What does 11:11 (eleven eleven) mean?

Eye looking at technology/circuitry

Photo by Gerd Altmann

The 11:11 curiosity…

You finally drag yourself out of bed after hitting the snooze button on your phone for the umpteenth time. You then take slow cave man steps as you go through your usual morning routine, you sit at the breakfast table silently psyching yourself up for the day ahead and finally, you take that brave first step out of the solace of your home into the boiling stream of busy people on their way to their own version of busyness. You’re on your way to work, by foot, car, train, bus, long board, mono-cycle or whatever newfangled fad you’ve bought to make yourself feel better. And you’re thinking, thinking about all of the things you’ve got to do at work, at home, what to eat, how to dress, what exercise to do… the list goes on but I’m sure you catch my drift… Life’s busy, we’re all busy and it’s all a load of busy busyness to do with business. There’s not much that breaks that fast-flowing stream of busyness these days, it seems that life has been busy for all of time, so much so that you don’t even notice you’re so busy, it’s just natural to you.

Busy street of people going to work

Then, something happens, something seemingly extraordinary… While you’re on your way to work you see a bird. The bird swoops in and lands on a twig of the bush right next to you! He’s so close that you can almost feel the silky softness of his glowing red feathery breast running through your fingertips. The morning sunrise illuminates him in such a way that his glorious, almost metallic colours stop you in your tracks, your mind stops, you can’t help but appreciate the pure beauty and splendour of this glorious creature who’s flown down to wish you good morning, you’re completely and totally in a state of ‘no mind’, in the present moment. You’re not busy anymore, you’re free and you’re flying so high above the clouds with this little fellow that all of your weight and worries have been lifted so high you can barely remember them anymore. It’s this feeling that’s extraordinary as you realise you can’t remember the last time you felt this way!

Robin, bird, close up, on fence.

But just as swiftly as you were raised to heaven your mind plummets you back into the world of time and cannot allow such a beautiful moment (or ‘satori’[1] if you will ) to carry on for too long and as you gaze down to your phone screen for the time you see the numbers 11:11. For some reason there’s something almost magical about those numbers right now, they seem to stir something deeper within you but you’re not quite sure what it is. All you know is that it stirs a very similar feeling to that of your new little feathery friend and this makes you smile for a moment before your mind reminds you that you’re now 11 minutes behind schedule and must become ‘extra-busy’ to get you to your previously decided destination. But something has happened to you, something has changed within you and you don’t really and fully start to notice this change until you see those numbers, 11:11, again… and again… and then again!… and oh yes, yet again!! What’s happening!? Why are you noticing these numbers so much? You see them on clocks, number plates, newspapers, signs and so many more things and yes, anyone can see these numbers if they decide to look at a clock at the right time but you’re not doing that, you just happen to look at that exact time and you just happen to notice that one number plate over the hundreds of others. Somethings happening here, it’s all a bit ‘Truman Show’ or ‘glitch in the matrix’ if you ask me…

Person looking at binary code.

Photo by Gerd Altmann

Without realising, it these numbers start to become a subconscious guidance system for you, they only seem to happen at seemingly significant times for you, at times when you are of ‘no-mind’ a state in which you are appreciating the beauty of life and not ‘thinking’ but ‘observing’ through the heart. Changes start to take hold within your life and you start to make decisions to rectify things you’re not so happy with and haven’t been for a while now… jobs, houses, relationships, diet and so much more. But these decisions are hard and scary for you (and anyone) to make, 'Mr mind' regularly elbows his way back in to try and change your mind. You’re not sure what the right path is anymore and you nearly drop back into an old life and an old mind pattern that doesn’t serve you anymore but then, at the last moment, when you ask the universe, your version of God or something, anything for a sign, any sign to guide you, you see it again, those faithful numbers, 11:11 and they fill you with more confidence and love that you’ve ever felt before because, somehow, you know they are pointing you to freedom, to your home, your centre, your peace.

Buddha statue with leaves in foreground, Pai, Thailand

The 11:11 phenomena has been taking a hold of many people’s lives for a long time now, spurring many to research it’s meanings and theorise why it happens. I remember when I first started seeing 11:11. I was just about beginning a somewhat mindful and spiritual path, the fake facades of my life were being stripped away quicker than my mind could keep up with. I felt as though I was being dragged through an awakening, I wasn’t really doing anything apart from just being aware of others, myself, my mind, my emotions, my heart, the world and everything in it. When I saw those four little number ones all lined up together in a row I felt something so strong, I felt the universe was giving me an encouraging nod in the right direction. But how can just four little numbers create such a feeling? Surely, I was fast becoming mad, my spiritual and mindful experiences thus far had obviously sent me down a ridiculous path heading straight for the asylum. Well if that’s true then I feel that I’d most likely be more at home in an asylum than I would in the regular world. Still, this absurd obsession with these numbers fuelled a quest for me to find out just exactly what they mean and if anybody else was having this strange but wonderful association with them. At the time, I was sharing these experiences with a close friend of mine. He, like me, wanted to know more and to find out just exactly what they mean, if anything.

Man walking into distance on mountain, Nelson, New Zealand

It was he that first told me about some theories and possible meanings behind these numbers, he told me that many people all around the world see the same phenomenon and that they all believe that these numbers hold great spiritual significance. Some believe it’s time to make a wish, others believe it’s communication with the realm of Angels, some also believe it’s a sign that the universe is aware of your thoughts at that time and so the law of attraction is working through you, and people also think it’s just a sign that you’re on a path of awakening to your true potential. To be honest, the list goes on of the many different theories to what these numbers mean, there’s even a theory that significant events have always happened on the 11th day of a month and also of the 11th month.

‘Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I; major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect’

Sourced from Wikipedia

There are connections to those who believe in numerology as the number 11 represents the ‘master number’. And there’s those who believe it’s just apophenia, which is the human tendency to find meaning and/or patterns in randomly occurring data. (All links to these references are at the end of this blog)

Close up of phone screen showing 11:11

It could be all of that and also none of that, all I know is what these numbers mean to me, my partner Mark and friends of ours that have had similar experiences. Mark has started noticing these numbers too and believes that he has always seen them but never really thought too much about them, until now.

What do these numbers mean to us? They’re a sign, a universal ‘nod’ from the Universe or whatever power out there that connects us all to tell us that what we’re on the right path. They mean synchronicity, to be at one with life, to acknowledge that we are all one giant connected consciousness experiencing our life together and that we all have a direct impact on each other through what we do, and how we live.

The flower of life, Scared geometry

The flower of life, sacred geometry by Karin Henseler This design is made from the repetition of a circle, representing 'oneness'.

I don’t know if I fully agree with many theories of 11:11 but I know that whenever I have seen, acknowledged and followed this sign, good things have always come after it. Over time it has become a kind of overseeing energy, guide and friend to us and so many others that help us know what the right path is and also sometimes what the wrong path is. There have been many times in my life that have felt like I’m on the wrong track, for whatever reason and in these times I’ve never seen these numbers, ever. It’s only when I drag myself out of this place to a more positive place do they start to appear again, along with many other wonderful moments.

Man with dragon fly on his finger, UK

These numbers have only occurred when I’ve needed to make important decisions in my life or when I need to be aware of the thoughts I’m thinking at that exact time:

While sat in an STA travel shop talking with a sales assistant, deciding whether to go to Australia by myself or not I saw 11:11, when I was deciding whether to quit my job immediately or not to pursue a teaching course that has since become the best job I’ve ever had I saw 11:11 on the number plate of a car that pulled into the car park where I was working. When I was debating to reinstall an old dating app or not I saw 11:11 and the first person I spoke to on it was my soul mate Mark, who I’m now engaged to! These are just a few examples of many!

Two men peeping out of hobbit house, Hobbiton, Matamata New Zealand

This is the reason why we’ve named our website The Escape Artists 11:11, we’ve used these numbers in all of our working ventures to date and we feel that it’s always brought us good luck and positive energy. We would like to bring the positive energy and guidance of this cosmic sign in all that we do. So, by including them in our name we are acknowledging and giving thanks to this energy. We are sharing it with the world in the hopes that other people who have had a similar experience with these numbers and other signs will reach out and share their experiences with us and help us to build a community of like-minded souls. So that we can work together towards a positive future for all....

Om symbol with gecko in foreground, Pai, Thailand

... even this little fellow!

Links and footnotes

[1] Satori - Satori is a Japanese Buddhist term for awakening, "comprehension; understanding". It is derived from the Japanese verb satoru. In the Zen Buddhist tradition, satori refers to the experience of kenshō, "seeing into one's true nature"







#spirituality #mindfulness #metaphysical #meditation #yoga