Friday, 13 December 2013

Friday 13th unlucky or not? A look at the Pagan history behind Friday thirteenth

Is Friday the thirteenth really unlucky? A look at the ancient Pagan standpoint.
We have been taught to believe that Friday 13th is unlucky, more accidents and ill health happen on this day however many psychologists believe that this is a result of heightened anxiety. This fear even has a name! Fear of Friday the 13th is known as triskaidekaphobes.

Friday 13th was not always considered to be unlucky, and that some people throughout time have found it to be the luckiest day of the year.  Many Pagans think that this day is especially magickal due to the fact that it is the Goddess’ sacred day and the fact that there are thirteen lunar months.

Friday comes from "Freya's Day" or "Frigg's Day. Freya was a Norse Goddess, the goddess of Love and Beauty, and also fertility, war, and wealth. She was the daughter of Njord, and the sister of Frey. Frigg or Freya corresponded to Venus, The goddess of love of the Romans, who named the sixth day of the week In her honor "dies Veneris. Freya was said to bring luck and Friday was considered to be a great day to get married due to her being seen as Goddess of Love.

With the advent of Christianity the myth began that Friday was unlucky. Freya was dismissed as so many Goddesses like her were. When Norse and Germanic tribes converted to Christianity, Freya was banished in shame to a mountaintop and labeled a witch. It was believed that every Friday, the spiteful goddess convened a meeting with eleven other witches, plus the devil – a gathering of thirteen – and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week. For many centuries in Scandinavia, Friday was known as “Witches’ Sabbath.”

The number 13 in Christianity was believed to bring bad luck because there were 13 people at The Last Supper. Cain slew Abel on a Friday the 13th.

There are many events throughout history that may have sparked the idea that Fridays were unlucky. Many Christians have believed that Friday was unlucky because it was the day of the week when Jesus was crucified. Eve tempted Adam with forbidden fruit on a Friday. The great flood began on a Friday. the Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday. In the early days of Rome, Friday was execution day. In Britain, Friday became the Hangman’s Day. Black Friday has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s. So a lot of events happened to make people believe Friday the thirteenth was unlucky.

The ancient Egyptians associated the number thirteen with immortality -- there were twelve steps on the ladder to eternal life and knowledge; the thirteenth step meant going through death into everlasting life. In Rome, it was traditional to have thirteen guests to be present at weddings. In the Hebrew faith, age thirteen is when a young man or woman is finally considered an adult. Finally, thirteen has a strong association with the moon for many of us. There are thirteen lunar cycles each year, and many of us celebrate the full moons. Thirteen is the traditional number of witches in a coven. Also, in Goddess and pagan lore, the Number 19 represents the sacred number of the Goddess. Friday the 13th combines the individual sacred goddess numbers of "6" and "13" and when these two numbers are added, you get the Number 19. So we see in ancient Pagan religions Friday the thirteenth being actually a pretty lucky day. 
Thirteen, a goddess number, is one beyond beyond twelve, and, in the eyes of the new "solar" world order, symbolised a move away from harmony and completion into the "evil" of chaos. The church decided that the Goddess led number 13 should be deemed unlucky. There are 12 months in the solar-based Julian and the Church-created Gregorian calendars, a perfect, male number.

You can see therefore from all these reasons why it would seem that Friday 13th would appear to be unlucky from some points of view.

As Pagans we can continue to believe that Friday, Freya’s day is a lucky day of the Goddess and this combined with the sacred number 13 makes it doubly auspicious, so enjoy this day! Celebrate Friday 13th, may the luck of the Goddess be with you today and always!


  1. Great post ;o) Happy Friday 13th ;o) I shoveled snow today! Loved it ;o) Nice and cool ;o) Many blessings my friend ;o)

  2. Wow, it's so warm here I've hardly had heating on it's strange! xx

  3. Enjoyed reading this.I always knew 13 wasn't a bad number...after all, I was born on the 13th of January. ;-)
    Blessed Winter Solstice to you, Alison.