At the risk of causing consternation in my New Age friends, I really must say something about the 11:11:11 hype that’s going around. You know the stuff – soon it will be the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 2011. All sorts of good things are promised for this ‘magical’ day, from manifestations to ascensions and beyond. There are even a few “avoid church at all costs” Neo-Pagans sending me email about the day. I find all this very cute, as the date itself is based solely upon a Christian dating system, the Gregorian calendar.
In fact, it is only one of several Christian calendars, and the older Julian calendar, still used to determine the Liturgical Year in some Orthodox Churches, has that day, our November 11, down as the 29 of October. Mmm. And for Jewish folk, it is the year 5772 and for Muslims, 1432. No elevens there. This is because all methods of assigning dates are human creations within a specific cultural context. There is NOTHING universal or special about that particular day, 15 sleeps from now, nothing at all.
Sorry, but this is simply the truth. If anything is going to ‘happen’, if the day will have any special quality or meaning about it, it will be because of what our mental consciousness brings to the day within a larger cultural consciousness. So, I expect some New Age folk will experience pleasant things that day, ‘cos to them there are lots of elevens in the date and well, eleven is nice…or something like that. To a Muslim, there are no elevens, so a normal day. For Richard Dawkins the elevens will mean less than a fetid dingoes’ kidney, so it’ll be just a regular day fighting against the religious horde that threatens the west.
Still, as I mentioned above we live in a culture and we are influenced by the meaning assigned to a date and day by our culture or sub-culture. However, rather than immersing ourselves into the rather self focused ‘manifestation’ paradigm of the New Agers, we can choose another way. The eleventh day of the eleventh month already has sacred meaning in the west: Armistice Day. While I remain unconvinced the extra eleven of the year will add anything, can I suggest we focus our magic and spirituality on that day, with millions of others, towards our War Dead.
There are any number of ways of honouring and working with the War Dead, but a wonderful magical approach can be found in the work of Gareth Knight and his daughter, Rebecca Wilby. This can be found in a few places, among which are:
- An Introduction to Ritual Magic by Dion Fortune and Gareth Knight (Thoth, 2006).
- The Abbey Papers by Gareth Knight and Rebecca Wilby (Skylight, 2011)
- This Wretched Splendour by Rebecca Wilby (Skylight, 2011)
Really, though any approach is valid and beneficial, so long as we do approach the War Dead and help heal the psychic and transpersonal wounds war has inflicted upon our cultural soul and mind. Remembrance is a key here, both on the inner and outer planes, and it is worth noting that the widespread commemoration of Remembrance (Armistice) Day may owe a lot to the esoterically inclined Wellesley Tudor Pole acting on inner plane instruction. And hey, the year 2011 may just be special after all – it will be 93 years since the end of WWI – so you just have to invite all your Thelemite buddies to your Remembrance Ritual. I am sure they will just love it! Thanks a bunch 🙂