And so it is a New Year day one. January 1, 2009.

The celebrations are done. Some folks are not feeling too well, but so be it. A new number now influences our lives and it is a nine.

Oh, how I love “nines!”

Nine has a wonderful magic to it and has always been a prominent number. 9 planets, 9 orders of angles and 9 daughters of Zeus, the Muses. There are the nine earth’s of Milton, nine crosses and nine days of wonder, nine crowns in heraldry and 9 judges on the Supreme Court.

Multiply any number by 9, and the sum of the digits will also come to 9 (7 x 9 = 63; 6 + 3 = 9). Reverse the digits, and the number you get (36) will also be a multiple of 9. Take any number you choose (4,321) and divide it by 9. The remainder you get (1) will be the same as the remainder you get when you add the digits (4 + 3 + 2 + 1) and divide by 9. That is why mathematicians check their calculations by “casting out nines.”

9 members on a baseball team that have nine at bats in 9 innings.

Golf has two nines to make an eighteen-hole game. And one and eight is nine.

9 is an endless aid to merchants, who will always charge $9.99 for something.

9 also has its down side. Christ died at the 9th hour. It is the number just before the boxer is counted out; the cat runs out of lives, the lover slams the door.

Macbeth’s witches chant, ”Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine/ And thrice again, to make up nine.” and then declare “the charm wound up.”

The Egyptians were devoted to the Enneads, groups of nine gods. The legends of northern Europe have 9 bards, 9 dragons, and 9 stones in a circle. We all know of Dante’s 9 circles of Hell, which were merely the inversion of the 9 circles he associated with Heaven.

In the Middle Ages, 9 was the angelic number. Milton divided his Nativity ode into 3 sections of 9 stanzas each.

In ancient China, there were nine buttons of rank and not too long ago the Emperor would ascend the Altar of Heaven—a perfect circle inside a perfect square and his 9 grades of Mandarins performed a 9-fold bowing before him.

The followers of Jai’Na, a sect of Hindus, believe all objects are classed under nine categories.

On a personal note: My television career began and ended on television stations with the number NINE.

In short, 9 is no 9-day wonder, dressed to the nines, it is, for many, the number of heaven itself, for according to the Pythagorean numbers, man is a full chord, or eight notes, and deity comes next.

And, of course we have Emerson’s inscription to nature, “The rounded world is fair to see, Nine times folded in mystery.”

In short, I think this will be a very special year.

My thanks to any number of books that provided the “nine” information. Hopefully there were nine of them.

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year!

In 2009 there is hope these hard times for so many will end, not only with a job and a decent wage for all who seek it, but with a sense of financial security free from the fear of loss.

The first decade of the 21st century is nearing its end and we are still searching for a global sanity. There are still 27 recognized conflicts or regional wars infecting the planet as we struggle with the belief that security is having more. There is still religious and political hatred obscuring our inner knowing that we are ONE.

There is always hope in the litany of Pandora troubles that are part of our daily struggle, but let us not forget that hope without action is arrogance. We each have to work at finding harmony in chaos.

It’s there, we can feel it when we give from empathy and not reward. When we resolve not to be discouraged, not to speak in anger, not to blame, and not to judge without the truth of looking within first.

Maybe this is the year that unconditional love and appreciation will guide the hearts and wills of humankind.


Happy New Year!


Some thoughts today on the upcoming new year.

Beginnings always have an expectation.
What happens next, where do we go from here.

There is an old saying that says we attract to us what we fear the most. If that’s true, then it is time to acknowledge that within each of us is an immense creative energy that can find a way out of the fear, the sadness, the despair, the negative conditions for which we often blame others.

Perhaps it is time we see ourselves as creators. Not only the creator of things, but also of attitudes and personal conditions.

We often constrict our creative self by placing limits. We often inadvertently deny those in need by believing security is having more. Sometimes we delude those we say we love by only loving ourselves through them and not honoring their choice and sacred self.

Perhaps it is time to listen to the life force of our hearts, for it lets us hear the trees, the oceans, the plants and animals and even strangers when they speak to us.

That life force is unconditional love, which translates to respect, courtesy and kindness.

It has never been tried on a mass scale.

It seems to me we have nothing to lose.

The Bush Legacy

My continued philosophy in these posts is to offer an alternative thought, a non-attacking way of looking at an issue, an event, or even an experience. Today’s post is an opinion.

Yesterday on the Sunday news shows Mrs. Laura Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice appeared on separate programs defending the President’s legacy from critics who say it is one of the worst in history. It seems they too have a different way of looking at an issue, an event and an experience.

Initially I thought Mr. Bush would be a good president. I voted for him the first time around even though I knew vice-president Al Gore personally and liked him and what he stood for. I was, however, disappointed enough in his lack of environmental actions and moral condemnations during his Vice-Presidency under Bill Clinton that I could not give him my vote.

But then came Florida and the “hanging chad” debacle and an election that was decided by the Supreme Court and not the popular vote.

I think the fact that Vice President and candidate Gore chose not to contest the election for the good of the country was one of the most patriotic acts in our history. Contesting it would have shredded the political fabric of this nation; his was the right decision. History is filled with that kind of grace; it is only that we forget most of it.

I think it is admirable that Mrs. Bush stands up for her husband. Truly, what else could she do or even would she do. Secretary Rice is still the Secretary of State, serving Mr. Bush and there was not much she could say given the circumstances of political and diplomatic protocol. I suspect once she is out of public office and writes her book there may be a hindsight acknowledgment of flawed presidential decisions.

Both women intimated that history would be the judge. Yes, history will make its adjudication, but we all live in the “now” and history is the future. Right now, the Bush legacy is not good.

We live in a country with fewer freedoms than we had eight years ago. We live in a country in a deep economic crisis. We live in a country that is no longer respected by most nations and peoples of the world. We live in a country that is spending our national treasure on two wars, one of which is suspect and the other very difficult to win because of terrain, terror and regional tensions. We live in a country where our national leadership uses fear to enact ill-advised laws and rules and even though we’ve spent trillions on security we are not really safe.

No one and no country is safe against the diabolical, the fanatic, and the delusional of the world that are willing to die for their delusions.

Mrs. Bush and Madam Secretary I respectfully disagree with your assessment of the Bush Presidency. Like you, I’m sure President Bush’s original intentions were based on a hopeful outcome. That’s as good a compliment I can give him at the moment. I am one American citizen who is glad he is leaving office and I’m fairly certain I won’t be around if and when history might offer enough evidence for me to change my mind.