Magical Numbers, Magical Dates and Our Magical Power to Decide What They Mean

I wanted to blog about The End Of The World, which is quickly approaching us. Once again. And I wanted to do it on 12 12 12; not only because it gives you several days to enjoy my blog (prior to the end) but also 12 12 12 feels a bit auspicious, doesn’t it?

So, here we are (not me personally, but many of my human brothers and sisters) once again predicting our demise. There was a Facebook post this week that said: “People stocking up on bottled water and dried beans in preparation for the end of the world are missing the point.”

Indeed!

I think we generally miss the point of these impending dates because in spite of our centuries old preoccupation with The End Of The World, and our exhaustive efforts to pinpoint a specific date (Oh Puleeze!), down in our deepest collective psyche we know there will be no catastrophic ending. We know that this beautiful planet and the gift of life are precious and should be guarded and protected. We know that we are the custodians of this sacred space called Earth and we are the caretakers of our brothers, sisters and all life therein. But in an effort to enjoy life we became so entangled in greed and isolation that we forgot we were all family and Plant Earth was a gift. It was far easier to live in greed and detached from those people—you know… the evil people, the poor people, the dark people, the light people, the non-Christians, the non-Muslims etc.—and attach to an end of the world philosophy that let us off the hook. I’m not sure how envisioning a judgmental God who would come to planet earth and slaughter all of those who were deemed evil became a more attractive and realistic philosophy than Loving and creating sustainability on Planet Earth, but it did. But, slaying the evil is where it gets sticky. To every exclusive group, everyone else is generally evil. Muslims believe Christians are evil and vice versa… Rich despise Poor… Mormons are disliked by… um… almost everyone, it seems and vice versa… You get the picture. To many, I am evil because I write about questionable topics, I support same-sex marriage, women’s rights over their reproductive organs and I don’t adhere to any religion. In fact I ask people to define God before I admit to believing in Her.

But as we approach this next Ending of Our Planet and I try to blog about it, without talking politics or religion—oh whoops, too late—I am being powerfully drawn to blog about the magical appearance of numbers as opposed to magical dates; not wishing to swim against the flow I am going with it.

The appearance of certain numbers magically appearing in clusters—at much greater rates than would be mathematically expected—began suddenly, in my life, in the summer of 1992, and then disappeared as quickly as it had begun, in the autumn of 1993.

Reading this you might think that I have an extraordinary memory: not so. Those were simply extraordinary times—the kind of times that change the landscape of our lives forever and leave behind indelible memories. I also journal.

In 1992, my husband, John, and I worked for a small international tradeshow company. John worked in the main office, while I worked from a home office that I shared with my friend of many years, and co-worker, Lynda.  Lynda and I frequently sat behind our desks in my basement office without make-up (or even fully dressed), sipping coffee until noon; we did, however, have the professional telephone voice down. Ours was the perfect job for women friends who were willing to trade long unpredictable hours for working at home—munching on Chinese take-away whenever the mood struck or giving ourselves a pedicure while negotiating massive contracts via phone and fax—while in our pajamas. Other than some ongoing marital issues, my life was good.

In May of 1992, Lynda and I noticed the number 3 showing up more than would be expected. Then, almost as soon as we acknowledged it, the single 3’s became 333’s and the frequency of appearances increased exponentially. Initially it was mostly phone numbers xxx 7333 or xxx 3331, and so on. Since we made a lot of phone calls we thought perhaps we were simply noticing the 3’s more. But then addresses began coming in—one address was 333 33rd avenue… Almost daily we got a fax at 3:33 (with the number printed on it) and our take-away receipts consistently had 333 or 33 on them—either as a time, amount of purchase, or customer number. We laughed and contemplated its meaning: Was it an omen of sorts? Was it a message from a greater intelligence? We played an assortment of 3’s in the lottery: 3, 33, and then our birthday; 33, 3 and our birthday… and so on, with no wins.  At first it was exciting every time a group of 3’s popped up; in time it became almost passé, but never completely.

Oddly, no one else seemed to share our experience. The 3’s were like ghosts dancing around us but disappearing when others entered our space. John considered Lynda’s and my fascination with 3’s fanciful. He didn’t completely discount them, however; even he admitted that the frequency in which 3’s occurred on our receipts and faxes was remarkable.

In June of 1992, Lynda, John, and I attended PC Expo—a major tradeshow—in NYC. I don’t recall why Lynda and I took the train from DC to NYC or why John wasn’t with us, but we did and he wasn’t.

By June the 3’s, 33’s, and 333’s were coming fast and furious. Our train ran late getting into Grand Central hours after we’d planned to arrive. Completely disoriented and unaware of the time, I asked, “What time is it?” as Lynda and I looked up at a digital clock on the wall— which, at that precise moment went to 3:33. “Of course it is,” we said in unison. It had become more normal than not by that time.

We walked out to the street and hailed a cab, number 33, I believe, although it might have been 133 or some variation of that. I do remember that it had two 3’s. When we got to the hotel, on Time Square, where our boss had made our reservations, we checked into room 333 or 33; I actually can’t recall which.

We speculated that these numbers were from The Great Beyond or perhaps The Great Within… They had meaning. They were meaningless. They were a coincidence of a bizarre magnitude. They were far too numerous to be a coincidence. Mostly we just enjoyed them.

Staying in a hotel on Time Square, enjoying every meal at a different ethnic restaurant, leisurely walking the bustling city streets in late afternoon and window shopping, having my four children tended and supervised back in Virginia by competent adults—who were um…  not me—I was a million miles from my basement office in rural Loudon County, Virginia.

PC Expo was a spectacular trade show for many reasons and it was chocked full of 3’s.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better a railroad strike stranded us in NYC for 4 extra days—at the company’s expense. We were all overjoyed.

On Thursday, June 25th 1992, John turned 50 years old. It was a wonderful place to celebrate his 50th—a gift from the Universe (and the railway system and our boss who picked up the tab). We had a beautiful dinner (our bill was 33 dollars; try and do that today!), walked around Time Square and talked about life. We had been through some extremely hard times in our marriage and looked forward to better times ahead…

On Friday June 26th, Lynda and I decided to walk to a nearby Indian restaurant; John took off on his own.  As we walked down 3rd street a woman came running from her apartment with her shirt on inside out—presumably she’d seen us approaching through her front window. She breathlessly begged us to come into her home. She held tightly to the sleeve of my blouse as she told us she had a gift; she could read fortunes. She had some serious things she needed to tell us. She had seen us approaching and felt compelled to read us.

It just so happens that I have a gift, too. I can shake a fortune-teller off my cuff in a… well… in a New-York-second, as it were.

But this tiny Romanian woman was not too be shaken loose.

“What part of ‘we’re not interested’ don’t you get?” I laughed.

“Please just listen to me and I will ask only 5 dollars from you at the end.” The amount had come down by 20 bucks inside of 45 seconds but her tone of voice remained serious and pleading. “If you’re not impressed with what I tell you, you can walk away with no money exchanged.”

These were hardly terms that we could turn down, even as we salivated for Indian food.

Lynda went first while I sat looking at her back, listening. The woman went on and on about stuff that was supposedly happening in my friend’s life. As Lynda’s friend, I was certain the woman was crazy. She was detailing things in Lynda’s life and telling her how to extricate herself from a very specific situation, that, to my knowledge, didn’t exist.

I listened silently—planning my exit—with my 5 bucks still in my pocket, as the woman rambled on and on about someone else’s life—certainly not Lynda’s.

As my friend rose from her chair and turned to face me, I was poised to say, “Yeah, right! Shall we head out, now?” but the look on her face stopped me short.

“Um… she’s really good,” Lynda whispered. It turned out Lynda had a situation that I wasn’t privy to—the fortuneteller however had just nailed it.

I sat down in The Chair. The woman held my hand, looked at the palm and asked: “Who is JMP?”

“JPM is my husband,” I replied.

The woman dropped my hand, as though it had suddenly turned hot or perhaps cold.

“He loves you deeply,” she continued in a softer tone of voice. “No matter how he appears, he is deeply committed to you and is doing the best he can do. He has always loved you and will always love you …even after he is gone. You must remember this.” She looked at me sadly. I cringed. We had been through serious relationship problems but they were in the past… we were working on them; or so I believed.

Is he leaving me? I wondered, quickly followed by: What the hell am I doing, letting this fortuneteller make me question my marriage? But her guessing all three of John’s initials—albeit in the wrong order—left me very uncomfortable.

“My husband and I want to travel Europe with our family and do music. Will this happen?” I asked, moving to something more neutral—or so I thought. John and I wrote, played and sang in a small family band, in our spare time. We hoped to raise enough money to travel and perform in Europe, one day.

The woman shook her head slowly, “No, but you will live in Europe, one day. Not with your husband, but not alone. And you will write, but not music.”

Cryptic witch, I thought, as I threw 5 bucks in her direction and stood to leave.

Once out on the street I tried desperately to discredit her; on some level, however, I had clearly believed that she deserved the money. In retrospect I realize I was trying desperately to kill the messenger in spite of not actually understanding the message.

It was exactly one year later, to the day, that John died—with almost no warning.

Within two years of John’s death I had moved, with Jessica and Erin—my two youngest daughters—to live in Europe, where I wrote a book and later wrote for a newspaper and magazine.

One might argue that this woman had planted seeds in my consciousness that dropped into my unconscious. Later I had, like a programed computer, lived my life according to her predictions, even though I had not thought of the fortuneteller—at least consciously—until 2006, when reviewing some old journals. But there is no explanation for John’s sudden death or the near fatal car accident that left me in recovery for two years with nothing to do but write a book. There is no explanation as to how the editor of the only English newspaper accidentally ended up in my living room in Riga, Latvia, one warm autumn afternoon and offered me a job.

Sometimes the mysteries of life leave me breathless and I simply stop looking for logical explanations.

There were two other predictions, made by the Romanian fortuneteller in NYC that summer of ‘92, which have not happened as of yet… But life continues; so who knows?

The 3’s began disappearing almost immediately after John’s death. By autumn—after his midsummer departure—there were no more 3’s than one would normally expect.

Flash forward 17 years to 2009.

I had been living in Europe for 14 years when—after a massive slide into financial and political no-man’s land—My partner Egils and I were left no option but to flee the region we had called home.

It was a gut-wrenching move that would have been better made a year before we finally packed up and headed out. But it was too painful to make that decision prior to having almost no choice.

As we locked up our house, our baby girl, Bianca sat waiting for the new residents who would love her and take care of her in the future.

As we locked up our house, our baby girl, Bianca sat waiting for the new residents who would love her and take care of her in the foreseeable future.

It’s very difficult to describe the sorrow that accompanies such an event: loading up our small car with a minimal amount of personal belongings, saying good-bye to our friends, giving our precious cats a goodbye cuddle… Then with our bikes on the roof rack, we drove south to Lithuania, caught a ship to Germany, before driving to Netherlands where we spent time with friends before catching a ferry to UK…

Our first morning on the ship to Germany. We felt a million miles from Riga and a million more from Scotland...

Our first morning on the ship to Germany was sunny. We felt like we were a million miles from Riga—our home, friends and cats—and a million more from the home we would create in Scotland…

Egils wore a pin that said "Dream" the entire journey. We wanted to remember the magic of dreaming, I suppose...

Egils wore a pin that said “Dream” the entire journey. We wanted to remember the magic of dreaming, I suppose…

Our one overnight with friends in Netherlands was spent visiting and biking. How do we survive without friends?

Our one overnight with friends in Netherlands was spent visiting and biking. I can’t imagine life without dear friends …

We were in shock when we arrived at our destination, a small village in mid-Scotland, at 11:11 on Wednesday, August 26th.

Later that night, as we crawled into bed, I noticed the time 11:11. In spite of the fact that it had been a long day, we both laughed at the fact that we’d arrived at 11:11 and were now bedding down precisely 12 hours later. Other than that, 11:11 held no significance for us.  Then.

We planned a day trip up to the highlands on our first Saturday—three days after arriving in Scotland. We packed a picnic lunch and attempted to head out early. In spite of rising early and preparing quickly we left shortly before noon. In fact as we pulled away from the curb, our car clock went to 11:11. This got my attention. Egils casually acknowledged that it seemed odd.

Our first drive to the Highlands was magical and uplifting... it's difficult to be sad in Scotland.

Our first drive to the Highlands was magical and uplifting… it’s difficult to be sad in Scotland.

But when we arrived at our destination a few hours later Egils became a believer. “Um… you won’t believe what our odometer reading for this trip is,” he said, as he put the handbrake on and prepared to cut the engine.

“What?” I asked, absentmindedly, having forgotten the magical number completely.

“One hundred and eleven point one,” he said.

It took me a second to process: 111.1.

This was the beginning of the 11 11’s in this most challenging, yet magical, time in my life.

I believe that we can train ourselves, consciously or unconsciously, to look at clocks at precisely 11:11. For this reason I stopped considering these daily occurrences—that happened twice a day, like clockwork (no pun intended)—as part of the phenomenon. I do not, however, think we control numbers showing up on sales receipts. Standing in a long grocery queue and getting the receipt stamped at 11:11 is hardly within our control, even unconsciously; nor is being the 111th customer of the day or racking up a one-hundred and eleven £ 10 pence grocery bill (111.10). In spite of the odds, however, there was seldom a day that we didn’t receive several eleven elevens in one form or another. For these reasons I concluded, these random events—sharing the common feature of 11 11—went well beyond the mathematical odds and were not of our making.

In February of 2010, I returned to America for a visit. The 11:11’s embraced my life and followed me back to the USA. Within a week or so I called my friend Lynda. We spoke for a while—caught up on each other’s lives—and just before hanging up, I said, “Remember the 333’s that were so crazy around John’s death?” She remembered them well. “I’m having a similar thing now, but it’s eleven eleven.”

Lynda was silent for a second or two before responding, “Um… so you do know about 11:11, right?” she asked.

“No,” I replied. As much as I rely on the Internet, it hadn’t occurred to me to Google this one.

“Google it,” she said. “It’s a phenomenon.  There are literally millions of people talking about it.”

I was stunned.

I can’t recall the exact number of 11:11 hits, in Google, three years ago. Today there are 220 million.

Theories abound: It’s a warning. It’s a blessing. It’s foretelling the end of the world (of course it is!). It’s bringing in a brighter future.

Since everyone has a theory on these number sequences, I have a loosely woven one of my own: I believe that there is one pure source in and of the Universe. We call it a lot of names and attribute a lot of human characteristics to this source: God, The Universe, Parabrahman, ehyeh, Gitche Manitou…  I think this is simply the pure, uncorrupted essence of love.

Perhaps these magical numbers are a wink and a nod from this source that exists beyond my understanding; a hug or a pat on the shoulder, reminding us of the great mysteries that surround us, no matter how challenging our world looks.

Factually, I don’t know what these numbers mean.

In my bones, however, I feel that life is miraculous and our inner world—or spiritual self—is the last great frontier… And we are being invited—or perhaps strongly encouraged—to connect with our essence: Love!

We are mysterious, miraculous, magicians! Perhaps numbers connect us to that which we dream of, hypothesize about, and unfortunately, frequently fear: God, The Universe, Parabrahman, ehyeh, Gitche Manitou.

Perhaps it’s time to take responsibility for our planet, our family, and our lives, right here and now on 12 12 12.

Or perhaps we should tightly lock up our doors and our hearts, stockpile bottled water and beans and miss the point. Again.

13 responses to “Magical Numbers, Magical Dates and Our Magical Power to Decide What They Mean

  1. Holly, you did know our address is 1111 Pepper Ridge Dr, right?

  2. Diane, I actually noticed that and LOVED it!

  3. elaine stonebraker

    Brilliant, Holly! I have experienced similar patterns in other formats and can only say that yes, I too believe there is something going on that we will probably never understand. A cosmic hug. I love it.

  4. Thanks Elaine! Cosmic hugs from the essence of me to the essence in you! :)
    Happy Holidays. Elaine!

  5. Lovely, that it shall end well I am certain, but we only live once in this body that we call home, and after our lease is up, it is to the Cosmic Spirit that we will return!………..eric wynne taylor

  6. Wonderful Read

  7. Thanks to all key players in this blog and in my life :)

  8. hey holly!
    i’m thinking i was on that trip to NYC with you!
    A treasured memory of mine is me & John walking south late night
    from midtown (i guess times squareish)
    and he’s telling me stories about the city
    and about bands, and his Sunshine Country band?
    and the Rascals, and various clubs he’s been through
    as we cavort round Greenwich Village!

    my first experience in full on walking the big Apple!
    thank you John!
    now John would give me that big warming bear hug
    he trademarked!!!

  9. Dear sister Holly … thank you for your writing. It’s coming at one of the biggest shifts in my life. 11:11 is “where it’s at!” And, it’s been haunting me for the past 17 years. I’ve lived at two 1111 addresses and see 11:11 when some “shift” in reality is about to occur. Like yourself, I’ve had too much experience with this master number to not believe its power in my life. Thanks for your writing. I appreciate it, it’s right on time for this traveler.

    • My dearest Ife, I am so glad that you found this at the time you needed it. I find these numbers to be like warm hugs and just felt compelled to acknowledge them in this blog. How amazing that you have had two such addresses; very fortuitous! I wish for you a safe and joyous journey for as much of the time as is possible and courage to light your way in the the darkness! Happy Shifting!

      Love to you, Ife!

  10. Courage. Yeah, that’s word this kid needs right now. Thanks Holly!

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