Superstitions are fascinating to me.
We take a lot of them for granted and even use them rather frequently.
More often than not, they are simply amusing anecdotes that have little to no basis in reality.
One of my favorites is the superstitions around the number 13.
And then, let’s factor in the extra superstition of Friday the 13th.
Do you know why these exist? I don’t. Let’s do a little research and share, shall we?
Why does 13 scare us?
A little research on my part has turned up a connection to the ancient Code of Hammurabi — the world’s oldest legal document — and its exclusion of the number 13. Another is that Judas — the apostle who betrayed Jesus — was the 13th to arrive at the Last Supper. Further, 12 has historically been considered a perfect number — and 13, being one more than 12, is thus imperfect.
These are just a few examples. A Google search on the number 13 will turn up lots and lots more.
Superstitions are based almost entirely on coincidences. But that’s just how such things happen.
What about Friday the 13th?
Did you know there is an actual phobia named for this? Paraskevidekatriaphobia. Say that a few times fast (if you can say it once at all).
So, in addition to the many, many other beliefs in the unluckiness of the number 13, historically there has been a long-standing notion that Friday is the least lucky day of the weak.
Isn’t superstition funky?
Coincidence and superstition
A great many coincidental occurrences have been attached to the number 13. Apollo 13 and its failed mission is an almost perfect example of this.
The supposedly unlucky number still gets associated with other completely innocuous matters. The passage to adulthood in the Jewish culture — a bar or bat mitzvah — occurs when you turn 13. A movie with a little more swearing and maybe a glimpse of sideboob than the censors are comfortable with gets a PG-13 rating. There were originally 13 British colonies that became the original 13 states in the US.
Yet despite these, lots of people are uncomfortable and even fearful of the number 13. This is why lots of skyscrapers lack a 13th floor, for example.
Superstition and luck are often very much tied together. Many superstitions play into unlucky occurrences. Black cats crossing your path, breaking mirrors, walking under ladders, and so on.
But luck — for the most part — is a coincidence. Of course, people can be in the right place at the right time for something to happen to them that comes out as lucky — or unlucky. But by-and-large luck is as much a coincidence as most superstitions are.
What about 13?
I have always been unusual in one way or another. So — it comes as no surprise that for me — that 13 is a lucky number.
Good things seem to happen to and for me around the number 13.
I practice mindfulness and conscious reality creation — but even still, I can get drawn into ideas of luck, coincidence, and random happenstance.
But that being said — rather than dread 13 and potential unpleasant implications from it — I embrace it.
Today is Friday, November the 13th — and I am determined to have a great day!
How about you?
Thank you for reading. I am MJ Blehart. I write about mindfulness, conscious reality creation, positivity, and similar life lessons.