Friday the 13th: An Origin Story

Friday the 13th: An Origin Story | California Psychics

Truth or Superstition?

Do you have triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13)? If so, you probably also have paraskevidekatriaphobia, or fear of Friday the 13th. According to fearof.net, nearly 85% of people in the U.S. are paraskevidekatriaphobes. Sometimes, fear of Friday the 13th is also called, friggatriskaidekaphobia. 

Origins of Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th is such an infamous day, and 13 is considered such an unlucky number, that it is not uncommon to find skyscrapers missing the thirteenth floor, or airports without Gate 13. And of course, the date has given it’s name to one of the most recognized and continuous horror franchises of the past few decades. Why though? What made Friday the 13th such a terrifying day? Honestly, there’s no specific Friday the 13th that can be blamed for the creation of this long-running superstition, but is more than likely a combination of several historic events, cultural myths, and religious moments.

In Norse mythology, god of mischief Loki, became the thirteenth guest at a dinner of the gods which resulted in chaos and tragedy for them, and forever tainted the idea of having 13 people sit down to dinner together in Nordic tradition. In Christian tradition, Jesus was crucified on a Friday, a traditional day for Roman executions, after sitting down to supper with his 12 apostles, also a dinner made up of 13 people. Friday was given an even worse reputation throughout the early nineteenth century, as that was the day of state executions in many US states. One of the oldest stories though, comes from the twelfth century, when King Phillip IV ordered the destruction and execution of the Knights Templar, in order to gain access to their wealth. Their leader was executed on Friday, October 13, 1307, placing a curse on King Philip as he died. Somewhat unsettling is the fact that King Phillip and most of his heirs suffered untimely and sometimes terrible deaths not long after the destruction of the Templar order, giving power to the superstition of Friday the 13th.

Here are a few good, bad, and interesting facts that surround the genuine fear people have had about Friday the 13th and the number 13. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if it’s unlucky, lucky, or just another number.

The Number 13

The Good – In Italy, it’s not the number 13 that is feared, but 17.  In fact, Italians associate the number 13 with the Goddess Fortuna, the goddess of favor, fortune, and fertility. However, according to miciitalian.com, poor 17 (aka XVII) gets its bad rap from when the letters get anagrammatically switched to spell “vixi,” the Latin phrase for “I have lived,” implying “My life is over.”

The Bad – The Norse and Germanic Goddess of Fertility, Frigga, (of Friggatriskaidekaphobia fame) was not to be as well-revered as Fortuna. According to thesun.co.uk, “When the tribes who worshiped Frigga converted to Christianity in the early Middle Ages, she was supposedly banished to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. It was believed that every Friday, she would meet with eleven other witches and the devil himself (13 in total) and plot terrible things they could make happen in the coming week.”

The Interesting – The Death card is the 13th card of the major arcana of the Tarot. Most people shudder when they see the Death card come up in a Tarot reading; however, this card often comes up when someone is making a significant life change or experiencing a shift in attitude. Generally speaking, it represents transformation, transition, and new beginnings.

Friday the 13th

The Good –  Where would we be without those famous people we love who were born on Friday the 13th like the Olsen twins, Mary Kate and Ashley; the fabulous actress, Julia Louis-Dreyfus; Darius Rucker, lead man of Hootie and the Blowfish; and world-famous actor, Steve Buscemi.

The Bad – Try as you may to stay safe and secure on Friday the 13th, you can’t control everything, especially the weather.  For instance, Hurricane Charley devastated the Florida coast on Friday, August 13, 2004, and a 13 year-old boy from England was struck by lightning on August 13, 2010 at 1:13 (13:13 military time).

The Interesting – According to thesun.co.uk, “Since 13 is the number of witches you need to form a coven, and Fridays are the day for witches to convene, the day has long been linked with them and their rituals.” That’s another nod to the Goddess Frigga.

Numerology of 13 – A Karmic Debt Number

While calculating your core numbers (Life Path, Expression, Heart’s Desire, Personality and Birth Day), or identifying the different cycles of your lifetime, you may come up with the numbers 13, 14, 16, and 19. In a numerology chart, this indicates Karmic Debt. If you failed to learn a lesson in a past life, this is an opportunity to learn it in this life.

When a Karmic Debt Number shows up in your chart along with the exact single-digit numbers that create that number, it is extremely auspicious, for all are important to a numerology reading and how it gets expressed in your life. Here is general explanation of having a 13 Karmic Debt in your chart: You will experience many obstacles that you must overcome. Some will feel it’s too overwhelming and give up or give in, becoming lazy and/or negative; however, if you work hard, these difficulties can be overcome and, in fact, can result in great reward. The key is to remain focused and bring order into your life is making sure you always follow through with obligations.

A Little Bit of Astrology

This year, the Harvest Full Moon occurs on Friday the 13th, conjunct Neptune and opposite Mars. The Full Moon in Pisces, conjunct Neptune is going to give the day a daydreamy, hazy feeling, so if you’re not feeling particularly inclined to work, you know what to blame it on. However, with the addition of Mars in Virgo opposite Neptune, your natural empathy could be pulled to the surface, making you very sensitive to your own feelings, and those of others, which, added to the haziness of the energy already in the air, might make your day less than productive. If you’re a natural empath, and a bit on the superstitious side, it might not be a terrible idea to consider giving yourself a three day weekend.

How do you feel about the number 13 and Friday the 13th?


Astrology plays an important role in your day-to-day life. The planets are responsible for your moods, experiences and more, which is why you should get a psychic astrology reading. Our astrology psychics can calculate your natal chart and tell you about the important dates in your life (past, present, and future) that will massively impact you.

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