Today, nearly 31,000 U.S. couples will walk down the aisle, nearly 3 times the normal number who married on the first Saturday in July, last year. Others will head off for the nearest casino, lottery ticket purchase point, or poker game or other game of chance. And all because it is the seventh day of the seventh month in the seventh year of this millennium.
And just what is the magic in the triple seven digits? For many, seven suggests a spiritual journey, the need to find meaning in something that is more than it appears to be. In most modern religions, the number seven is a significant one.
In the Bible, the universe was created in seven days, there were seven deadly sins and seven virtues. If you are Catholic, you also have seven holy sacraments.
In the Islamic tradition, there are seven heavens and seven earths, and there are seven verses in the first chapter of the Qur'an.
In the Jewish tradition, there are seven blessings during a wedding ceremony and seven branches or candle prongs on a Jewish menorah.
In the Vedic Hindu tradition, there are seven chakras — "wheels of energy" in the human body — and in Buddhism, when the Buddha was first born, he took seven steps.
Ancient Mayans believed in a seven layered sky.
Anicent systems of astronomy were based on seven heavenly spheres.
Sevens also appear everywhere in Greek, Roman, Japanese and Native American mythologies.
So what do all those sevens mean?
Apparently, having Seven Wonders of the Ancient World isn't enough. We need a list of seven for the Modern World, too. An international phone and Internet-based contest to determine the new list — candidates include the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower and Machu Picchu. The winners will be announced on — when else? — today, July 7, 2007
There are seven "heavenly bodies" visible to the naked eye: The sun, the moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.
In Shakespeare's famous "All the world's a stage" soliloquy (from the comedy "As You Like It"), there are seven stages to a man's life: infant, child, lover, soldier, justice, old man and mentally demented.
Seven is "neutral" on the pH scale. Pure water is a seven.
When people are asked to think of a number between 1 and 10, most choose seven.
People can remember up to seven digits easily. After that, it gets harder.
There are, of course, seven days of the week.
There are seven notes in the musical scale.
And of course, seven colors of the rainbow.
On July 7th, 2007 at 7pm Greenwich Mean Time, there are a group of like minded people praying for universal love and peace whose goal is to get millions of people around the world to stop for one full minute, and in that same minute, repeat these words:
PEACE FOR YOU
PEACE FOR ME
PEACE FOR ALL
Here in Salem, Oregon, I will join in at 11 am. PST, but anytime is a good time. It certainly can't hurt, and it might even help.
After all, today is 7-07-07.