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11/11/11 Sparks Slew Of Predictions

By Jeff Strickler

Doomsday prophets think it will be the beginning of the end for life on Earth. New Age adherents are predicting that it will usher in a period of unprecedented love. And a whole lot of people plan to use it simply as an excuse to party.

The day? Nov. 11, 2011 or in calendar shorthand: 11/11/11. "I wish I had a nickel for every person who has asked me about that day," said Jean-Leonard LeMarchand, a numerologist at Eye of Horus in Minneapolis. "A lot of people seem to think that something fantastic is going to happen. Personally, I don't think anything is going to happen."

The number 11 is considered special to numerologists, and it's regarded as good luck by gamblers or, at least, gamblers who play blackjack or dice. If one 11 is good, the theory goes, three of them in a row should be great.

The flaw in that argument is that there aren't three 11s in a row, LeMarchand said. There are two, and then that pesky 2000 gets in the way.

"It's 11, 11, 2011," he said. "People are seeing a pattern that isn't there."

Nonetheless, the Internet is abuzz with speculation, including predictions of an explosion in the number of weddings. While there will be more weddings than on a typical Friday, calling it an explosion is going too far, said Angie Switz, owner of By Your Side Wedding Planning in St. Paul, Minn.

"People love numeric tie-ins, so there's always a jump in weddings on days like that," she said. "But it's not just 11/11/11. We saw it for 10/10/10. And we see it for dates like 9/10/11 or 8/9/10. People like to have those special dates."

Although much of the doomsday attention has focused on the Mayan calendar's inference that the world is going to end next year, a number of websites have sprung up around predictions that 11/11 will set Armageddon in motion.

Even Hollywood is jumping on the end-of-the-world bandwagon by releasing a horror-thriller titled "11-11-11" in which "an entity from another world" appears on Nov. 11 and wreaks all the havoc that the special effects budget could afford.

On a more positive note, New Age websites are predicting the arrival of "a new reality paradigm" involving a "portal that will open a unity consciousness." In fact, some of them are going so far as to predict the time the portal will open: 11:11, of course.

(The websites don't address the time zone issue, so apparently this is going to progress across the world in hourly stages. There's also some disagreement over whether it will happen at 11:11 a.m. or p.m. or, some say, perhaps both.)

Meanwhile, 11/11-related parties are being planned from New York City to Honolulu. And hoping that the number 11 comes up lucky for them, most casinos (including a joint promotion involving all of the casinos in Las Vegas) are offering deals on gambling packages, hotel rooms or buffets.

Even if the world doesn't change Friday, there are some unique aspects to 11/11/11. It's a palindrome. Plus, it's cross-cultural. It designates the same day in North America (where we go month/day/year), Europe (day/month/year) and China (year/month/day).

Minneapolis-based numerologist Wes Hamilton believes that the number 11 is important but urges people to look for small changes rather than dramatic upheavals.

"Numerologists call 11 a master number," he said. "It's a day when you should pay attention to your intuition, to your inner voice. And then you have to trust that intuition, which is where the process usually breaks down. You can't master anything else until you control yourself."

Hans Decoz, numerology expert, agreed with both Hamilton and LeMarchand. He said it's more important to spend the day focusing on self-analysis than worrying about what 11/11/11 means to mankind. And he said that people predicting instability might be proved right but by default, not numerology.

"There are people predicting that it will be a very volatile day for the stock market," he said. "Well, maybe it will be, but these are very volatile times. If it turns out to be a volatile day for the stock market, it's going to be a day like every other day."