By Tony Sokol
This article originally ran in American Witch on May 13, 2016
Today is Friday the 13th and we here at The Secret Life of the American Witch are feeling luckier than a black cat stepping on a crack under a hot tin ladder. Sure, the Apollo 13 didn’t make it to the Moon, but ancient Greeks crowned Zeus the thirteenth and most powerful god. Friday the 13th, the 1980 horror movie, went on to be a classic and spawn a lucrative franchise. How lucky is that?
The day got its bad rep on Friday, the 13th of October, in 1307 when France’s King Philip IV ordered the Knights Templars to be simultaneously arrested and ultimately executed because God was “not pleased.” The Templars were believed to have the mummified severed head of John the Baptist at their headquarters on the Temple Mount. They were suspected of worshipping Baphomet.
But 13 is not an unfortunate number. It is a magical number and a decidedly feminine number strong enough to break any jinx someone might be feeling. Lady Luck, in her incarnation as the Roman Goddess Fortuna, had a powerful cult in Ancient Rome through which she sustained the empire. It was rumored that she granted special favors to her boy toy emperors and centurions who worshipped at her feet while ruling the greatest civilization of the world at the time.
“For me, the number thirteen has always been a lucky and magical number so I see Friday the 13th as a time to cast your most powerful spells to bring your dreams to fruition,” explained Salem, Massachusetts’ Christian Day, the world’s most famous warlock. The Clown Prince of Paganism is a seasoned veteran of some very public witch wars that have actually increased his public appeal and blessed him with many successful events. Clearly, co-producers Christian Day and Brian Cain worship at Fortuna’s altar because their premiere spring offering in the heart of New Orleans, HEX FEST, typically sells out months in advance despite the angst of their critics.
Madame X, the owner, administrator, mentor and matriarch of the international nightkind coven House of the Dreaming and co-founder of the New Jersey-based Vampire Court Iron Garden floated over to The Secret Life of the American Witch to give some occult background to the number 13.
The spiritual significance of the number 13 “has ancient roots beginning with the original 13 tribes,” Madame X said. “It had special significance during the times of Babylon and Egypt and continues to have great occult and mystical significance.”
“There are 13 Buddhas, 13 Mexican solar gods, 13 solar disks, even 13 Treasures of Britain, which are cloaks, crooks, drinking horns, mantles etc. of the great leaders and heroes of old. The most interesting ones, for me, would be the Cauldron of Dyrnwch the Giant and the chariot of Morgan Mwynfawr.”
When asked why the ancients may have fixated on the number, Madame X offered, “perhaps it has to do with the lunar phases, 13 degrees, 13 weeks is the time it takes from the equinoxes to the solstices. 13 weeks times 4 is the 52 weeks it takes the Earth to make one complete revolution around the Sun.”
“The number 13 is associated with the moon, which is not only feminine in nature, but associated with the Goddess,” said Susan Morgaine, a Feminist Goddess-oriented Witch who writes the blog ShaktiWarrior.
“The moon is thought of within Goddess Spirituality as the aspects of the Goddess as Maiden, Mother, Crone, stages of life that all women go through,” Ceremonial Magick Maven Lisa Derrick explained from a gallery in the trendy LA Arts District where her artists typically sell out against the odds.
“Also, there are 13 full moons within a year. We, as women, have 13 menstrual periods within a year, which is why many women call their periods their ‘moontime.’ Our bodies’ cycles coincide with the moon’s cycles. That is why I believe the number 13 is feminine and sacred to women.”
Luck is a Lady and we love the lady best when she is a tramp. But let’s keep the party polite, because lucky ladies earned the right to be as fickle as fate.
“The 13th card of the tarot is Death, which symbolizes the transformation and rebirth that can be found in the light of the darkest shadows,” Melanie Marquis, author of Modern Spellcaster’s Tarot explained.
All numbers may have energy if you apply them. Math is a universal language in science and one of the sciences of magic is sacred geometry. It all adds up.
“Power is where you chose to put it,” Madame X concluded.
“The most powerful tool in magic is, after all, intention. For a Chaos Magician ‘Everything is magical’ and ‘nothing is magical at all’ are both permissible statements but only one will be of true magical value.”
Venice, CA based “Jinx Busters” presenter and producer Marie Bargas explains it all is a nutshell, “Thirteen is a number of change, whether we like it or not. In terms of luck it can be good or bad depending on whether or not we choose to fight or surrender. I’ve always surrendered so it’s been very lucky for me. Resistance is futile.”
Happy Friday the Thirteenth.