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The Magic of Number Nine

Updated on January 19, 2015
VladimirCat profile image

Vladimir is a former champion ratter (retired). His hobbies are bushwalking, birdwatching and nature studies

What is the Meaning of Life?
What is the Meaning of Life? | Source

Why is Number Nine a Magic Number?

Cats, as you know, have nine lives. Have you ever wondered why? I certainly have.

Many are the hours I've spent in contemplation of the eternal question : What is the meaning of Life and Why do I have Nine?

What's the story with nine? It's just happens to be the largest single digit in the base ten number system, nothing special. But on the other paw, the inner meaning of nine is pretty special.

Lucky Number Nine! Lucky Number Nine! Try to say that nine times without purring.

Words of Wisdom - 9 cats for every life
Words of Wisdom - 9 cats for every life

In many ancient civilisations, the number nine could symbolise, or signify, a deep religious truth

Number Nine in the Old Days - Some Ancient Cultures and Nine

  • The Chaldeans believed the number nine to be sacred, and kept it apart in their numerology from the other numbers. How they did this is beyond me.
  • Egyptians had nine cosmic levels.Something like steps in the sky I expect.
  • Etruscans, the pre-Roman people of north west Italy, worshipped nine gods. Not one of their nine gods helped against the Romans.
  • In ancient Rome, baby boys hold a purification ceremony when they were nine days old. Similar to christenings I suppose, but with the goddess Nundina in charge.
  • Greeks called nine 'the horizon', the imaginary line at the edge of the sky. Demeter, usually carrying around nine ears of wheat, searched nine days for her daughter Persephone, and there are Nine Muses who can inspire you. The Greeks didn't need much inspiration for number nine.
  • Nine is a bigtime number in Norse Mythology too. Their god Odin hung himself on an ash tree for nine days to learn the wisdom of the Runes. There were nine Norse giantesses, who strode nine paces at a time and lived at the edge of the sea and land. That's a lot of nines!

Is it Magic? Try it yourself

Count this with your Claws

Try it yourself. Pick a number, any two digit number will do.

Add the two digits together and then subtract the total from the original number.

The result will always be a multiple of nine, so adding the digits of your answer will always result in the number nine.

Amaze your friends, they may not have heard of it.

Old English Medical Prescription

Whip it up in your kitchen in no time

For flying venom and every venomous swelling, on a Friday churn butter which has been milked from a neat or hind all of one colour, and let it not be mingled with water.

Sing over it nine times a litany and nine times the Paternoster, and nine times this incantation.

There will be nine!

Nine Swans a-swimming
Nine Swans a-swimming

More Folklore Cures with Nine

Fix your Jaundice in a Jiffy

Up in the Hebrides a favourite folk cure for jaundice still consists in wearing a shirt previously dipped in water taken from the tops of nine waves, and in which nine stones have been boiled.

Troubled with warts? Simple stuff. Chant "Nine times, nine times, nine times, begone!"

Number Crunching

Numbers and You:  A Numerology Guide for Everyday Living
Numbers and You: A Numerology Guide for Everyday Living

A good and easy to follow start on the strange topic of numerology. How real is it? Does it work for you?


Nine in Numerology

Obviously associated with Cats

In Numerology, the positive characteristics of number nine are selflessness, fulfillment, completion, universality, universal understanding, interrelatedness, compassion, idealism tolerance, forgiveness, generosity, benevolence, humanitarianism, emotionalism, and justice.

Number nine is also associated with accomplished artists and thinkers who are inspired by universal truths.

Obviously we are talking about cats here.

Terpischore, the Whirler
Terpischore, the Whirler

The Nine Muses

Which one is yours?

The Ancient Greeks were inspired by the Nine Muses, and believed them to be the source of all creativity.

I don't really know why the Greeks did this, but it's an interesting concept - almost feline. I think there's something basically true in it.

Haven't you sometimes wondered where that blinding flash of inspired vision comes from? I have been asked if a Muse moves me, and perhaps one of these divine ladies does.

In that case, my own particular Muse would be Terpsichore, the Whirler, and often I will leap, spring, pounce and whirl about for no reason. I sing too and, if I may say so myself, in a deeply melodious manner. Perhaps Terpsichore is behind it.

Nine can be considered thrice sacred and thus represents

perfection, balance, order

the supreme superlative

9 Characteristics of the Chinese Dragon - Or how to recognise a Chinese Dragon when you see it

The revered philosopher, Wang Fu, recorded a concise description of the Chinese Dragon, detailing the ‘three joints’ and the ‘nine resemblances’ of the dragon. I'm not sure if he's correct in every detail as I've never seen a dragon like this, have you?

The three joints are from head to shoulder, from shoulder to breast and from breast to tail.

The nine resemblances

  1. Horns of a stag
  2. Head of a camel
  3. Eyes of a demon
  4. Neck of a snake
  5. Scales of a carp
  6. Claws of an eagle
  7. Soles of a tiger
  8. Belly of a tortoise
  9. Ears of a cow.

The Complete I Ching ― 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Translation by Taoist Master Alfred Huang
The Complete I Ching ― 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Translation by Taoist Master Alfred Huang

Brian Browne Walker's highly accessible translation of the I Ching is clear, direct, and allows you to make the wisdom of the ancient Chinese sages your own.


Nine is a Symbol of Change

Number Nine was a Turning Point

The Chinese have, apart from dragons, an ancient Chinese Classic called I Ching, the Book of Changes, .

In this Book of Changes, nine was a crucial point of change and transformation. When a change occurred in one aspect of life, that change was a result of a change in its opposite. Therefore, as a symbol of extremity, the number nine in Chinese Culture is also a warning, a turning point.

(If you can grasp the essentials of the I Ching, then you have the intelligence of a cat. Congratulations!)

I Ching - Or Book of Changes

For centuries, The I Ching or Book of Changes has been consulted for sage advice at life's turning points. Does it appeal to you?

In Ancient China there was a Ninth Heaven - They had lots of doorknobs too

In Ancient China there was a Ninth Heaven - They had lots of doorknobs too

In ancient China, the number one represented the starting point and the number nine represented the extremity.

Jiu Zhou is a poetic name referring to the nine states, which means that the country encompasses so much territory that it is beyond measure.

The highest heavens were referred to as the "ninth heaven" and Jiu Quan, the ninth spring, where the afterlife was located beneath the deepest water.

In the royal palace the doors, windows, stairs and fixtures existed in multiples of nine or a number that contains nine. The numbers of the gilded knobs on the double doors of the major gates of the Forbidden City has nine rows of nine knobs, representing the supreme power of the Emperor.

A Chinese Festival worthy of keeping

In China the odd numbers are seen as male-yang. Number nine, the biggest, is the ultimate masculine so the ninth day of the ninth month has long been a very important festival known as the Double Yang Festival.

This is a time for wine and poetry inspired by the beautiful autumn scenery.

In the past, Chinese scholars would climb nearby mountains and look into the distance and think of their faraway friends. And that's a festival I wish you would find worthy of keeping up - no matter what value you place nowadays on the number nine.

© 2008 Vladimir

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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thanks.Many thanks :)

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 

      4 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I've often wondered about the number 9 myself

    • VladimirCat profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Australia

      I'm still looking for a Chinese Dragon

    • MortyB profile image


      4 years ago


    • Sorcerers Stone profile image

      Sorcerers Stone 

      4 years ago

      Great number lore! I didn't know any of the Chinese stuff really. My symbolism angle isn't focused on numbers much, but in alchemical wisdom tales, stories of inner human development (some are fairy tales, some myths) the number nine as well as three are ubiquitous. I always assumed that, since 3 is the basic ancient sacred number (holy trinities, etc.) that 3 squared was super holiness! I will consider now how that super holiness and the quality of endings dovetail. Thanks!

    • Lionrhod profile image


      4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Meow! Great page! Willa's pinning you to her pinterest! :)

    • happymonkeyz profile image


      5 years ago

      interesting. 9 is also strong yang in I Ching

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Now I know how to recognize a Chinese dragon. I can look for the nine signs! That's been a worry until today

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Facinating lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I did a little Tarot Card dabbling and 9 would impose the end of something, which makes way for a new beginning, basically. I love these sorts of subjects, always found them intriguing - Thanks for this lens!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Good job - I learned a few new things about the number 9. *blessed

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Vladi, you are such a brilliant cat!! I don't know anything else about "9" - I think you've covered everything. This was a fun lens and full of new information for me. ~blessed~

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I find the meaning behind numbers fascinating but my paritcularly number of favor is 8:)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Interesting facts. Wish my cat was smart enough to come up with this. He just sleeps all day. Great job, Vlad.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I always had trouble with the nine times table. I could have used some magic then!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 

      6 years ago from Colorado

      Quite interesting, Vladi. I leave here with more than nine new insights. Thank you for the bonus knowledge. Appreciated!

    • profile image

      Auntie-M LM 

      6 years ago

      Interesting speculations.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens! TY!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      So interesting and original I never knew this about the number 9. Blessed!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Never thought about number 9 like this before kinda makes you think - another nice lens love it - shared x

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I remember a few years ago me and a friend were throwing dice in Vegas. He threw the number 9 seven times straight. It was eerie.

    • dotpattern profile image

      Pat Moire 

      6 years ago from West Village, New York City

      Nine is the last number; swirling inwards with energy, spiraling upwards "as above".

      [And the security word: "uber loop". Apropos.]

    • WhiteOak50 profile image


      7 years ago

      After finally catching up with the Angel School Bus, I am fluttering around Legends & Folklore-ville to drop off some Blessings. Just wanted you to know I am here because your page caught my attention. Leaving you with a *Blessing* for doing such a great job on this page.

    • CruiseReady profile image


      7 years ago from East Central Florida

      Well well, Vlad - you are one philosophical pheline.

      Greetings from Walker, Florida Feline!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      7 years ago from Ljubljana

      Very informative, thanks. I am also great fan of so called fairy numbers. Number nine is certainly one of them, maybe not so strong as three, but with its own special power. All the best!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      That is a great lens about the number nine. My lucky numbers is three and my unlucky numbers are eight and nine.

    • sushilkin lm profile image

      sushilkin lm 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for your knowledge sharing on Squidoo!! Nice Lens !!

    • KokoTravel profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice work, kitty! There is a great deal of magic in the world if you pay attention!

    • dustytoes profile image


      7 years ago

      This is such fun... I now can get rid of my warts..! Thank you ;)

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 

      7 years ago from UK

      Well, Vladi, you have done it again. You sent me to cloud nine with this most intelligent look at the number 9. Next time someone mentions 'lucky number 7' to me I'll be well armed to tell them why 9 is a much more advantageous digit.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Vladi, you are a true inspiration and the smartest cat I know of. I am in awe of how much you know about the number nine and that you took the time to share it with us. ** Blessed by a Squid Angel **

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Well goodness, I certainly learned a lot about the number 9 here!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You have given much honor to the magic of the number nine with such perfection and balance. Thank you for taking the time to enlighten us humans on this most noble of numbers.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image


      7 years ago

      I have always liked the number nine

    • kristiene lm profile image

      kristiene lm 

      7 years ago

      I found your web site whilst checking for something distinct on Google about topics related to magic tricks, although I had the opportunity to go through this article and I found it really useful indeed.

    • LisaMarieGabriel profile image

      Lisa Marie Gabriel 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      As we all know, nine is the number of perfection and the Universe which is why cats are blessed with nine lives and why this lens is getting a blessing from me :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Well, who knew, I sure didn't, really interesting lens, thanks - Kathy

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Perhaps it is because cats are always dressed to the nines that they are allowed nine lives? So glad that cats do have that many lives because cats have a very bad habit of trying to use them up on rather silly excursions....

    • MediaMogul1 profile image


      8 years ago

      I had no idea of the importance of the number nine in Asian culture. Your skills as a lensmaster are almost as good as those of your mistress. She must be a strong influence on you. "Liked" the lens.

    • justholidays profile image


      8 years ago

      9 is a magic number, the one of prophets. Finally cats and fortune-tellers have similar faiths:D

      I'd like to have 9 lives so that whenever I come to a lens that is nothing but junk or spam or plagiarism (lol) I can commit suicide and then start a new life, free of such pollution!

      Blessed by a SquidAngel soon to become a simple fortune-teller ;)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      A fascinating lens. I would give you nine stars, but . . .

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 

      9 years ago from Croatia

      Excellent lens Vladi! Blessed by an Angel!


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