During my three-plus decades as a feature writer for the Times-Picayune, I interviewed many people about New Age kinds of things – isolation tanks, numerology, astrology, even brain mapping. I once visited a channeler who put herself into a trance to call up a spirit for me to talk to. (Unfortunately, Baba was not particularly communicative that day.)
That kind of stuff fascinates me.
So you can understand how much I’m looking forward to Friday.
There already has been a trio of unusual dates this year: 1/1/11, 1/11/11 and 11/1/11. Now comes 11/11/11, our final and best chance to celebrate the mystical number 11, a Master Number for numerologists and just very cool to the rest of us.
We at NolaVie couldn’t resist planning something special for such an auspicious date. A NolaVie 11.11.11 PopUp will take place at Studio 3 (behind American Can apartments) on Friday from 8 to 11 p.m. for $11, with a tribute to a number of local emerging artists and entrepreneurs. The fun will include exotic fashions, jazz singers, New Orleans food and drink and lots of surprises. Click here for all the details. (It’s for a good cause, too: Proceeds go to support the original content by artists and writers at NolaVie, a non-profit web entity devoted to New Orleans lifestyles.)
There’s an email circling the Internet about 11/11/11. It points out that, if you take the last two digits of the year you were born and the age you will be this year and add them together, the result will be 111. That, the email continues, makes it a year for money. (We at NolaVie are hoping that’s the case come Friday.)
But the fascination with multiple elevens is by no means new. Numerologists believe that it’s no coincidence that so many events are linked to the time 11:11. In philosophical circles, it’s called synchronicity. Google 11:11, and you’ll find that many people believe that being stalked by double or triple digits (on a digital clock, in a license plate, in an address) indicates the presence of spirits.
Our household ghost, Henri, has never dealt in numbers.
When the girls were little, whenever one of them glanced at the clock to see that it read 11:11, she would tell everyone to make a wish. Evidently, that superstition is pretty common, although in the Peck household you had to look away and not glance back at the clock until it hit 11:12 for the wish to come true.
My family tends to make things overly complicated.
Ellen Degeneres, for one, is among those drawn to the clock just as it hits 11:11: That’s why, she says, she named her record company eleveneleven. (And who would expect anything but such a preternatural explanation from a New Orleans girl?)
In our family, 11 was always the team jersey of choice – although that’s mostly because Stewart spent his college soccer career wearing that number. But who knows? Perhaps it was those double ones that led to his scoring success — 22 goals, another double digit.
So far, 11/11/11 hasn’t gained the notoriety of next year’s big date — 12/21/2012, when the Mayan calendar will end (at 11:11 a.m. Universal Time, if you can believe it).
But 11/11/11 does have its fans. Especially brides. According to the WeddingChannel.com, more than 24,000 couples plan to marry on Friday – about 20 times the usual number of weddings on any given Friday in November. That’s 10 times the number who tied the knot last Valentine’s Day.
I wonder if they know that there will be 1 year, 1 month and 11 days until the end of that Mayan calendar – yet another form of 1111.
Most people do believe that all these 11s will bring more positive energy than negative vibes on Friday.
There’s a worldwide movement for world peace starting on 11/11/11 (Ones In A Lifetime). And One Day on Earth is asking filmmakers, students and “other inspired citizens” to record the human experience for 24 hours on 11/11/11 (the group’s first such event was held last year on 10/10/10; if the world does not end shortly after 12/12/12, with the close of the Mayan calendar, I’m not sure what they’ll do in 2013. But I digress.)
On the creepy side of things comes 11.11.11, the movie, a horror fest by the director of Saw II, III and IV. It debuts (of course) on Friday, with a tale about an entity from another realm arriving on Earth through Heaven’s 11th gate at 11:11 on 11/11/11.
I’m not expecting any ghouls or gates at Studio 3 on Friday (although it’s a wild Carnival warehouse filled with giant float figures, so who knows what other magic lurks there?) I do, however, anticipate a Big Easy kind of coming together, our own little start of world peace.
So please join me and lift a glass to auspicious beginnings at the NolaVie 11/11/11 PopUp. The first drink’s on us. And today only, tickets are half-price….
Renee Peck is a former feature editor and writer at The Times-Picayune, and now editor of NolaVie.