Friday the 13th

That's right, today is one such superstitious mark on the calendar. Movies have been made about it. Signs and t-shirts are sold to commemorate it. Some people celebrate it like it's a holiday. What is so special about this day, and where did the lore find it's root?

Allow me to begin by saying there is really no clear, viable answer to that question. Like a lot of superstitions, it is based in myth, myths of many different, old cultures that tended to have the same superstitions, for many of the same reasons, though having never met one another. (Which is a fact I always find somewhat unnerving.)

There are many texts that begin with a fear of Friday unto itself, not necessarily Friday the 13th. My first example is brought to you by Chaucer's masterpiece the Canterbury Tales, c.14 A.D. because I am, after all, a book geek. Chaucer had this to say, 'On a Friday fell all this misfortune.' I wouldn't say Friday is a bad day because of Chaucer, but it did leave people of the age to refrain from long journeys that begin on a Friday. Could you imagine this in today's world?

Numerology. I love it. I won't go into my 23 not-really-obsessed-by-fascinated Discordia diatribe. I will however point out the number twelve has long been believed to be a whole number, a complete number: 12 signs on the Zodiac, 12 hours on a clock, 12 Apostles of Jesus, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 gods in the Olympic Pantheon, and so on.

(Now, if you recall, there was a thirteenth person at The Last Supper. I'm just saying.)

Most historians say the fear of Friday the 13th didn't really come into play until the 19th century. I would like to take you all back before that time, way before that time, to probably the most infamous Friday the 13th there ever was. Picture if you will:

The Knights Templar reigned supreme for two hundred years throughout Europe. The Order began after the first of the Christian Crusades, when eight men bandied together to 'help' pilgrims safely visit The Holy Places. They were the very first holy men to also carry weapons in the West. The Pop granted them such leeway, he said the group were free to roam without borders, paid no taxes, and would be subjected to no authority other than that of the Pope himself.

Well, you can imagine what two-hundred years of seizing land, money, and other assests without regard for law or country could do to a group of men, regardless of their faith. The Templars beacme exceedingly wealthy during this time, and highly trained for battle. (So much for remaining poor, humble monks.)

Friday, October, 13, 1307. France.

The Knights Templar were trying to become their own 'state within a state,' and King Philip wasn't having any of it. ON this fateful day he rounded up the Templars and tortured them, accusng the Order of one hundred different crimes, along with Pope Boniface, including devil-worship and denying Christ.

Hundreds of men were brutally tortured .

And it all began....702 years ago..... Friday, the 13th.


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