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What’s the Story Behind Friday the 13th?

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Let’s start with a quote from Stephen King:

“When I’m reading, I will not stop on page 94, page 193, page 382 at all. The digits of these numbers add up to 13.”

When doing research for this article, I found the above quote and a lot of other interesting stuff as well…

For example, did you know that for most Wiccans, 13 is actually a very powerful number and has a lot to do with fertility and the Goddess?

And have you ever thought about why Friday is considered an unlucky day for so many people but not for Wiccans and Pagans?

I’ll tell you more about that in a moment, but first, let’s take a look at why so many people fear Friday the 13th.

How did the number 13 first begin to appear unlucky?

(The last supper)

The first record of 13 being an unlucky number appeared in the late 1600s. It was considered unlucky to sit 13 people at a table and people actually believed that the 13th person would cause someone to die within a year.

It seems that this stems from an old norse myth about the Ase gods:

12 gods were having a dinner party at Valhalla. Then Loki arrived as an uninvited guest and guest no. 13. At that dinner party, Loki arranged for Hoder (the blind god of darkness) to shoot Balder (the beautiful god of joy).

Odin loved Balder very much, so he had made sure that all living and dead things made a promise not to hurt Balder. But he had forgot the mistletoe. So, Loki dipped one of Hoder’s arrows in miseltoe and convinced him to shoot it at Balder.

Balder died and the earth turned dark. From then on 13 was considered an unlucky number.

In the bible, we have a very similar setup with the last supper. 13 people at the table and one of them died very soon thereafter.

Some facts about the number 13

(This hotel don’t have a 13th floor!)

  • 13 menstruations:
    In some ancient religions, the number 13 was considered a number associated with the goddess, because a woman menstruates 13 times during a year (28×13 = 364 days).
  • 13 people:
    At the last supper, there were 13 people (including Jesus).
  • Floor no. 13:
    Many hotels, tall office buildings etc. don’t have floor number 13 and some also leave out room 113, 213 etc.
  • 13 Colonies:
    When the US first were created, there were total of 13 colonies. The first US flag also had 13 stripes and 13 stars (this was changed to 15 stripes and stars and later reverted back to 13 stripes, but with 50 stars).
  • President Roosevelt:
    Roosevelt was very fearful of the number 13 and he did everything he could to avoid it. He would never it at a table with 13 people. If he was invited to a dinner party and there were 13 guests, he would invite his secretary to join them.
  • A real phobia:
    In the beginning of the 1900s, a term was invented for this fear of the number thirteen: triskaidekaphobia

What about Friday?

It’s not all in the number. What makes this day so special is the fact that it’s both friday and the 13th. So what’s so special about Friday?

In the US, Friday is the 6th day of the week. The number 6 is often ascociated with the devil (666).

Since the 14th centoury, Friday has been considered an unlucky day. Here’s just some of the bad stuff that has happened on a Friday:

  • Jesus was crucified on a Friday
  • Eve tempted Adam on a Friday
  • Abel was Slain by Cain on a Friday (the 13th actually)
  • The great floods began on a Friday
  • The whole deal with the Tower of Babel also happened on a Friday
  • In rome, people were executed on Fridays
  • In Britain, people were hanged on Fridays as well

As you can see, for some reason, the Bible and Christianity really has a problem with Fridays.

Let’s look more into this and see what we find…

Friday the 13th and Wiccans:

For Wiccans, Friday the 13 is not an unlucky day at all. Quote the opposite.

For ancient Pagans, Friday was a day where you would (could) receive blessings and gifts from the gods. This makes it a very spiritual and lucky day.

In some ancient Pagan religions, 13 was considered to be the last stage of life. The first 12 were in this life, here on earth and the 13th and final one, symbolized the afterlife.

Again, not a bad thing as most Pagans see this as a natural part of life and not something that should be feared.

The name Friday itself comes from Freya, the goddess of love and fertility. Freya had two black cats. A gift from Thor, the god of Thunder.

Author Charles Panati has this to say about Freya and Friday the 13th:

“The actual origin of the superstition, though, appears also to be a tale in Norse mythology. Friday is named for Frigga, the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility. When Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Frigga was banished in shame to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. It was believed that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil – a gathering of thirteen – and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week. For many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as “Witches’ Sabbath.”
 

(Freya with her cats)

Conclusion:

As you can see, this is connected to Witches and Wiccans.

When Christianity started to convert Pagans, they would do everything they could to make the old gods really bad. I am not really sure why, but for some reason, Freya got it really bad.

A LOT of bad stuff happens on Fridays and Black Cats has also been connected with bad stuff happening.

The number 13th is a bit different though. It doesn’t seems like it’s only the Bibles fault, that it got such a bad reputation, but I am sure it has a lot to do with it.

Again, the number 13 is closely connected to the female energies of the universe (13 menstrual cycles) and if there were one thing Christianity didn’t like, it was Goddesses and strong women (did someone say witchcraft trials?).

For most Wiccans and Pagans, Friday the 13th is not a bad day. Not at all. In fact, most consider it to be a lucky day and a good day to do spells for luck.

Now,this is just my findings and I will encourage you to judge for yourself and to make your own conclusions…

…and when you do, please leave a comment below and tell me about it 🙂

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  • April Leigh Shular

    I love Friday the 13 th! My Grandfather was born on Friday the 13 th in Feb and my oldest son was born on Friday the 13 th of January! How could this be bad!? It can’t. I feel huge power and insight today! It is wonderful!

  • Sylvan

    The Knights Templar were attacked and disbanded on Friday the 13th, October 1307.

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