What do you think of Friday the 13th? Is it a good omen or a bad one? Would you buy a house, schedule surgery, go about your normal business, or are you more likely to call in sick and hide under your bed?
Friday the 13th has only been an ultra bad luck day for a century or so. However, Friday has long been considered ill-fated, due in part to Christ dying on a Friday. As well, the number 13 has a long dismal history of foreboding and evil fortune. For example, there were 13 people at the Last Supper. The number 13 shakes things up, as opposed to 12, whose essence is considered perfect and complete.
The number 12 strikes a chord of dignity and balance. There are 12 Disciples, 12 Olympians, 12 lines in a cube, 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 hours of day and of night, 12 eggs in a dozen, 12 ribs in a human, and so on. Adding one more to make 13 creates an element of mystery, of the unknown, and throws things out of balance. We can’t control the tone of chaos created by 13.
Still, in ancient cultures 13 was often a holy number and much revered.
How about it? Let’s give 13 a little respect.
Our modern solar calendar year has 12 months, but at a time long past a year was measured by moon cycles and had 13 months of 28 days each. Within the modern solar year there are 13 full moons, and 13 dark of the moon. Thus, we have blue moons (two full moons in a month) to account for the natural moon cycle.
A woman generally has 13 moon cycles per year.
Some important United States’ symbols honor the number 13. There are 13 horizontal stripes on the flag, and the Great Seal is depicted with items in clusters of 13, including 13 stars. The dollar bill has a ton of symbolic references to 13, including 13 steps on the pyramid and 13 letters in each Latin phrase.
There were 13 colonies and of course 13 stars on the first U.S. flag.
13 was sacred to the ancient Egyptians. After death, a soul had to climb the ladder of eternity with its 13 rungs.
In Norse mythology Loki was the unlucky 13th guest, bringing turmoil and destruction. Do you like the modern Loki portrayed by Tom Hiddleston?
Esoteric studies often contain increments of 13, such as the 13 attributes of mercy, and the 13 circles in the archangel Metatron’s cube. In this, 13 represents the bonding of the many into oneness.
In numerology, 13 is a powerful karmic number. It forces upheaval so that outdated, ill-serving structures can crumble and be rebuilt.
The 13th Tarot card is Death, meaning drastic change, renewal, and rebirth.
In mathematics 13 is a fascinating Fibonacci number, a sequence wherein certain numbers are the sum of the two preceding numbers (0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34…)
The 13th Runic letter is Eihwaz, associated with horses, movement, and the journey in the spheres of Yggdrasil, the Tree of Life.
M is the 13th letter of the alphabet and begins such marvelous words as mellifluous, marshmallow, and medieval. What “m” words do you like?
Prohibition was over after 13 years. So if Friday the 13th inspires you to have a cocktail or a nip, go for it!
I hope you got a kick out of the reasons to respect 13. (Oh, there were 13 reasons, by the way!)
Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic in Romance