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Louis XVI
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Number 21 Was Unlucky For French King

By James Donahue

There is a peculiar story concerning King Louis XVI of France concerning the number 21. It appears that when he was a child, long before he took the throne, an astrologer warned him to always be on his guard on the 21st day of each month.

Louis never forgot the warning. During the 18th Century when he was in power, people believed in occult matters and kings consulted psychics and listened to the advice of astrologers before making decisions. Consequently, King Louis never would do business on the 21st of the month.

The irony of this story is, however, that King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were the last king and queen to ever rule over the people of France. Their reign toppled during the French Revolution (1789-1791). They were arrested in Varennes, while attempting to flee France, on September 21, 1791, and he was executed by guillotine on January 21, two years later. Marie Antoinette was executed by the same device on October 16 that same year.

Searching through the whole sordid rule of King Louis XVI fails to turn up any more unfortunate events dating on the 21st of the month, thus the astrologer's consultation was clearly zeroing in on the arrest and death of the king.

Just why the number 21 turned out to be a bad date for King Louis is not clear. For most people, this is a very positive number. It is a key number in certain card and gambling games such as Black Jack, it is the "coming-of-age" year for young men in the United States and many European countries, and the military still honors its dead with a 21-gun salute.

Twenty-one is the third star number. These are numbers that can be represented by a square with a triangle on each side. Thus is also is called a triangular number.

And for numerologists who get into the stuff, the number 21 strangely is also an octagonal number, a fibonacci number and a motzkin number, is the 2-hyperperfect number, and is the smallest number of distinct squares needed to tile a square.

The atomic number of 21 represents the chemical element scandium. This is a rare earth metal that has few applications since there is so little of it. It is soft, silvery or white in color and is found primarily in Scandinavia.

The 21st Tarot card is the World. People into Tarot readings recognize this card as a very positive one. It points to happiness and wholeness, and a sense that everything is working in harmony with dynamic balance.

That the wicked king was overthrown on the 21st day of the month may have been bad news for the king, but for the people of France it marked a new beginning. There was obvious rejoicing in the streets.

Remember that there was a world paradigm shift occurring at about that time in history. The old monarchal rules were collapsing and new forms of government were rising up. It was happening all over Europe and Asia, where the movement was toward socialism and eventually communism.

The American Revolution occurred (1776-1783), and ironically, King Louis XVI was persuaded by the wily Benjamin Franklin to assist the overthrow of the British power. His decision to sent the Marquis de Lafayette with French forces to America to assist in the struggle.tipped the scales.

Little did King Louis know that the American Revolution then became the catalyst for the revolution that toppled his own rule within the decade.