Humans have always had an interest in the deeper meaning behind numbers. The symbolism and significance of numbers has long been a subject of esoteric and occult study. But some numbers get a little more analysis than others, especially the ones we regard as unlucky, like the number 13.
With the first Friday the 13th of the year just days away, let’s take a look at the origin of the superstitions behind this much maligned date and find out if there’s really anything to be afraid of.
There’s some debate as to why the number 13 has such a bad reputation. In Christianity, it’s believed to have originated during the Last Supper, when Jesus gathered with his 12 disciples. Judas is regarded as the 13th guest and it’s his betrayal that ultimately leads to Jesus’ death by crucifixion, which is said to have occurred on a Friday. Norse mythology also tells the story of an unlucky 13th guest. Legend has it that trickster god Loki turned up uninvited at a feast and brought with him chaos and death.
Then there’s Friday, a day of the week often considered unlucky all on its own. Biblically, it’s not only the day of Jesus’ death but also the day of the week during which Eve tempted Adam in the Garden of Eden and the day the great flood began. Literature has also alluded to bad fortune falling on a Friday, with the idea appearing as early as the 14th century.
Between old superstitions and modern pop culture, Friday the 13th has long been considered an unlucky day. There are even people diagnosed with serious phobias of both the number 13 and Friday the 13th. However, not everyone dislikes Friday the 13th. There are a many opposing superstitions and beliefs that suggest Friday the 13th is actually lucky! In Chinese culture, 13 is a good number. It was also considered lucky in Ancient Egypt.
There was once a time in ancient history that Friday the 13th was considered the day of the goddess. The name “Friday” itself comes from a Norse goddess known as Frigg or Freya. Both represented fertility so the sixth day was dedicated to celebrating femininity and the cycle of life. The number 13 became associated with Friday because there are 13 moon cycles during the course of a year, and the lunar calendar is closely tied with a woman’s menstrual cycle.
In the traditional Tarot deck, the “death” card is the 13th card of the Major Arcana but it’s a card that represents rebirth and renewal. It doesn’t mean a literal death but symbolizes the end of something old and the beginning of something new.
No matter what we believe about the number 13, there’s no denying that numbers do have certain energies associated with them. Whether a number has a good or bad vibe, can change from person to person. For some people, 13 is their lucky number—and Friday is a day to look forward to!
Are you wondering what Friday the 13th has in store for you? A spiritual advisor can help uncover what numbers hold the most power for you and which day of the week is your luckiest. Don’t be too quick to rule out Friday the 13th—it might just work for you!