What Is the Deal With Friday the 13th?

Friday the 13th
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Don't freak out just because it's Friday the 13th!

I know what you’re thinking. “What does Friday the 13th have to do with astrology?” Well fear not dear reader, because like any good witchy millennial, I am a pro at making everything about astrology!

After a tumultuous few years, I’m sure a lot of us had hopes of making 2023 “our year.” And I’m sure those same people were pretty disappointed to learn that this year started off with a Friday the 13th date within the first two weeks.

But why are we so afraid of this date? Read on to find out.

And I promise I’ll work astrology into this article somehow.

What Is Friday the 13th? 

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Roughly every 212 days the 13th of the month falls on a Friday. Sometimes Friday the 13th can happen as many as three times a year. And if the month begins on a Sunday, then the 13th will fall on a Friday. The date as well as the number 13 itself have long been believed by western culture to be particularly unlucky. 

People who live in fear of the number 13 are said to suffer from triskaidekaphobia.

Friday the 13th in Popular Culture

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The belief that this date is associated with misfortune may date back to the 19th century. A line from the 1834 French play Les Finesse des Gribouilles reads “I was born on a Friday, December 13th, 1813 from which come all of my misfortunes.”

A couple of decades later, the British journalist H.S. Edwards wrote in his biography of composer Gioachino Rossini that the latter always considered Fridays and the number 13 to be particularly unlucky. A fact that proves ironic considering Rossini died on Friday, November 13, 1868.

In 1907, T.W. Lawson wrote a novel called Friday, The Thirteenth about a stockbroker who exploits the fears of the date to create a panic on Wall Street. Though the book shares a title with the popular film franchise, they are in no way related. And speaking of the film franchise…

In 1980, the first Friday the 13th film was released and went on to spawn 12 films in the franchise. And interestingly enough, none of them were released to theaters on Friday the 13th. The films follow the brutal murders perpetrated by Jason Voorhees. Even though his mother is revealed to be the true murderer in the first film.

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Fans of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon Fairly Odd Parents may remember a particular episode where the anti-fairies infiltrate the human world on Friday the 13th. 

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Most recently, in the hit Netflix show Wednesday, we learn that the titular character was not born on a Wednesday but was in fact born on Friday the 13th.

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Christian Origins

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Some people believe that 13 is an unlucky number due to the fact that 13 people were at the Last Supper, which took place the night before Jesus was crucified. And Friday may have become associated with poor luck by the Christians because Jesus died on a Friday. It is also believed that Adam and Eve ate the apple from the Tree of Knowledge on a Friday and that Cain killed Abel on a Friday.

Friday the 13th’s reputation may also be based on an actual historical event. There was a monastic military order called The Knights Templar that was established in 1118. They were devoted to protecting those who traveled to the Holy Land during the First Crusade. Generous donations from monarchs throughout Europe made them one of the most wealthy and influential groups for nearly two centuries. However, their downfall began on Friday, October 13th, 1307, when King Philip IV of France, who sent out documents accusing the Templars of black magic, began arresting members of the organization and subsequently torturing them.

Norse Origins

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The unluckiness of the number 13 may have its roots in Norse mythology as well as Christian Mythology. There is a legend that 12 gods were having a party in Valhalla. The trickster god Loki arrived as an uninvited 13th guest and tricked the god Hodur into shooting the god Baldr with a mistletoe arrow and killing him. This event plunged the world into darkness.

Friday was named for the Norse goddess of love, Frigg. Because of this it became associated with other love goddesses like Venus. Since it became associated with powerful love goddesses, it is believed that magic practitioners performed rituals on this day. It is possible that the date has been demonized because the Church and western governments began associating Fridays with these pagan rituals.

We Hate 13, But We Love 12

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We as a society really like the number 12. There are twelve numbers on a clock’s face, 12 months in a year, and 12 zodiac signs. The number 12 also has significance in Hebrew and Greek cultures. There were Twelve Tribes of Israel, 12 labors of Hercules, and Twelve gods on Mount Olympus.

But where did this love for 12 begin? Some believe that our affinity for the number came from the fact the ancient Code of Hammurabi left out the 13th law in its legal rules. This may have just been an error, but many think it is because 12 has always been regarded by the ancient Babylonians as a number of order and completeness. Twelve was seen as a “perfect” number and 13 deviated from that perfection.

Maybe this is why I refuse to acknowledge the existence of the 13th sign, Ophiuchus.

However, in French and Chinese cultures, 13 is considered a lucky number.

Okay, But What Does This Have To Do With Astrology?

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Oh yeah, I promised you some astrology in this article, didn’t I? 

Well, as I stated before Friday is associated with the goddess Venus. Libra and Taurus are ruled by the planet named for this goddess. So maybe Friday the 13th could prove to be lucky for those who have Libra or Taurus somewhere in their big three.

Ha, see I told you that I could do it!

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