It’s Friday the 13th, avoid ladders and black cats and find your lucky rabbits foot! Why do so many people believe that Friday the 13th is unlucky?
My favourite story to explain the origins of bad luck associated with Friday the 13th goes back to the fall of the Knights Templar. On Friday the 13th of October 1307 King Philip IV of France along with Pope Clement ordered that members of the order of Knights Templar be arrested. Many of the Knights were then tortured and burned at the stake.
The Knights had been accused of blasfamy, homosexuality, and worshiping a severed head or Baphomet. However, it is more likely that their arrest was a move to usurp their power and wealth. Jacques De Molay, the last Grand Master of the order, requested that he be burned with his hands bound in prayer and facing Notra Dam Cathedral. As he was being burned to death it is recorded that he called out "Dieu sait qui a tort et a péché. Il va bientot arriver malheur à ceux qui nous ont condamnés à mort" (free translation : "God knows who is wrong and has sinned. Soon a calamity will occur to those who have condemned us to death").
Pope Clement died just a month later, and before the year was over King Philip also died in a hunting accident.
The story of the Knights Templar is very compelling however, the idea that this is the origin of the superstitions surrounding Friday the 13th is most likely a modern creation. The truth is we aren’t sure why it became such an unlucky day to many.
Another theory is that it has a tie to the last supper being a dinner of thirteen guests and Jesus’s execution being on a Friday. This may also be part of the reason that 13 itself is thought to be unlucky. It is also recorded that many believed Friday to be an unlucky day no matter what the date. Its impressive that superstitions can be so powerful that many western buildings omit the 13th floor.
The superstition around the number 13 may be in part be due to the Death card in a Tarot deck also representing the number 13 (XIII). I have always found the number 13 to bring me luck instead of hardship. Ask any good Tarot reader what the death card is about and they will tell you that, while it can mean someone’s actual death, it is usual associated with change or transformation.
Numerologicaly the number 13 is a combination of 1, which represents the creative potential of an individual; and 3, which represents the expression or act of creativity. It “reduces” to four (1+3=4), where as 4 represents stability and home. This let’s me view the number as a highly creative omen to bring stability to myself and my home and family. So instead of an evil omen, 13 can represent making personal changes toward a more creative and fulfilling life.
Friday is named for the Norse goddess Freya. Freya represents love, beauty, female sexuality and also Magic in Norse symbology. Freya is represented in the poetic Edda as the “Völva” or Shaman of the Gods. This symbology also lends the idea of Friday towards a time for change. The power of the Völva was to be able to reweave the web of time. They could make predictions and help individuals to change their fate for the better. Part of the reason Friday has been associated with a negative connotation might be in part a feminine subjugation.
Today, instead of fear, use the power in the symbolism of Friday the 13th to harness your creativity, strengthen your home and change your fate for the better. Start a new creative project. Focus on how you can help others find their inner creativity. Invike the power of Freya to see more beauty and celebrate love.
May you have a happy Friday the 13th!