If you suffer with Paraskevidekatriaphobia I bet you stayed in bed today because it’s Friday the 13th. People who suffer from this phobia have an innate fear of Friday the 13th. in fact Dr Donald Dossey a psychotherapist who specializs in treatment of phobias figures that as many as 21 million people in America suffer from this phobia. So how did all this fear and superstition get started? Let’s take a look and see shall we?
One explanation comes to us from the early 1300’s when the king of France, Philip, had sent his country into economic chaos. He had angered pope Boniface VIII to the point that the whole contry was near to being excommunicated. That had the people on the verge of revolution. Philip the put the pontiff under house arrest but, was saved by the local people. A month later Boniface was dead. The new pope, Clement the V was a little more cooperative with Philip.
As a means to get some money into his coffers Philip took out a loan from the Knights Templar. When it came time to pay back the loan Philip cooked up an evil plan to get out of it. On September 14th 1307 he sent sealed orders to every deputy, bailiff and officer in the country that were not to be opened untill Thursday night October the 12th. On the morning of Friday October the 13th the arrest of thousands of Knights Templar was underway. only 20 escaped and fled the country. In the weeks and months to follow many were killed in horrifying ways or, recanted and joined other orders.
Some say that all this about Friday the 13th sttarted with the last supper when Jesus and his 12 desciples made it 13 at the table. the superstition behind this is the first one to leave the table will die within a year or less.
Even ancient mariners believed that it was bad luck to set sail on a voyage on Ffriday the 13th. Lloyds of London in the 1800’s wouldn’t even insure any ship that set sail on Friday th 13th. One ancient myth orgin put forth by author Charles Panati, “The actual orgin of the superstition, though appear also to be a tale in Norse mythology. Friday is named for Frigga, the free-spirited goddess of love and fertility. when Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Frigga was banished in shame to a mmountaintop and labeled a witch. It was believed that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil…a gathering of thirteen…and plotted ill turn of fate for the coming week. For many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as the “Whitches Sabbath.”
According to thomas Fernsler, associate policy scientist in the Mathematics and Science Education Resorce Center University of Delaware. “The number 13 suffers because of its postition after 12. Numerologist consider 12 a “compleat” number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 signs of the zodiac, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 tribes of Israel, and 12 apostles of Jesus. In exceeding 12 by 1, 13’s association with bad luck, has to do with just being a little beyond completeness. The number becomes restless or squirmy.”
So I guess it’s impossible to pinpoint the true beginnings of the tradition of Friday the 13th being a bad luck day. Either way you look at it it’s still just a superstition that’s been around since ancient times. Since this is the only Friday the 13th this year some people will fear it, others will ignore it, and some just might throw a party. I’m just hoping that having typed the number 13, 13 times it won’t be unlucky for me. Anyway good luck to you all today.