Friday The Thirteenth
Lore and Legends For A Special Day
(A calendar of upcoming Friday the 13ths is featured at the end)
Each year has at least one. Some years have as many as three of these mystical and controversial days. Paraskavediatriaphobiac is the impressive title for one who fears Friday the 13th. Statistics say that up to 21 million Americans may have a dread so severe that it affects work and business transactions to the tune of millions of dollars in lost wages and revenue every time the day rolls around. In Britain a survey shows significantly more traffic accidents on Friday the 13ths. Most of us have some feelings (pro or con) about the number thirteen and about Friday the 13th in particular. Accepting a new job, walking under a ladder, watching a black cat cross the path these can be omens of either delight or terror. An overall terror of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia. On the other hand, those who delight in the number 13 are called triskadekophiles. In the Middle Ages humble bakers, afraid of being accused of short changing a powerful customer on the purchase of a dozen rolls, would wisely add one extra to the parcel, for good will and safe keeping. A bakers dozen has been synonymous with a lucky and protective thirteenth item ever since. The intriguing chain of lore connected to Friday the 13th might date back to the time of the Knights Templar. It was on Friday, October 13, 1307 when members of the Order were arrested, according to the popular historical novel The DaVinci Code. In 1869 the first reference to this date being bad luck occurs in print. The biography of Gioahino Rossi reveals that he feared Friday the 13th and subsequently died on that date. That was on Friday, November 13th, 1869. During the 20th Century superstitions and beliefs about Thirteen, especially Friday the 13th,, in particular were widely embraced. An 1898 Dictionary of Phrase and Fable labels both Friday and Thirteen unlucky in separate entries. All English speaking nations, Latin America, Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Poland and the Philippines have traditions and customs honoring this date.
Here are just a few of the startling events which have taken place on Friday the 13th. .
On Friday, January 13, 1939 Australias Black Friday Brush Fires caused widespread damage.
On Friday, October 13, 1972 the plane carrying Uruguays entire winning Olympic rugby team crashed into the Andes mountains.
That very same day in 1972 the musical group Black Sabbath debuted a landmark album.
Friday, October 13, 2006 Lemony Snickets 13th book in A Series of Unfortunate Events was released.
On that same day in 2006 The Friday the 13th Storm struck Buffalo, New York.
On Friday, June 13, 2008 respected journalist Tim Russert died suddenly. He was 58 years old and 5 + 8 = 13.
The release date on the latest in the series of Friday the 13th horror flicks draws on the date of February 13, 2009.
Looking further ahead, On Friday, April 13, 2029 Asteroid 99942, Apophis, will pass very close to Earth. If it makes landfall, its impact could create major climate and other changes affecting the entire planet.
In the Tarot Cards, 13 is Death in the major arcane. An omen of new beginnings and a glance into the world of the afterlife, it is considered a good card. In pagan rites 13 witches are a full coven, while Christians link the 13 apostles at The Last Supper with death and betrayal. The Last Supper is thought to have taken place on a Friday, that may be at the root of the unlucky Friday the 13th contraband. There is also a story of a Captain Friday who set sail on a Friday the Thirteenth on a ship named the SS FRIDAY. Neither Captain, crew nor vessel was ever seen again. In Britain ships will not leave port on a Friday. There are 13 Buddhas in the Indian pantheon, pagodas in the Fare East are surmounted by 13 discs. A sacred sword at Japans Atsusa Temple has 13 objects in its hilt. In Mexico 13 relates to the sacred snake gods. Many hotels dont have a thirteenth floor or rooms numbered 13. In Italian opera houses there are never seats numbered 13.
The 2008 film Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull featured a circle of thirteen crystal skulls with profound powers.
The United States of America, the wealthiest and most privileged society which has ever existed, has 13 stripes on the flag, 13 stars and stripes on The National Seal. The details of the Seal reveal more symbolism. The Eagle has 13 tail feathers in each wing and holds 13 arrows and 13 olive branches. Our national motto has 13 letters, thirteen was the number of original colonies. Scholars attribute the number 13 to the mysteries of the Masonic practices which were the occult and spiritual beliefs held by the Nations founders. George Washington called for a 13 gun salute when he raised the flag for the first time.
Mystics and adepts quietly smile and say, Those who understand the number thirteen hold the keys of Power and Dominion.
To unlock these legendary keys, light a black or silver candle. Add patchouli incense for a deeper focus. Place a skull motif and Tarot Key 13 motif upon the altar. Reflect on this meditation.
Meditation For Friday The Thirteenth
Radiant Light, Sacred Dark,
Lost in Magic Time!
Bring Us Around The Circle
Off beat Harmony, Vision. Welcome!
Break from the orderly, usual and expected!
Friday The 13th Calendar – 2015 and 2016
(three is the maximum number possible)
Friday, February 13, 2015
Friday, March 13, 2015
Friday, November 13, 2015
Friday, May 13, 2016 (only one in 2016, each year has at least one)
A special Thank you is extended to The Witches’ Almanac for granting permission to reprint this feature. It appears in the 2010-2011 issue.