What Is Numerology And How Does It Work?

You already believe, at least a little bit, in numerology, if you have a lucky number and think there's truth to expressions like, "bad things happen in threes." Numerology is the mystical study of numbers, and similar to astrology, believers say it can offer insights on everything from personality traits to what the future holds (via Allure). If you're intrigued by numerology, you're in good company; celebrities ranging from Cardi B to Taylor Swift to Jay Z and Beyoncé have embraced this ancient practice (via Fader), which was founded by ancient Greek mathematician Pythagoras (of the famed Pythagorean theorem.) 

Pythagoras' ah-ha moment that (a² + b² = c²) was something we all had to learn in high school math, but most of us did not learn the more "New Age" theory that this grandfather of mathematics posited: that certain numbers have specific personal, spiritual and predictive meaning to us. Explained numerologist Felicia Bender: "Numbers carry with them not only a quantitative value, like one apples, two apples, three apples, but also a vibration and a frequency," she told Women's Health.

So how can you apply the principles of numerology to better understand your life?

Numerology can give you insight into your life

Your life path number is similar to a horoscope birth chart and will be the basis of all of the numerology insights about your life. You can calculate yours by adding up the numbers in your birthdate. If you end up with double digits, you keep adding together those digits until you reach a single number. So if your birthday is June 5, 1995, you start with your birth year, and add 1+9+9+5, getting the sum of 24. Then you add 2+4 to get 6. You would add to 6 the 6 for June and 5 for the fifth, resulting in 17, or 1+7. That gives you a life path number of 8. Oh, 8. We see you, you overachiever, you (via Numerology.com).

Not sure if you're doing the math right? There are a number of free numerology calculators online. Once you know your life path number, you will have pre-ordained suggestions for your optimal career paths, what to look for in a romantic partner, and yes, what your lucky number actually is for when you've got a lottery ticket or a roulette wheel to spin (via How Stuff Works.

But note that this number is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to numerology; your name also tells a story, as each letter in the alphabet has a numerical value (A=1, B=2, etc.) A psychic advisor can combine these insights with a tarot deck, birth chart and other tools in a more formal reading. If you believe in that stuff, that is.