22 Oct

I’m fascinated by the number 3.  In numerology, the number 3 is often times called “the heart of humanity.”

We all know about the significance of things in threes. Below is an infinitesimal example of some things grouped in threes.

What is it in our humanity that is drawn to threes? Why is there a beginning, middle, and end? Why not a first half and second half? Why three-act plays? Why ready, set, go? Why not ready, go? Who made the rules?

We seem to want the rhythm of threes. They feel right.

Even in ancient times, groups of threes were important. 3 Wise Men, 3 Gorgons, 3 Greek Fates.

Religion: In Christianity, we have the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In NeoPaganism/Wiccan, there is Maiden/Mother/Crone.

And how do we know there are only three parts to the personality (id, ego, super-ego)? Maybe we quit looking because we hit the “magic” number.

Groups of three are also popular in literature and popular culture like movies and plays. 3 witches in MacBeth, 3 Coins in a Fountain, 3 Days of the Condor. 3 Musketeers, 3 Faces of Eve, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. King Lear had 3 daughters. Why not 4?

Nursery Rhymes: 3 Blind Mice, 3 Little Kittens Lost Their Mittens, 3 Men in a Tub.

We also love stringing 3 words together in our adages and sayings: The Truth, The Whole Truth, and nothing but the Truth; Of the People, for the People, by the People; Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil; Veni, Vidi, Vici. And who can forget that famous line, “Snap, Crackle, Pop?”

Yep, we love our threes.

Why did I write this? I’m working with a trainer and she always has me do three sets of the various circuits. Believe, I’d be good with two! But, no, it’s three. SIGH.

Arguably, threes are important to our rhythms of language, culture, and creativity.

What do you think?


Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Idaho, imagination, Popular Culture


Tags: , ,

16 responses to “3

  1. Laura Dion-Jones

    October 22, 2012 at 6:47 AM

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  2. Janis McCurry

    October 22, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    🙂 You’re welcome.

  3. marsharwest

    October 22, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    What an interesting post, Janis. The title was intriguing. The simple number by itself. I was clueless what this was about. You are so right about how pervasive this little 3 is in our culture. Loved all the examples. And yes my Pilates insturctor daughter does the 3 reps, too. Bummer, you know. LOL

    • Janis

      October 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      Marsha, I’m glad it’s not just my trainer! Sheesh.

  4. maryvine

    October 22, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    I say, three times the charm, a lot in my life. Usually it means that I finally get it after hearing it three times 🙂 Very interesting blog. Thanks.

    • Janis

      October 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      I had fun researching it.

  5. Meredith Allen Conner

    October 22, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    so True Janis! And in writing an emotion, sentiment, etc. . . is always made stronger when described three times rather than just once or twice, whether it is in the same sentence or three separate sentences.
    You are always such a treasure trove of linguistic input. Thank you!

    • Janis

      October 22, 2012 at 12:46 PM

      I know! It’s so weird, isn’t it.

  6. Stephanie Berget

    October 22, 2012 at 10:39 AM

    I’m glad you chose this to write about. Three just feels comfortable.

  7. Janis

    October 22, 2012 at 12:47 PM

    Good thing bronc riders only have to stay on 8 seconds. Can you imagine three minutes?

  8. Peggy Staggs

    October 22, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    I love numbers. They’re fascinating, cosmic, and completely complicated. Recently I heard something about the number 72. As soon as things settle down here I’m going to check into it.

  9. Judith Keim

    October 22, 2012 at 9:03 PM

    Janis, I love this! Yes, even when you plant something, it has to be in threes. I guess two is staid but three keeps things a little off balance. Great post!!

  10. Janis McCurry

    October 23, 2012 at 7:00 AM

    We are a funny species, aren’t we?

  11. Patsy

    October 24, 2012 at 7:04 AM

    Interesting Janis. I have three sons! LOL.

    • Janis McCurry

      October 24, 2012 at 7:20 AM

      There you go! Perfect number. Thanks for your comment, Patsy.


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