When It Comes To I Ching and Numerology, Apocalypse 2012 Is All About The Numbers
Numerologist and medium Yvonne Chan Siu-chu says 2012 will be a year of massive change. And literally every day someone asks her about it.
“The whole world is going to a higher frequency,” Chan, the founder of the Hong Kong Tarot Centre, says. “All the materials will break down, including stocks, buildings, land.”
Not particularly promising for the stock market, you would think. But Chan’s view of next year does not revolve around doomsday predictions. The change will actually be positive in terms of human development, she says.
“People will start to move into the value of life rather than materials, moving to a new culture or new way of living,” Chan says. “They will more appreciate who you are. You are not your money, you are not your house, you are not your bank.”
Twenty-twelve has been ascribed significant importance by numerologists, not least of them Terence McKenna, who outlined the link between the I Ching and “timewave zero” in his book The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching. Some number watchers believe Dec. 21, 2012 — 12/21/2012 — will see a cataclysmic set of events that mark either the end or a rebirth of the world.
McKenna, who died in 2000, was a mystic who believed psychedelic drugs helped him explore altered states of consciousness and the fabric of the universe. In the 1970s, he developed the concept of “novelty theory,” that the universe is increasingly interconnected, tethered to a final point at the end of time. As it works toward that period, there are periods of novelty, or major change in human society and life, breaking the force of habit. The process speeds up until the end date, when there’s a point of infinite complexity, and every point in the universe is connected. He eventually set that date to December 2012.
McKenna seems to have taken 12/21/2012 as his end date and then worked backwards, forcing previous major events into his timeline. The first edition of the book from 1975 didn’t emphasize that date, but after considering the Hiroshima bombing date and scholarship on the Mayan calendar, a reprint in 1994 gave Dec. 21, 2012 — also a solstice — great importance.
The concepts in McKenna’s work are more connected to Western New Age thinking than Eastern philosophy. But Asian fortune tellers and astrologers also have opinions about the 2012 predictions. Although all the astrologers interviewed for this story debunked the theory that the end of the world will come in 2012, most did say they expected dramatic events next year – and suggested it would not be a good time to be heavily exposed to the stock market.
“I think the economy will go to a downtrend,” feng shui master Louis Wong Wing-hing says. “So next year we should be very careful, unless we have a long term investment, counting out at least three to five years. Especially for the stock market, I think it will suffer a hard time in early next year.”
Cantonese people in particular are fascinated with numbers – the number “4” is considered unlucky, purely because the Cantonese “seh” also sounds like the word for “death.” Many buildings skip the 4th, 14th, 24th floor as a result – though this may be as much because developers figure they can command higher prices if they don’t have to sell units on “cursed” floors.
Similarly, the number “8” is lucky because it sounds like the Cantonese word for “wealth.” It is often used in phone numbers, license plates and even company names. It’s common for Hong Kong TV commercials to end with a rattle of 8s in the number to call – “bah bah bah bah.”
The popularity or mistrust of those numbers is essentially a form of rhyming slang, however, and not a concept of feng shui – which is a system of Chinese-based principles used to interpret the workings of the world. In feng shui — widely consulted in Chinese culture, despite a hefty dose of skepticism from many Hong Kongers — each digit has its own importance that must be taken in context.
Dec. 12, 2012 and the year itself, 2012, are significant from a feng shui point of view.
“The number 2 in feng shui means lazy, not good for health, and also belongs to the earth, so this number is not a good number from a feng shui point of view,” says Wong, who runs Sky Fortune International in Hong Kong. “The number 1 can represent the career, but it also represents water. Water from a Chinese point of view can be good or can be bad, because water can be unstable.”
Water Over Earth
The order of digits in 2012 therefore suggests “water over earth,” Wong explains. “This is another problem of waves, or the sea, which may overflow onto the earth, so there may be another year of this kind of disaster.”
In fact, the world is in a 20-year earth cycle that started in 2004, feng shui masters say. That may explain the earthquake and tsunami in Southeast Asia in 2004, and the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. 2012 is likely to have another major earthquake.