History of Friday the 13th

Long considered a harbinger of bad luck, Friday the 13th has inspired a late 19th-century secret society, an early 20th-century novel, a horror film franchise and not one but two unwieldy terms—paraskavedekatriaphobia and friggatriskaidekaphobia—that describe fear of this supposedly unlucky day.

The Fear of 13

Just like walking under a ladder, crossing paths with a black cat or breaking a mirror, many people hold fast to the belief that Friday the 13th brings bad luck. Though it’s uncertain exactly when this particular tradition began, negative superstitions have swirled around the number 13 for centuries.

While Western cultures have historically associated the number 12 with completeness (there are 12 days of Christmas, 12 months and zodiac signs, 12 labors of Hercules, 12 gods of Olympus and 12 tribes of Israel, just to name a few examples), its successor 13 has a long history as a sign of bad luck.

The ancient Code of Hammurabi, for example, reportedly omitted a 13th law from its list of legal rules. Though this was probably a clerical error, superstitious people sometimes point to this as proof of 13’s longstanding negative associations.

Fear of the number 13 has even earned a psychological term: triskaidekaphobia.

Why is Friday the 13th Unlucky?

According to biblical tradition, 13 guests attended the Last Supper, held on Maundy Thursday, including Jesus and his 12 apostles (one of whom, Judas, betrayed him). The next day, of course, was Good Friday, the day of Jesus’ crucifixion.

The seating arrangement at the Last Supper is believed to have given rise to a longstanding Christian superstition that having 13 guests at a table was a bad omen—specifically, that it was courting death.

Though Friday’s negative associations are weaker, some have suggested they also have roots in Christian tradition: Just as Jesus was crucified on a Friday, Friday was also said to be the day Eve gave Adam the fateful apple from the Tree of Knowledge, as well as the day Cain killed his brother, Abel.

The Thirteen Club

In the late-19th century, a New Yorker named Captain William Fowler (1827-1897) sought to remove the enduring stigma surrounding the number 13—and particularly the unwritten rule about not having 13 guests at a dinner table—by founding an exclusive society called the Thirteen Club.

The group dined regularly on the 13th day of the month in room 13 of the Knickerbocker Cottage, a popular watering hole Fowler owned from 1863 to 1883. Before sitting down for a 13-course dinner, members would pass beneath a ladder and a banner reading “Morituri te Salutamus,” Latin for “Those of us who are about to die salute you.”

Four former U.S. presidents (Chester A. ArthurGrover ClevelandBenjamin Harrison and Theodore Roosevelt) would join the Thirteen Club’s ranks at one time or another.

Friday the 13th in Pop Culture

An important milestone in the history of the Friday the 13th legend in particular (not just the number 13) occurred in 1907, with the publication of the novel Friday, the Thirteenth written by Thomas William Lawson.

The book told the story of a New York City stockbroker who plays on superstitions about the date to create chaos on Wall Street, and make a killing on the market.

The horror movie Friday the 13th, released in 1980, introduced the world to a hockey mask-wearing killer named Jason, and is perhaps the best-known example of the famous superstition in pop culture history. The movie spawned multiple sequels, as well as comic books, novellas, video games, related merchandise and countless terrifying Halloween costumes.

What bad things happened on Friday 13th?

On Friday, October 13, 1307, officers of King Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar, a powerful religious and military order formed in the 12th century for the defense of the Holy Land.

Imprisoned on charges of various illegal behaviors (but really because the king wanted access to their financial resources), many Templars were later executed. Some cite the link with the Templars as the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition, but like many legends involving the Templars and their history, the truth remains murky.

In more recent times, a number of traumatic events have occurred on Friday the 13th, including the German bombing of Buckingham Palace(September 1940); the murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens, New York (March 1964); a cyclone that killed more than 300,000 people in Bangladesh (November 1970); the disappearance of a Chilean Air Force plane in the Andes (October 1972); the death of rapper Tupac Shakur (September 1996) and the crash of the Costa Concordia cruise ship off the coast of Italy, which killed 30 people (January 2012).

Sources

“The Origins of Unlucky Friday the 13th,” Live Science.
“Friday the 13th: why is it unlucky and other facts about the worst day in the calendar,” The Telegraph.
“13 Freaky Things That Happened on Friday the 13th,” Live Science.
“Here’s Why Friday the 13th is Considered Unlucky,” Time.
“Friggatriskaidekaphobes Need Not Apply,” New-York Historical Society.

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Blood Moon (October)

Blood Moon (October)

 

Also known as: Harvest Moon, Shedding Moon, Winterfelleth (Winter Coming), Windermanoth (Vintage Month), Falling Leaf Moon, Ten Colds Moon, Moon of the Changing Season
Nature Spirits: frost faeries, plant faeries
Herbs: pennyroyal, thyme, catnip, uva ursi, angelica, burdock
Colors: dark blue-green
Flowers: calendula, marigold, cosmos
Scents: strawberry, apple blossom, cherry
Stones: opal, tourmaline, beryl, turquoise
Trees: yew, cypress, acacia
Animals: stag, jackal, elephant, ram, scorpion
Birds: heron, crow, robin
Deities: Ishtar, Astarte, Demeter, Kore, Lakshmi, Horned God, Belili, Hathor
Power Flow: to let go; inner cleansing. Karma and reincarnation. Justice and balance. Inner harmony.

Harvest Moon (September)

Harvest Moon (September)

 

Also known as: Wine Moon, Singing Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Haligmonath (Holy Month), Witumanoth (Wood Month), Moon When Deer Paw the Earth
Nature Spirits: trooping faeries
Herbs: copal, fennel, rye, wheat, valerian, skullcap
Colors: brown, yellow-green, yellow
Flowers: narcissus, lily
Scents: storax, mastic, gardenia, bergamont
Stones: peridot, olivine, chrysolite, citrine
Trees: hazel, larch, bay
Animals: snake, jackal
Birds: ibis, sparrow
Deities: Demeter, Ceres, Isis, Nephthys, Freyja, Ch’ang-O, Thoth
Power Flow: rest after labor; balance of Light and Dark. Organize. Clean and straighten up physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual clutter.

Lunabar Moon Almanack for Monday, 10 August, 2015

Wiccan

Lunabar Moon Almanack for Monday, 10 August, 2015

 
Waning, Crescent Moon Age: 25 ¾ days.
Moon Runs High.
Moon in 6th degree of the Sign Crabba, the Crab fish;
also in 7th deg. of the Constellation Gemini, the Twins.
Moonrise: 2:35 morn. Souths: 9:53 morn. Moonset: 5:12 eve.
Aspects of the Moon in Crabba/Cancer: Yin, Feminine, Lunar, Negative, Nocturnal, Watery, Cardinal, Fruitful, Horary Northern, Summery, Boreal, Commanding, Solstitial, Tropical, Moist, Dumb, Mute, Cold, Psychic, Sensitive.
Spells and rituals involving the Water Element: Should be performed when the Moon is in a Water sign: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
• • • •
Moon Moon, Mother Moon
Lunar Lore
The Hunter’s Moon: The month or moon following the ”harvest moon”
Hunting does not begin until after harvest.
~Brewer’s “Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.”

It is the very error of the moon ;
She comes more nearer earth than she was wont,
And makes men mad.
– Shakespeare, “Othello,” V, ii.

Near full moon, a misty sunrise
Bodes fair weather and cloudless skies.
– Collected in R. Inwards, “Weather Lore”

Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose ;
Cynthia’s shining orb was made
Heaven to clear when day did close :
Bless us then with wished sight,
Goddess excellently bright.
– Ben Jonson, “Hymn to Diana.”
• • • •

 

Courtesy of GrannyMoonsMorningFeast

Hunter’s Moon 2013 and its Lunar Eclipse: What You Need to Know

Hunter’s Moon 2013 and its Lunar Eclipse: What You Need to Know

By Michele Berger

It’s that time again, time for another full moon. The one that falls directly after the Harvest Moon (which was Sept. 19) is called the Hunter’s Moon, and it happens this Friday night, Oct. 18. The best time to view it is 7:38 p.m. Eastern — though of course it shines brightly all night long.

Plus, there’s a lunar eclipse happening, too. It’s subtle, however, not a total eclipse but what’s called a penumbral eclipse, when the Earth’s outer shadow partially covers the lunar being. “You might see a little darkening. It happens very gradually. It’s not like a snap of the fingers,” Jim O’Leary, senior scientist at the Maryland Science Center, told Weather.com. That event begins around 5:50 p.m. eastern, peaks around at 7:50 p.m. and ends around 9:50 p.m., he added.

The total package should make for some pleasant sky gazing of this cool moon.

Its name — one of several catchy monikers including the Blood Moon and the Sanguine Moon — reputedly comes from those who used the light to their advantage, according to Science@NASA. “Hunters … tracked and killed their prey by autumn moonlight, stockpiling food for the winter ahead,” writes NASA’s Tony Phillips. “You can picture them: Silent figures padding through the forest, the moon overhead, pale as a corpse, its cold light betraying the creatures of the wood.”

Chinese lore also describes this moon as the Kindly Moon, reports the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, and the Lakota Sioux called it the Moon When Quilling and Beading Were Done.

The Hunter’s Moon isn’t just any full moon. Like with other moons this time of year, its path — called an ecliptic — is shallow. That means for several nights in a row, the moon sits farther north on the horizon, according to EarthSky. “It’s this northward movement of the moon along the eastern horizon at moonrise,” EarthSky writes, “that gives the Hunter’s Moon its magic.”

Typically this time of year, the moon rises about 50 minutes later each day. Say it appeared in the night sky at 7:00 p.m. today, tomorrow it would show up around 7:50 p.m. For several days around the Hunter’s Moon, however, it only rises 30 to 35 minutes later. (In that same example, it would emerge at 7:00 p.m. tonight, 7:30 p.m. the next.)

Why does this matter? Well, if you lived at a time when you needed the moonlight to harvest and hunt by, it clearly did. “The light of moon allowed farmers to harvest their crops later into the night,” O’Leary said of the September Harvest Moon. By the Hunter’s Moon in October, “it’s time to go hunting for Thanksgiving and the fall. The prey is easier to find. Rather than the moon being up in the sky an hour or two after sunset, it’s up in the sky sooner…. There’s less of a period of darkness.”

So go out and enjoy. But be warned: “While you’re staring at the sky, you might hear footsteps among the trees, the twang of a bow, a desperate scurry to shelter,” NASA’s Phillips writes. “That’s just your imagination.”

The Weather Channel

Calendar of the Moon for October 17th

Calendar of the Moon

Ivy Month

Colors: Light blue and dark green
Element: Air
Altar: Upon cloth of dark green lay pots of ivy twined up around posts of gold with suns, three blue candles, a vine-painted chalice of water, and a feather fan.
Offerings: Pray for enlightenment, and to be lifted up.
Daily Meal: Sheep, goat, or vegetarian using the fruits of the local harvests.

Gort Invocation

Call: Hail the month of the Ivy!
Response: Hail the month of twining for the sky!
Call: Where the vine yielded forth the blood of the earth…
Response: The ivy yields up the winds of the sky!
Call: Where the vine dulls the mind with happiness…
Response: The ivy opens the mind with terror and light!
Call: Hail to the chains of the Maenads!
Response: Hail to Dionysos and his torrent of madness!
Call: Hail to the Lady that mates with the Oak!
Response: She has entwined him, she has wrapped her limbs about him!
Call: Even his great strength is not enough to stay her!
Response: She shows that not all strength is standing tall!
Call: Hail to she who is supported by others….
Response: Yet reaches as high as they themselves!
Call: Show us, sacred Ivy, what it is to rise with the aid of the strong.
Response: Show us what it is to be borne up by branches.
Call: Show us what it is to be borne up by hopes.
Response: Show us what it is to be borne up by the Gods.
Call: We cannot reach the sky without aid…
Response: So we entreat you, Ivy, beg for aid for our earthbound hands.
Call: Teach us that the sky can be gained not only by the straight path…
Response: But also by the path of the spiral!
Call: Dance that spiral for us, Ivy, and we shall follow you!
Response: We shall follow you toward the blessed realms of the Gods.

Chant:
Turn turn turn again
Turn wind turn leaf
Twine o’er the last sheaf
Turn turn turn again

[Pagan Book of Hours]

What is Mabon?

What is Mabon?

By

Between September 19-22, Wiccans and other pagan religions celebrate the lesser sabbat of Mabon, the Autumnal Equinox. Other names for Mabon are the Autumnal Equinox, Foghar, Alban Elfed, Harvest Home, Fruit Harvest and Wine Harvest. The celebration of Mabon highlights the point where both day and night hold equal power across the land. Mabon is a period during the year. To honor those who have crossed the veil to spirit, to remember lost friends and family members with love and acceptance in the full knowledge that you will meet once again when your time comes.

There are numerous ways to celebrate Mabon, but essentially the controlling focus points either to the Second Harvest, or the equal balance between light and dark during mid September. Spend some time contemplating all of the positive aspects of your existence, both spiritual and material. Allow a feeling of gratitude to overtake you as you examine all of the good around you, light a candle and stare into the flickering flame and thank the gods for your continuing good fortune.

This is also a time to pay homage to the Ancient Deities that have frequented the world since the dawning of creation and continue to do so as the eternal seasons wax and wane in synchrony with the Moon. Some of the Gods originally linked with the Autumnal Equinox are Thor, Thoth, Hermes, The Green Man, Demeter and Persephone. During Harvest Home, the Corn Moon is celebrated in the month of September, the following Harvest Moon is celebrated in October, and Blood Moon on November thereafter.

The first full moon closest to the Mabon celebration is generally known as an Harvest Moon. The term Harvest Moon was taken from the fact that farmers would reap their crops during the night using the illumination of the full moon giving them greater visibility whilst working. European Wiccan/pagan groups do not believe that Mabon is an authentic sabbat therefore give it little credence, though it is widely celebrated in the United States.

Mabon highlights the end of the second of three Harvest Festivals, and is a time when the majority of crops have been gathered and the crop fields become bare in preparation for the upcoming Winter. Mabon sets the marker to the end of the Harvesting Season as the Pagan calendar rotates towards the darkening winter.

Paul Fitzpatrick

Writer of all things Wiccan and Magical.

Current Moon Phase for September 20th – Full Moon

Full Moon

(waning/90% illumination)

A veil of self-absorption is lifted and suddenly you gain access to an unbiased view of others. This is a rare moment when you can see yourself objectively and become aware of whether or not what you want in your heart is actually beginning to manifest in your life. Traditionally, the Full Moon phase stirs emotion, and this is because when you “see” what is happening, you may become upset if you’re experiencing the “same ole, same ole” — rather than the things you would like. If the Full Moon phase is a disappointment, on the next New Moon it’s time to take creative action in the direction of your dreams.

Mabon History: The Second Harvest

Mabon History: The Second Harvest

By , About.com Guide

The Science of the Equinox:

Two days a year, the Northern and Southern hemispheres receive the same amount of sunlight. Not only that, each receives the same amount of light as they do dark — this is because the earth is tilted at a right angle to the sun, and the sun is directly over the equator. In Latin, the word equinox translates to “equal night.” The autumn equinox takes place on or near September 21, and its spring counterpart falls around March 21. If you’re in the Northern hemisphere, the days will begin getting shorter after the autumn equinox and the nights will grow longer — in the Southern hemisphere, the reverse is true.

Global Traditions:

The idea of a harvest festival is nothing new. In fact, people have celebrated it for millennia, all around the world. In ancient Greece, Oschophoria was a festival held in the fall to celebrate the harvesting of grapes for wine. In the 1700’s, the Bavarians came up with Oktoberfest, which actually begins in the last week of September, and it was a time of great feasting and merriment, still in existence today. China’s Mid-Autumn festival is celebrated on the night of the Harvest Moon, and is a festival of honoring family unity.

Giving Thanks:

Although the traditional American holiday of Thanksgiving falls in November, many cultures see the second harvest time of the fall equinox as a time of giving thanks. After all, it’s when you figure out how well your crops did, how fat your animals have gotten, and whether or not your family will be able to eat during the coming winter. However, by the end of November, there’s not a whole lot left to harvest. Originally, the American Thanksgiving holiday was celebrated on October 3, which makes a lot more sense agriculturally.

Thanksgiving was originally celebrated on October 3. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued his “Thanksgiving Proclamation”, which changed the date to the last Thursday in November. In 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt adjusted it yet again, making it the second-to-last Thursday, in the hopes of boosting post-Depression holiday sales. Unfortunately, all this did was confuse people. Two years later, Congress finalized it, saying that the fourth Thursday of November would be Thanksgiving, each year.

Symbols of the Season:

The harvest is a time of thanks, and also a time of balance — after all, there are equal hours of daylight and darkness. While we celebrate the gifts of the earth, we also accept that the soil is dying. We have food to eat, but the crops are brown and going dormant. Warmth is behind us, cold lies ahead.

Some symbols of Mabon include:

  • Mid-autumn vegetables, like squashes and gourds
  • Apples and anything made from them, such as cider or pies
  • Seeds, nuts and seed pods
  • Baskets, symbolizing the gathering of crops
  • Sickles and scythes
  • Grapes, vines, wine

You can use any of these to decorate your home or your altar at Mabon.

Feasting and Friends:

Early agricultural societies understood the importance of hospitality — it was crucial to develop a relationship with your neighbors, because they might be the ones to help you when your family ran out of food. Many people, particularly in rural villages, celebrated the harvest with great deals of feasting, drinking, and eating. After all, the grain had been made into bread, beer and wine had been made, and the cattle were brought down from the summer pastures for the coming winter. Celebrate Mabon yourself with a feast — and the bigger, the better!

Magic and Mythology:

Nearly all of the myths and legends popular at this time of the year focus on the themes of life, death, and rebirth. Not much of a surprise, when you consider that this is the time at which the earth begins to die before winter sets in!

Demeter and Her Daughter

Perhaps the best known of all the harvest mythologies is the story of Demeter and Persephone. Demeter was a goddess of grain and of the harvest in ancient Greece. Her daughter, Persephone, caught the eye of Hades, god of the underworld. When Hades abducted Persephone and took her back to the underworld, Demeter’s grief caused the crops on earth to die and go dormant. By the time she finally recovered her daughter, Persephone had eaten six pomegranate seeds, and so was doomed to spend six months of the year in the underworld. These six months are the time when the earth dies, beginning at the time of the autumn equinox.

Inanna Takes on the Underworld

The Sumerian goddess Inanna is the incarnation of fertility and abundance. Inanna descended into the underworld where her sister, Ereshkigal, ruled. Erishkigal decreed that Inanna could only enter her world in the traditional ways — stripping herself of her clothing and earthly posessions. By the time Inanna got there, Erishkigal had unleashed a series of plagues upon her sister, killing Inanna. While Inanna was visiting the underworld, the earth ceased to grow and produce. A vizier restored Inanna to life, and sent her back to earth. As she journeyed home, the earth was restored to its former glory.

Modern Celebrations

For contemporary Druids, this is the celebration of Alban Elfed, which is a time of balance between the light and the dark. Many Asatru groups honor the fall equinox as Winter Nights, a festival sacred to Freyr.

For most Wiccans and NeoPagans, this is a time of community and kinship. It’s not uncommon to find a Pagan Pride Day celebration tied in with Mabon. Often, PPD organizers include a food drive as part of the festivities, to celebrate the bounty of the harvest and to share with the less fortunate.

If you choose to celebrate Mabon, give thanks for the things you have, and take time to reflect on the balance within your own life, honoring both the darkness and the light. Invite your friends and family over for a feast, and count the blessings that you have among kin and community.