Friday, January 13, 2006

"Paraskevidekatriaphobia"


Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the 13th.


I've gathered the following information regarding the date from various sources. Make of it what you will.

According to Dr. Donald Dossey, a psychotherapist specializing in the treatment of phobias (and coiner of the term "paraskevidekatriaphobia"), the number of people (in this country) that fear this date may be as high as 21 million.

"Legend goes": If 13 people sit down to dinner together, all will die within the year. The Turks so disliked the number 13 that it was practically expunged from their vocabulary . Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue. Many buildings don't have a 13th floor. 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). There are 13 witches in a coven.

To the ancient Egyptians, these sources tell us, life was a quest for spiritual ascension which unfolded in stages — 12 in this life and a 13th beyond, thought to be the eternal afterlife. The number 13 therefore symbolized death — not in terms of dust and decay, but as a glorious and desirable transformation. Though Egyptian civilization perished, the death symbolism they conferred on the number 13 survived, only to be corrupted by later cultures who came to associate it with a fear of death instead of a reverence for the afterlife.

In Norse Mythology: Twelve gods were invited to a banquet at Valhalla. Loki, the Evil One, god of mischief, had been left off the guest list but crashed the party, bringing the total number of attendees to 13. True to character, Loki raised hell by inciting Hod, the blind god of winter, to attack Balder the Good, who was a favorite of the gods. Hod took a spear of mistletoe offered by Loki and obediently hurled it at Balder, killing him instantly. All Valhalla grieved. And although one might take the moral of this story to be "Beware of uninvited guests bearing mistletoe," the Norse themselves apparently concluded that 13 people at a dinner party is just plain bad luck.

According to The Bible, there were exactly 13 present at the Last Supper. One of the disciples betrayed Jesus Christ, setting the stage for the Crucifixion.

The Crucifixion took place on a Friday. It is therefore a day of penance for Christians.


It was on a Friday, supposedly, that Eve tempted Adam with the forbidden fruit. Adam bit, as we all learned in Sunday School, and they were both ejected from Paradise. Tradition also holds that the Great Flood began on a Friday; God tongue-tied the builders of the Tower of Babel on a Friday; the Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday.

In pagan Rome, Friday was execution day (later "Hangman's Day" in Britain), but in other pre-Christian cultures it was the sabbath, a day of worship, so those who indulged in secular or self-interested activities on that day could not expect to receive blessings from the gods — which may explain the lingering taboo on embarking on journeys or starting important projects on Fridays.

On October 13, 1307, a day so infamous that Friday the 13th would become a synonym for ill fortune, officers of King Philip IV of France carried out mass arrests in a well-coordinated dawn raid that left several thousand Templars — knights, sergeants, priests, and serving brethren — in chains, charged with heresy, blasphemy, various obscenities, and homosexual practices. None of these charges was ever proven, even in France — and the Order was found innocent elsewhere — but in the seven years following the arrests, hundreds of Templars suffered excruciating tortures intended to force 'confessions,' and more than a hundred died under torture or were executed by burning at the stake."

So...there's a few reason's why people think Friday the 13th. is unlucky.

But, just remember: You make your own luck in life.

2 Comments:

At 5:09 PM , Anonymous Steve said...

Actually the Bible does not state that there were 13 persons present at the last supper. This is a common misconception and people believe there were 13 people at the last supper on a Friday. Actually there were at a minimum 14 people present and likely more.

 
At 6:12 AM , Blogger ~D.Puck' said...

I'm sure that's true that there were actually MORE than 13. (These were just ramdom collections regarding the stigma of Friday the 13th.,tho', and "why" people hate the date.).) Actually there were more than likely people waiting on them and the like.

 

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