Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday the 13th: Which Witch is Which?

Here is one of the most talked-about dates in our culture--Friday the 13th...ooky-spooky. But what does it mean, really? The superstition that 13 is an unlucky number stems from the 13 people at the Last Supper, one of whom was the betrayer, Judas, and the Friday superstition is also connected to the widespread belief that Jesus was crucified on Friday. And so, of course, in the Middle Ages, because witches were considered evil and it was thought that they served the devil, Friday the 13th became known as the "witches Sabbath" and was seen as the day to give homage to Lucifer, the King of the Witches. Sooo...how can that little bump in the road be made a positive connection to witchy thinking? Let's find out.

Thirteen is considered to be an unlucky number because 12 has been considered the "number of completeness", stemming from the 12 months of the year, hours in the day, the twelve deities of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, the 12 successors of Muhammad in Shia Islam, twelve signs of the Zodiac, the 12 years of the Chinese Buddhist cycle, etc. In contrast the number thirteen is considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. But the concept can be seen as the reverse of unlucky, because that extra number simply may refer to thinking "outside the lines", forging one's own path and challenging Fate, not focusing on order or symmetry but on that which is unique to the Self. This also might play into the concept of personal power which is connected to Witchcraft, and the recognition of the power of the unexpected in our daily lives, where our true use of our own inner Guides is more important than our falling prey to the fear of transgressing the 'rules'.

And so, therefore, let's look at the power of Friday the 13th. The thirteenth card in the Major Arcana is, of course, Death, since the numerical attributions of the deck arose from the medieval cosmology that denoted thirteen as an unlucky number. But today, our thirteen will be for us the thirteenth card in our deck, as we have it shuffled, answering the question, "what is my best way of leaving the beaten path and following my own wraith today?" And since Friday is the fifth day of the week, and today's date adds up to a five, the fifth card is our answer to "and what will be my discovery on that journey?" Here we go...



  The thirteenth card in the deck bespeaks material gain, a way of securing success in the mundane world, enough money, enough goods, something all of us may be seeking. Today we are encouraged to examine the concept of material gain and ask ourselves if we are truly earning and using our money in accord with our own true will, or are we merely following the beaten path and doing what is expected of us? Material gain is something after which we are all seeking, but the question we have asked must encourage us to also examine how we are getting there.