Today is Friday the thirteenth. A rare event -
our only other this year will be in July. For
some reason the concurrence of the number
thirteen and this last day of a work week is
considered by many to be "unlucky." While
some folks are unnerved by said timing -
others have a phobia about the number itself.
So much so that psychologists have given it
an official name - "triskaidekaphobia." Such
a term causes at least this writer to pause as
it's obvious that some experts must have too
much time on their hands. Anyway, suffice it
to say that this day rattles some folk's cages!
Never ever on a Sunday?
As with most myths - it's virtually impossible
to trace the origins of this superstition. Some
claim it's all to do with the thirteen who were
at Christ's last supper. Others think it started
with King Philip IV's arrest of the Knights of
Templar on a Friday the thirteenth in 1307.
The list goes on and on. In Greece and Spain -
Tuesday the thirteenth is deemed the worst of
days. In Italy - Friday the seventeenth is their
day of reckoning. Thus whether one is lucky
or not seems to depends on where you are and
on what day. That said, the question is whether
any of this fuss about the date really matters.
Safety in numbers
In 1993 the British Medical Journal published
a study showing "a significant level of traffic-
related incidence on Friday the thirteenth. In
2008 the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics
stated that there were fewer accidents on that
date because people were "more cautious due
to superstition." In contrast - accident rates in
most major US cities increase dramatically on
March seventeenth and December thirty first.
So, can one assume that St Patrick's Day or
New Years Eve are equally unlucky at best?
Might the best approach be to drive safely
three hundred and sixty five days each year?
There is no doubt that we all have bad days. Or
experience times when we question whether we
can do anything right. Three to four times each
annum Mercury's orbit appears to go in reverse.
Said backward times are considered by some to
be periods when things go from better to worse.
Thus if one believes in such things - today gets
worse given it concurs with Mercury's current
time in retrograde. Double whammy's aside, at
times it seems that the world is spinning in the
wrong direction. Thus no matter how hard one
tries, it's impossible to usurp said negative trend.
So for today should we stay at home and hide?
Rather than accept responsibility - it's much
easier to blame everyone and everything else
for our trials and tribulations. However rarely
are things truly beyond our control. The truth
is almost any challenge can be traced back to
some self-imposed source. Therefore like it
or not, we invariably have nobody to blame
but ourselves for whatever is wrong in our
lives. Often it all depends on one's outlook.
Hence as I was born on the thirteenth (not a
Friday) I consider said double digits lucky.
Meaning that at least for today - I'm going to
assume that today things are going my way!