## Wednesday, September 9, 2009

### Number 9

Like many mathematicians then and since Pythagoras noted 9's many properties both numerical and mystical.

A trick many kids have picked up on is, that the sum of the two digits resulting from nine multiplied by any other single digit number will equal nine- 9x3=27, and 2+7=9.

Today, September 9, 2009, is the 252nd day of the year and 2+5+2 equals 9.
3X9 = 27 and 7+2=9.

Multiply nine by any two, three or four-digit number and the sums of those will also break down to nine- 9x62 = 558; 5+5+8=18; 1+8=9.

(from Leo Reynolds on Flickr)

The day, today, 09-09-09, falls on a Wednesday and both Wednesday and September have 9 letters.

Numerologists believe mystical significance is attached to the number 9. They associate it with compassion, forgiveness and success and since many believe you can't have success without a certain amount of arrogance and self righteousness-those too.

The number 9 has religious significance too.

According to the Abjad system of adding up the number values in a word to give a single digit number the word Baha' relates to 9. 9 is also associated with unity and completeness (due to it being the largest single digit number) shown in their use of the enneagram, the 9 pointed star and in the architecture of the Bahai temples.

Heres the temple at Tiapapata, Apia, Samoa not far up the road from where we used to live.

The nine points on the star also represent 'the nine great world religions'. Sometimes the star can be seen with a symbol of each of those religions at each of the nine points- Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, and Sikhism.

Hinduism, too, believes 9 to represent completeness. Buddhists see the sky divided into nine celestial levels and many important rituals are performed by nine monks. In Islam there are nine spheres in the universe. Ramadan is in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. There are nine choirs of angels in the Christian Angelic Heirarchy and Saint Paul enumerates nine 'fruits of the Spirit'- love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, trustfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There are nine nodes of the bamboo for the Taoists.

Nine, for the Chinese, is a lucky number because it sounds like the word for 'longlasting'. As an odd number it is 'yang' representing strength and masculinity. The magic Chinese dragon, associated with power has nine forms described as 'attributes' - the head of a camel, eyes of a demon, ears of a cow, horns of a stag, neck of a snake and belly of a clam. The soles of its feet are a tigers, claws are that of an eagles and it has the scales of a carp.

The Northern Dipper or Ursa Major, has played an important role in official and religious life due to it's apotropaic powers. The Northern Dipper is made up of 9 stars and like its name suggests lies in the north, the Origin, the beginning and end , both Yin and Yang. Jiu Zhou, a poetic name, refers to the fact the nine states that make up Chinese territory are beyond measure. The highest heavens were referred to as the ninth heaven or the ninth spring, the afterlife. As the number nine is linked to the Supreme power of the Emperor, doors, windows, stairs and fixtures in the palace or monastery were often in multiples of 9 or totalled a number containing nine. All the entrances in the Forbidden, for example, except for one have nine rows of nine knobs. The East Flowery Gate has nine rows with eight knobs. Eight being an even number and therefore 'ying' because it was the gate the funeral processions of the three Qing emperors passed through.

As a symbol of extremity, 9 in Chinese culture can also be seen as a warning of change or transformation.

Celebrating his birthday today is Indonesia's president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono who turns the big 6 -oh.

And

Apple Corp chose 09-09-09 to release the entire Beatles studio album collection digitally remastered.

I was going to post Revolution 9 by the Beatles but as intriguing as it is it doesn't make for very relaxing listening so Ive posted 'I am the walrus' instead which I love.

Not everyone considers nine an auspicious number. The Japanese steer clear of the number 9 because it sounds similar to the Japanese word for 'pain' or 'distress'.

Turn triple nine upside down and you get 666 the number of 'the beast' or satan.

09-09-09 is the last time we see repeating single digit dates for almost a century.

Shalini said...

So very interesting! I never knew the number 9 had so much significance.

Amanda said...

Connie said...

9 is my 2nd favorite number because 3 is my favorite, and 9 is just full of 3's. I'm not a natural math person... I'm married to one, and gave birth to two, so I know math people are real and different than I am, but I still have a suggestion... There is a kids' book called "The Number Devil, a mathematical adventure" - a novel, using complex math. I started it and was enjoying it but had to put it away for our move: http://www.amazon.com/Number-Devil-Mathematical-Adventure/dp/0805062998 It's fun and I plan to finish - when we eventually get our stuff again.

Natalie said...

Intriguing stuff! Numbers are facinating...thanks for the great post and engrossing read!

As an aside: Dubai started up their much-anticipated metro train on 09-09-09 at 9:09:09 with great pomp and circumstance. It's everywhere!

Vinay said...

i m going to watch District 9 today for sure ;)

Sarah Lee said...

Absolutely fascinating! A friend of mine has just had her first baby, a son, born on 09/09/09. I shall have to send her the link to your blog post! Thank you!

Tanya said...

Thanks for all the comments! Connie my favourite number is 4 which is not a good number according to the Chinese since it sounds like the word for "death"! I, however like it for its 'roundness' and even-ness. Thanks for the link to the book I will keep an eye out for it when we are next in a country with bookstores!
Vinay we saw District 9 too but on sunday (13)- interesting, provoking movie. The faux doco genre has definately matured!