The Life Path is based on the date of birth and can be calculated three different ways.
Some numerologists simply add the numbers as they appear in the date of birth. Applying this technique, the birth date of May 15, 1949 would be calculated as follows: 5 + 1 + 5 + 1 + 9 + 4 + 9 = 34. The resulting double-digit number 34 is then further reduced by adding the two digits 3 and 4 to arrive at 7. Most numerologists will note the double-digit number behind the single digit as well and would write down 34/7 as the Life Path. The reason we include the double-digit number is that it influences the nature of the single digit it produces.
A second method sometimes used is adding the three units of the date of birth together and then reducing the result to a single digit. Using the same date of birth of May 15, 1949, we add the 5 month to the 15 day and then add the result to the year 1949. 5 + 15 + 1949 = 1969, which then reduces to (1 + 9 + 6 + 9) = 25, which in turn breaks down to (2 + 5) = 7. Notice that this time the double-digit number behind the 7 is different from the first method we used. The Life Path now appears to be 25/7.
The most commonly used method breaks each unit of your date of birth down to a single digit, and then adds the resulting single digits together to find the Life Path.
The birth date “May 15, 1949” would produce the following calculations:
May, the 5th month of the year = 5
15th day is 1 + 5 = 6
1949 is 1 + 9 + 4 + 9 = 23 = 2 + 3 = 5
The three units of this date of birth have now been broken down to 5, 6, and 5 respectively. Total = 16, whcih in turn reduces to 7. Again, the double-digit number behind the 7 is different as we write 16/7.
Three different methods in this case results in three different double-digit numbers behind the final seven; 34/7, 25/7, and 16/7. We know that the double-digit number is also important, but which one is correct? To answer that question, we have to go a bit deeper into the discipline of numerology.
It is based on the inter-connectedness of the cycles and patterns that form the foundation of all of nature and the recognition that many of these cycles are reflected in the letters in a name or date of birth.
The Life Path is such a cycle (yan often overlooked fact is that the Life Path is actually a cycle). And as the longest cycle in a chart running from birth to death, it is quite logical and beautiful that this cycle is reflected in the date of birth. But by no means does the Life Path cycle stand alone. This cycle is shaped by other cycles, such as the cycles of the month, the day, and the year. If we continue to use May 15, 1949, as our example, the month cycle at the time of birth in this case was a 5 cycle. The day cycle was a 6 (the 15th day reduced to 6). And the year cycle was also a 5. The Life Path is produced by the three cycles in place at the time of birth; the 5, 6, and 5 cycles respectively. But there is more.
One of the most important long-term cycles in a numerology chart are the Period cycles. The Period Cycles reflect the three stages of growth in our individual lives. The First Period Cycle is calculated as the month of birth, in our example (May) 5, and represents the early part of life until approximately age 27 to 36 depending on your Life Path cycle. The Second Period Cycle is calculated as the day of birth, in our example (the 15th) 1 + 5 = 6, and lasts the next 27 years (three full 9-year cycles). The Third Period Cycle is calculated as your year of birth, in our example (1949) 1 + 9 + 4 + 9 = 23 = 2 + 3 = 5, and lasts for the rest of your life.
Another indication of the inter-connectedness of the cycles is that the Life Path Number, in our example a 7, sets the length of the First Period Cycle, the early part of your life. In other words, your Life Path number also indicates the approximate age in which, from a numerology-perspective, you enter maturity which, of course, is also the time when your Maturity Number comes into play.
This inter-connectedness of cycles within cycles and patterns within patterns is part of the foundation of life and certainly lays at the foundation of numerology. This logic is the basis of the calculation of the Life Path. The Life Path Cycle is the sum of the Period Cycles, which in turn reflects the cycles at birth. The third method described above is the correct method and our example therefore has a Life Path of 16/7