What the Heck is IX625?
And Why Pick a Screwy Name Like That?

Note: The following was originally written in 1999

One day it finally made me reach for the dictionary…

I know I’m not the only one who’s had this thought:

What in the world do those words on the back of the dollar bill mean?

I found the answer(s) quite surprising.

annuit coeptis Latin. He (God) has favored our undertakings.
It is the motto, adapted from the Aeneid (IX.625), that appears
on the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States.
— The American Heritage Dictionary

A little more investigation and I discovered that the IX refers to the ninth book and the 625 to the 625th verse of Virgil’s epic poem.

Now, if you were Nona’s little one
Born on 050555
That’d get your attention!

For those who continue to write asking what in the world does that mean…

nona- is also a prefix that indicates ninth or nine
625 is also five to the fourth power (5 x 5 x 5 x 5)

Yeah, it is a somewhat unusual name to pick for one’s domain, but I’m still more than a little surprised that it was actually available. Five little digits. Short and sweet — well, at least it’s sweet to the eye of this beholder.

I should confess that the deciding factor for this site’s name was another of those “coincidental” occurrences that seem to crop up at the most opportune moments…

I was surprised that most of the names I’d considered were still up for grabs. (Aren’t all the good names supposed to be taken?) The ix625 moniker was indeed the shortest but definitely among the oddest. I pondered the candidates for a week or so before deciding I’d better make a choice. And as chance (or Providence) would have it, my little girl just happened to be watching PBS that morning.

Sesame Street typically focuses on one letter and one number each day. On 012099 it just happened to be the letter X and the number 5.

Open Sesame Street!

I’ve learned (or rather I’m still learning) not to ignore such seemingly blatant hints. C’mon, what’re the odds? Went directly to Network Solutions and registered the name.

So, for better or worse, here we are.

And in response to a recent wave of emails pointing to the spooky feeling some of you get when confronted with that eye over the pyramid, let me say that scaring you is the very last thing I was hoping to do. Please be assured that I am in no way associated with the Illuminati, the Freemasons, the Trilateral Commission, or any other mysterious and secretive society. Quite the opposite, actually. If you poke around this place you’ll find that I can be distressingly candid. As a reporter in Dream Yet Complete laments:

Explicit boring details, an open book admits

Heck, I’m one of those kooks who uses his real name when discussing issues on Internet forums. (There ain’t too many of us around.) As for the association the eye over the pyramid has for some of you…

How ’bout we fix that by employing some of Bono’s righteous thievery?
In the intro to Helter Skelter (on Rattle and Hum) he says:

This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles.
We’re stealing it back.

If that all-seeing eye has in fact been stolen by one or more of those seemingly spooky surreptitious societies, let’s steal it back here and now:

I reclaim this symbol in the name of Love!
(Hmmm… I seem to be in ripping-off Bono mode. Sorry ’bout that, mate.)

Truth be told, I see Psalm 118:22, 23 when looking at that eye over the pyramid:

The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
The Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.

And that probably scares a different group of readers! To you I say:

Do not fear, gentle person. I will not thump the Bible at you.
Ideas, though; I will fling those about like Frisbees!

As for the meanings of those other phrases on the back of the bill…

novus ordo seclorum Latin. A new order of the ages.
It is the motto on the U.S. Great Seal.

e pluribus unim Latin. One out of many.*
The motto of the United States.

*As one reader pointed out recently, alternate translations read: Out of many, one. And yes, depending on your personal perspective, that may alter the meaning.

Now, explore as you will, but fear not, my friend, for fear is indeed the mind killer. Don’t bury yourself beneath that dune.


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