Previously posted November 13, 2015

Today is Friday the 13th and some people out there (possibly you) will not be comfortable until a beautiful Saturday is upon us. Why is this? Where does this seemingly irrational fear come from? Before we discuss that, let’s just admit there is a full spectrum of belief about this particular day. Some, as mentioned, just don’t feel right. Others are flat out terrified. Then there is a smaller group that laughs the whole thing off. What’s important to realize is that the group who thinks nothing of this day is the vast minority. More on that shortly.

Triskaidekaphobia is the medical term for this fear, but the fear itself is rooted in ancient history. The number 13 has a bad track record in ancient history and the spirit lives on today with buildings skipping the 13th floor, airports omitting gate 13, and no room 13 in most hospitals or hotels. The following are some sources of this societal sickness. A Norse myth about 12 gods having a dinner party at Valhalla where the 13th, and uninvited, guest is the mischievous Loki. Any fan of the Avengers movies knows Loki is bad news, but this myth relates to him tricking guests into killing one another and casting the earth into darkness. A biblical reference to the number 13 relates to Jesus’ last supper, where Judas was the 13th guest. In ancient Rome, witches reportedly gathered in groups of 12 and the 13th was thought to be the devil. As for Friday, some biblical scholars believe Abel to have been slain by Cain on Friday the 13th and Eve to have tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit on a Friday. Of course Christians are well aware that Friday is the day Jesus was crucified. Combine all of that together and you have some strong roots for a general unease about Friday the 13th.

Now that we have explored some of the very ancient roots of this mysterious day and the fear it inspires in some, we need to look at how these beliefs remain so strong today. Why do we, in general, have a bad feeling about Friday the 13th? The short version – “that’s the way it has always been”. The longer version could go on for pages, so let’s keep this brief. We grew up hearing that Friday the 13th was unlucky or bewitched or bad or some other uncomfortable thing. Of course you also have quite a few horror movies with this title, but the belief in this day has been passed down through generations.

When you think about how the belief in this day’s power has been passed down, and the fact that there really are no modern examples of horrible things happening on this day, it’s remarkable. Take it a step further and think about some of your other limiting beliefs. Where do they come from? Is it possible that they may be another phantom? Speaking for myself, there are definitely things that have held me back that should not have. I’m not going to speak for you, but I suspect you are in a similar boat. Find those limiting beliefs and laugh them off like the minority do with Friday the 13th.

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