Welcome, cosmic warriors. I am Aliza Kelly Faragher, your resident astrologer, and that is Attract Astrology, a column devoted to astrology, esotericism, and all issues magick. In the present day, we’re speaking concerning the historical past of the quantity 13. Is concern of this quantity, also called triskaidekaphobia, merely foolish superstition, or is it one thing extra?
As an astrologer and occultist, I spend my days exploring the grey space between worlds. The enchanted synchronicities that gasoline mystical rhythms, the nonphysical vibrations that generate magick. Within the means of figuring out these patterns, it’s straightforward to assign associations to specific sequences. A few of these are hyperlinks are self-discovered — your private connection between self and different — whereas others are handed down via folklore. When our connection to symbols, dates, or occasions come from the previous, they’ll typically be steeped in concern and paranoia. Over time, they start to tackle a lifetime of their very own, remodeling into superstition.
I imagine there’s a stark distinction between magick and superstition: Magickal practices improve one’s innate energetic talents, whereas superstitions suppress particular person powers. Superstitions impose a “one-size-fits-all” philosophy based mostly on blanket statements and generalities, and focus nearly solely on an exterior variable. (As an illustration, the concept black cats characterize unhealthy luck.) Moreover, superstitions prey on concern by stripping us of our particular person connection to the world and taking away the essential notion that we now have the facility to manifest change.
We regularly don’t even perceive why we harbor sure superstitions within the first place. Whereas some are rooted in practicality (as an example, it’s simply not a good suggestion to stroll underneath a ladder), others have rather more mysterious origins. Generally, the truth is, the historical past of the philosophy is definitely fairly nefarious. Some of the pervasive superstitions is that of the quantity 13. At the least 10 p.c of folks residing in the US imagine that the quantity 13 reverberates unhealthy juju.
So, what’s the cope with this particular quantity, and why is it so notorious? Learn on, cosmic warriors, to find the historical past of this unusual integer — that’s, should you dare.
Three Causes Folks Are Superstitious Concerning the Quantity 13
Historians imagine superstition surrounding the quantity 13 started within the 17th century, although they cannot determine one singular occasion that sparked its unhealthy status. It wasn’t till the 20th century, nonetheless, that the quantity 13’s infamy exploded — fueled, maybe not surprisingly, by a piece of fiction. In 1907, businessman and writer Thomas Lawson revealed a novel entitled Friday, the Thirteenth a few rogue dealer who selected that date to destroy the inventory market.
In the present day, the quantity 13 is synonymous with misfortune.
Subsequently, the idea of “unfortunate quantity 13” entered the zeitgeist, and by 1910, the time period triskaidekaphobia, which suggests “concern of the quantity 13,” was coined by a pioneering psychologist, additional perpetuating the superstition. The parable concerning the quantity’s unfortunate attributes continued to construct all through the 20th century, and in 1980, its place within the collective aware — together with its connection to Friday — was solidified by the slasher movie Friday the 13th.
In the present day, the quantity 13 is synonymous with misfortune and the macabre. Excessive-rise buildings are sometimes constructed “with out” a thirteenth flooring, and resorts, hospitals, and airports keep away from utilizing the quantity on rooms or gates. Friday the 13th is taken into account the “unluckiest” day of the yr, which in the end results in tens of millions of misplaced income.
Folks have a tendency to not store, journey, or schedule essential occasions on Friday the 13, and based on CNBC, companies lose tons of of tens of millions of due to it. And whereas nobody actually is aware of why the quantity 13 has such a nasty status, over time, a number of convincing theories have been posited as to why the determine is so haunted. Beneath, learn the three predominant the explanation why the quantity 13 is steeped in superstition.
1. Nobody desires to be the 13th visitor.
The commonest principle that explains why the quantity 13 is deemed unfortunate is definitely based mostly on Biblical Christianity. Through the Final Supper, the ultimate meal Jesus shared along with his Twelve Apostles earlier than his crucifixion, Judas was believed to be the 13th visitor. It is no shock, then, that the earliest incarnation of the quantity 13 superstition associated to seating preparations.
In accordance with Nathaniel Lachenmeyer (writer of 13: The Story of the World’s Most Widespread Superstition, it was believed that if 13 folks sat at a desk, one would die inside a yr. Although excessive, this fatalistic notion (known as “13 a desk”) was so ubiquitous that New England-based myth-busters created a gaggle — The 13 Membership — particularly to debunk the superstition.
The 13 Membership’s agenda was easy: Sit a gaggle of 13 folks for dinner to show that nobody would die after a yr. Even supposing The 13 Membership boasted some influential members (together with a number of United States presidents), it nonetheless had a troublesome time recruiting members: Nobody needed to be the 13th visitor.
2. The quantity 12 units an not possible precedent.
In accordance with many theorists, whereas 13 is just not innately unfortunate, it does have a shitty place within the quantity sequence. In each conventional arithmetic and esoteric numerology, you possibly can’t get higher than the quantity 12. It’s the solely constructive integer thought of a “chic quantity,” and when it comes to its numerical and cultural symbolism, it’s fairly actually good. Merely put, 12 is a troublesome act to comply with.
All through historical past, the infamous quantity was truly related to feminine power.
In accordance with Broadly astrologer Annabel Gat, “People are form of obsessive about symmetry. [There are] 12 zodiac indicators, 12 apostles, a dozen roses, 12 days of Christmas — a 360 circle divides neatly into 12, and we simply love order. Then 13 comes alongside and throws every little thing off stability.”
Because the quantity instantly following magical 12, it is smart that 13 feels unusual, off-balanced, and flawed. Many techniques of measurement conclude at 12, so the presence of 13 is each surprising and unwelcome. It exposes imperfection and abstraction, so naturally, our historic ancestors — who relied on pure order — feared this determine. Gat believes this is the reason “those that really feel drawn to the quantity 13 are additionally those that aren’t afraid to suppose in another way.”
three. The final motive for the superstition is definitely rooted in sexism.
The ultimate (and undoubtedly most controversial) principle on why the quantity 13 is taken into account unfortunate is, effectively, due to the fucking patriarchy. Apparently, all through historical past, the infamous quantity was truly related to feminine power: There are 13 menses yearly, together with 13 lunar cycles (throughout most cultures, the moon is related to ladies). It follows that many imagine that the quantity’s damaging affiliation displays feminine oppression.
Los Angeles-based intuitive Tanaaz Chubb explains that historic cultures celebrated the quantity 13 in connection to the Goddess archetype — the Divine Female — and bodily regeneration. Chubb writes that “[i]t was solely when society turned extra patriarchal that ladies have been made to really feel shamed after they have been having their durations and to disregard their superb potential to create and maintain area for brand new life.”
Primarily based on this principle, the quantity 13 isn’t innately jinxed; as a substitute, its infamy is rooted in systemic sexism. In fact, this doesn’t imply that individuals who imagine that 13 is unfortunate are antifeminist, because the origins of this specific superstition are long-forgotten. This notion, nonetheless, does encourage us to rethink our relationship to the quantity 13. It is potential that it is not cursed, simply misunderstood.
Cosmic warriors, with regards to occultism, nothing is ever black-and-white. Whereas I encourage cultivating a private religious vocabulary — that’s, associating sure patterns or occasions with broader ideas — it’s essential to actively think about the origins of cultural phenomena. In any case, your distinctive magickal talents will all the time be strengthened via data. So, the following time you encounter the quantity 13, don’t be afraid to suppose twice. Who is aware of, it could be fortunate in any case.
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