Friday the 13th – a day the Lord made | NevadaAppeal.com

Friday the 13th – a day the Lord made

Rhonda Costa-Landers
Appeal Staff Writer

There are superstitions about Friday and superstitions about the number 13 – which together seem to create the fear of Friday the 13th.

Be that as it may, the Rev. Pat Propster of Calvary Chapel in Carson City, says most Christians today are so firm in their beliefs, they are not superstitious.

“(Friday the 13th) becomes more of a humoristic portion of their life,” Propster said. “I don’t think they even really let it affect them.

“The Bible teaches us ‘this is the day the Lord has made; in it I will rejoice.’ No matter if it’s Friday the 13th, it’s not a bad-luck day.”

Other superstitions include avoiding black cats, walking around ladders, crossing fingers for good luck, tossing salt over your shoulder, never opening an umbrella indoors and carrying a rabbit’s foot.

“Step on a crack, break your mother’s back. That’s another one,” Propster said.

“People take superstitions and run with them, and they become part of our culture, like horoscopes, all that stuff. Is it superstition, or in the category of wives’ tale?”

The phobia attached to Friday the 13th is paraskevidekatriaphobia.

According to David Emery of About.com, number-13 phobia may have come from the Hindus, who apparently believed it was always unlucky for 13 people to gather in one place.

A version of the same superstition comes from the Vikings: Twelve gods were invited to a banquet at Valhalla. Loki, the Evil One and the god of mischief, had been excluded from the guest list, but crashed the party, bringing the total to 13. Loki incited Hod, the blind god of winter, to attack Balder the Good, who was a favorite of the gods. Hod took a spear of mistletoe offered by Loki and hurled it at Balder, killing him instantly.

The superstition attached itself to the story of the Last Supper of Jesus and the 12 disciples. Judas, who rose first from the table, was the first to die.

But ancient Egyptians considered 13 lucky, because they believed life unfolded in 12 stages and that there was a 13th stage – the afterlife. The number 13 symbolized death, as a happy transformation.

In tarot decks, the “Death” card bears the number 13, but retains its original, positive meaning: transformation.

The symbolism of the number 13 evolved into a fear of death.

“As pastors, we need to make the most of every day,” Propster said. “That’s what is important.”

• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at rcosta-landers@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1223.