Sunday, December 9, 2012


Wikipedia says: “Numerology is any study of the purported divine, mystical or other special relationship between a number and some coinciding observed, (or perceived), event.”

Keeping this in mind, I have quite a significant birthday coming up and I am unsure of the “divine” or “mystical” significance of this upcoming event but the numerical coincidences are quite interesting. At least they are to me. Maybe you will agree, maybe you won’t.

I was born in 1956 on the 12th of December, this close to midnight-12:05:00 AM, in fact, and that means that on 12-12-12 I will be turning 56 a number that coincides with my birth year. Apparently, this kind of coincidental numerical event will not happen again for a long, long time.

Turning your age on your birth DAY-day is your Golden Birthday. My Golden Birthday was a long, long time ago-December 12th, 1968. According to Urban a “Platinum Birthday” is when your birthday matches your birth-year, i.e. having been born in 1956 and turning 56. Also, they claim that a Platinum Birthday is when the day, month and year of your birthday, (12-12-12), matches, so I guess I’m celebrating a Double Platinum Birthday this month.

You may or may not put a lot of stock in numerology but sometimes one cannot ignore numerical coincidences and I always find numbers fascinating and in honour of this Double Platinum Birthday I will now give you some interesting facts regarding the numbers 12 and 56.

There are 12 months in a year; there are 12 hours on the face of an analogue clock; there are 12 inches in a foot; a dozen is a quantity that means 12; a gross is 12 dozen; in astrology, there are 12 signs of the Zodiac; in the Bible, Jacob had 12 sons, Jesus had 12 disciples; 12 tribes were started after Moses led his people out of Egypt; there are 12 animals of the Chinese horoscope; in English, 12 is the largest number that has just one syllable; there are 12 pairs of ribs in the human body (normally); 12 men have walked on the Moon; there are 12 stars on the Flag of Europe; there is always debate about this, but, strictly speaking, 12 a.m. denotes midnight, and 12 p.m. denotes noon and, of course, there are the 12 Days of Christmas. I could go on and on and on about the significance of the number 12 but for space and time I must move on.

56 is the sum of the first six triangular numbers, making it a tetrahedral number as well as the sum of six consecutive primes (3+5+7+11+13+17); 56 is the number of men who signed the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776; according to Aristotle 56 is the number of layers of the Universe-Earth plus 55 crystalline spheres above it; 56 is the number of counties in the state of Montana; Cape Horn, the Southernmost tip of South America, is located at almost exactly 56 degrees south; Shirley Temple, as a child, wore 56 curls in her hair, the curls were set by her mother who thus made sure of the exact number; 56 is the symbol of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956; in baseball, the number of consecutive games in which New York Yankees’ great, Joe DiMaggio, had a base hit in 1941; Hack Wilson hit 56 home runs in 1930, and it was the National League home run record for the next sixty-eight years until it was broken by Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, but I don’t think that Hack Wilson was jacked on steroids but, that Dear Reader, is a debate best left for another day.

As a youth I can remember waiting and waiting for another birthday to come along and it has been a long, long time since I was anxious for another year to be added to my age, but this birthday is different. We should all be thankful that we get to see another Happy Birthday when so many will not and, especially for me, when the numbers are lined up in a significant way, there is all the more reason to celebrate. And I will.

“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.”- Plautus-Roman Playwright (254-184 BC).

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