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Th3 P0w3r of Thr33

Recently, a few celebrity deaths conjured the old superstition of the Power of Three. "They come in 3's," everyone said. And, sure enough, just as the sun shines and there are fish in the sea, celebs were dying in threes. That was an unintentional rhyme, but somehow I don't think the fact that people and their beliefs have the power to create such myths is unplanned either.

Three is a mystical number. In Antiquity the number three was symbolic for mythical and religious purposes, from the Fates to the powers of Nature and the Universe. As I am typing this, I have three twitter updates and three new emails (seriously!). How the number three figures so prominently is a matter of belief and maybe even, in some sense, Mathematics.

The Trinity, consisting of the Father, the Son and the Holy spirit function as one unit. The combined forces/powers of three entities is called the 'Power of Three'. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman function as the new/improved JLA trinity, whereas Iron Man, Captain America and Thor are the Marvel Trinity. There is a power and a guiding force to three parts of a whole.

Simply put, the human mind, for some reason or another can see the mathematical practicality of three. Three is the first odd prime, and the first unique prime. The 'Triangle' is the only perfect shape. Three is the first Fermat (22n + 1) prime and the first Mersenne (2n - 1) Prime. But three also has its place in Science. There are three distinct species of the genus HOMO: Habilis, Erectus, Sapiens. There are three types of primates: Prosimians, Monkeys and Apes.

In Astronomy there are three main classifications for the morphology of galaxies: Spirals, Ellipticals and Lenticulars. Orions belt has three stars and represents Osiris, who together with Isis fathered Horus, thus making them a Trinity or 'Power of Three' in ancient Egyptian religious beliefs. It is also worth noting that Earth is the third rock from the sun...(but if I had to tell you that, then maybe you ain't from around here).

RNA and DNA both have a triplet codon system. Life is classified by three domains: Archaea, Bacteria and Eukaryotes. Atoms consist of: Proton, Neutrons and Electrons. Our Universe is perceived as being three-dimensional. The support for the importance of three in our world and in our understanding of how the world works is continuous, profound and obvious.

It is also mystical.

In Wicca there's the Triple Goddess. The Gorgons are most often a triad. The old hags are seen in threes. The representations harken back to a time when the power of women was focused in the energy of Hecate (three-headed), Asherah (one of three ancient Levantine Goddesses) and Cybele. There is also Gaia as a representation of Earth (ahem, 3rd planet. Ahem...).

No matter what your religious affilitiation is; whether you were raised in a superstitious household or a practical one, the 'power of three' has already penetrated your psyche and reverberated off everything else you know. Television shows (Charmed), Comic books, Movies and literature are replete with representations of 3's in every incarnation. You may not even think about the daily rituals you go through that may have been influenced by numerology in some aspect. And that is not to say the 'power' and 'nature' of three is solely numeric in nature, but it does lend credence to the fact that people check their horoscopes daily, hoping to find meaning in every part of their day.

The power that mythic properties of any number can carry on long after Rome has fallen, the Dark ages have been enlightened and Ipad's have been upgraded to the task of taking your blood pressure and matching you up with your soul mate. People, especially famous people, will continue to die and every one else will continue to hedge bets on who is next. The next time someone's obituary makes into the pages of Variety, listen carefully to those around you as they recant all the memories of said individual before reminding every one else, " I wonder who's next. Because you know they always come in 3's..."

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