It’s about that time of year where those of us who are numerologically inclined are checking in with ourselves and giving ourselves a “grade” for how we fared with our Personal Year. I must say, many of you are saying something to the tune of: “My Personal Year was nothing like it was supposed to be! What did I do wrong?”

If this is something you’ve said to yourself this year, then let’s dig into each Personal Year and discuss some of the ways it can operate in your individual life.

If you’re new to numerology, here is how to calculate the Personal Year Cycle.

Take your MONTH and DAY of birth and the CURRENT YEAR.

Example: Your birthday is July 25, 1982

• July = 7
• Day = 25; 2 + 5 = 7
• Use the CURRENT YEAR (not the year you were born): 2017; 2 + 0 + 1 + 7 = 10; 1 + 0 = 1

Now add it all together like this: 7 + 7 + 1 = 15; 1 + 5 = 6

In this example, you would be experiencing a 6 Personal Year.

Does Your Personal Year Feel Wrong?

If you’re reviewing your year and wondering what you’ve been doing wrong because you just can’t make sense of it, here are a few ways to understand when you feel frustrated or like it just can’t be right.

1 Personal Year:

Yes, this is a year of new beginnings, initiation, independence, and planting the seeds you want to see grow in the next nine-years. Nothing weighty about that, right?

If it feels wrong: Since this is a year to move forward and launch something, if you haven’t made a determination or a solid decision about what exactly you want to build in your life, then this year will feel stagnant. If you have a lot of remaining “stuff” from last year still flinging mud into the spokes of progress, the 1 Personal Year will be frustrating at best, stultifying at worst. This is a time where you’re being asked to stand on your own two feet and so depending on where you are in the spectrum of “independence” (financially, emotionally, in relationship) then this can feel rather grueling and as though you’re not getting any breaks.

It’s an intense year that can try you on all levels and often you can feel battered and sometimes unsure if the direction you’re heading is the right one. The 1 Personal Year requires courage and decisive action in the face of challenging conditions and circumstances. It can feel wrong when you think that everything should be falling in line without effort or without a few blurred lines along the way. Remember, this is the end of a three-year “push” time of change and transformation. You’re bound to feel a bit fatigued right about now and yet know that if you’ve worked through your challenges with tenacity and action, the seeds you’ve planted this year will blossom during this new cycle.

2 Personal Year:

It’s a year earmarked for slower progress. It’s a time of “percolation” and is designed as a year where relationships take front seat. It’s an emotional year and great for networking, building intimacy on all levels, and a time where your sense of patience and diplomacy will be tested.

If it feels wrong: Perhaps you’re a Type-A personality and the hovering required this year is a “no-go” for you. If you continue to think it’s business as usual and are unwilling to back off just a little bit from pushing and advancing things via your own agenda, then this year can feel like a real kick in the pants. Just when you think things are in order and going your way, most likely it disintegrates right before your eyes as you frantically attempt to put it all back together the way you want it to be. If emotions are a bit foreign or uncomfortable to you, then this twelve months can feel very confusing.

Or alternately, if you’re an emotional person “by nature,” you can get carried away inside the cacophony of emotions and have trouble maintaining balance or equilibrium. One of the tricks of the 2 Personal Year is to follow up with right action while also being acutely aware of when you need to back off or let something develop. Remember, patience is a virtue (I can see that eye-roll!) and delayed gratification can be oh-so sweet.

3 Personal Year:

Many of us look forward to the 3 Personal Year—advertised as a lighter, fun, and social year full of opportunities for self-development and self-improvement. It’s a great year to travel, speak your truth, and dig into your optimism and joy. All things creative and expressive are favored in the 3 Personal Year.

If it feels wrong: So many people get their emotions served up to them on a platter during a 3 Personal Year. This is made even more confusing because its M.O. is that this is—in very simplistic terms—a happy year. Yet look into the vibe of the 3 more deeply and you’ll see that its power lies not in a glassy-eyed or rose-colored glasses approach. It’s about delving deeply into yourself and bringing authentic feelings up and out. If this is something you’re good at, perhaps the 3 Personal Year feels like a frolic on the merry-go-round. If not, this is a year where you’ll have experiences that intensify the need to expose the true you.

Emotions are at the helm and you can feel raw, vulnerable, overwhelmed, and exposed. If you struggle with emotional boundaries, this year can really work you over. It’s also a time where all kinds of creativity is supported and oftentimes that brings in issues related to self-doubt, not to mention inexplicable emotional intensity resulting in some startling highs and lows. Remember, any infusion of creativity into your life is the key to tapping into the magic of the 3 Personal Year. It’s a year to get up-close and personal with your own truth and to speak it with healthy and consistent boundaries. No wonder many people find this to be a very challenging year.

4 Personal Year:

The 4 Personal Year can get a bad rap. Or at least it can metaphorically be viewed as the “icky” vegetables you must eat before you can have dessert. It’s all about formulating goals and aspirations in a clearly defined and actionable way. The 4 Personal Year is a marathon where slow and steady process is rewarded (eventually) over spontaneity and luck.

If it feels wrong: Often people are stoked as they get into the 4 Personal Year and feel the tremendous sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes with getting things in order and clearly defining goals. If you’re already an organized and achievement-oriented personality, the 4 year can be the time where you learn to soar and to roar.

Alternately, if organization, systems-building, and getting serious about your endeavors makes you either fall into a coma or drop everything and head out to the bars. Well. Then it feels wrong and you’ll befall a lot of grief in terms of feeling as though nothing is moving forward and everything takes much more effort than you think it should. Even the simplest things turn into this huge cluster.

Also know that sometimes it can feel wrong if you’re traveling a lot or if there’s a lot of activity since we think about “hard work” being like a ball-and-chain. Not necessarily so. You can be making great strides in setting up foundations for your life and business by hustling. Yet it will all depend where you need the most bolstering—is your job okay yet your intimate relationship is a mess? Perhaps you need to commit to an actual home or geographical location. Maybe you’re in a place in your life where all if it is up in the air.

The energy of the 4 will force you to bring it down to earth in a practical, no nonsense way. Remember, the satisfaction that comes from getting everything in place is priceless. It’s like the feeling of frantically looking for a file on your computer that you need right now and didn’t file it correctly vs. having taken the time to organize your files and know how to access them immediately.

5 Personal Year:

This is the mid-way point in your nine-year cycle. It’s set up as a transition point for change, new decisions, and new directions. It contains an energy that promotes opening up to something new and somehow infuses an imprint of sexiness to you—kind of like a pheromone. It’s a time for exploration, travel, and tapping into anything you feel offers a sense of adventure.

If it feels wrong: This is a year where you benefit from having accomplished the foundational work last year, because now you have things in place and can loosen your tie. If you don’t have things in place, the year can feel like a mental or physical tornado. Or alternately you can hit your “denial” button and just force your way forward business as usual. Even though you know you’re missing something, even if you haven’t a clue what that something might be. And given the energy of the 5 introduces issues related to freedom, you can wrangle with issues and experiences related to restriction—this can show up anywhere you have trigger-points. In relationship. In family matters. With your health. Are you doing anything remotely satisfying with your job or career?

If you’re someone with “rolling stone gathers no moss” tendencies, the 5 can challenge you not to go off the chain and instead direct your energies in a way that’s focused and productive. And one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding the fun, frenetic, and fast-paced 5 Personal Year has to do with fear. Oh yes, that. You’ll be asked over and over again to reach out of your comfort zone and dip your feet into fear-filled waters. If that’s too much for you, the 5 Personal Year can feel like a stagnant pool of water—complete with the stench and swarming insects. Or even more likely, you haven’t opened the door and walked outside to even know that the stagnant pool of water actually exists. Instead you stay well within the lines of comfort, safely, and familiarity—even if it’s uncomfortable comfort, growth-stunting safely, and exasperating familiarly. Remember, this is a year of substantial change.

6 Personal Year:

This year of responsibility and relationship evaluation can offer a heightened sense of purpose and “warm and fuzzy” satisfaction in your home, family, and relationship life. It’s magnetic for business and finances, yet not at the expense of your overall family obligations. This is a time to evaluate how you love, want to be loved, and how you relate to others.

If it feels wrong: This is a “marriage and divorce” year—metaphorically and sometimes literally. And yet it depends on how willing you are to take a deeper look at yourself and how you actually engage in relationships. If you find yourself pointing the finger at everyone else then this can be a frustrating year. The energy of the 6 brings out levels of idealistic expectations about the world at large—and about yourself and others in your closer circle. If you default into critical judgment as the default mechanism then the year can go awry. You can experience serious bouts of miscommunication and misunderstandings with those you love, if not those in your professional life. You’re setting yourself up for disappointments.

The 6 Personal Year can also feel wrong if you fall into the irresponsible route, shunning involvement in building intimacy in your relationship and not paying attention to your home life—especially if you have children or other home-based responsibilities. Feeling exasperated and whiney is the first clue that you’re not in the groove of the 6 Personal Year. How many eye-rolls will it take to step back and reevaluate your perceptions and your stance? It can also feel out of whack if you’ve got blinders on or are in denial about certain key relationships in your life and you’re unwilling to step up to the plate, have some hard conversations, and commit to changing the dynamic. If you choose the “same-o same-o,” the 6 Personal Year will hit you like a wave at high tide. Remember, this is the time to really take a deep dark look at how you relate to both yourself and to others.

7 Personal Year:

The 7 Personal Year can feel like a welcome respite from last year’s focus on everyone and giving your “nurturing all.” It’s a time where you have permission to navel-gaze and engage in a personal hiatus or sabbatical—if not in actuality, internally. This year serves as a vital pause before you head into a three-year “push” time of transition, determination, and change.

If it feels wrong: The 7 Personal Year can rival the 9 Personal Year in an overall “omg” vibe. Most often this is a time of deep evaluation and where core issues come up for review. It’s a time for planning, thinking, researching, learning, and processing. Processing. And a bit more processing. This is often a year where you don’t leave your partner, your partner leaves you. Where you need to take some extra time to deal with a mystery illness or issue. When some strange twist of fate lands on your doorstep. It can feel as though the world is taunting you and gives you the bait-and-switch—promising illumination and yet delivering confusion and curve balls.

If you’re signed in for the deep dive, this can be a pivotal year for some serious life-changing internal shifts where you’re the only one who can measure or know the significance—and trying to explain it to someone leaves you feeling even more like an extra-terrestrial. When the year feels really off it’s likely because of a refusal to involve yourself in self-realization on any level so instead you opt for surface living—often showing up as involving yourself in as much emotional drama as possible. Or by gliding by with superficialities—small talk, insubstantial relationships, added time hanging out at the bar. Or it can feel off if you’re unable to slow down, take in new information, and seek out new idea and master new levels of data, in whatever way you might benefit.

Even though it’s a year for planning rather than doing, if you haven’t taken the initiative to research your next steps, you’ll ultimately feel you’ve missed out on a valuable cosmic time for your own spiritual evolution. Remember, “spiritually illuminating” doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with sparkles and unicorns. You’re very being will be tested.

8 Personal Year:

This powerful year is guided and supported by the number 8, the amplifier and the energy of manifestation. This is starting point to some deep-level change and transformation. Rightly, this 3-year transition cycle (the 8-9-1) begins on a foundational level. This is your year for empowerment and for making things happen in the material world. Its focus is on money and finances—yet that’s just the outward result of effort, organization, proper management, and follow-through.

If it feels wrong: The intensity of this year is undeniable. It’s a 12-month long test where you might pass the exam and yet instead of getting a little congratulatory vacation, the teacher piles more assignments on your desk. Let’s face it—this year isn’t for the faint of heart and it certainly is set up to flush out the slackers.

The real work here is with stepping up or being stepped on and the year offers experience after experience with this theme. Whenever people think of the 8 they not only think money, they often think easy money. And there can’t be anything more incorrect about the energy of the 8. Yes, it’s a powerful force and can magically manifest whatever you focus on. Those with mastery over this kind of energy can make things happen miraculously and often make it look easy. Yet understand that the 8 isn’t set up as lucky or easy (leave that to the 3 or the 6). It’s the “reap what you sow” energy. It has major ups and downs. It demands effort, consistency, and (like the 4) it requires clarity of purpose.

When this feels wrong it most likely is because it’s bombarding you with challenges that can feel harsh and somewhat insurmountable. This can show up in all kinds of ways. Do you need to ask for a raise at work and yet the thought of it gives you an upset stomach? Are you in an abusive relationship and fear getting out of it? Is your father still telling you what to do even though you’re an adult? You get the idea. The empowerment issues can be subliminal or dramatic. Homeless? Addicted to drugs, alcohol, or sex? This is a year where you must understand that the place where you feel the most powerless is where you will be pushed. The 8 Personal Year is like a Drill Sargent at boot camp—it’s all up in your face. Also know, though, that the energy of the 8 supports you in an extremely powerful way when you step into yourself and pull yourself out of situations of victimhood. It rewards you for making things happen despite the fact that you don’t think you can. Remember, once you get a taste of your real power you’ll never go back.

9 Personal Year:

This is the crescendo to your 9 Year Cycle. The 9 Personal Year also struggles with a bad rap. People recoil with fear and trepidation at the thought of letting go of things in their lives. It’s a beautiful year that is often an emotional roller coaster of change, transition, surrender, and sets the stage for transformation and new beginnings.

If it feels wrong: What’s so awful about the end of a party? Or saying good-bye to a co-worker who’s leaving for a new and exciting job overseas? How about the graduation party celebrating the mastery of a specific course of study and you’re marking the time where you’re finished with your coursework and moving into a different phase of your life? That is the basis for the 9 Personal Year. It’s a natural function of life, evolution, and desire. It’s always moving you into the next bigger and better chapter yet—just like that graduation party—it can feel emotional if not a bit sad, confusing, and disorienting.

The most dramatic way the 9 Personal Year can feel wrong is when you’re feeling the power of total reinvention. When you’re going with the oftentimes weird flow of the year—open to letting it all go or letting it all be seriously recalibrated—well, you’re the odd duck in the history of the 9 Personal Year. Just as a point of reference: I have known people who experience just that—they are so ready for everything to change and when it does, they welcome it with open arms. Yet that is more rare than the usual response, which resides primarily in low-level fear and a high level of hanging on for dear life. The unknown is not a place that’s a natural habitat for most humans.

The energy of the 9 is about loss—and “loss” in a more profound and spiritual sense. It’s like the Buddhist art of making of a sand Mandala and then performing a ritual where it’s destroyed. The “energetic imprint” of the Mandala will always be present, albeit not in physical form. And so the energy of the 9 is a highly charged spiritual energy supporting us in letting go of the illusion of control and permanence—and offers us a liminal space from which to trust and engage in the present moment. Pretty high-minded, eh? Ultimately the 9 Personal Year is a game changer all the way around and we’re off when we wallow in our losses or obstinately avoid letting go of things we truly know need to be released. Remember, change is the only constant.

Felicia Bender Ph.D – The Practical Numerologist is the author of Redesign Your Life: Using Numerology To Create the Wildly Optimal You. She’s passionate about helping people use numerology as a tool to improve their everyday lives. She’s a contributor for The Elephant Journal, The Numinous, and is resident numerologist for AstroStyle.com. See her at FeliciaBender.com.

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