Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition.  The origin of fears surrounding Friday the 13th is unclear.  The earliest known documented reference in English occurs in Henry Edwards' 1869 biography of Gioachino Rossini, who died on a Friday 13th.  One theory states that it is a modern mixture of two older superstitions: that 13 is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day.
Strikingly similar folkloric aspects of the number 13 have been noted in various cultures around the World.  One theory is that this is due to the cultures employing lunar-solar calendars.  A year with 13 full moons instead of 12 posed problems for the monks in charge of the calendars.  It was considered a very unfortunate circumstance, especially by the monks who had charge of the calendar of thirteen months for that year and it upset the regular arrangement of church festivals.  For this reason, thirteen came to be considered an unlucky number.

There has also been a longstanding myth that if 13 people dine together, one will die within a year. The myth comes from both the Last Supper, when Jesus dined with the 12 Apostles prior to his death, and a popular Norse myth, in which 11 close friends of the God Odin dine together only to have the party crashed by a 13th person, Loki, the God of evil and turmoil.

The name Friday comes from the Old English Frigedaeg, meaning the 'day of Frigg', a result of an old convention associating the Old English Goddess Frigg with the Roman Goddess Venus, with whom the day is associated in many different cultures.  In some cultures, Friday is considered unlucky.  This is particularly so in maritime circles; perhaps the most enduring sailing superstition is that it is unlucky to begin a voyage on a Friday.

In modern times, Friday the 13th is considered to be especially unlucky, due to the conjunction of Friday with the unlucky number thirteen.  The fear of Friday the 13th has been called friggatriskaidekaphobia - Frigga being the name of the Norse Goddess for whom Friday is named in English and triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number thirteen.  It is also sometimes called paraskevidekatriaphobia, from the Greek Paraskevi for Friday, Dekatreis for thirteen, and phobia for fear.

In 1939, a small town in Indiana forced all black cats to wear bells on Friday, October 13.  When the measure seemed to work (nothing bad happened), the town continued the practice for the next three years.

Wall Street has fostered a fear of Friday the 13th for decades.  In October 13, 1989, Wall Street saw, what was at the time, the second largest drop of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in history.  The day was nicknamed the Friday the 13th mini-crash.

Friday the 13th was also discussed in the popular 2003 novel, The Da Vinci Code.  In the book, a connection is drawn between the slaughtering of the Knights Templar by the Church and Friday the 13th.


The next Friday the 13th will be in June 2014.  It also comes with a full moon, which comes with its own superstitions.  The full moon is associated with murders, suicides, mental illness, natural disasters, accidents, birth rate, women fertility, witchcraft and werewolves.

The moon is a very important object in many cultures.  The moon’s regular phases make it the focus of many of the oldest calendars.  Tally sticks and bones date back around 30,000 years old and are believed to represent the waxing and waning of the moon.  It was said that witches spells were performed in the nights with full moon, because that moon was believed to bring a major influence on human body and mind.  Another old superstition, warned that women who stare at the full moon or let its rays touch their bodies are exposed to the risk of become pregnant.  Studies have found that police officers and hospital workers are among the strongest believers in the notion that more crime and trauma occur on nights when the moon is full.  So during the full moon try to avoid argues with neighbors, because such quarrels will cause you much trouble.

The Wiccan Esbats are traditionally tied to the lunar cycles.  Together with Sabbats, they represent the most common celebrations in Wiccan.  An Esbat is commonly understood to be a ritual observance on the night of a full moon.

The Full Moon Esbat is used for banishing, protection and divination workings, also planning, releasing and working with time.  It is during this time that the God becomes the strong Father figure who cares for the Earth and all its creatures.  The Father is the ripeness of manhood and in his prime, a great leader.

The Sun Moon is June 13, 2014.  The sun is at its strongest during the Summer Solstice, a time when the day is the longest.  It is also known as the Strawberry Moon because of the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June.  Plan a ritual to balance your spiritual and physical desires.

Whether there is any merit to the superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th and Full Moons will remain uncertain, but that will not stop millions of people across the World from worrying about the unlucky day.  There are a number of popular myths and superstitions surrounding the day, most famously:

  • If you cut your hair on Friday the 13th, someone in your family will die
  • If a funeral procession passes you on Friday the 13th, you will be the next to die
  • Do not start a trip on Friday or you will encounter misfortune
  • If you break a mirror on Friday the 13th, you will have seven years of bad luck
  • A child born on Friday the 13th will be unlucky for life
  • Ships that set sail on a Friday will have bad luck
  • If you walk under a ladder or if a black cat crosses you on Friday the 13th, you will have bad luck
  • And stay away from men in hockey masks


Be Careful and Good Luck!



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