Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Friday the 13th: Origins

So I absolutely adore Fridays, especially if they're the 13th. There's such a negative connotation associated with them. People throughout the years have cringed before them because they consider them extremely bad luck, but why? I'll tell you.

Fridays and the number 13 have been consider unlucky since medieval times. However, the two weren't put together until the late 19th century. There is no set in stone theory as to why Friday the 13th is exactly an "evil" day but there are some popular theories out there. The best theory for Fridays being considered evil stems from Christianity. It is believed that Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge on a Friday. It is believed they both died on a Friday. The Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday. And of course, Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Of course, the day Friday was not even around yet during Adam and Eve's time so that day may be off.

Predating Christianity, Friday was named after the Norse Goddess Frigg, otherwise known and Freya. She was the Goddess of love, wisdom, beauty, war, death, and magic. It was considered unlucky to be married on a Friday as it would take away from the lovely Goddess.

Even though the origins are extremely old, it appeared the masses didn't really popularize Friday as an unlucky day until the mid-17th century. As for the unlucky number 13 there are quite a few theories to that, one of them being also from Christianity. It so happens that having 13 people present at your dinner table is unlucky because Judas was the 13th person at the Last Supper. Also, in Hinduism it was believed to be bad luck for 13 people to gather under any circumstances.

In Norse Mythology (my favorite theory), it was said that 12 Gods were feasting at the hall of Valhalla when Loki, the God of Mischief, arrived uninvited. Loki convinced Hod, the blind God of Winter and Darkness to kill Balder the Good. He did this with a spear of mistletoe.

In Goddess worshipping cultures, the number 13 was revered. It represented the number of lunar and menstrual cycles throughout the year. Of course, as patriarchal cultures came into play, the number 13 was demonized. In Ancient Egypt, they believed that life unfolded in stages, 12 of which being during life and the last, the 13th, being in death.

So now that we've looked at the day and number separately, when did they get together? Of course, there are a couple of theories and dates to this as well. It could be attributed to when the Knight's Templar was arrested which was on Friday, October 13, 1307. It could be the last day of King Harold II's reign on Friday, October 13, 1066 in which he was defeated by William of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings.

However this day seemed to form, the theories are quite fascinating! Of course, being one of the Goddess worshipping culture, I will be celebrating this coming Friday the 13th with my own special ritual and you can too! If you wish to join me there are several things you can do for this day such as honor Freya on her holy day or honor the afterlife like the Egyptians.

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