When you think of the number 12, my guess is you think of a dozen-and then you think donuts-right? you know I’m right…
What ever the culture, country or religion, 12 is universally recognized as a symbol for complete-a unit of perfection and harmony. Ancient Oriental and Judaic civilizations viewed the number 12 as plentitude-abundance, profusion, wealth. The Bible is rich with references to the number twelve: Christ’s twelve apostles, 12 “minor” prophets in the Old Testament, 12 loaves at the tabernacle, 12 men sent to Canaan, 12 stones chosen to make a monument at Jordan, 12 kingdoms/administrators under Solomon, Elijah’s altar of 12 stones, and, of course, the 12 tribes of Israel.
The Chinese calendar jazzes things up by giving each month of the 12 month cycle an animal: rat, ox, tiger, cat, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey cock, dog and pig. I was born the year of the pig BTW. I would love to point out at this time that the Chinese consider this sign one of the most generous and honorable signs of the zodiac. I’m just sayin….
And florists everywhere bow to the symbolism of the number 12 every Valentine’s Day-have you ever received 11 roses? Probably not-we have the Victorians to thank for the universally recognized dozen red roses as a sign of love and devotion. Since direct communication was unseemly, covert messages were created and relied heavily upon through flowers. Red rose=love/adoration-put a dozen of them together and you have complete and perfect love and adoration.
One last thing that comes to my mind when I think of twelve-one of my all time favorite moves (black and white, shot in the 50’s I think-there was a re-do in the 90’s but not as good) Twelve Angry Men. The 12 men are the men on a jury (which always has 12-to make the verdict complete and perfect, I suppose) and the entire movie takes place in a deliberation room. It is popcorn and fireplace weather here already-so, if you are in a movie mode this weekend-check out Twelve Angry Men. It will leave you will a lot to think about-maybe grab a dozen donuts to munch on during your movie time : )
YOUR TURN: I am fascinated by the things in our world that involves 12. Twelve months in a year. Even though we say 24-hour clock, our minds break it into two 12-hour sections. Coincidence? What do you think?