It’s Friday the 13th today, again. This occurrence is observed to have cropped up thrice a year at the most. Am I convinced by the overall pall that is cast over by Friday the 13th? The answer is a simple no. First of all, my favourite day of the week is a Friday. Good things happen to me generally on Fridays. I am usually happy, energetic and positive on Fridays, like I am today. Friday dinners are special, elaborate and meticulously laid out, because my family and I see it as the beginning of a quiet weekend of repose and rejuvenation. On Fridays we watch films together, drink some nice wine and stay up as late as we possibly can! Friday is the best thing that can happen to my nine year old son Noah because he can favourably exercise his reward for a late night without having one of the parent hover at the door, monotonously droning about turning off the computer and getting ready for bed. So you see, Friday is the day that heralds the end of our hurry-some and tiresome week. However religion based proclamations hold an entirely different perspective.
13 is a number that, from the beginning I had no personal attachment to. 3 was my favourite number, my birth number and therefore, closest to me. But then, 13 started popping into my life in the odd combinations of roll numbers in schools and colleges, as in 013, the numbers of candies I would randomly pick would count to 13 (this has happened to me at least thrice so far) – Don’t worry, all those exams I wrote with 013 as my roll numbers always ensured my progression. Never my digression. I happened to pick up this novel called the The Thirteenth Tale on the 13th of December which I didn’t realize until I saw the date I’d started reading it, in my account at Goodreads.com. However, the most significant incident that connected me to Friday the 13th on a positive note forever, was the birth of my second son. He was born on the 13th of February, on a Friday. That was the day, when paraskevidekatriaphobics (that’s what they are called, people who are phobic to Friday the 13th), stood on one side and I on the other, for real.
Besides, I don’t believe that numbers and days can be evil. Coincidence is the second name for superstition. If an incidence of a similar nature occurs more than once, out of sheer co-incidence, then a superstition is born. Humans have an uncanny knack of recognizing such coincidences, turning themselves almost rabid with fear if that particular superstition turns out to be negative, as the one such as Friday the 13th. Be it a day or a date, or a time, you are either hugging it or running away from it based on your superstition about it. Nevertheless, the material I have presented to you bares little or no significance to those who are mortally afraid of Friday the 13th.
In the eastern hemisphere of the world however, this occurrence, in history, carried little or no significance at all. The easterners are, or rather were in the past not particular about Friday the 13th. Now, owing to the profound influence from the west, a growing multitude of people in the east have begun to behave particularly odd on this day. They do not travel, do not inaugurate offices or businesses, they do not commence a project, do not meet friends, do not marry, do not have name-giving ceremonies, or any other kind of ceremonies for that matter, and in some cases, people do not even leave their homes.
Some historians claim that patriarchal Christianity saw the matriarchal Norse paganism as a threat and branded Friday as a black day because it bore the name of the most strong female Norse goddess Frigg. Desperate to strengthen their hold over northern Europe, Christian priests denigrated Frigg as a witch and spread the rumour that she would fly to meet her coven of 12 witches, making 13 in total with her presence. Thus, the day of Friday the 13th came to be embellished with all things evil, unfortunate, vile and distrustful.
Despite bizarre insinuations, my relationship with Friday the 13th remains undoubtedly an open one. 13 is a regular number as any other number such as 12 or 18, and Friday is as good as any other day. Some occultists believe that number 13 stands for power (I like what comes next), neither good nor evil; just pure energy, entirely on the hands of the user as to what side it chooses. It is for the “power” that number 13 is associated with, which makes it disreputable. All numbers have spiritual meanings attached to it and 13 is no exception. Rather than having an adverse notion about the number, it is more beneficial to accept number 13 or the single variation of it in the form of number 4 , on an optimistic note like how the author Pittacus Lore did when he wrote the young-adult novel called I Am Number Four, which was recently launched as a Hollywood film with the dashing Alex Pettyfer playing the lead. (p.s. in numerology, there are only nine single numbers and all other double numbers simply add up to make one of these nine numbers)
Next time someone around you mentions Friday the 13th, you can tell them it’s not Friday the 13th that portends bad omen, but their own pessimistic attitude and blind superstition that lends an impending anticipation of doom to the day. Remember the story of it-will-happen-to-you-if-you-believe-it?
“The root of all superstition is that men observe when a thing hits, but not when it misses.” – Sir Francis Bacon
Images from deviantart.com
Playlist for this article (Spotify)
Surrender – Angels & Airwaves