THE late John Lennon was pre-occupied with the number nine and throughout his life it held an almost supernatural significance.
It was present at his birth, prevalent throughout his life and omnipresent at his death.
John was born at 6.30am on Wednesday 9 October and, although officially announced dead at 11.15pm in New York on 8 December, due to the time difference, it was actually 9 December in Liverpool, the place of his birth. The time of his birth, 6.30 also adds up to nine, as to the letters of Wednesday, the day of his birth.
Several of his songs reflected his interest in his favourite number: # 9 Dream, Revolution 9 and One After 909, the latter being written at 9 Newcastle Road, Liverpool, his grandfather’s house where he was reared in his early years (Newcastle has nine letters, as does Liverpool).
As John once said: “I lived in 9 Newcastle Road, I was born on the 9th October. It’s just a number that follows me around, but, numerologically, apparently I am number six or three or something, but it’s all part of nine.”
- Numerous events in his life took place on the 9th:
- The Beatles played at the Cavern Club for the first time on 9 February
- Brian Epstein saw the Beatles for the first time on 9 November
- The Beatles played in the south of England for the first time on 9 December
- The Beatles EMI contract was confirmed on 9 May
- The Beatles made their Ed Sullivan Show debut on 9 February
- John first met Yoko Ono on 9 November
- John and Yoko’s son Sean was born on 9 October
Combinations of numbers that also added to 9 also intrigued him. He travelled on the No 72 bus to the art college. John and Yoko had an apartment on West 72nd Street and their original Dakota Buildings apartment was No 72. Other combinations that formed the number 9 and which added to his obsession were 18, 27 and 126.
When John was shot he was rushed to Roosevelt Hospital – on 9 Avenue (Roosevelt also has nine letters, as does Manhattan, the district in New York where he lived and died).
Bizarre coincidence, or something beyond our understanding?
I strangely share John Lennon’s strange fascination with numerology.
My personal number of fate is seven, and like John’s #9, this number has followed me all my life.
I was born at 7am on 1 February, as was my eldest daughter. My eldest son was born on 25th June (2+5=7) also at 7am!
The house where I was born was 7 Atkinson Drive, the next house was 17 New Barn Road and the next 17 Westway Close and so on.
When I left home to go to university my first hall of residence room was D27 and my first flat was 7 High Street.
But it is with specific years when the number 7 becomes of immense significance to me.
- 1967: I started grammar school and also attended my first Brighton and Hove Albion football match – a passion which has stayed with me all my life.
- 1977: I graduated from university, moved back to mum and dad, who lived at 52 North Road (5+2=7) and met my lifelong friend Jayne, who sadly died three years ago aged 57.
- 1987: I narrowly missed being killed in a high speed crash on 7 September, then on 17 September was diagnosed with high grade malignant cancer of the right shoulder and on 27 September underwent radical surgery to remove the cancer before undergoing seven weeks of life-saving radiotherapy.
- 1997: I lost my career and passion in national newspaper journalism… my last day at work in the job of my dreams at The Scotsman was 7 July.
- 2007: At the start of the year my house was repossessed and I was penniless. Then later in the year was left minutes from death from a vicious assault on 7 September.
So what awaits me in 2017 … and to be frank, what is all this numerology about?
Maybe Chaos Theory has the answer?
Chaos Theory is about how complicated the world is and something which can only be understood through numbers.
The world is so complex that one small change, even a seemingly tiny insignificant change, has enormous consequences (The Butterfly Effect).
Imagine you typically catch a plane to go home at the weekend, but this time you decide to go by rail. On the train, you meet a person you end up falling in love with and marrying. What made you change your mind and go by rail? Who would you have married if you hadn’t have gone by rail?
Is there is a way to find order out of this chaos?
You can’t ignore chance, and are numbers determining our fate?
Numerology is any belief in the divine, mystical relationship between a number and one or more coinciding events. It is also the study of the numerical value of the letters in words, names and ideas.
It is often associated with the paranormal, alongside astrology and similar divinatory arts.
Pythagoras and other philosophers of the time believed that because mathematical concepts were more “practical” than physical ones, they had greater actuality.
St Augustine of Hippo (AD 354–430) wrote “Numbers are the Universal language offered by the deity to humans as confirmation of the truth.” Similar to Pythagoras, he too believed that everything had numerical relationships and it was up to the mind to seek and investigate the secrets of these relationships or have them revealed by divine grace.
I am a deist – I believe in some higher spiritual power, but exactly what that is, I have no idea.
Do you John Lennon, and shall I ring you on your usual number?
My own number begins 077 and ends in a 7!