top of page

23 Enigma: Coincidences or Connections?

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

The majority of people who turn their attention to the occult, even briefly, usually focus on numbers such as 7, 13, 666 and so on. In reality, there is a plethora of magical numbers due to the nature of the subject, which is affected both by patterns, occurrences, arithmancy etc. One of these “odd” occult numbers is the number “23”.

Some Weird “Coincidences”

It is very probably that most people became aware about the number 23 because of Joel Schumacher’s film called “The Number 23” back on 2007. In the film, Walter Sparrow, reads a fictional novel about the life of a murderer whose actions are connected to the number 23. Walter digs deeper in the book and realises that a lot of things in his own personal life are indeed connected with the number 23 too! This becomes a journey down the rabbit hole for him rives him to utter madness.

So, another fictional novel in a mystery film, right? Maybe not so.

In real life, each parent passes 23 chromosome to their offspring, there are 23 letters in the Latin alphabet, Julius Caesar was stabbed 23 times, Night Templars had 23 magistrates, William Shakespeare was born in the 23rd of April 1564 and died in the 23rd of April 1616, the ancient Egyptians and Sumerians start their calendars on the 23rd of July, the Mayan calendar ended on the 23rd of December 2012 (20+1+2=23), Titanic sunk on the 15th April 1912 (1+5+4+1+9+1+2=23)…

The “coincidences” are endless!

Principia Discordia

These weird theories around the number 23 became known by William S. Burroughs via the best selling trilogy “The Illuminatus!” (1969-1971) written by the American writers Anton Wilson and Robert Sheas, and initially the phenomenon was called “23/17” and in 1977 in the publication named “Cosmic Trigger” by Robert Anton Wilson this was renamed “23 Enigma”.

Of course, these authors owe a lot in “Principia Discordia”, a truly odd text that was published from Greg Hill and Kerry Thornley back in 1965 in new Orleans, of which only five copies original copies ever existed (perhaps because of the law of fives as 2+3=5?) the full title being “Principia Discordia or How the West Was Lost”. This book describes in a sort of religious yet humorous way the beliefs and worships of the Discordia Society and their deity called Eris.

(The Article Continues Below the Ad)

The Cosmic Number 23

In his later interviews Robert Anton Wilson supported the idea that as with number 13, number 23 simply falls in the same phenomenon of self fulfilling prophecy. In reality (he suggested) there is no mysterious 23 Enigma, since all the proof that has been given by writers is cherry picked dates and events that match the numerical value of 23, creating in a sense what one could call an “Urban Legend”.

This could be very true, but not everyone agrees with his point of view.

Those who study Gematria know that words as everything else in the universe represent numbers. In fact, the entire universe has its foundations in numerical values, equations, and mathematics. According to them, 23is simply a stable constant that represents one of the many sides of the plethora of mathematical algorithms that course through what we call “Cosmic Harmony”. So in a way, the number 23, is just one face of the unknown not an answer to the mysteries of the universe.

Truth is that these digits (2 and 3) can be found frequently in almost every aspect of our lives, and even through coincidences there is a stable and repetitive pattern that can be observed.

Some Other Notable Events in the Pattern

  1. The disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (that was also followed by some otherworldly events such as “Mothman” visitations etc.) that took place in 1986 happened on 01:23 and the coordinates of the power plant are 51°23′23″N, 30°5′58″E.

  2. The Twin Towers disaster in the World Trade Centre took place on the 11th of September 2001 (11+9+2+1=23)

  3. 23 was Adolf Hitler’s favourite number and he was taking his most important decisions on the 23rd day of the month.

  4. Saddam Hussein dies on the 30th of December 2006 (3+12+2+6=23).

  5. Kurt Cobain was born in 1967 (1+9+6+7=23) and died in 1994 (1+9+9+4=23).

  6. Serial killer Charles Manson was born on the 12th of November (12+11=23).

  7. Comet Hale-Bopp whose passing by event happened in 1997 during which the 38 members of Heaven’s Gate committed suicide, was discovered on the 23rd of July 1995.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page