Thursday, September 10, 2009

09/09/09 and the 'Year of the Enneagram'...

09/09/09 09:09:09

Everyone from brides and grooms to movie studio execs are celebrating this calendrical anomaly in their own way. Smart brides who know their husbands will forget their anniversary have lined up to catch this special date. After all, even the most absent minded hubby should be able to remember 09/09/09! Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Movie execs planned movie premieres for today. Apple is holding their annual September music event today in San Francisco to take advantage of this rare Calendarial event. The rarity of this Sept. 9 hasn't been lost on the creators of the Macintosh computers, the iPod and the iPhone, who have moved their traditional Tuesday release day to Wednesday... to take advantage of this special date.

Focus Features is releasing their new film "9", an animated tale about the apocalypse, on the 9th. The release of a bunch of digitally remastered Beatles Album, and one of the most popular video games in recent history, "Rock Band" is releasing "The Beatles:Rock Band" today. This release of the hugely popular game will feature 45 beatles tunes with individual instrumental parts and animation sequences that are sure to thrill Beatles fans the world over. The 09/09/09 release is sure to draw even more attention to what has already proven to be a highly anticipated game release.

So what makes 09/09/09 so special? Not only does the date look good in marketing promotions, but it also represents the last set of repeating, single-digit dates that we'll see for almost a century (until January 1, 2101), or a millennium (mark your calendars for January 1, 3001), depending on how you want to count it.

Though technically there's nothing special about the symmetrical date, some concerned with the history and meaning of numbers ascribe powerful significance to 09/09/09.

The synchronicity of the date looks good on promotional materials and this is not lost on advertising and marketing execs all over the world, looking to take advantage of it. Last year we had 8/8/2008 so we won’t see a nother date like this until January 1st, 2011 when the data will be 1/1/11 and November 11th, 2011 when the date will be 11/11/11!

It is the 9th day of the 9th month of the 9th year of the 21st century, Wednesday, and this happens only once in a century. The magical date that appeared after 1,455 years has different interpretations for people belonging to different fields of life.

The number 9 in numerological terms has special significance in that it is the number of balance, harmony and perfection. Just the right date for a wedding, don't you think? Modern numerologists — who operate outside the realm of real science — believe that mystical significance or vibrations can be assigned to each numeral one through nine, and different combinations of the digits produce tangible results in life depending on their application. As the final numeral, the number nine holds special rank. It is associated with forgiveness, compassion and success on the positive side as well as arrogance and self-righteousness on the negative, according to numerologists.

In numerology, 999 reflects the point of transformation - an inverted 666 - and the moment in which a crisis shifts in the direction of an opportunity. So, what else is significant about the number 9??? 9 is the product of 3 x 3 which connotes a balanced mind, body and spirit. There are 9 planets in our solar system (nothwithstanding the fact that... Pluto* has now been demoted and added to the list of minor planets and given the number 134340... a number of scientists continue to hold that Pluto should be classified as a planet. Infact, from its discovery in 1930 until 2006, Pluto was considered the Solar System's ninth planet). It takes 9 months for a child to be brought into the world. In the Christian religion, the hierarchy of Angels contains 9 choruses. The Buddhists believe... the heavens are divided into 9 celestial levels. While in Islam, the universe is composed of nine spheres. Both the Egyptian and Greek cultures felt the number 9 held a special spiritual meaning. For cultures in which the number nine is lucky, September 9 is anticipated, while others might see the date as an ominous warning.

Though usually discredited as bogus, numerologists do have a famous predecessor to look to. Pythagoras, the Greek mathematician and father of the famous theorem (Pythagoras' theorem), is also credited with popularizing numerology in ancient times. "Pythagoras most of all seems to have honored and advanced the study concerned with numbers, having taken it away from the use of merchants and likening all things to numbers," wrote Aristoxenus, an ancient Greek historian, in the 4th century B.C. As part of his obsession with numbers both mathematically and divine, and like many mathematicians before and since, Pythagoras noted that nine in particular had many unique properties.

Any grade-schooler could tell you, for example, that the sum of the two-digits resulting from nine multiplied by any other single-digit number will equal nine. So 9 x 3=27, and 2+7=9!

Multiply nine by any two, three or four-digit number and the sums of those will also break down to nine. For example: 9 x 62 = 558; 5+5+8=18 and 1+8=9. Amazing huh!

Sept. 9 also happens to be the 252nd day of the year (2 + 5 +2) = 9!!!

Both China and Japan have strong feelings about the number nine. Those feelings just happen to be on opposite ends of the spectrum. The Chinese pulled out all the stops to celebrate their lucky number eight during last year's Summer Olympics, i.e., the 2008 Summer Olympics, ringing the games in at 8 pm on 08/08/08. What many might not realise is that nine comes in second on their list of auspicious digits and is associated with long life due to how similar its pronunciation is to the local word for long-lasting (eight sounds like wealth).

Historically, ancient Chinese emperors associated themselves closely with the number nine, which appeared prominently in architecture and the royal dress, often in the form of nine fearsome dragons. The imperial dynasties were so convinced of the power of the number nine that the palace complex at Beijing's Forbidden City is rumoured to have been built with 9,999 rooms. According to reports, tens of thousands of Chinese couples rushed to tie the knot across the country to mark Wednesday's special date 09/09/09, hoping that the 'triple 9 day' will bring them luck and eternal love. In Mandarin Chinese, the number '9' is pronounced the same as the word 'jiu' which means 'forever, perpetual or eternal'. In Beijing alone, 18,979 couples stood in long queues to register for marriage Wednesday, setting a one-day record in six decades. The figure was many times the daily average and exceeded the previous record of 15,646 seen Aug 8, 2008, a 'triple 8 day' when the 29th Olympic Games opened in Beijing.

Japanese emperors would have never worn a robe with nine dragons, however. In Japanese, the word for 'nine' is a homophone for the word for 'suffering', so the number is considered highly unlucky - second only to 'four', which sounds like 'death'. Many Japanese will go so far as to avoid room numbers including nine at hotels or hospitals, if the building planners haven't already eliminated them altogether. So, the number 9 is kinda Japan's number 13... !!!

2009 has been hailed as the 'Year of the Enneagram', or the 'year of the nine'. According to ancient Sufi typology, there are nine personality types and nine primary roles within each type. To discover them all within oneself is tantamount to a spiritual awakening. Since 09/09/09 only comes around once a century, it is fun to take a look at the significance of not just today, but the number nine in general. It turns out, the number nine pops up in the coolest, and most unexpected, places. Below are nine facts and superstitions about the number nine:

1. It takes exactly nine minutes for light from the sun to reach the earth.
2. After traveling to the nine corners of the earth, it took Odysseus nine years to get back to Greece.
3. Nine multiplied by any one-digit number always yields a two-digit result. The sum of those two digits is always nine (for example, 9 × 9 = 81. 8 + 1 = 9). The exception to this rule is 9 × 1, which results in a one-digit answer: 9.
4. Many superstitious people and psychics believe that if you dream about the number nine, a child will soon be brought into your home.
5. According to the Christian angelic hierarchy, there are nine choirs of angels.
6. In Norse Mythololgy, Odin hung himself on an ash tree for nine days, in order to learn the runes.
7. Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting and prayer, is the ninth month of the calendar.
8. A nine-pointed star is used to symbolize the Bahá’í Faith, which symbolizes completeness in the religion.
9. Nine monks are involved in almost every important Buddhist ritual.

The good news about the number 9 is that very few people consider it to be unlucky. In fact, most superstitious people think it can bring good fortune... making today one of the luckiest days we'll ever live to see! So... enjoy your very special day today and if anything of significance happens to you today... I am sure it will be a date that you'll never forget!!! Looks like... 'number nine' is the 'number of MANGAL' and is very lucky. In Vedic astrology, 'Mars' is known as "Mangal, Angaraka, and Kuja". These names in Sanskrit mean... "auspicious, burning coal and the fair one". So, Jai Ho... Mangalmay ho...!!!

Just for fun, take note of where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing when 09:09:09 am and 09:09:09 pm rolls around, and log it in a journal... or diary... for posterity! Here's hoping your day is the whole nine yards while you feel like you're on cloud nine... !!! Share and enjoy...

*Pluto: Pluto, formal designation 134340 Pluto, is the second-largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System (after Eris) and the tenth-largest body observed directly orbiting the Sun. Classified as a planet from its 1930 discovery until 2006, Pluto is now considered the largest member of a distinct population called the Kuiper belt.

From its discovery in 1930 until 2006, Pluto was considered the Solar System's ninth planet. In the late 1970s, following the discovery of minor planet 2060 Chiron in the outer Solar System and the recognition of Pluto's very low mass, its status as a major planet began to be questioned. Later, in the early 21st century, many objects similar to Pluto were discovered in the outer solar system, notably the scattered disc object Eris, which is 27% more massive than Pluto. On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) defined the term "planet" for the first time. This definition excluded Pluto as a planet, and added it as a member of the new category "dwarf planet" along with Eris and Ceres. After the reclassification, Pluto was added to the list of minor planets and given the number 134340. A number of scientists continue to hold that Pluto should be classified as a planet.



  1. a very gud read.... not much i wn2 say here but really well composed post

  2. I feel great after reading ur post about 9 (Except what Japanese thinks)as this number is very much connected to my life. My date of birth 18 sep.. even number of letters in word 'september' is 9.Either it is my IIT-JEE roll no. or my college roll no. or my professional code no.. everything is related to 9......

  3. @ Amit: Wow!!! Thats truly a 'celebration' of the number 9... in every sense of the word... !!!

    And Happy Birthday... in advance!!!

    btw... 18th Sept '09 is 'Mahalaya'... an auspicious day :)

  4. what a study !!!!!!!!!!
    luckily i am also No. 9 being born on 27 september
    9 number Jai Ho

  5. Good one .Number nine is the number of MANGAL and is very lucky.9 reproduces itself with any addition and multiplication factor.

  6. 9 nine indeed is 'magical' number and you have put across a comprehensive details of the number...

  7. @ AnjuGandhi: Thanks! :D

    I too am Sept born...

    P.S. Here's wishing you a very Happy Birthday... in advance!

    btw... 27th Sept '09 is 'Navami'... the 9th day of 'Navratri' and an auspicious day, too :)

  8. @ BK Chowla: Thank you Mr. Chowla... for this bit of info. I have added it to the post...

  9. @ Dhiman: Thanks much! Glad you liked it :)

  10. I didn't know so many things about no.nine! It is really mangal!

  11. Hi Roshmi! Long time!!
    Interesting facts and figures!!

  12. Your posts are always so informative

  13. hi taggd u up... ??? did i said dat b4 ..dunno.... nehw cmplete dat soon

  14. @ Pra: Glad to know you found it informative :)

  15. @ Shilpa: Thanks! :)

    P.S. How was your trip... ??? And the 'experience' of not writing a blog a day... ?!!

  16. @ Reema: Thanks! :D

    Glad to know you found it informative...

  17. @ Sobhit: Yes, you did... and I'll take it up soon. Thanks for tagging me, though :)

  18. OMG!!! ur blog's still as awesome as ever!!!
    just a clarification: light from the sun doesn't take 9 mins exact ... its around 8 and a half ...

    loved this post since 9 is my favorite number and my b'day is on the 9the of Oct :)

  19. interesting!!! never knew there was so much to nine. I was always fascinated with 7 but I guess 9 is almost as fascinating as 7 if not more!

  20. n left u a new kinda tag chk it out 2.. probably u mite lyk dat

  21. @ Subhayan: Hey! Good to see you back!

    Thanks for the correction, though! But, who knows with all the 'global warming' and other similar phenomenon... it may have become 9 minutes... what say... ??? ;)

    P.S. Here's wishing you a very Happy Birthday... in advance!!! Enjoy!!!

  22. @ Tang: Hey Tang! Welcome back!.. great to see you here... after ages, that is :)

    And... I totally agree with your observation...

  23. @ Sobhit: Yes, will take up your tag... soon. I have quite a few pending from Shilpa... already!

    So... got to clear the backlog quickly... in order to retain my reputation of the 'tag queen' which I incidently share with Shilpa... courtesy Dhiman :D