Hannah in Sonoma, California asks:
As a child, my mother would always keep me home with the intent of keeping me safe whenever there was a Friday the 13th. I have always wondered what the significance is of the number 13, why is it seen as a bad number, and why is a Friday the 13th so feared?
Psychic Marin ext. 5113 responds:
Imagine being issued boarding pass number 13 just before entering an airplane, or walking into a stadium and searching for your seat… seat number 13! How would you feel? Have you ever noticed how people become uneasy at the association of the number 13? What is the root of these fears?
The number 13 has been a mysterious obsession, to the point where many buildings do not have a 13th floor, and hotels often omit the room number 13. In the legal field, attorneys may consciously choose to sign documents on either the 12th of 14th of the month, avoiding the dreaded 13th. Gamblers may opt out on the 13th, and surgeons avoid scheduling important medical procedures on that day.
So it’s obvious that fears regarding the number 13 still exist, and therefore precautions must be taken, but from where did these fears originate?
There are many cultural legends that perpetuated the allure of the number 13. Some relate the fear of 13 to Norse mythology, where Loki, one of the more evil figures, became the 13th guest at a party and ended up causing the death of the god of light. In Rome, witches would gather in groups of 12 members, and the 13th guest was said to be a bringer of evil. On Friday, October 13, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrest of the Grand Master and Knights of the Knights Templar. In Christianity, there were 13 attendees at the last supper, and Friday was believed to be the day of Christ’s crucifixion.
In numerology, the number 12 is associated with fulfillment and completion. For example, there are 12 months in a year, 12 on a clock face, 12 items in a dozen, and 12 signs of the zodiac. The number 13 suffers much wrath simply because of its position following the number 12, leaving a feeling of uncertainty or imbalance.
In an attempt to remove much of the negative stigma, people are rediscovering the allure of the number 13. Modern paganism and Wicca have embraced the number 13, understanding that there are positive aspects of the number 13 that can balance the negative.
In numerology, 13 is reduced to the equation 1+3 = 4. Four is a number representing balance and totality. There are four elements, and four directions. For Jews, 13 is seen as the age of maturity, and the number of principles of Jewish faith. It is also believed that God has 13 attributes of mercy.
Hopefully, this closer exploration of the origins and superstitions surrounding the number 13 has eased some of your fears. There’s no need to stay home in order to keep safe, and if you do, you may find yourself missing out on a lot of school or work, as the number 13 falls on a Friday more often than any other day!