Why We Make Wishes at 11:11

The science (and spirituality) behind "It's 11:11, make a wish!"

Chances are, you've looked at the clock, noticed it's 11:11, and instinctively made a wish (or said "make a wish!" out loud). If the time holds a special place for you, you're not alone.

While there's no singular explanation for why many of us have come to associate 11:11 with luck and divine intervention, there are many possible explanations. Ostensibly, we associate 11:11 with luck because it's such a unique number. It's made up of four 1's, lined up in a neat row, making it a prime number and a palindrome. Visually, it exhibits a kind of parallelism and reflectivity that isn't seen at any other time or on any other date.

1 is a powerful number in and of itself, one that many associate with beginnings and autonomy. In the Bible, 11 is associated with chaos, but in numerology (a belief system that proposes that numbers have mystical qualities), it's related to intuition and awakening.

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Many people feel a special connection to the number and notice it quite frequently. According to the science, the reason we tend to notice 11:11 so much is the same reason we remember coincidences, while forgetting all the innumerable times when nothing remarkable occurred. Evolution has wired us to notice odd or unlikely occurrences, and we're often willing to find synchronicities in random events, especially in times of uncertainty, just as we're willing to see shapes in clouds and ghostly figures rising out of the mist.

That's the scientific explanation for our 11:11 obsession, anyway. But the Internet is full of sites which insist that if you frequently see 11:11, you're actually being contacted directly by the divine. Many insist that frequently seeing 11:11 means that you're receiving signs from angels.

"If you have been seeing 11 11 and other repetitive numbers such as 111, 222, 333, 444, 555, 1010, 1212, 777, and so forth, pay attention!" says the website lonerwolf.com. "There is an important reason why you're seeing these numbers more often: these numbers are wake up calls from your Soul and the Universe."

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Some believe that 11:11 may mean that you're ready to open up to a new partnership. Others say it indicates that you're acting in a way that's spiritually in tune with your values and are on a spiritual path to awakening. Some even believe that frequently seeing 11:11 means you're being called to join the ranks of a group called "lightworkers," which means your life is meant to be dedicated to spreading love and light on Earth.

Sometimes 11:11 takes on a darker meaning. Many people who find spiritual resonance in 11:11 are of the same sect that predicted the end of the world in 2012. Through a series of disparate connections, 11:11 became connected to the Mayan apocalypse that was supposed to occur on December 21, 2012 when the U.S. Naval Observatory marked the exact time of the winter solstice on the 21st as 11:11 Universal Time.

According to others, any sequence of repeated numbers (like 4:44 or 2:22) is a sign from an angel guide. Some spiritual 11/11 followers have noted that 1+1+1+1=4, and 4 is a very important spiritual number. According to the Global Psychics website, "Every 444 that you see is a representation of the fourth dimension as seen from a perspective of the third dimension. You are moving into the fourth dimension. Your relationship to everything around you is now changing and this is representative of this movement. This is a time to incorporate mastery of self. This is the time to step into your empowerment."

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Before you write this all off as New Agey drivel, remember that people have always believed in some form of divinity. In our modern world of spiritual barrenness, can we really blame people for wanting to find a little meaning and divine communion? If you're looking to find faith in something beyond yourself (but don't feel like going through a Kanye-type conversion to traditional organized religion), chances are you'll have turned to some form of numerology or astrology by now.

Maybe 11:11 (and all this) means nothing. But maybe if you're noticing 11:11 a lot and remembering it, or if astrology has been resonating with you lately, perhaps these are signs from your subconscious that you're seeking something more from your life. Maybe you're looking for some explanations for all the meaninglessness in the world, some sign that there's a bigger overstory at play. Also, if you're intrigued by the idea that you might be a "lightworker," maybe you're just looking for a reason to honor your impulse to spread more love and goodness.

Conversely, your 11:11 obsession might just be a hint that you should lay off the cannabis and hallucinogens. Excessive hallucinogen and cannabis usage has been associated with a tendency to find patterns and synchronicities in random stimuli. Taurus season is the perfect time to take a break, because Taurus new moons are actually associated with rest and rhythm, so after Scorpio season's frenetic energy, you might be finding yourself wanting to nest, cozy up, and fall into a steady pattern.

In the end, it's all mind over matter. If you don't want to believe in any of this, then it will all just go away. But even if you're a hyper-realist or a devoted evangelical, that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with making a few wishes now and then (are 11:11 wishes that much different than prayers, after all)? You have to admit that seeing 11:11 pop up on the clock is a nice excuse to make a wish, and perhaps that wish is a hidden reason to reevaluate your goals and values. After all, manifestation (or visualizing what you wish to see occur) is a powerful technique when it's combined with actionable steps.

So on the next 11/11 or whenever you see 11:11 on the clock, consider making a wish. If you believe it, it might just come true.