For many, the number 13 is a number to be feared. We consider it to be unlucky, a number to be avoided. Others might go in the other direction, purposefully seeking out the number 13 to prove that it has no power. No matter your opinion on the number 13, here are a few interesting facts about why it has become a feared and superstitious number.
Airplanes have a 13th row, but some office buildings or hotels won’t have a room 13 or a floor 13. People who rely on luck will avoid the 13th day of the month, and some people might wait to make decisions until after this day has passed.
This fear originates in humanity’s collective past. Norse mythology tells the story of Loki, the trickster god, becoming the 13th guest at a party and killing the Norse god of light. In Roman times, witches would gather in groups of 12 people, as adding a 13th would be considered inviting in evil. There were 13 members present at Jesus’s Last Supper, and Friday the 13th is believed by some to be the day when Jesus was crucified. Friday the 13th is also the day that King Philip IV of France decreed the arrests of the Grand Master and Knights of the Knights Templar group.
In the practice of numerology, the number 12 is seen as a full and complete number. There are 12 months in a calendar year, 12 numbers on a clock, a dozen is 12, and there are 12 signs symbolizing different aspects of the zodiac. The number coming after 12 is therefore seen as destroying this perfect number, causing uncertainty and imbalance.
However, there are aspects to the number 13 that aren’t considered unlucky. Modern pagans and Wiccans have uncovered many of the aspects of the number 13 that balance the negative sides of this number. For those who study numerology, you will know that the composition of the number 13 are the numbers one and three. Together, these make the number four. Four is a balanced and total number, representing the four main elements and the four directions of the compass.
If you are nervous about the number 13, don’t be! There are reasons why this number has become unlucky over the years, and there are aspects of this number that are positive. If you’re more comfortable avoiding this number, then that’s ok; just make sure you aren’t setting up obstacles for yourself in the process.