In search of an answer, I turned to numerology, and discovered an interesting -- if offbeat -- explanation. I was in another Year Nine. For the uninitiated, numerology (or at least the rather low-key, don't-take-it-too-seriously version that I subscribe to) envisions life in cycles of nine years. The cycles don't begin, however, at one. The day, month, and year in which you were born determines which year your cycle begins. My birthdate of November 9, 1962 (11 plus 9 plus 1962) means that my life cycle started in a year two. (Again, for the uninitiated, here's how it comes down to a year two: 11 plus 9 plus 1962 equals 1982; 1 plus 9 equals 10 and 8 plus 2 equals 10; 10 plus 10 equals 20 and 2 plus 0 equals 2.
So what does a year nine mean? Nine is a number of endings, the highest single digit. It's a unifier and an ender of phases. One chapter closes in preparation for a new chapter to open.
Numerology has revealed some uncanny things in decades past. I don't take the significance of any of these revelations too seriously, but I do find that they are interesting to contemplate. For instance, my last year nine was 2005, the year I got married, an ending to single life. The year nine preceding that was 1996, the year I resigned my reporter position at The Seattle Times in order to begin graduate school in 1997. And the nine year preceding that one was 1987, the year that I began my first serious romantic relationship, one more ending to single-ness, in a sense.
So, of course, the numerology's revelation that this, too, is a year nine set my mental wheels spinning. What will the ending of this cycle represent?
I always enjoy an opportunity to look back and reflect, and the nine-year cycle of numerology creates an opportunity for such an indulgence. The past nine years have been amazing years of transition, growth, and transformation.
I still remember opening 2006 -- the year one of this cycle -- at a spiritual retreat on Oahu, knowing that I was going to be leaving Hawai'i later that year and asking for spiritual strength, guidance, and assistance in finding my path. I also remember arriving in Seattle in July of that year, entering the house I had purchased back in 1993 and had rented to a friend of a friend (a single mother with two children) and seeing that it had totally transmogrified in its appearance and vibe over the years. I remember going to a church and asking for prayer, and hearing a member of the worship team tell me that what she was hearing from the holy spirit that for me Seattle was a season, not a place of permanence.
Year two (new relationships) brought a slew of teaching opportunities, and year three (adventures and travels) gave me my first real taste of political organizing when I began hosting house parties and making phone calls on behalf of Barack Obama's first bid for the presidency.
Year four (a round of completion) culminated with a job offer at the college where I currently work, and year five (upheaval and chaos) was characterized by a big cross-country move as well as the sale of my much beloved Seattle home.
Year six (love and romance and partnerships) brought me and my husband to our current beloved home, and year seven (indecision and uncertainty) was marked by a lot of emotional and mental hair-pulling over the completion of a book manuscript.
Last year's year eight (a year of finality) felt like a year where I no longer felt uncertain or indecisive about the life choices I'd made over work, finances, and marriage, and it brought a major transformation as I finally kicked the alcohol habit that I had indulged for the past thirty years.
Which brings us to the year of endings. Year nine, again. Looking at the past eight years offers a philosophical explanation to my current fatigue. It is perhaps the end of what has been quite a big life journey, one that began -- as I now recall -- with a juice fast and a walk on a beach in Hawai'i and is currently characterized by life in a snow-covered land with many of the fruits and vegetables that I used to buy at grocery stores and local co-ops growing in my backyard or stored in protectively dark, cool spaces in containers in my basement. The end often merits rest, a slowdown, an interlude, a period of quiet, before the surge of life rekindles and charges up anew.
(Just a brief postscript: In searching for images for this posting, I found a couple of "fun" sites for understanding what one writer calls "creative numerology". The site which carried the image above is http://mysticalnumbers.com/personal-year. An additional site that you might want to visit is Christine DeLorey's "Creative Numerology" at http://creativenumerology.com/index.php? inc=includes/9year.html Happy counting and reflecting.)