Naturally, this can be confusing. The reason for this confusion is that we haven't learned to prioritize the relative values of each number and its position in a numerology chart.
The Life Path, for example, carries far more weight than the Maturity and Balance numbers. In addition, each member of the core numbers (Life Path, Expression, Heart's Desire, Personality, and Birth Day number) bears special significance to our personality. The Heart's Desire represents your inner needs and motivations - the more private you - while the Personality number reveals the public you; the face, or the mask, you show the world. It is what people recognize first when they meet you. Your closer relationships, however, come in contact with the personal, inner you, your Heart's Desire.
One of the benefits of numerology is to differentiate and to reveal the many aspects of your personality and inner being. It also shows how aspects within you influence each other. What follows is a short course in how to prioritize the numbers of a numerology chart to discern their individual importance, and to show how each aspect of the chart relates to a specific part of your being.
The Life Path number is by far the most important number in the chart. Your Life Path number represents a cycle. The longest cycle of your life, it runs from the first day of your life to the last day of your life.
Perhaps the most important concept to recognize, and probably the least understood, is that all the numbers based on your date of birth reflect something about the "momentum" of your life. The flow, the current which carries you forward, the stream of life. Therefore, every number in your chart derived from your date of birth tells something about the direction of your life, the path you walk on, and the opportunities and challenges you encounter.
Next, read the Birth Day number. In order of importance, the Birth Day number belongs in fifth or sixth place, but it is closely related to the Life Path, and should be seen in connection to it. Follow with your name, where the Expression number, which reveals your talents, abilities, and goals, is particularly important in relation to career.
Then read the Heart's Desire, and understand it as the motivator behind virtually all of your choices, in particular those related to life style and environment. Also, look at the Minor Expression and Minor Heart's Desire as contributing influences to your overall ambitions and personality. The Personality number completes this picture of the core numbers. Remember, while the Personality number is the last of the core numbers, it is the first impression people will get. The Personality number is usually what gets you hired, while the Expression number is the greatest influence on how well you perform. The Heart's Desire number influences the type of conditions you like to work under; alone or with people; in a small non-profit organization, or in a big corporation; in the inner-city or in the country. The Heart's Desire also influences your choice of career.
The core numbers outline the basic personality. The rest of the chart reflects a closer look at you - your many nuances, individual character traits, and strengths and weaknesses.
The Challenges follow, and are, in my opinion, among the most important sources of information flowing from your chart. The Challenges, more than any other number, point to aspects of your personality that you have to work on. They represent the first and most obvious obstacles that stand between you and success.
Follow with the Maturity number, but keep in mind that it does not enter your life until after the early thirties, after which its influence grows more important with age. The Maturity number is a kind of secondary Life Path number. It adds specific challenges, as well as abilities, to your life.
Next, read the Karmic Lessons, which reveal weaknesses or undeveloped areas. Follow with the Hidden Passion, which reveals what you are good at, and what you love to do. Then go to the Subconscious Self, which shows how confident and secure you are in the use of your talents and abilities.
The Balance number stands somewhat apart, but is very revealing, particularly when you are off-balance as a result of emotional turmoil. The Balance number reveals your strengths in turbulent times.
The remainder of the chart is made up of the Bridge Number, Cornerstone, Capstone, First Vowel, Rational Thought number, and Planes of Expression. Each of these areas is well defined in the chart, and is easily identifiable as to the role it plays in your life. Each represents subtle, but important aspects of your personality.
When you study a chart, first look at the individual numbers and their relative positions in the chart. Next, look for numbers that will have a strong impact upon each other. (This is an aspect of numerology that requires practice and takes time.) For example, what happens when a person has a 1 Heart's Desire, an 8 Expression, and a 2 Personality? Or, what does it mean when a person has three 4's among the core numbers, but many letters with the value of 5 in the name? With practice, you will learn to read a chart with confidence and clarity.
Audio Numerology Lecture: The Hierarchy of the Chart. 6 Minutes.