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Patti Wigington

Wooooo, it's Friday the 13th!

By August 13, 2010

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Every time one of these rolls around, people get weirded out, and for the life of me I don't know why. The fear of Friday the 13th is called Paraskevidekatriaphobia. Turns out that a lot of employers actually have a high rate of employees calling in sick on this date, because people are so worried about bad things happening on their way to work.

A lot of hotels and skyscrapers don't have a thirteenth floor -- they go straight from twelve to fourteen, and some grocery stores don't have an Aisle 13. Many fisherman and sailors believe it's bad luck to begin a voyage on a Friday, regardless of the date. Back in 1306, King Philip of France had hundreds of Knights Templar arrested on Friday, October 13. They were tortured and then executed - which I would say indeed qualifies as a stroke of bad luck.

While Friday the 13th may be bad luck for some, some witches and Pagans see it as a magical date. Friday is named for Freyja, a Norse goddess of fertility (sometimes called Frigg). The ancient Egyptians associated the number thirteen with immortality -- there were twelve steps on the ladder to eternal life and knowledge; the thirteenth step meant going through death into everlasting life. In Rome, it was traditional to have thirteen guests to be present at weddings. In the Hebrew faith, age thirteen is when a young man or woman is finally considered an adult. Finally, thirteen has a strong association with the moon for many of us. There are thirteen lunar cycles each year, and many of us celebrate the full moons with an Esbat rite. Thirteen is the traditional number of witches in a coven.

David Emery, our Guide to Urban Legends, has some great stuff about Friday the 13th Legends and Folklore - check it out if you get a chance!

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February 13, 2009 at 11:52 am
(1) Kendall says:

I took today off from work, but didn’t even realize it was the 13th. But I saw an email from work saying our building door is broken so maybe it’s good I’m not there. I’ve always had good luck on Friday the 13th, and so far so good with this one.

February 13, 2009 at 2:07 pm
(2) Derek J. Carr says:

Friday the 13th is called Paraskevidekatriaphobia – well it’s all Greek to me :)

Friday 13th has normally been quite lucky for me too (not so keen on Saturday 14th!)

February 13, 2009 at 7:41 pm
(3) Lori says:

I’ve always had luck on Friday the 13th. Afterall, It’s almost been a payday. How bad can that be (even in this economy)?

February 17, 2009 at 10:22 am
(4) Maureen says:

I love Friday the 13th too, but I’m biased. Sometimes my birthday falls on one. :)

February 17, 2009 at 8:10 pm
(5) Labrys says:

I like Friday the 13th; I do serve Freyja and think it a lucky number. This year, there are THREE Friday the 13ths and I plan to make it a year of magic especially focused upon those days! I made a new candle/anoinging oil I call “13 luck” to use throughout the year!

August 13, 2010 at 10:16 am
(6) Lori F - MN says:

Friday the 13th has always been good to me. Payday.

August 13, 2010 at 10:26 am
(7) Prairie Kittin says:

Friday is sacred to the Goddess of fertility. 13 is the sacred lunar number. … This is the day we do Love Rituals, sending Love and Light to the Earth. … Go find someone you Love and celebrate! ;-)

August 13, 2010 at 1:50 pm
(8) Greg says:

I work at a fast food restaurant, and we have no “number 13″. It goes from 12 to 14.

On a side note, almost every time an order comes to $6.66 the customer requests that we add something to the order to change the price. I had no idea there are so many numerologists in my area!

August 13, 2010 at 2:15 pm
(9) Aurora Moonwolf says:

Friday the 13th has always been a lucky day for me, I’ve always had a good day. I think that it’s because I expect it to be a good day. A lot of people out there expect it to be a bad day, and therefore attracts a bad day to them (law of attraction). What you focus on is attracted to you. Happy Friday the 13th!

August 17, 2010 at 1:52 pm
(10) Bronwyn says:

My beautiful daughter was born on Friday the 13th. I would say that is pretty good luck!

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