Wednesday, 11 April 2012

aberglaube or friggatriskaidekaphobia

The superstition and fear surrounding Friday, the 13th seems much abused, like a hypochondriac’s frenzy or made-up disorders and diseases installed for purposes of pill-pushing—or even feuding among werewolves and vampires and hybrids. While it probably is contrived and a very modern invention (with no clear evidence before the mid nineteenth century) the individual elements of Friday and the number thirteen have associations with bad luck. Friday, though certainly not universally, is shunned as a inauspicious day for beginning voyages by sailors for many other professional ventures and Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Thirteen is awkward numerologically speaking, especially as it is the perfection, completeness-motif of twelve, plus one: at the Last Supper, Judas was the thirteenth guest; in the Nordic pantheon, the mischievous Loki was the thirteenth god; there are twelve chief Olympian gods—twelve houses of the zodiac, twelve tribes of Israel and twelve legatees of Mohammed in the Shi’a tradition. Superstitions (Aberglaube), folklore in a modern currency, make for strange juxtapositions and embellished and abstracted do much to reinforce our own capricious behaviour.