Dec. 12, 2012— -- Polly Blitzer-Wolkstein, founder and editor of the website Beauty Blitz, celebrates her birthday today -- Dec. 12, 2012 -- but with no trepidation.
"I don't subscribe to numerology," the 37-year-old New Yorker said.
"I don't like to shoehorn meaning into things, and with twin babies and a business to run, I don't have time to be superstitious," she added. "I think it's way cooler that I share a birthday with Frank Sinatra. Am I going to be struck by lightning now?"
Maybe, say numerologists, who are mixed on what the day portends.
Today 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.
"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."
Today'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 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."
In the simplest terms, double digits like 12-12-12 and 10-10-10 and master double digits like 11, 22 and 44 can be a time "to access to the other side," Petullo said. "There is double energy."
"Other-dimensional energy abounds; the veil between this everyday world and the spiritual dimensions is more easily pierced," he said. "The window to the higher planes is opened temporarily, more so on some dates and times than on others."
But numerologists are less impressed with today than with Dec. 12, 2019, which has a "stronger vibration," Petullo said.
That date is actually expressed as 12-12-12 because the year, 2019, is 2+0+1+9 = 12. The last such "12" date was Dec. 12, 1920, and before that 1911.
For numerologists, today's date is really expressed as 12-12-5 because the year, 2012, is 2+0+1+2=5.
12-12-12 Can Be Time of Ascension
"It's been said that 12-12-12 is a special moment in time, a "master shift, "peak point in spiritual energy," and even a time of "ascension," when spiritual initiates "ascend" to a wonderful new existence, one free of personal adversity and karma," said Petullo, who disagrees.
"My belief is that you have to balance most of your karma through direct experience, and that it won't be automatically erased on an exceptional calendar date," he said.
But Gary Grinberg, a former radio talk-show host turned numerologist from Cleveland, 12-12-2012 actually adds up to 11, a number of emotional energy.
"It means emotional drama," the "Numbers Guy" told ABCNews.com. "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."
But Blitzer-Wolkstein isn't holding her breath.
"When I was little, I had lots of spare time for superstitions," she said. "My family was full of quintessential neurotic Jewish rituals like avoiding a cat, or if you stepped on a crack, you would break your mother's back. I tried to do things in threes [her favorite number], but it got too exhausting."
When she attended a funeral while pregnant and was warned she would die and she didn't, the website founder said, she gave up the "OCD habits."
Still, Grinberg offered her an analysis based on numerology, with her birthday on this auspicious -- or inauspicious -- day: "This person is very blunt/ honest / a leader / creative / good communicator / good at psychology and had a tough year in 2005."
She has a 1 life path -- Dec. 12, 1975 would be 12-12-1975 (1+2+1+2+1+9+7+5=28 and 2+8=10 1+0=1. "It is always reduced," he said.
The year 2012 gave her a "new start in life," Grinberg said .
Pleased, Blitzer-Wolkenstein admitted, "that could fit the bill."