Humans are superstitious creatures, some more than others. Many scholars have suggested that developing a superstitious belief is about placing an element of control on an otherwise uncontrollable situation, force or action; effectively giving one “peace of mind” in specific situations. I believe that the sphere of superstition encompasses much more than this element alone.
Superstition itself can be seen as proof of our spiritual acknowledgment. We admit that higher forces exist; unseen, pervading life all the while. This is clearly seen in cultures across the globe with one specific number.
The number 13. This number has long been feared by humans for various reasons. Many tall buildings lack a 13th floor, and many airlines exclude a 13th row of seats. Though, when we look at the history of the number and what it represents in both religion and numerology, we can see a contradiction.
The basic definition of the number 13 is that it represents cleansing and purification. This number calls forth the test, the tribulations and the departure; death. It symbolizes the death to the physical body or to oneself and the birth to the spirit; the passage on a higher level of existence. This is clear in many cultures.
Regarding the Mayan calendar, we are currently in the 13th Baktun, which ends on December 21st, 2012. This marks the return or completion of the grand cycle; the end of an age. In the Zodiac, the number 13 represents an eternal return, the same as the first hour after 12. This number also represents eternal love; as with Jesus and his 12 apostles, or Jacob and his 12 sons.
Continuing the mystery of 13, the 13th mystery of the Tarot remains unnamed. Here, it represents the uncertainty, the hesitation, the transformation, the end of something and a renewal; an abrupt happening or a rupture, an otherwise very important change.
We come now to Friday the 13th; a historic superstitious day. In the Christian faith, the number 13 represents the Virgin Mary. She has been thought to have died on a Friday the 13th in August. Correspondingly, the first and last visions of Mary appearing to the children at Fatima occurred on May 13th and June 13th. For Kabalists, the 13 represents the head of the beast, snake or Satan. In Christianity, the Virgin Mary is supposed to “crush the head” of the beast.
Throughout history and time, the number 13 is associated with supreme spiritual transformation; returning, purification, transcendence, completion, change and many other elements. It is a number that represents the soul and the spirit; the ascent to heaven; though we still fear it. Interestingly, in some ancient texts, the soul is thought to weigh 13 ounces.
Within the sphere of superstition, we must visit the notions without fear and instead with excitement. Regarding 13, the return of a cycle is a wonderful passing. It is a time when truth is revealed; when the gift of life is seen in its perfect wholeness; when the spirit ascends. We only fear what we cannot know. Completion is a part of the natural world; the world of spirit and ether. Look with the heart open, and see.