For a very long time the number 13 has been an obsession for many. From being referred to as the most unlucky number in the universe, to people who truly believe that only under the umbrella of 13 can they succeed – this particular numeral has soared to the highest of heights and the most frightening lows.
When it comes to 13 being unlucky, this is not because some movie character named Jason donned a hockey mask and jumped out of a lake. Although the most widely acknowledged reasoning behind why 13 is unlucky IS because of the date – Friday the 13th – movies had nothing to do with it. On this date (October 13th, 1307) the Knights Templar were arrested and condemned by the seneschals of Philippe IV, King of France, in a “pre-dawn raid.” There are also other areas where the number 13 came into play in an unlucky way such as, Apollo 13. The only unsuccessful mission by the United States of America intended to land humans on the moon, was launched on April 11, 1970 at 13:13 CST. In addition, the explosion of an oxygen tank on April 13th, 1970 caused severe problems before the astronauts were able to return to Earth – thankfully, alive.
The number 13 can go from one extreme to the other – from the most unlucky number in the world to the number of sacred power. When looking back at folklore and history – whether religious or otherwise – the number 13 may have become demonized simply because it was held sacred in pre-Christian times.
Think about this oddly recurring sum. There were twelve apostles plus a Messiah; there were twelve Knights of the Round Table and their King Arthur; there were twelve archangels with their leader, Michael. Looking at these figures, it becomes too much of a coincidence that the number 13 occurs in everything from significant contexts to the ‘stuff of legend.’
Even our own ‘world’ is made up of twelve constellations (or, orbs) around the Sun, making it recurrent in nature, as well. And the list goes on. Writing about the Aztec calendar, someone once referred to the fact that 13 was a basic structural unit in nature, meaning that a ‘center‘ attracts elements that are hovering around it. So it was no surprise that even science – sacred geometry and geometrical uses – were based on the number 13, because it is a true pattern that can be seen in nature, the heavens, as well as humans. There are 13 major joints in our bodies, as well as 13 lunar cycles in a solar year, and the moon travels 13 degrees across the sky every day.
In some circles 13 is the number that cleans and purifies, it is also the number that brings death – allowing the spirit to go forth on a higher level of existence. For the superstitious, this number brings the bad luck or the misfortune; while for the cabalist it is the meaning of the Snake, the dragon, Satan and the murderer. But it is also, for Christians, the representative number of the Virgin Mary – she, whose mission it is to crush the head of Satan.
And when it comes to the thirteenth mystery of the Tarot, it does not even have a name. 13 marks the uncertainty, the hesitation, the fickleness or the transformation of something – the death and the renewal that is significant for change.
That number is also ‘linked’ to some truly disturbing characters throughout history – one being Jack the Ripper. Did he have thirteen gloves, or 13 knives? No, much more simple. The site of his worst crime was 13 Miller’s Court, and the legend behind what happened there that was NOT shown in papers, has been written about in a literary marvel that explores the ins and outs of the number 13.
Another character the book explores is Sara Winchester – heiress of the Winchester Gun billions – who was beyond superstitious about spirits. There are 13 panes in a great deal of her mansion’s windows, 13 bathrooms, with 13 windows in the 13th one. There are also 13 wall panels in the room prior to the 13th bathroom, with 13 steps leading towards it. The Carriage Entrance Hall floor is divided into 13 cement sections. There are 13 hooks in the Séance Room, which supposedly held the different colored robes Mrs. Winchester wore while communing with the spirits, 13 glass cupolas on the Greenhouse, 13 holes in the sink drain covers, and the list goes on.
Although the number 13 has been shunned for centuries by architects who will not place a 13th floor in their office buildings to this very day, Coptic Christians and Ancient Egyptians divided their years based on the 13th month agricultural year, and for the Egyptians, their calendar and the seasons are interwoven with the life cycle of the Great River Nile – based on the number 13. In fact, many Indigenous cultures evolve their calendars around the cycles of the moon or lunar cycles which are 28 days in length and consist of 13 months in an annual cycle.
In recent years more people, especially women, seem to have an affinity to the number 13, as if females are all going back to their ancestors for the real answers to some of life’s hardest questions. Even celebrities tout the number 13. It was Taylor Swift who recently said that every time she has won an award she has sat in seat number 13, so apparently for that particular celebrity, 13 will be a number she keeps close to her heart for a long time.
Recently, as we mentioned before, in the literary world a series has begun with a book titled, 13. This author has explored connections between everyone from the architects of the New York Public Library, Carrère and Hastings, to the most recognized serial killer in the world – Jack the Ripper. From the Knights of the Round Table to a place where Jesus ate his last Supper, the number 13 is explored, and the adventure that is brought forth make up a plot that Hollywood is currently looking at bringing to the big screen.
For all of you out there who wish to delve further into the mystical history of the number 13, or simply wish to read a book that is the best adventure to come along since The DaVinci Code, Tallent & Lowery – 13 will be going from eBook to print very, very soon! But for a little pre-look, a stellar trailer has been brought to the market! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRl7p47AXAQ
Begin your own obsession with 13 today!
Until Next Time, Everybody.