Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Number of Tattoos

The Number of Tattoos
Numbers can make for fascinating tattoo designs. Who - in a moment of truth - wouldn't confess to having a personal number they consider "Lucky". And does anyone on a sports team want Jersey Number 13, or to work on the thirteenth floor of an office tower? In fact, the superstition against the number thirteen is so strong that most buildings "skip" the thirteenth floor as if didn't even exist! Lovers of rituals and ceremony, going back thousands of years, believe in a direct link between man and God through the properties of certain numbers. Kabbalists, Masons, and Hindus use the 'Sacred 3'. Multiples of it create the 'Mysterious 9' in rituals performed to acquire divine attributes. These numbers were said to be suggested by Nature, and contain mystic properties.

Johnny Depp has the number 3 tattooed on his left hand, on the web of his hand between his thumb and his forefinger. David Beckham has his lucky number V11 in Roman numerals. Since men first learned how to count, numbers and destiny have always gone hand in hand. The old favourite 7 is still considered to be a perfect number in cultures springing from ancient Greece, while 8 is the great favourite for luck, power, and material wealth in cultures originating in China. Our fascination with numbers begins in the cradle – remember counting fingers and toes? Then came the days of the week, the months in the year, the planets, the stars and onwards to infinity.

Wherever you come from, we can all agree about fingers and toes, but just about everything else is open for debate. Take the number '13' -- the unlucky number. In the sporting world, it’s likely to be banned from racing cars, stable doors, and athletes’ shirts. In Medieval times, witches in Europe were believed to have supernatural powers associated with the cycles of the moon – yes, there are 13 in one year. But in many religions, '13' has positive associations -- re-birth in Christianity, mercy in Judaism, and remembrance of God in Sikhism

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