Friday, May 13, 2011

Black Cats and Love Potions

Why are we afraid of Friday the 13th?

Fear of Friday the 13th is rooted in ancient, separate bad-luck associations with the number 13 and the day Friday. The two unlucky entities combine to make one super unlucky day.

A particularly bad Friday the 13th occurred in the middle ages. On a Friday the 13th in 1306, King Philip of France arrested the revered Knights Templar and began torturing them, marking the occasion as a day of evil.

There is a 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.

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. (ok, so that one gave me the chills.)

What are your favorite superstitions?

This is one of my favorites. It has worked on all of the babies born into the Gerety/Young households with one exception. Me.

To predict the sex of a baby: Suspend a wedding band held by a piece of thread over the palm of the pregnant girl. If the ring swings in an oval or circular motion the baby will be a girl. If the ring swings in a straight line the baby will be a boy

And what do you think of Friday the 13th.


Paty Jager said...

Friday the 13th is a day like any other. You may have mishaps or you may not.

Fun post with interesting information.

I'm not sure I'm superstitious, but I don't walk under ladders. To me that's just safety. ;)

Courtney Rene said...

Great and interesting post!

I love Friday the 13th. Its a time to hunt up horror flicks and be a little more superstitious than normal. Its a load of fun.

***Note to self, stop at library on way home. See if they have any Friday the 13th dvds.***

Vonnie Alto said...

I don't know if I have a favorite superstition. However, when I was growing up, one of the books that I checked out again and again at the library was titled, "Superstitious? Here's Why." A fun read.

I've always loved Norse mythology and in particular, Balder. I forgot about how important the number 13 is to his story.

Another tale that sings to my soul is "Sleeping Beauty." In some versions, there are 13 wise women or fairies that are supposed to celebrate her birth. The king, her father forgets to invite one and so that's how Beauty is cursed. Actually, it might be 12 wise women/fairies but thirteen sounds so much more dramatic.