Celebrating Sixty
    The number Sixty is celebrated in many different cultures. It is mathematically very significant, and systems which are based on Sixty have survived the centuries to come to us intact.
    Sixty is a highly composite number: it is the smallest number with exactly 12 divisors. Sixty's factors of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 20, 30, 60 which makes calculating fractions easier. Sixty is the product of three consecutive digits: 3 x 4 x 5.
    It is the smallest number divisible by the numbers 1 to 5. It is also the smallest number which can be divided by the numbers 1 to 6.
    Sixty sits between the prime numbers 59 and 61, and is the sum of prime numbers 29 + 31; it is also is the sum of four consecutive primes: 11 + 13 + 17 + 19 = 60.
    Knowledge of Babylonian mathematics has come to us mostly through about four hundred clay tablets which have been discovered since the 1850s.
    First found by an archaeological expedition at Nineveh, in modern Iraq, these baked clay tablets are written in Cuneiform script, which had been inscribed into the clay while it was still soft and malleable.
    Most of the tablets date from 1800 to 1600 BCE, and cover topics that include fractions and algebra.
    Babylonian mathematics worked with a base of 60, and is called a sexagesimal numeral system. It is from this origin that mathematics developed to our own use of 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour. There are also minutes and seconds in trigonometry, and 360° in a circle, and 60° in an angle of an equilateral triangle.
    Sixty is a landmark number in Chinese astrology. The annual animal signs cycle through every twelve years, just as western astrology repeats on a monthly basis.
    The animals of the zodiac: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, have additional personalizing information encoded into the fortunes they inform.
    Alongside the animals is a simultaneous cycle of the five elements: Wood, Water, Fire, Earth, and Metal. The combination of these cycles, twelve and five, means that they realign every sixty years. 2016 is the year of the Fire Monkey: children born this year will see Fire and Monkey realign in 2076, when they are turning sixty-years-old.  For those born in Fire Monkey Year 1956, this is most likely our only chance to experience the repeated vibration.
    The significance of one part in sixty is found in another culture, too.
According to Ask the Rabbi, The Talmud and Midrash state that fire is 1/60 of hell; honey is 1/60 of the manna; Shabbat (the Sabbath) is 1/60 of the World to Come; sleep is 1/60 of death; and dreams are 1/60 of prophecy.
    1/60 is the contamination threshold, when “non-kosher food which gets mixed into a kosher food is annulled in a ration of 1/60, assuming that it is not sour, salty, bitter or spicy.”
    The Jewish Institute on ageing names 60 as the age of Ziknah: becoming an elder, and an elder is to be honoured and celebrated as a resource for the community.
    The Hindu concept of Kala, or Time, is tied to a 60-year cycle. An individual reaching the milestone age of 60 might expect to enjoy a celebration of Shastipoorthi, a word from the Sanskrit language. Shasti means 60, and poorthi means completion. The celebration, which includes renewal of marriage vows if the celebrant has a spouse, is a reminder that while life pre-sixty may have been a time with materialistic (physical) focus, post-sixty life is intended for spiritual explorations and endeavours.
    Sixty has a value of Six, and is connected with Service. This is illustrated by the many westerners who retire from paid occupations at 60 and apply themselves to volunteer work which allows them to make a different kind of contribution to serve their communities.

     I have been supporting clients through change and growth since the 1980s.
     For a consultation or other session, in person or by Skype click here