RAISING a deity each time Friday dawns is so universal a practice among office drones that even a restaurant chain was named after the weekly hallelujah of “Thank God It’s Friday”.
Yet for those who divine a hidden hand behind our clockwork universe, this Friday is a cause for an extra special celebration. The usual round of salt-rimmed margaritas, barbecue ribs and a cheeky side order of guacamole at their nearest TGI Friday’s is not quite enough to toast what promises to be a great harmonic convergence with the distinct possibility of a portal opening to a new dimension.
Well, would you wish to greet elemental forces from the 11th dimension in a shirt soaked in steak sauce? For Friday falls on an auspicious date: the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year or, in numerical form: 11.11.11 or, if you believe slashes trump dots then 11/11/11. That has a neat symmetry and a lot of elevens. It is 100 years since this date last appeared and the events back then would make your blood run cold. Literally. On 11 November, 1911, in Kansas City, those who took an interest in the thermometer would have found much to note. By late morning the citizens had enjoyed a record temperature for early winter with the mercury pushing up to 76F (24C), but out on the Great Plains a storm system had separated warm air and replaced it with a freezing Arctic blast which meant by midnight the mercury had plummeted to 11F (-12C), a record drop of 65F (36C) in just 14 hours.
This century the chills are more likely to be provided by Darren Lynn Bousman, the director of three Saw movies, whose new film, 11-11-11 (clearly, in Hollywood dashes top both dots and slashes) opens on this date. The horror movie follows an atheist American writer who travels to Spain after receiving word from his estranged brother that his father is dying.
Upon arrival he discovers that they have set up their own church in the grounds of the family home and that his life has been plagued by disasters connected to the number 11. While Bousman may view 11 as the new 666, he is clearly in a minority, for around the world, thousands are planning celebrations in the hope that so many 1s will add up to good fortune.
At Gretna Green they have been inundated with wedding requests. In Britain, fans of This Is Spinal Tap, the classic rockumentary, have petitioned to have the day christened Nigel Tufnel Day, to honour the guitarist who insisted that his amplifier dials go to 11, not ten, so they are “one louder”. In Spain, a special lottery is being held with 11 e1 million prizes on offer. In Las Vegas, the Elvis Wedding Chapel is offering Love Me Tender or Hound Dog 11/11/11 nuptial packages, costing $1,111.11 if you chose an 11 am or 11 pm time slot. In Sin City, 11 has long been considered a lucky number. In the game of craps, it’s just as fortunate to roll an 11 as a seven when the game begins. On the blackjack tables, players love it when their first two cards total 11, as it means their chances of hitting 21 have substantially risen. While around the world, studies show that 11 is one of the most popular numbers in national lotteries.
In Las Vegas they expect the gaming tables to be particularly busy at both 11am and 11pm. “Some people really like this idea of finding something special to celebrate on the dates where the day, month and year all line up,” said Sandy Zanella, public relations director of MGM Resorts International in a recent interview. “They may feel the day is lucky or they may just think it’s a fun way to do something special and remember the date.”
While many simply enjoy the symmetry of the date, others view the numbers as possessing specific powers. Occultists, Freemasons and numerologists have different takes on 11, with some believing it has psychic properties and can channel the subconscious, while others believe each 1 represents good or evil, and together the number reflects the duality of man. The internet is awash with bloggers who insist that the number 11 appears with striking frequency in historic events such as 9/11, where not only the date was 11 but the first plane to hit the towers was Flight 11 and what did the towers themselves resemble but a giant steel and concrete 11? Others inform their argument by reaching back to Saint Malachy, the 11th-century monk whose prophecies have been interpreted to mean there will be a biblical apocalypse during the reign of 112th pope on his cryptic list (there have been a hundred or more popes who were conveniently missed off). Pope Benedict XVI is identified as the 111th.
The date was given added weight by the decision to sign the Armistice that ended the First World War at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. For Dr Pat Frankish, a consultant psychologist, this is the reason why the day will have significance to many tomorrow. “I think the emotion attached to that date is the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month association, which was so significant as the end of the First World War, which was one of the worst carnages of all time. The loss of life and the stupidity of the whole thing has had a lasting impact on the consciousness, even of people who did not live through it. Seeing 11.11.11 is a stark reminder of the stupidity of war. Many of us believe that we should take special note and remember.”
However, there are others who believe that at 11 minutes past 11 on Friday, (curiously, gods apparently stick to Greenwich Mean Time) there will be a seismic shift.
“It’s certainly significant to have a triple master number” on the calendar said Solara, who goes by one name and has studied the spiritual properties of the No 11: “I envision a big shift in consciousness on the planet, and it’s coming to a point with this date.” Solara lives in Peru, and while she is keeping her own 11/11 plans secret, she says groups in more than 50 countries will mark the auspicious moment. The groups will be synchronised and at 11.11am (GMT) they will, she says: “Join together and sit as silent watchers who oversee worlds within worlds,” and whose perspective will “strengthen the resonance of trueness just by their presence.” As you do.
The invention of the digital clock has also increased our awareness of the number. “There’s an interesting synchronicity in how many things in this reality align with the No 11” said Ellie Crystal, who describes herself as an author, psychic, blogger and metaphysical explorer. While Crystal admits that there was an 11/11/11 100 years ago, she adds that the “human consciousness was not in the same place it is today”.
The advent of the digital clock means that more people are attuned to what happens at 11:11. “They’d see 11:11 and say ‘hmm’, then they’d go about their business and the next day they’d see it again. It makes people wonder, what is this whole thing about?”
According to John Hoopes, a professor at the University of Kansas who teaches critical thinking by applying it to conspiracy theories, what this whole thing is all about is pseudo-scientific bunk that relies on the well-known principle of confirmation bias, in which people spot what ties into their theory but conveniently forget anything doesn’t. He said there will always be those who wish to use numerology to try and understand the world, “but it has about as much scientific significance as the lyrics to The Age of Aquarius.”
In the opinion of Dr Helen Nightingale, a clinical psychologist, those who read great meaning into numbers are superstitious and seek safety in symmetry. “Anything that requires a certain type of symmetry to make someone feel relaxed or safe, in general, is called ‘safety behaviour’. It is quite closely connected to obsessive compulsive disorder, but you don’t have to be suffering from OCD, but we all have OCD type behaviours to some degree.
“With 11.11.11 we practice it by saying something auspicious happens on a day when we feel particularly safe. We hope for good things. Or on the opposite end of the scale is that we say this is a really bad day because all the things have aligned and we have to engage in specific sets of behaviour to ensure we are safe. Symmetry makes us feel safe. We have always felt this, you can see it in patterns if you go back to Greek and Egyptian tattoos, they have symmetry in symbols. It is about feeling safe and balanced.”
But if portals to another world are set to open on Friday, it will most likely be at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Los Angeles, where 13 sacred crystal skulls have been gathered.
According to the publicity literature: “The legend prophecies that at a time of great crisis for all humanity and planet earth, the sacred crystal skulls will come together to reveal information vital to the very survival of the human race.” Like many belief systems, only the most attuned will experience the spiritual realignment, but as Ellie Crystal said: “If you don’t feel it, no biggie.”