11-11-11: Order & Chaos

Gentle reader: please note that this post is purely in reference to the 11:11, 11/11/11 phenomenon, and is only coincidentally also posted on Veterans Day. Check out my 10/27/11 post and watch this space on 11/11/12 when I post more specific and thoroughly-researched info and perspectives on the sacred nature of Veterans Day. While I honor and regard highly the sacrifices and contributions of our Veterans this day and every day, I have reserved today to specifically address the singular phenomenon of numerical coincidence the date/timestamp offers us.

Happy 11/11/11! I know it's silly. I know it's a late and superficial calendar that assigns this day its supposed specialness. I know that the only reason it's exciting is because of the advent of the digital age, where time stamp appearance matters. I know that in the great progression of actual time, today has no more significance than any other...

...but it's magic. It's magic BECAUSE so many people say it is so. It is magic because all over the world children of all ages are sitting by clocks every hour in wonder, waiting for the moment when the clock flips to 11:11 so that they can indulge in the urban myth that says they get to make a wish. For those of us raised in the digital age, this urban myth is a fat quarter in the patchwork quilt of our modern magic. I texted my niece and sister in NY this morning: "We've waited our whole lives for today! Make a wish!" I orchestrated my day, and begged Albert to stay home with me so we can be together and kiss at the appointed hour. I am completely aware of my folly here. And I love it. Today is BUILT FOR wonder, and I shall have a second helping, please.

Why, exactly, do so many people feel drawn to the 11:11, 11/11/11 phenomenon? Numerology? Mystical messages from our angels? The aqe of Aquarius, with all its fancy gadgets?

For me, it's stupid simple. I like the idea of 11:11, 11/11/11 because it looks orderly. That's it. It is extremely soothing to my mind to think of all those ones lined up neatly in a row. My life is filled with circles and spirals and fireworks and fractals. I love, that for this one moment in time, all will appear to be in utter order for a change.

Orderliness is one of the ephemeral dragons that I witness people battling, or one of the mystical unicorns that I see people seeking, every day. Some folks fight order. "I'm just not the cat who colors inside the lines, man." Yes, I hear that. I'm a button-pusher-bell-ringer-string-puller from way back. At the other end of the spectrum, some people are tired of being dutiful to order, and they struggle to give themselves permission for spontaneity. "I just feel like I've been so damned GOOD for so long, I'm ready to break out and do my own thing! But I don't know how anymore." I don't have that problem, though I know it exists. I have helped many clients over the years joyfully "bust out" of daily routines and make their lives juicier with some well-positioned creative chaos. "Hot mess" is one of my specialties in my tarot practice: both cleaning up after it and helping launch it, as needed.

But truth be told, I crave order in my own life. After spending my formative years eschewing order, I now have to fight for it- a clean living room, all the laundry and dishes done, cat litter scooped, bills paid on time, bed made, affairs tidy, relationships in full accord, healthy, my beloved and I having the same night off to cuddle up together- all at the same time? Order: oh, what a unicorn you are! Will all those ones please line up neatly on my digital clock for just a minute and let me get a whiff of order?

I can easily see how the current political climate is a process involving "order" and "chaos", with the tensions between "Officials" and "Occupiers" (my inner English teacher clutches her pearls and screams, "No! OCCUPANTS! For the love of all that is holy! Let us have a grammatically correct revolution, please!") The police/mayor/pundit/political candidate/newscaster says, "Now, now we can't just have you all here in a big disorderly encampment, eating donated food together and peeing in public and making art and love, fighting among yourselves, figuring it out, praying, chanting, re-purposing stuff, and making demands. No, no, this just won't do. Everyone, please get hold of yourselves and go back to your little boxes of houses and boxes of apartments and boxes of social classification so we can get on with business as usual. What? You won't do it? We'll MAKE YOU."

Meanwhile, the Occupants are saying, "Hey, we are in the midst of evolving an entire socio-political economic structure over here, using consensus methods. It's not pretty or easy, but it's working! We've got a bunch of shit to do in order to unfuck the system. And it's pretty important, in our experience, that there be witnesses to our process as it unfolds. Can you please just back off and try not to be evil for five minutes or something? Better yet, join us!"

So what happens? Things escalate, get violent, bubble up and over, calm down again. Lather, rinse, repeat. For thousands of years of human history, actually. None of this is new. And for you Battlestar Galactica fans out there, you know the quote I'm thinking of right now. (If you're not a fan yet, I highly recommend it. If you can make it through the second season, there is a payoff, I promise.)

And then, in the midst of the back-and-forth, a miraculous synchronicity emerges. Extremists on both sides begin to reduce what is going on here to an age-old, epic battle story, deeming themselves as "good" and the other side as "evil."

But I daresay this is not a battle of good versus evil. In fact, this is not a binary situation at all. It is nothing more or less than the birth of a new world, born of the conflict between the existing binary systems in place. In the existing world, the order of things has broken down and must be replaced with a new system, which in time will break down only to be replaced, and so on. It is the march of evolution. Life, death, rebirth. We pagans mark this in an annual wheel of the year. We mark it in our individual lives as the wheel of life. But it is within a much, much larger wheel- the wheel of evolution. It is the transformation of caterpillar into butterfly. It is sperm meeting egg inside of a viable host, and a new life beginning. All parts are necessary. Hard as it may be to swallow, we actually really do need all hands on deck to be asking the exact questions they are asking and holding the exact perspectives they are holding and generally doing EXACTLY what they are doing right now (though we COULD feasibly do this without excessive violence) in order to birth this new world. The sperm MUST fight amongst themselves on their way to the egg, the egg MUST be a diva who may or may not aquiece to any offer, and the womb of creation MUST (in at least a metaphorical sense, if not literally) be a bloody mess in order for life to go on. Revolution, at all levels and on all sides, is very life-affirming. Life is created in the physical revolution that happens between two bodies.

When our universe came into existence, the big bang theory posits, all the matter we now know of and do not know of was condensed into some framework that manifested (for whatever reason) an explosion. From UMich website: "This occurance was not a conventional explosion but rather an event filling all of space with all of the particles of the embryonic universe rushing away from each other. The Big Bang actually consisted of an explosion of space within itself unlike an explosion of a bomb were fragments are thrown outward. The galaxies were not all clumped together, but rather the Big Bang lay the foundations for the universe."

What I get from that, and what I believe to be true from studying astronomy, is that the planets did not simply fly outward and then neatly arrange themselves into their order and orbits. Over time, particles evolved into planets and orbits emerged in an agreed-upon natural order under what later came to be known as Newtonian law. In fact, space has never been and is NOT orderly as a whole, though various systems align themselves into quasi-order for the sake of functionality around a sun, or a black hole, or another mega-event that awakens notice in the fabric of spacetime.

What is the event around which we can then arrange ourselves and formulate a new world order? Yes, I said it. Whether we like that loaded terminology or not, that is what is happening. Right now we desperately need the creative chaos of the Occupy movement. We need the people gathering in the streets and loving and hating and fucking and raging and collaborating and forming strategic, messy alliances. The awakening of the 99% is the Big Bang of our times. But what is the new order that will emerge to satisfy the rest of the population that rises up in terror at all chaos of this synergy? What new order will provide the equal and opposite reaction to balance out the explosion of possibility? Will it be that all beings in this country, on this Earth, agree to learn consensus process and adhere to it? Will it be an outward global domination launched by the 1%? Will it be a state of anarchy (which, despite claims to the contrary, almost always still arranges itself into some form of order)? The mind boggles with the vastness of these questions.

When I hit this point in my own thinking, I might lie awake all night long, quaking. In my better moments, I remember that I do not actually need to have all the answers to all these questions, myself. The Universe already has the answers, in its chaotic order, its orderly chaos. All I need to do is to stay awake in my own creativity, and to attempt to bring a wholesome order to my own affairs. All I need to do is observe and protect the wheels of life, of the seasons, of the Earth, of time, to the best of my ability. Part of my own plan is to make a wish at 11:11, 11/11/11- in a scant few moments! I intend to wish that my own affairs align themselves brilliantly in creative potential and sustainable order of operation. Then I intend to make that wish a reality on as many levels as I can.

My Coven, CAYA, recently recorded ourselves singing our annual Samhain song so potential attendees of our ritual could watch it ahead of time and be able to participate more fully. Each year, I write a new song for us that reflects what I have downloaded in my own oracular visions of the future. Here is a link to us singing this year's song, a song about finding common ground with all, opening to love in its fullest possible way, and being the change we wish to see in the world. Enjoy! And hey, at 11:11, 11/11/11...go ahead. Make a wish. Then make it come true.