Some of my most popular posts discuss the reasons behind our superstitions. This one delves deeper into the number 13 - while I consider it a lucky number for myself, many people don't!
A fear of the number 13 is known as Triskaidekaphobia. I actually once worked in a building that lacked a 13th floor. To me, this made little sense...did the people on the 14th floor not realize they were actually on the 13th floor? Still, the button in the elevator did not exist. Why does the number 13 get such a bad rap, anyway?
Some reasons stem from various religions. In Christianity, for example, 13 people sat down to The Last Supper: Jesus Christ and 12 disciples. The last to sit down, the 13th, was Judas Iscariot, who would betray Jesus.
|da Vinci's The Last Supper - Judas (fourth head from left) in the only one with |
an elbow on the table, his face is shadowed, and he is clutching a bag
According to Norse legends, the 13th (uninvited) guest to arrive at a banquet of the gods was Loki, who then killed another god and set in motion a series of tragedies.
Historically, condemned people climbed 13 steps to the gallows.
A coven was traditionally made up of 13 witches.
In the deck of tarot cards, XIII is the card of death - a pale horse and rider.
Apollo 13 was the only unsuccessful mission to the moon; the oxygen tank exploded, putting the lives of the astronauts at risk.
Finally, 12 is considered a perfect and magical number in many disciplines and traditions. There are 12 months, 12 zodiac signs, 12 days of Christmas, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 apostles of Christ, 12 principal Olympian gods of the pantheon...the list goes on and on. It follows, then, in some people's minds, that to add a number to 12 would make it unlucky.
That Friday the 13th is particularly scary may be the result of Friday's connection with executions. The Crucifixion took place on a Friday, which was the day of the week executions were generally carried out in Rome. America also has a history of holding executions on Fridays; thus, a day that combines two "unlucky" features becomes even more ominous.
|Jinx and Max are my second pair|
of rescued black cat brothers
I may pick up a few extra today, just to be safe. Have a happy Friday the 13th, and grab one of my steamy romance + ghost stories for a page-turning read that will both heat you up and send shivers down your spine!
|Pick up a ghost story for Friday the 13th!|