Friday, May 13, 2005
oooooooo - tis friday the thirteenth today...!!!
'' (...)the superstitious are left to contend with the "dark" history surrounding Friday the Thirteenth. As any reputable scientist or mathematician will tell you, "luck" does not exist. (Yeah - right) Good fortune is randomly distributed and not dependent on the day. (Or genes, social standing, allure, appearances, preconceit, prejudice... right.) The superstitious, however, will cite a long history of misfortune associated with the number thirteen. (As well they should...).
Judas Iscariot was the "thirteenth" apostle, the thirteenth tribe of Israel was the only tribe left without land, and the ill-fated Apollo 13 space mission was launched at 13:13 hours (central time), from pad 39 ( the 3rd multiple of 13) and had to be aborted on April 13, 1970. Practitioners of witchcraft (those despicable people...) will point out that the number thirteen equals the number of days in the year divided by twenty-eight, the number of days in a woman's menstrual cycle. (They just love that stuff, all the little, simple-minded witches and ghouls and things that go bump in the night... eh? Makes me want to vomitar...!).
Friday has an equally colorful past. According to Biblical lore, Eve gave the apple to Adam on Friday, the great flood began on a Friday, the Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday, execution day was Friday in Rome, and Good Friday exists because it is the reported day of Jesus' crucifixion. (An overwhelming case here... is it not?!? *lol*).
But for all the infamy and credence given to bad luck on Friday the Thirteenth, there are many less-publicized examples of good fortune. In pagan times, Friday was the day of the love goddess (ah yes - of course), and today, fittingly enough, Friday is the end of the work week. (Thank GOD It's Friday, they say, though... never heard Thank Goddess... sorry!). Many actors insist on signing contracts only on Friday because it brings good luck. (And THAT is not superstitious... right). Novelist Charles Dickens reportedly began the writing of all his books on a Friday, the day of his birth. (He never finished that last one... Edwin Drood... a druid? Must have been the good fortune bestowed upon that project by the pagan goddess of choice or of the week... hmm?).
At the birth of our nation, thirteen colonies formed the Union, a baker's dozen is considered a fortunate bargain, and, if you are Jewish, age thirteen is the time for a bar or bat mitzvah. For some Christians, thirteen could be considered sacred, since it equals the Ten Commandments plus the Trinity. (first time I ever heard that particular addition...) Dan Marino, perhaps the greatest of NFL quarterbacks, wore the number thirteen. (And he never won a Super Bowl either.).
It might be easy to laugh at such superstitious foolishness, but this same kind of magical thinking operates to support beliefs that can be harmful. It is estimated that the thirteenth of the month costs America a billion dollars a year through train and plane reservation cancellation, absenteeism, and reduced commerce. One can see why philosopher Edmund Burke proclaimed superstition the "religion of feeble minds."
Thanks for nothing then, Edmund Burke... and Joe Nickell.
Thanks for posting all that about Friday the 13th! As always I learned a lot! It was very interesting to read!
You are so good at finding just the right things to post about! :)
Keep on being your Luminous self!
Mea Culpa - once again.
But, of course, when I bash ''witchcraft'', I bash the occult at its worst and true meaning - the Black Arts - black magic - evil. Darkness! You can't expect darkness to have it easy on a blog like the LUMINOUS BLOG now - can you?!?
So - to those who e-mailed me in protest to my labeling a certain type of individuals as ''despicable'' - hey, Daffy Duck does that all the time and I am sure you all find it cute...
Seriously - I targeted the historically accurately defined ''witch'' - who dabbles with the devil - not AT ALL the would-be elves of modern times, the Wiccans... Wiccans are no more practitioners of true (and despicable, always) witchcraft than I am a Baseball expert or something...
Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the actual word for Fear of Friday the 13th - not friggasomething there...!!!
Joe Nickell, of course, authored the auld article on friday the 13th there, that I merely whimsically commented upon (all of my words are in-between parentheses, you'll all notice).
Thought I'd clear that all up too... :)