Friday, February 13, 2009

Good Luck

Today is Friday the 13th, a day cursed with bad luck for those who are superstitious. There are many compelling explanations for how this came about. That the number 13 subverts the number 12, which is considered a number of wholesomeness with nature and the world (embodied in the 12 months in the year, 12 disciples of Jesus etc.).

The most interesting explanation is that the Knights Templar were wiped out by order of the King of France on Friday, Oct. 13, 1307. That seems to have a lot of traction now, though apparently the superstition surrounding Friday the 13th didn’t begin until the 1800s.

While I can’t help but scoff at serious belief in the supernatural and don’t want to promote superstition, I must admit to being somewhat superstitious. I like odd good luck charms and rituals that will help me organize my day. My lucky number is four or some even number that features the number four, such as 14 or 44. I don’t like odd numbers. I trace that back to when I was in grade school and I was challenged to pick a number between one and 10. I picked four and was victorious. For the Chinese, though, four is like our 13 – an unlucky number to be avoided at all costs. So I would never cut in China with my choice in lucky numbers (I wouldn’t make it in China for a lot of reasons).

So enjoy today and make your own luck.

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