Updated: Jan 12
What is so frightening about Friday the 13th? Jason Vorhees didn't enter our lives until the 80s so what gives? Friday is just about EVERYONE'S favorite day; it introduces us to the weekend, and its pay day!
In the west, the number 13 has a really bad reputation and is simply deemed unlucky and dangerous. So much so, you will notice most buildings will skip floor 13 all together. But have you ever asked WHY?
Digging Deeper into the superstitions behind Friday the 13th
So lets talk about Friday...
In western culture we call it payday and on occasion has been called freaky but our favorite day of the week was named after the Goddess of Love. The Norse called her Frigg, who would later be assimilated with Freya and is where we get the word Friday from in English. The Spanish and French word for Friday are both derivatives of the Latin term Dies Veneris, which translates to Day of Venus, named after The Roman Goddess of Love. In African Yoruba practices, Friday is also sacred and dedicated to the Love Goddess Oshun. So whether you say it in English, Spanish or French, it all translates to her day.
In pre Judeo-Christian times, Friday was a day to celebrate the Goddess of Love. It was the day to embrace Love, Sexuality and Creativity. The practice of eating fish on Friday originated from pagan traditions where fish was eaten as an aphrodisiac and in honor of the Great Goddess who emerged from the Sea. This would later be adopted by the Christians who changed its meanings. Outside of Pagan traditions, in Hinduism Friday is seen as a very auspicious day. For Muslims and Jews Friday is the start of Sabbath. As Norse and Germanic tribes were converted to Christianity, Freya’s day was relabeled. The story was Freya was cast out to the mountains because she’s a witch. Every Friday she gathered with 11 other witches and the devil; renaming it “the witches sabbath".
Now technically, a few shitty things have happened on a Friday that contributed to this superstition.
Adam was tempted and cast out the Garden on a Friday
Jesus was crucified on Friday.
So maybe Friday just unlucky for men…? (we kid!)
Now, let’s talk about the number 13.
The number thirteen is a pretty fucking magical number. For us women, we also have a divine connection to the number that makes it special.
We have 13 menstrual cycles a year.
There are 13 Moon cycles in a year.
13 is the number of the Divine Feminine.
Throughout history many of our calendars were based on the lunar cycle and had 13 months.
13 is one of the numbers in the Golden Ratio.
Life is said to have 13 stages for the Egyptians.
At the age of 13, boys enter manhood in the Jewish faith. (See guys! We didn't forget you!)
For the Chinese Culture, 13 is seen as a very lucky number.
Fun Fact: Have you ever heard of the term or saying " a baker's dozen"? It refers to a set of 13. It comes from medieval times when a baker would sell their bread "by the dozen" and would add an extra loaf to avoid paying penalties for under weight bread. It has since been carries over to modern times where home made goods or foods are being produced by the dozen, that an extra is added "just in case". Not so special or spiritual but hey... who doesn't like a little extra, something something?
Not too shabby right? The number thirteen is really only recognized as an unlucky number in Western Culture and steaming from Judeo-Christian beliefs. For some countries in Asia, the number 4 is an unlucky number and for good reason, it sounds like their word for death. So much like us in the US and in the West; the number 4 is avoided at all costs for many people in the East.
BUT 13 IS AN UNLUCKY NUMBER, EVERYONE KNOWS THAT!!
So there is a superstition about not having 13 people at a dinner party, or else…
One of the earliest connections to 13 being unlucky, starts with a story is Norse Mythology where Loki crashes a party being held in Valhalla (party house of the Gods). It was an “invite only” party for 12 and with Loki in attendance, he made it thirteen. Being Loki, he started a bunch of fuck shit and dares the God of Darkness to shoot the God of happiness; which he does and kills the God of Happiness. All hell and sadness breaks loose in Valhalla and on Earth.
And then there's that one story called “The Last Supper”. You know, the one where Jesus has a dinner party with all of his closest friends, feeds them, chills with them, washes their feet. He tells them he already knows that one of them is going to set him up for the okey doke but it’s all good because he's the Son of God… well 13 at that dinner party didn’t end up so well either, seeing Judas betrays Jesus and all, and he was crucified the next day (Friday). .
Unlucky associations with the number 13
There is also Apollo 13 that malfunctioned on Friday 13 but it was still considered a “successful failure” since they were able to get their entire crew back to safety. It was supposed to land on the moon but it didn’t… everyone survived… doesn't sound that unusually unlucky.
So we kind of understand why Friday can be seen as a suspect day and 13 people at a dinner party is a " no no" but what the fuck even happened on Friday the 13th to start this whole mess?
On Friday October 13, 1307 at Dawn, all the Knights Templar living in France were arrested. There was some politics as to why they were arrested but basically, the Knights Templar were rich (as many superheroes are) and France was broke. So King Philip IV decided to rob the guys whose duties were to protect pilgrims (among other things).
The King couldn’t just rob them up front, so he had heard some gossip about some wild activities going on with their initiation ceremonies and arrested them on the account of witchcraft, idolatry and a sprinkle of corruption. They were interrogated, tortured and eventually executed. Now, Pope Clement V tried to help his Knights out, but he didn’t have enough pull with the King and instead, dismantled the Knights Templar to stop any further discourse between The state (France) and the Church.
This looks like this is the catalyst for the superstition. Now, if you Google you will find that some weird shit has happened on Friday the 13th, like the ones below:
Oct 13, 1940 Buckingham Palace is bombed during WWII
Jan 13, 1939 Bush fire tore through Australia.
Sept 13, 1996 Tupac Shakur dies.
Oct 13, 2006 a freak blizzard hits Buffalo New York.
These events, as tragic or bizarre as they may have been, are not an indicator of an unlucky date, it was just an unlucky day. Sept 11 was an awful day in this country, but we don't walk around in fear of the 11th landing a Tuesday as it did in 2001. These odd events don’t happen frequent enough to even make a real connection to Friday the 13th being as haunting as it is presumed to be.
So, the wrap it up….Friday is OUR day. 13 is OUR number.
Friday the 13th is a delicious Sundae with a magical cherry on top! So live it up Goddess, the day is for us.