(Photo: Overcast morning by Lisa Erin Brown)
Today was Friday the 13th...a dark day to many who approach the day's doings with kid gloves. Is it actually a day that should be feared?
My day started in the wee hours of the morning. Glenn and I were back from an ill-fated evening of pool (we were both a bit off our game) at the local watering hole. A pizza was popped into the oven, and my finger was burned when I took it out. A few hours later I got up for a glass of water and crushed the middle finger of my left hand in the fridge door. Aside from those slight unfortunate events, I've felt a bit "off" today. Is it stress? The onset of illness? Not sure. Is it the effects of Friday the 13th? Hmmm...dunno. Have I spent the bulk of the day in this days' clutches, or has it just been...a crappy day? Me being the curious sort, I decided to look into the back history of this day of distress.
When I think of Friday the 13th, the movie series comes to mind. Jason Voorhees running around chopping up stupid and promiscuous teenagers in cabins by a lake. I wanted to know more. The evil and dark basis of those movies, well...it had to start somewhere.
Interestingly enough, there isn't a wealth of history on this subject. Nothing written or spoken of before the 19th century. If you fear the day, you are said to suffer from "Friggatriskaidekaphobia". Try saying that five times fast. "Frigga" is taken from the name of the Norse goddess, and is said to mean Friday. The remainder, "triskaidekaphobia", means 'fear of the number 13'.
In numerology, the number 13 follows the number 12 which is said to represent completeness. Basically, 13 is said to harsh 12's mellow.
Norse mythos are said to state that any dining party of 13 people, well...be sure one of them is going to die. Christianity has a similar saying that centers around the Last Supper...13 individuals were at that breaking of bread, and you know how that turned out.
The 13th card of the Tarot is the "Death" card. The imagery alone gives those who don't know it's true meaning a feeling of evil portent. Yes, the skull topped image on the card's face has been labeled as that of the Grim Reaper. The truth is, this card signifies an ending to something. It also indicates the birth of a new chapter. Out with the old...in with the new. Just think of it as a time of transformation. Of transition. Not really as dark and foreboding as you initially thought, huh?
The most I was able to find as a basis for this day being a time of uneasiness and fear is based around the history of the Knights Templar. In a nutshell format, the Knights were a monastic military order that was created to protect Christian pilgrims. They were started in Jerusalem in 1118. King Philip IV of France amassed a pretty substantial debt to them as they were in his employ for a long time. Philip got greedy for the Knights wealth and hatched a plan. He brought a laundry list of charges against the order, all claims of heresy and pretty repugnant...the King wanted to make sure that the charges he leveled wouldn't be defended by anyone. On Friday, October 13, 1307, the Knights were all arrested and tortured to gain false confessions from them.
Seemingly an egotist, the king wouldn't leave it at that and strove to completely disgrace the Knights. In front of Notre Dame Cathedral, he expected the Order's grandmaster, Jacques de Molay, to publicly admit to the heresy. Instead, the grandmaster apologized, calling out the King and the Bishop of the time, Pope Clement V. He said that the Knights had been forced to falsely confess, and that they were all innocent. Philip was rather ticked off and burned Molay and his second-in-command at the stake. Molay's dying words were that he cursed King Philip and Pope Clement, and that they would die by year's end...which they both did.
All of these events added to the dark reputation of Friday the 13th. It is all stated in 'The Da Vinci Code', but all ties to the 13th being the cryptic day it is today are all modern invention. As mentioned before, nothing has been found to have been documented about "Friday the 13th" before the 19th century.
Is Friday the 13th really a dark day that should be acknowledged as such? Should we make plans to stay home rather than to go out? In my opinion, if you feel that strongly that something bad/negative will happen on the 13th, then do whatever makes you feel comfortable. It's not so much the day you should worry about as how you feel about it. No matter what day it is, if you feel something bad is going to happen, it most likely will.