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Is There Any Significance to 12-12-12?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wednesday is 12-12-12, the last major numerical date using the Gregorian or Christian calendar for almost another century.  The next time three numbers will align as they did on 9-9-09, 10-10-10 and 11-11-11 will be on Jan. 1, 3001, or 1-1-1.

So is there cause to be superstitious on Dec. 12?  Maybe, say numerologists, who are mixed on what the day portends.

"It's just a cute day," said Underwood Dudley, a retired professor of mathematics at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., and author of Numerology.

"Maybe we ought to look out for the end of the world," he said.  "Other than that, it's just a number.  The delusion of numerologists is that numbers have a power over events, but they don't.  Just because it's 12-12-12 doesn't mean anything will happen.  It would happen anyway."

But Scott Petullo, a Las Vegas-based numerologist who turned his expertise in handwriting analysis and astrology from a hobby into a profession, is a believer, even though he knows others might view him as a "new-age whacko, charlatan or snake-oil salesman."

He said the day can be "auspicious or challenging, based on other factors, such as how the patterns in a person's comprehensive charts harmonize with the date."

Wednesday's date also comes nine days before the Maya calendar's end of its 5,000-year cycle, which has inspired talk of an impending doomsday on Dec. 21, 2012, although not among modern-day Maya.

Petullo says it "won't happen."

Overall, he said, there are more positives associated with 12-12-12 than negatives.

Generally, the number 12 is easier than, say, 2, 7 or 9, and is associated with "enjoyment, emotions, creative expression, sadness, rejuvenation and rebirth."

"There is a lot of talk about 11-11-11 and 12-12-12 and the Mayan calendar," Petullo said.  "People are under the false impression that we will ascend into a new age.  I don't think that happens.  It's a doorway to a different dimension, but it doesn't erase the self-karma you still have to work through."

Still, he said the world is going through a transition from the 20th to the 21st centuries.

"We are getting used to that energy," he said.

As 2012 closes, he predicts "we are moving to a better place. ... We are starting to get used to the 2000s now.

"Things are starting to have more clarity," he said.  "More optimism is coming in.  I think in the long term, this country is very optimistic."

For Gary Grinberg, a former radio talk-show host turned numerologist from Cleveland, 12-12-2012 actually adds up to 11, a number that carries a lot of bad karma.

"It means emotional drama," the "Numbers Guy" told ABC News.  "The terrorist attacks, the stock market collapse and lots of plane crashes ... most go down on 11 days."

He said there are three ways to come up with an 11 in a date: the 11th of any month; the 29th of a month (2+9+11); or when the sum of the date adds to 11.  He cites the Oklahoma City bombing which happened on 4-19-1995 (4+1+9+1+9+9+5=38; 3+8=11).

The date of the attack that changed the world was 9/11: 9 + 1 + 1 = 11.  Both the train bombings in Madrid (March 2004) and in Mumbai (July 2006) were on the 11th day of the month, Grinberg noted.

Also, a powerful earthquake that triggered a deadly tsunami hit Japan March 11, 2011.

Grinberg is even more pessimistic about 2013, predicting financial collapse or another "cataclysmic event."

"It's the year of the snake and it will be worse than 2012," he said.  "Usually something bad happens."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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