Friday 13th

Friday 13th

I am often asked by people seeking psychic services whether there is any fact in the belief that Friday 13th is any more unlucky than any other Friday. The fear of Friday 13th is called triskaidekaphobia, which comes from ancient Greek. It is not known for certain why many western cultures think Friday to be an unlucky day. Most theories centre on religious mythology.

The word ‘Friday’ originates from the Norse God Freyja or Frigg. Freyja was the God of love, sexuality, war and death (amongst other things). She ruled over Fólkvangr; the place that some unlucky warriors were sent when they died in battle. Others went to Odin’s Valhalla; this was the afterlife that Norse people hoped to be rewarded with. In Roman times, Friday was dedicated to the Goddess Venus. The Norse people adopted the tradition of naming the days of the week after Gods and Goddesses, so Freyja was the obvious choice for Friday.

In addition to the Norse belief that Freyja could be unlucky, the rise of Christianity brought a demonization of the Goddess and the rumour grew that Friday was unlucky. This effort included a number of “facts” that Christianity included in their belief system. Traditionally, Jesus was crucified on a Friday. It is also believed by Christians and Muslims that Eve gave Adam the apple on a Friday.

13 also has religious myths at the core of the belief that it is unlucky. Again, this could originate with the Norse Gods. Apparently, 12 Gods were celebrating in Valhalla when the God of mischief Loki turned up. Rather than have 13 at the feast, Loki lived up to his name; he persuaded Hod, the God of winter and darkness, to kill Balder, the God of goodness, with a sword of mistletoe (this may also be connected to the reason we often decorate with mistletoe at Christmas). 13 certainly proved unlucky for Balder! This story also has an interesting similarity to the Christian story of the last supper.

I remember when I was a child at Christmas, my Mother refused to sit down to Christmas dinner if there were 13 of us. Someone always had to sit at a separate table. She firmly believed that if 13 were seated for Christmas dinner one person would die before the next Christmas.

It is also probable that the belief that 13 is an unlucky number was deliberately reinforced by early Christianity. It was useful to Christianity to turn the population away from more pagan belief systems, such as Goddess worship. In many versions of Goddess worship 13 is an important number. It is the number of lunar and menstrual cycles in a year. This is possibly the reason that the modern calendar uses 12 months instead of 13, which possibly would be a more logical system.

The ancient Egyptians also revered the number 13. They believed that there were 13 stages of life, the 13th being after death and the most glorious of the stages. This was the stage that enormous effort was put into, ensuring that a successful and happy “life” was attained.

It is not known when or why Friday and the number 13 were put together to create the demonised date Friday 13th. One theory that seems very common is that it was Friday 13th October 1307 when the Pope and the King of France served the death warrants on the Templars. Also, on Friday 13th William the Conqueror offered King Harold of England the opportunity to abdicate his crown. He refused and was killed the following day. That connection appears a little tenuous to me and my team of psychics, as you would expect Saturday 14th to have become the unlucky day.

I have been unable to discover any real evidence that Friday 13th is any unluckier than any other day. Yes, bad and unlucky things have happened on Friday 13th. However, it appears that no more bad luck occurs on this date than any other. You could pick virtually any date in history and find examples of bad luck for that date. When bad luck occurs on Friday 13th, people remember and associate it with the date, perhaps even blaming the date for their misfortune and mistakes. When bad luck happens on other dates the association with that date is simply not made.

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To call me, the number for UK callers is 0800 999 3831. Australia 1800 558 140, Canada 1866 403 3407, USA 1855 864 9382, Ireland 015 060 692, Rest of the world +44 1749 860 777.

To call a member of my team, the number for UK callers is 0800 999 8831. Australia 1800 018 367, Canada 1866 76 9422, USA 1855 864 9383, Ireland 015 060 693, Rest of the world +44 207 111 6115.

Tony Hyland