Friday the 13th Is Luckier Than You Think
Friday the 13th is feared by many in Western culture. It is an unlucky day to be tiptoed through cautiously, always on the lookout for anything that might go awry. Fear of the number 13 even has a scientific name: triskaidekaphobia.
The superstition surrounding Friday the 13th didn't arise until the Middle Ages, possibly originating from the connection between Jesus' Last Supper, where 13 individuals were present, and his death the next day, Good Friday. Donna Henes, an urban shaman, once wrote in her column at the Huffington Post:
"Friday, the day of original sin, the day Jesus died, the day of public hangings, in combination with 13, the number of steps on a gallows, the number of coils of rope in a hangman's noose, the number of the Death card in the tarot deck, is indubitably designated as a day of portent and doom."
Until the tide turned in the Middle Ages, though, both Fridays and the number 13 were associated with the Great Goddesses and therefore were seen as symbols of good luck, not bad. Henes goes on to describe the ways in which Fridays and the number 13 were prevalent in society's rituals:
"Thirteen is certainly the most essentially female number—the average number of menstrual cycles in a year. The approximate number, too, of annual cycles of the moon....Thirteen is the number of blood, fertility and lunar potency. Thirteen is the lucky number of the Great Goddess.
Representing as it does, the number of revolutions the moon makes around the earth in a year, 13 was the number of regeneration for pre-Columbian Mexicans. In ancient Israel, 13 was a sanctified number. Thirteen items were decreed necessary for the tabernacle. At 13 years of age, a boy was (and still is) initiated into the adult Jewish community. In Wicca, the pagan goddess tradition of Old Europe, communicants convene in covens of 13 participants. Thirteen was also auspicious for the Egyptians, who believed that life has 13 stages, the last of which is death—the transition to eternal life.
Held holy in honor of Shekinah, the female aspect of God, Friday was observed as the day of Her special celebrations. Jews around the world still begin the observance of the Sabbath at sunset on Friday evenings when they invite in the Sabbath Bride. Friday is the Sabbath in the Islamic world. Friday is sacred to Oshun, the Yoruba orisha of opulent sensuality and overwhelming femininity, and also to Frig, the Norse Goddess of love and sex, of fertility and creativity."
People fear Friday the 13th because it is something they don't understand, and people always fear what they don't understand. As you go about your day today, though, remember that this day wasn't always feared—it was revered. Use this day to connect with your inner Goddess or to seek out the spiritual Goddess you find strength in.
I wish you good luck on this fortuitous day.