Happy Friday the 13th, by Tina Marie

How have we placed so much attention on one little number? You by now know that many people consider Friday the 13th to be an unlucky day. In This interesting fear is known as paraskevidekatriaphobia. A big word that breaks down to mean “Fear of Friday”. This fear, or superstition, happens to be the most widely believed superstition in the United States.

So you may ponder, as I did – Where did the superstition around the number 13 originate?
And how can a day be considered so scary? How did the fear of a day rank among other common fears such as heights, snakes, spiders, and water?

Well, of course, part of is the “13” itself.

Interesting facts about 13 –
This has long been considered an unlucky number by several cultures. For example, the ancient Egyptians believe that humans went through twelve stages on earth, and the thirteenth one was the happy afterlife. While they didn’t see 13 as unlucky, it was often associated with death. This association spread to other cultures that ignored the Egyptians’ positive association with 13. Go figure.
Did you know that women generally experience 13 menses throughout a year.  I concur, being female myself,  that this can be seen as bad, especially some days where you feel like not getting out of bed. But that’s not what the ancients were thinking about. When the solar calendar, with its 12 months, replaced the lunar calendar, with its 13 months, the number 13 was looked down upon. This little number was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And there’s more…
There was this famous dinner that had seats for 13… anyone recall the Last Supper? Judas, the one chosen to hold the hat of betrayer was the 13th guest, and we all know how that ended.
There are 13 witches in a coven.

But what about Friday?

Who in their right mind thought to tag one of the best day’s of the week with ‘bad luck’?
To find that answer we need to go back to Norse mythology. Freya was the goddess of fertility, and her sacred animal was the cat. Our sixth day of the week, Friday, was named after Freya.  Because of this, some ancient cultures believed that Friday was the best day for a wedding, you know – marriage, procreation, babies. Now with the rise of Christianity and the frowning upon of pagen symbols, which cats, for some reason (maybe another blog post) were considered evil all now tied to Freya, who had a cat- turned the day – Friday – bad. So Freya, along with her cat, and her day, fell from grace.

Most people, textbooks, and historical records from my ancestors, as I am half irish, note that in 1066, on Friday, October 13, the final stage was set for the Battle of Hastings. That’s the day that William of Normandy demanded that Harold II of England hand over the throne to him. Harold declined, and the English troops fell to William’s army the next day. William the Conqueror took over Britain and changed the lives of the Anglo-Saxons forever. It’s understandable how they would view Friday the 13th with dread.

In more modern times, stock market crashes have taken place on Fridays, hence the term “Black Friday.”

So, if we add all the superstition surrounding the number 13 to the fear of Friday, we have Friday the 13th representing the fear of the number 13 and Friday all on one day.

People take this seriously?

Many high rises don’t have a 13th floor. Airports don’t have a Gate 13. Many towns skip from 12 to 14 when naming their streets. Lots of hotels avoid having a room #13. Airplanes lack a 13th aisle.

How often do we experience Friday the 13th?
How often do we have Fridays that fall on the 13th of the month? It changes from year to year. There can be from one to three Friday the thirteenths in a year. The next year to have three, a high number of occurrences, is 2012.

Pull 13 out of retirement

I say, let’s bring back the number 13, pull it out of retirement and give it a nobel meaning that recalls its early reverence in ancient culture. Make this a day when we tell 13 people we admire how important they are to us. Or gift 13 random people with a meaningful gift. Or donate 13 dollars to your favorite cause.

Our beliefs marked the day, our new beliefs can change it.

Happy Friday the 13th!

Hugz, Tina Marie


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About Todd Alan

Todd Alan considers himself to be a modern day wizard practiced in the science of dynamic alchemy. Todd Alan’s mission is to light the path that leads others to the fire; lighting the fire in the hearts of others.