Friday, May 13, 2011

Paraskevidekatriaphobia Day

It’s Friday the 13th, one of the most widespread superstitions. It’s supposedly a day of bad luck and occasional body-switching. But odds are unless you’re a Knights Templar, you’ll get through the day like any other Friday, eagerly awaiting the end of the workweek.

I don’t believe in many superstitions, though I do like reading my horoscope in the evening and seeing how my day lined up with the prediction. But there is something comforting in superstitions. Perhaps it’s their old and oral nature; advice passed down from your grandmother’s grandmother. It feels familiar, traditional, rooted (though clearly not rooted in logic). And there is also the comfort that bad things happened for a reason. It’s Friday the 13th = of course Blogger was down for a few hours! It also takes away responsibility if something bad happens. You didn’t get an F because you didn’t study; you got it because a black cat crossed your pass on the way to an exam. Superstitions fall into some magical realm that is beyond our control and understanding, but is still of earth and able to be manipulated. It’s not of God, but it’s not quite of man either, which makes it useful for horror flicks and not much else.

Every time the thirteenth of the month falls on a Friday, there will be news articles asking, why? What makes Friday the 13th so scary? (I’ve even written one.) People look at how cultures interpret the numbers 6 and 13, and they look back on historical events that happened on that day that may have scarred society (i.e. why few people want to get married on September 11th). But with superstitions, there isn’t a one true origin and you can’t logically work out why people are superstitious. They just are. Or like most people I know, they say they aren’t superstitious at all, but they still follow the superstitions, “just in case.”

According to some, my horoscope for today reads: “The cosmos may be offering a master-class in the Laws of Attraction and you could be bowled over by someone who 'ticks off all the boxes'. True, you might also be repelled by someone who does the opposite! But you could fall head over heels. A working relationship could become something more: which covers everything from a love tangle to a business partnership.

Not too shabby for Friday the 13th. But I wouldn’t want to start a romance on a Friday the 13th…not that I’m superstitious, just…just in case.

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