It’s big, it’s bad, it’s scary…it’s Friday the 13th!
This year, there are three times when this dreaded calendar combination occurs, and this year, (of all years, right?) they fall 13 weeks apart. Or so I read in this cool article here. And while this piece gives lots and lots of possible history and folklore to (maybe) explain why this date got such a bad rep, the thing they keep coming back to is the same conclusion I’ve long since reached. It’s about women. Stay with me now, it’ll make sense, I promise.
In Witch lore, the perfect size for a coven is 13. The reason for this is simple. Witchcraft is a female thing (though many men participate, it’s really about girl power.)
Thirteen silver moons, in a year are. Thirteen is the coven’s array. Thirteen times as esbat make merry, For each golden year and a day.
So reads one of the verses of the long poem known as The Wiccan Rede, which first saw print in 1974 in an issue of Earth Religion News, and later in The Green Egg, both pagan magazines. In the Green Egg it was contributed by Lady Gwen Thompson who attributed it to her grandmother, Adrianna Porter. Well worth reading the entire piece if you look it up. Anyway, that aside, note the first line in this segment of the piece. 13 silver moons in a year are. By lunar calendars, there are 13 full moons in each year. Those cycles are very closely related to women’s menstrual cycles, a co-relation that’s always been considered sacred and mystical. To women at least. So that’s the source where the issue with the number thirteen. It’s a woman-power number.
So what about the Friday? Fridays are the only day of the week named after a goddess, Freya, and associated with a totally feminine planet, Venus. (Mondays are named for the moon, so they come close, as there are many who see the moon as very female, and many goddesses are associated with the moon, but there are also moon gods found in various cultures throughout time.) All the other days of the week have totally male associations. Tuesday is named for the Norse God Tyr and associated with the planet Mars, Wednesday Woden and Mercury. Thursday, Thor and Jupiter. Saturdays are for Saturn, both a planet and a Roman God. Sundays are named for the sun. Fridays are the only day of the week with completely female attributes.
Venus and Freya are both associated with beauty, femininity, love, passion and sex. And these are things that were feared by the early patriarchy that sought to keep women in submission to men.
The line of thinking that brought about the witch hysteria, the trials, the burnings and hangings and stonings, the line of thinking that once kept women from owning property, from voting, from having rights (and still does in some parts of our modern world) is the very same line of thinking that generated this whole “Friday the 13th is bad, mmmkay?” superstition.
So ladies, I say that this is our day. I say we take back Friday the 13th! Celebrate it as a day when we embrace the feminine power that is uniquely our own.
Friday the 13th is bad luck? Not unless you piss off a female, pal.
I love being a woman. Don’t you?