Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday The 13th

Today's photo is from a couple of years ago. It's yours truly standing underneath the statue of the World's Largest Crow, located in Belgrade, Minnesota.

There are those who consider Ravens (crows) unlucky. Nothing could be further from the truth. Ravens are actually pretty smart, and if one is lost in the wilderness, showing them respect by sharing some of your food with them has often resulted in them actually showing the lost individual where to find MORE game.

Not so unlucky if you ask me.

Why is Friday the Thirteenth considered unlucky?

One of the most commonly held superstitions in our so-called civilized, educated society is that Friday the 13th is an unlucky day, and since, in this equation, each is held to be unlucky, added together, their sum can only equal double trouble.

The modern basis for the aura that surrounds Friday the 13th stems from Friday October the 13th, 1307. On this date, the Pope of the church in Rome in Conjunction with the King of France, carried out a secret death warrant Against the Knights Templar. The Templars were terminated as heretics, never again to hold the power that they had held for so long. Their Grand Master, Jacques DeMolay, was arrested and before he was killed, was tortured and crucified.

Superstitions swirling around Friday as being lucky or unlucky have existed since ancient times, beginning with the northern nations. Ancient Romans dedicated the sixth day of the week to their beautiful, but vain, goddess Venus, so, when the Norsemen adopted the Roman method of naming days, they naturally adopted Venus as their name for the sixth day of the week. Their closest translation for Venus, Frigg, or Freya, eventually evolved into Friday, a day they considered to be the luckiest day of the week.

From a religious standpoint, Muslims tout Friday as the day Allah created Adam, legend has it that Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, the apple, on a Friday, and later died on a Friday, and Christians consider Friday as the day on which Christ was crucified by the Romans.

The Scandinavian belief that the number 13 signified bad luck sprang from their mythological 12 demigods, who were joined by a 13th demigod, Loki, an evil cruel one, who brought upon humans great misfortune. Specifically, the Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla, their heaven. In walked the uninvited 13th guest, the mischievous Loki. Once there, Loki arranged for Hoder, the blind god of darkness, to shoot Balder the Beautiful, the god of joy and gladness, with a mistletoe-tipped arrow. Balder died and the Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned.

In ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12. The 13th was believed to be the devil.

Both Friday and the number 13 were once closely associated with capital punishment. In British tradition, Friday was the conventional day for public hangings, and there were supposedly 13 steps leading up to the noose.

It is traditionally believed that Eve tempted Adam with the apple on a Friday. Tradition also has it that the Flood in the Bible, the confusion at the Tower of Babel, and the death of Jesus Christ all took place on Friday.

The number 13, in the Christian faith, is the number of parties at the Last Supper, with the 13th guest at the table being the traitor, Judas. When Christians combine this day and number, the combination can only hold special significance.

Numerologists consider 12 a "complete" 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.

Fear of the number 13 in modern society is demonstrated in the following ways:

More than 80 percent of high-rises lack a 13th floor.

Many airports skip the 13th gate.

Airplanes have no 13th aisle.

Hospitals and hotels regularly have no room number 13.

Italians omit the number 13 from their national lottery.

On streets in Florence, Italy, the house between number 12 and 14 is addressed as 12 and a half.

Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue.

In France, socialites known as the quatorziens (fourteeners) make themselves available as 14th guests to keep a dinner party from an unlucky fate.

Many triskaidekaphobes, as those who fear the unlucky integer are known, point to the ill-fated mission to the moon, Apollo 13.

If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck . Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names.

Whether or not a person considers Friday the 13th as unlucky, he or she must understand that this superstition, as well as others, merely stem from beliefs or practices man used, and continues to use, to explain, and to protect himself, from events beyond his control in his complicated world. He worked, and works only with the bag of knowledge he has on hand.

Happy thoughts from Misplaced today, huh?

See you Monday.


  1. VERY appropriate topic for today.

  2. This was an extremely cool article...

    Who was Albert De Salvo?