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Ah yes, the magic of 8, or should I say Magic 8 Ball? Who didn’t own one of these fantastic advice givers (after Dear Abby lost her charm)? (Why do I continue to begin this post with questions? Is it the Magic 8 Ball charm?)

Today, as many of you know is 8-8-08. A holiday that isn’t really a holiday, but should be. (Although a calendar I own does say it is National Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night. Thank goodness I don’t think any of my neighbors even know what zucchini is.) It is however a sacred day for many other cultures and spiritual paths. Below are several significances I am aware of (and a few I wasn’t):

MATHMATICS AND SCIENCE
-Symbol for infinity.
-There are eight known B vitamins that play important roles in cell metabolism.
-All spiders, and more generally all arachnids, have eight legs. An octopus has eight tentacles.
-As of 2006, in our solar system, eight of the bodies orbiting the Sun are considered to be planets. (I am a proud member of the Facebook group “When I was your age Pluto was a planet.”)

RELIGION:
-In Christianity, it is allegoric to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
-In Neopaganism, there are eight Sabbats, festivals, seasons, or spokes in the Wheel of the Year.
-Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday.
-The Noble Eightfold Path in the Buddhist faith has eight steps.

ASTROLOGY & SUPERSTITION :
-In the middle ages, 8 was the number of “unmoving” stars in the sky, and symbolized the perfectioning of incoming planetary energy.
-In tarot, card No. 8 is “Strength”
-In numerology, 8 is the number of building, and in some theories, also the number of destruction.

THE ARTS:
-There are eight notes in an octatonic scale.
-Songs with the number eight in their title include the Byrds’s Eight Miles High and the Beatles’ Eight Days a Week.

SPORTS & GAMING:
-Eight ball billiards is played with 15 balls; the black ball numbered 8 being the most important one.
-In chess, each side has eight pawns

IN CHINA:
-The Eight Immortals are Chinese deities
-War of the Eight Princes, was a war in Chinese history
-Eight is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture because it sounds like the word “prosper” or “wealth.

So now the only question that remains…do I celebrate this holiday? For this I consult the Magic 8 Ball…”Signs point to yes.” Thank you Mr. Magic, thank you.

Today I’m grateful for the number 8, classical music, and Kelly Clarkson.

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