use the number system Pythagoras created, but we’ve disregarded the core meaning that was central to his system—that each number carries a meaning or vibration that goes beyond mere quantity.

In our left-brained world the higher meaning of numbers went out of favour as we embraced the linear, logical,  quantitative values of numbers.

Yet numbers are our oldest symbols, and they’re fundamentally linked to the abstraction of higher ideas. References to numbers having spiritual or metaphysical meanings can be found in every ancient civilization including those of the Egyptians, Chinese, Hindus, Hebrews (in the kabbalah), and early Christians. Even the Bible gives meanings to numbers in the book of Revelation.

In Pythagoras’s system every number has a positive and negative vibration (which show its potential and challenges). Your destiny number, which is derived from your birth date, contains the vibrations of the greatness you came to achieve—along with the potential pitfalls of your path. By understanding this you can make better choices for your future.

To find the code for your journey, reduce all numbers to the digits 1 through 9—except for two cosmic vibrations, symbolized by the master numbers 11 and 22. These two numbers represent sacred birth paths designed to help humanity evolve. Thus, the numbers 11 and  22 are not reduced to single digits. All other numbers are reduced to
1 through 9 by adding the digits of the entire number together. For example, the number 43 equals 7 (4+3=7). And the number 20 equals 2 (2+0=2).

Every letter of the alphabet also corresponds to these numbers 1 through 9. For example, A1, B2, C3, etc.

Numerology reveals how you outlined your direction for this lifetime and chose the players in your drama (family, friends, and lovers) because they would push you past your limitations and help you rise to your potential. Nothing and no one in your life is an accident.

As you look back at your life and its ups and downs, realize that it was all on purpose to get you to this moment. You, your loved ones, even your enemies, are all co-authors of this grandly designed group evolutionary process.

Here’s a general description of the positive and negative vibrations the numbers represent:

The number 1

Positive aspects: Creativity, self-awareness, willpower, unique vision, forcefulness, individualism, leadership, independence.
Negative aspects: Loneliness, self-centredness, arrogance, bossiness, lack of self-confidence.

The number 2

Positive aspects: Intuition, connection, communication, understanding, sharing, mediation, love, patience, diplomacy, consideration, peacemaking, attention to detail.
Negative aspects: Dependency, loss of self, paranoia, hypersensitivity, cowardice, obsession with meaningless details.

The number 3

Positive aspects: Entertaining, self-expression through writing, movement, or the arts, natural creativity, gifted communicator of ideas, playfulness, fun, beauty, charm, love of limelight, social graces.
Negative aspects: Conceited, cold-hearted, overintellectual, anti-social, verbose, superficial, jealous, lack of focus, accomplishment, or responsibility.

The number 4

Positive aspects: Self-discipline, physical and emotional strength, determination, practicality, hard physical worker, concentration, order, focus, appreciation of rules, regulations, and routine.
Negative aspects: Lack of self-discipline (or overdisciplined), all work and no play, too practical, too cautious, stingy, stubborn, lost in drudgery, inability to see big picture.

The number 5

Positive aspects: Expansion, change, sensuality, sexuality, freedom, passion, adventure, high energy, activity, curiosity, new opportunities, open to others, highly charismatic.
Negative aspects: Lack of discipline, overindulgence, addictions, impulsive, restless, fickle, rebellious, off centre, sensual indulgence.

The number 6

Positive aspects: Social consciousness, family and group responsibility, fairness, creator of group harmony, therapist, healer, clairvoyant, teacher of truth and justice, community, home, and family focused.
Negative aspects: Social irresponsibility, meddling in the affairs of others, slave to others’ needs, overanxious about social problems, self-righteous, obstinate in world opinions, super-critical of loved ones.

The number 7

Positive aspects: Intellectual and spiritual focus, scientific, wise, dignified, refined, sensitive, perfectionist, psychically aware, metaphysical, philosophical, secretive, needs to be alone, studious, bridging gaps between physical and metaphysical, loves mental analysis, acquires by attraction rather than force, is taking a sabbatical from physical world for study.
Negative aspects: Isolated, hypersensitive, withdrawing, skeptical, melancholic, aloof, sarcastic, escapes into drugs or alcohol, seeks perfection in material world rather than in higher knowledge.

The number 8

Positive aspects: Material accomplishment, wealth, power, generosity, career accomplishment, business success, high finance, profitable, executive, authoritative, philanthropist.
Negative aspects: Greed, abuse of power, manipulative, selfishness, bully, cruel, braggart, superficial, materialistic, controlling, stingy.

The number 9

Positive aspects: Humanitarian, selfless service, universal awareness and understanding, compassion for all people, tolerant, generous, accomplished artist or thinker, impersonal, fair, fulfilled, wise, able to let go, highly charismatic.
Negative aspects: Bitterness, sadness, focused on past and loss, sorrowful, selfish, unconcerned about universal conditions such as global warming, extravagant, blames others, wasteful, unable to move forward, uses charisma for wrong purposes.

The master number 11

Positive aspects: Idealistic, refined, visionary, intuitive, artistic, highest plane of intellectual and spiritual advancement,  avant-garde; sees both sides, androgynous, humanitarian.
Negative aspects: Fanatic, delusions of grandeur, egocentricity, dishonesty, perverted, too easily wounded by others, sees greatness only in self, not those around him or her.

The master number 22

Positive aspects: Practical idealism, uses inspired vision for everyday problems, practical genius, creator of the future, master of the material to benefit all humanity, philanthropist, attracts power on every level, international accomplishment, highest form of service to humankind.
Negative aspects: Material greed, get-rich-quick, abuse of power, indifference to suffering, lost in hard work.

Your unique destiny plan—your birth-path number

Here’s a step-by-step guide to figuring out your birth-path number and what that means about your career choices. We’re focusing only on your career path, which is where you’ve chosen to express your gifts and talents—to make the world a better place in your unique way.

In the calculations below, reduce all numbers down to a single digit—except for the master numbers 22 and 11. For example, if you were finding the destiny path for someone whose birthday was September 15, 1951, you would do this:

September =9
15 =6 (1+5= 6)
1951 =7 (1 +9 +5 + 1 =16) (1+6 =7)

Total: 22 (9 month+6 day+7 year=22 master number)

This calculation reveals a 22 master birth path—meaning that this person has the great potential of a 22. As master souls, 22s have chosen to come here to help change the way we live and work. Yet they also have the day-to-day vibration of a hardworking 4. Their challenge will be to live up to the power and inspired brilliance of a 22 while not getting lost in the drudgery and hard work of a 4. Their gift will be to bring inspiration and enlightenment to everyday
practical-life challenges. This mission will be the focus of their highest work.

By the way, this is my birthday. Like many on this path, I spent years lost in the drudgery of the hardworking 4, as a mountaineering instructor, journalist and magazine editor, before stepping up to my big work. I went through several career transitions to get ready for the work I do today.

Calculate your birth-path number here:

Your birth month:
Your birth date:
Your birth year:


Reduced to a single digit:
(Remember, 10 equals 1 (1+0 =1).)

Your birth-path or destined-work number:

Let’s explore exactly what that number means about your career path.

Birth-path number 1

You can’t blend in and get lost in the group. Yours is the destiny of the leader; you must imagine new things, introduce new concepts, delegate the details. People will happily line up behind your unique voice. Don’t let ego and criticism blind you to the gifts of your loved ones, or you’ll end up alone. Nurture the best in others with your powerful leadership.

For example, you’d be fulfilling your destiny as a: cutting-edge designer, editor, consultant, teacher, speaker, author, director, or inventor.

Others with your path include: Nicolas Cage, Truman Capote, George Clooney, Danny DeVito, Walt Disney, Sally
Field, Tom Hanks, Anne Heche, Hulk Hogan, Holly Hunter, Scarlett Johansson, Janis Joplin, Larry King, Martin Luther King, Jr., Carl Sagan, Sting, Barbara Walters, Kate Winslet.

Birth-path number 2

You must work in cooperation with others. You’re a great team player or family member who is happy working in government or large corporations. You’ll be a tower of compassion and support to those for whom you’re responsible. You’ll be great with details, known for your kindness and sensitivity. Beware the pitfalls of hypersensitivity; cultivate a thicker skin to be successful; and don’t get lost in the details.

Examples: public relations executive, secretary, administrative assistant, band musician, researcher for a  pharmaceutical company or publishing house, life coach, counsellor, or hypnotherapist.

Others include: Jennifer Aniston, Orlando Bloom, Meg Ryan, Gene Simmons, Emma Watson, Frank Lloyd Wright.

Master birth-path number 11

You have star quality and creative genius and are capable of the highest forms of artistic creation and inspired ideas. You can potentially change the consciousness of humanity with your artistic gifts—when you use them to help others. You’ll attract great praise and criticism as you live up to your brilliant path. Be wary of going off on tangents, or being oversensitive, and strive to maintain balance, or you won’t accomplish everything you came to do.

Examples: artist, filmmaker, political reformer, diplomat, psychic, mystic, writer, philosopher, musician.

Others include: Prince Charles, Bill Clinton, John Glenn, Katharine Hepburn, Barack Obama, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, John McCain, Paul Simon.

Birth-path number 3

Social grace, playfulness, and beauty are your expressions; you love being onstage or in front of a camera or classroom. Your work must involve creative self-expression and leading others (as a teacher or writer) to find their unique ways to express themselves. Words and ideas are key to your self-expression. Don’t get too stuck in your cerebral viewpoint or you’ll lose the way. Be wary of expecting to be provided for and becoming a financial burden to loved ones. Your gifts
of creativity and teaching should provide a fine living.

Examples: actor, singer, talk- show host, freelance journalist, interior designer, dancer, beautician, fashion model, hostess, social director, elementary school teacher, arts therapist.

Others include: Hillary Clinton, Salvador Dalí, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Winona Ryder, Gloria Vanderbilt.

Birth-path number 4

Practicality, self- discipline, strength, and determination are your gifts. No matter what, you’ll get it done. You’re the work horse who develops efficiency systems with your logical mind and great ability to concentrate; you pare things down to their essential nature. The details of building complex structures come easily to you, so you’re needed to help launch every great project. Don’t get lost in the details, however, or your hard work won’t be as productive.

Examples: accountant, software technician, mathematician, engineer, draftsman, mechanic, ecologist, general contractor, professional athlete, electrician, economist, chiropractor, newspaper journalist.

Others include: Pamela Anderson, Julius Caesar, Leonardo da Vinci, Will Smith, Hilary Swank.

Master birth-path number 22

You’re destined for unparalleled material power and success from making significant, inspired contributions to the way we think and live our everyday lives through business, politics, art, or the humanities. Your work is to guide the less enlightened into a brighter future and teach the most enlightened new principles of forward thinking. Always think big and seek out leaders who will open their doors to you. Your salvation lies in seeing the big picture, following your inspiration, and not getting lost in details, drudgery, or routine.

Examples: political organizaer, architect, public reformer, benefactor, mass media executive, CEO of innovative corporation, film director, author.

Others include: Clint Eastwood, Henry Ford, Hugh Hefner, Linda McCartney, Paul McCartney, Mike Nichols, Brad Pitt, Arnold Schwarzenegger, M. Night Shyamalan, Oprah Winfrey.

Birth-path number 5

Yours is the path of the charismatic adventurer, sensual explorer, freedom seeker and agent of change. You’re not suited for routine or convention. Expansion and fearlessness are your key values. Change is your most powerful ally and guides you through life. You’re a natural salesperson or advertising executive who lives on the road. Marketing and promotion are easy for you, and you’ll thrive with travel, fashion, food, and entertainment careers. Yet you need meaning and
purpose to anchor you, or life will get too chaotic.

Examples: sales, advertising, publicist, foodie, wine connoisseur, travel writer, life coach, actor, professional mountaineering guide, international fashion model, travel-show host, international language teacher.

Others include: Marlon Brando, Ron Howard, Angelina Jolie, Rudolf Nureyev, Isabella Rossellini, Uma Thurman, Lana Turner, Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Birth-path number 6

You have global consciousness, and you’re drawn to work for justice and social order. You’ll bring harmony and enlightenment to communities as an educator, politician, therapist, doctor, intuitive counsellor, or judge. The medical profession, social work, politics and education are all good fits. You may also be drawn to the arts, but as a producer or director responsible for the group. Home and family are essential to your happiness. Be wary of obsessing on the needs
of the group and ignoring your own, which leads to frustration and lack of fulfillment.

Examples: teacher, social worker, therapist, doctor, nurse, civil servant, counselor, parent, cook, choreographer,
film director.

Others include: Hank Aaron, Ben Affleck, George Balanchine, Humphrey Bogart, John Denver, John Lennon, Lindsay Lohan, Christopher Reeve, Meryl Streep.

Birth-path number 7

Your path is mental reflection and internal analysis— studying the higher meaning of life rather than aggressively pursuing success through the world of business. Powerful intuition, refinement, science and philosophy are your destinies in this lifetime of study. You’ll eventually translate that higher knowledge for the masses as a teacher, writer, actor, or designer. The spiritual and mystical call you, and therein lies your ultimate fulfillment. You’ll be happiest
working alone in your highly refined destiny.

Examples: scientist, psychiatrist, psychologist, minister, doctor of divinity, researcher, investigator, science or mystery writer, philosopher, artist, or designer.

Others include: Paula Abdul, Christian Bale, Leonard Bernstein, Johnny Depp, Hugh Grant, George Harrison, Al Pacino, Julia Roberts, Andy Warhol.

Birth-path number 8

Financial success, big business, entrepreneurship, or professional athlete are all on your destined path. You won’t work for minimum wage very long before you become the CEO of the company. You’ll quickly be pulled to the top, where you’ll be recognized for your executive leadership. Power and wealth are your destiny and challenge as you learn to use your power for good in the world. Think big, launch your own company, and avoid power-abuse pitfalls. Overcome greediness by developing compassion and generosity of spirit. Use your abundance to fund the causes you care about.

Examples: manufacturer, CEO, banker, entrepreneur, stockbroker, retail owner, financier, professional athlete, supermodel, publisher, political official.

Others include: Muhammad Ali, Lucille Ball, Joan Crawford, Matt Damon, Jane Fonda, Stanley Kubrick, Paul Newman, Pablo Picasso, Martha Stewart, Shannon Tweed, Tennessee Williams.

Birth-path number 9

Inspiring others with your compassion for the human condition and deep understanding of universal truths, you’ll work with several foundations and schools—as you continually let go of what you’ve finished and move forward gracefully. Your free spirit, broad knowledge, wisdom, and compassion will make you highly charismatic. Your work will be humanitarian, ser vice oriented, and artistically inclined. Mysticism will intrigue you. Don’t get lost in bitterness and disappointment from looking back at the past. Reach out to the unknown future.

Examples: publisher, lecturer, composer, playwright, physician, humanitarian, political leader, international physician, author, philanthropist, found er of nonprofit foundations.

Others include: Jimmy Carter, Harrison Ford, Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, Charles Lindbergh, Shirley MacLaine, Yoko Ono, Elvis Presley, Robert Redford, James Van Pragh.

Career intuitive Sue Frederick’s work, described as “a breath of fresh air” and “an enlightened new perspective,” has been featured in The New York Times, Yoga Journal, Natural Health, and Fit Yoga magazines. To learn more about her work, visit

This article was excerpted from Sue Frederick’s book I See Your Dream Job. Copyright © 2013 by Sue Frederick. If you liked this excerpt, buy the book!

image: Kaity Theriault (Creative Commons BY)