Friday, April 13, 2007

Happy Friday the 13th

Happy Friday the 13th. Do you know how this day got such a bad name? I had heard a lot of different theories so I did a quick google search and here is a sample of what I found. No matter which one you believe, watch out today for those black Cat and don't walk under any ladders

So how did Friday the 13th become such an unlucky day?



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 whole Earth got dark. The whole Earth mourned. It was a bad, unlucky day," said Dossey. From that moment on, the number 13 has been considered ominous and foreboding.


During the Middle Ages, the superstition against Friday the 13th grew. On Friday, October 13, 1307, King Philip IV of France ordered the arrests of Jaques de Molay, Grand Master of the Knights Templars and sixty of his senior knights in Paris. Thousands of others were arrested elsewhere in the country. After employing torture techniques to compel the Templars to "confess" to wrongdoing, most were eventually executed and sympathizers of the Templars condemned Friday the 13th as an evil day. Over time a large body of literature and folk wisdom have reinforced the belief. In the 18th century, the HMS Friday was launched on Friday the 13th. It was never heard from again. Since then, ships are not usually launched on that date.




Both Friday and the number 13 were once closely associated with capital punishment. In British tradition, Friday was the conventional day for public hangings, and there were supposedly 13 steps leading up to the noose.

Ultimately, the complex folklore of Friday the 13th doesn't have much to do with people's fears today. The fear has much more to do with personal experience. People learn at a young age that Friday the 13th is supposed to be unlucky, for whatever reason, and then they look for evidence that the legend is true. The evidence isn't hard to come by, of course. If you get in a car wreck on one Friday the 13th, lose your wallet, or even spill your coffee, that day will probably stay with you. But if you think about it, bad things, big and small, happen all the time. If you're looking for bad luck on Friday the 13th, you'll probably find it.


The Christian Tradition
The fear of Friday the 13th stems from two separate fears -- the fear of the number 13 and the fear of Fridays. Both fears have deep roots in Western culture, most notably in Christian theology.
Thirteen is significant to Christians because it is the number of people who were present at the Last Supper (Jesus and his 12 apostles). Judas, the apostle who betrayed Jesus, was the 13th member of the party to arrive

Christians have traditionally been wary of Fridays because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Additionally, some theologians hold that Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden fruit on a Friday, and that the Great Flood began on a Friday. In the past, many Christians would never begin any new project or trip on a Friday, fearing they would be doomed from the start.

Sailors were particularly superstitious in this regard, often refusing to ship out on a Friday. According to unverified legend (very likely untrue), the British Navy commissioned a ship in the 1800s called H.M.S. Friday, in order to quell the superstition. The navy selected the crew on a Friday, launched the ship on a Friday and even selected a man named James Friday as the ship's captain. Then, one Friday morning, the ship set off on its maiden voyage... and disappeared forever. A similar, entirely factual story is the harrowing flight of Apollo 13.

Some historians suggest the Christian distrust of Fridays is actually linked to the early Catholic Church's overall suppression of pagan religions and women. In the Roman calendar, Friday was devoted to Venus, the goddess of love. When Norsemen adapted the calendar, they named the day after Frigg, or Freya, Norse goddesses connected to love and sex. Both of these strong female figures once posed a threat to male-dominated Christianity, the theory goes, so the Christian church vilified the day named after them.

This characterization may also have played a part in the fear of the number 13. It was said that Frigg would often join a coven of witches, normally a group of 12, bringing the total to 13. This idea may have originated with the Christian Church itself; it's impossible to verify the exact origins of most folklore. A similar Christian legend holds that 13 is unholy because it signifies the gathering of 12 witches and the devil.

The number 13 could also have been considered pagan because there are 13 months in the pagan lunar calendar. The lunar calendar also corresponds to the human menstrual cycle, connecting the number to femininit


Other supersitions about Friday
It is said: Never change your bed on Friday; it will bring bad dreams. Don't start a trip on Friday or you will have misfortune. If you cut your nails on Friday, you cut them for sorrow. Ships that set sail on a Friday will have bad luck – as in the tale of H.M.S. Friday ... One hundred years ago, the British government sought to quell once and for all the widespread superstition among seamen that setting sail on Fridays was unlucky. A special ship was commissioned, named "H.M.S. Friday." They laid her keel on a Friday, launched her on a Friday, selected her crew on a Friday and hired a man named Jim Friday to be her captain. To top it off, H.M.S. Friday embarked on her maiden voyage on a Friday, and was never seen or heard from again.
Some say Friday's bad reputation goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden.

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; and, of course, Friday was the day of the week on which Christ was crucified. It is therefore a day of penance for Christians.
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.

To complicate matters, these pagan associations were not lost on the early Church, which went to great lengths to suppress them. If Friday was a holy day for heathens, the Church fathers felt, it must not be so for Christians — thus it became known in the Middle Ages as the "Witches' Sabbath," and thereby hangs another tale.

The name "Friday" was derived from a Norse deity worshipped on the sixth day, known either as Frigg (goddess of marriage and fertility), or Freya (goddess of sex and fertility), or both, the two figures having become intertwined in the handing-down of myths over time (the etymology of "Friday" has been given both ways). Frigg/Freya corresponded to Venus, the goddess of love of the Romans, who named the sixth day of the week in her honor "dies Veneris."

Friday was actually considered quite lucky by pre-Christian Teutonic peoples, we are told — especially as a day to get married — because of its traditional association with love and fertility. All that changed when Christianity came along. The goddess of the sixth day — most likely Freya in this context, given that the cat was her sacred animal — was recast in post-pagan folklore as a witch, and her day became associated with evil doings.

Various legends developed in that vein, but one is of particular interest: As the story goes, the witches of the north used to observe their sabbath by gathering in a cemetery in the dark of the moon. On one such occasion the Friday goddess, Freya herself, came down from her sanctuary in the mountaintops and appeared before the group, who numbered only 12 at the time, and gave them one of her cats, after which the witches' coven — and, by tradition, every properly-formed coven since — comprised exactly 13.

Labels:

6 Comments:

Blogger Ligeia said...

Wow! You certainly did your research. All very interesting stuff - some I knew, some I didn't.

April 13, 2007 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

That is exactly what I thought. If you look for something bad, you will find it. Kinda like my post today. You just never forget it.

April 13, 2007 at 11:39 AM  
Blogger peppylady said...

Great info and chuckled as I was reading it.
Like your kitchen witch maybe I should put in a kitchen witch when I do my mabon/fall scavenger hunt but first I need to do my summer scavenger hunt and it won't be posted til May.

April 13, 2007 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Akelamalu said...

That's really interesting. I'm not superstitious - I live at Number 13!!!!

April 13, 2007 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger "Early Bird" said...

Wow...what a lot of info you gathered...all I know is this...Yikes!!!

April 13, 2007 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

Knew some of that, though not all.

Friday the thirteenth has never been a bad day (persay) for me. I mean, ANY day has the potential to be a good day, or a bad day. I can't say that nothing bad has EVER happened to me on a Friday 13, but nothing extraordinarily bad. Today could be better, but primarily because it's the second day of my monthly, and I always feel really kinda gross on the second day & bleed a lot. But, not because it's Friday the thirteenth. Just because this is how my cycle worked out.

I hope you have a FANTASTIC day, disregarding any un-founded superstitions about today.

April 13, 2007 at 4:13 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home