It’s Friday the 13th! Hide under your beds! Lock your black cat in the basement and stay away from mirrors! Don’t step on any cracks, walk under any ladders, or say Bloody Mary three times in the mirror because… because why?
Thirteen is unlucky!
Well, I’ve heard it’s unlucky because Judas was he thirteenth guest at the last supper. Of course, this would also mean that pretty much anywhere Jesus went with his apostles he was traveling in a group of thirteen.
And the Knights of Templar were slaughtered on Friday the thirteenth.
Who are the knights of Templar?
Umm… a group of French Christian mystics who fought in the crusades and the early fathers of the Freemasons. So that’s interesting…
So what is the actual deal with the number 13? Obviously it’s steeped in our culture that it’s bad. Like so bad we don’t acknowledge the 13th floor of tall buildings. 11, 12, 14, 15… Wait, isn’t the 14th floor really the 13th flo- Nope! Nothing to see here! Thirteen ceases to exist if we don’t acknowledge it!
Hollywood certainly likes to play up evil Thirteen. Satanism, Supernatural, and those damned wicked witches.
Ahh, Witches, yeah. That’s why 13 is unlucky. Because of the witches. They like 13 stuff.
Would you care to elaborate hypothetical imaginary person I am channeling through my blog?
Well- they do thirteen stuff all the time, right?
Why 13? Why would witches be all about 13?
Back in college I had an awesome professor who pretty much took my brain out of my head, pulled out a bunch of preconceived notions and opened up alot of space for seeing things a different way. One of my favorite lectures was on the number 13. He wrote the number on the board and leaned in, speaking in the low, conspiratorial way that made the entire class lean in and listen.
And he lead us down the same trail I just laid out for you, until we landed on witches.
Now, when we get to the subject of witches, it is important to separate fact from fiction. Fictional witches are terrifying, selling their souls to the devil, sucking the breath out of children, cursing good people with plagues and misfortune. Do people actually do that? I dunno. Maybe some, but i hardly think such evil intentions are solely bestowed upon a group of cackling women hiding in the woods.
Actual witches were pagans. And before you get nervous with that term, the word pagan literally meant uneducated hick. People who were unaware of The Church, who practiced the religions of their culture before the Roman Empire conquered their land and Christianity was introduced. Small village people no one really cared much about, until they wanted them to convert.
They weren’t considered evil. Not initially at least. Just uneducated, stuck in their old ways, misguided.
And they practiced old religions which were bizarre and backwards to the very sophisticated Romans who slaughter cows for luck and visited the vestal virgins for oracle readings until around 312 AD.
But as Christianity spread to be the norm, many pagan beliefs were either assimilated or stomped out. Yule Logs? Easter Bunnies? Oh yeah, we can make them part of our holidays.
Medicine, wise women? Oh no no no no. In Roman based patriarchy women having that kind of secret knowledge did not fly. Hence, the birth of the witch. The woman who would brew a tea for a nasty cold, use herbs to assist childbirth, bury the placenta so that animals wouldn’t be drawn to the house where the new baby was. That woman has unnatural knowledge.
And in times of chaos, war, famine, plague, these ladies who practiced this ancient wisdom of healing were the first to blame. As you know, the blame spread outwards into mass hysteria and women from all backgrounds were being accused of witchcraft and burned.
Pretty horrific. But what does that have to do with this unlucky number 13? The Devils number, right?
Well now, lets look at the calendar. The Roman Calendar is made up of 12 months. The solar calendar, based on Ra the Sun God. ( i could go off on a tangent here, but I will spare you). It is the calendar we use today. We like our calendar.
But there is another calendar in use all over the world. The lunar calendar. Used today by many Asian cultures, it is a very efficient calendar because every month has 28 days. None of this Thirty days has September, April, June, and November. All the rest have thirty-one,Except for February alone.. junk. Because it is based on the cycle of the moon. 28 days between each cycle. Thirteen months in a year.
Okay, so thirteen months, so?
Sooooo….. (we’ve finally reached my point, I’m drawing it out because it’s so exciting!!!)
The Sun has always been associated with masculinity in pagan cultures, like our buddy Ra. Egyptians, Druids, Celts, to name a few, and the Moon with Femininity. For a very good reason. The typical fertility cycle of a women is 28 days. The moon was used to track pregnancies and ovulation.
The dark and mysterious moon, a symbol of feminine power. Dark and mysterious feminine power, peaking thirteen times a month, considered sacred by more matriarchy based religions.
So, my friends, thirteen became known as the evil number, the unlucky number of witches and witchcraft because feminine power, over anything at all including themselves, was just not cool.
Not cool at all.
Happy Friday the 13th. Enjoy the full moon tonight.
Please share your thoughts below! I’d love to hear from you!