Friday 13th. Lucky Or Unlucky?

13 Mar

Friday13th Hundreds of thousands of people apparently don’t even get out of bed if a Friday falls on the 13th of the month, lest a black cat cross their path or misfortune reigns upon them. What creates such fear and superstition?

For those who believe it’s unlucky, I usually invite them to consider whether the fear of a black cat crossing their path may have in fact stemmed from olden times when a bunch of woman herbalists and healers (probably in black, who may or may not have been wearing matching pointy hats) met, usually on a Friday, to do things like have fun, pass on their knowledge and support each other. Not too unlike women’s groups of today? ‘They’ were Pagans, and the ‘Christians’ were probably fearful of the unknown. Apparently, because 12 is deemed a number of completeness from those who want it to be – think of the Last Supper, the number of months in a year and hours in a day, 13 was an ‘outsider’ and became unlucky for some.

It’s very easy, in fact it just takes hours to be conditioned to fear or discriminate against those who are different from ones self. One way to denigrate others is to make one group better and project onto the other group all our fears. What makes people prone to prejudice is an unconscious desire to divide the world into ‘them’ and ‘us.’ When people are unsure about what others are doing or saying, and they can’t control outcomes, they often try to find a way to control it. Fear surfaces around ‘strangers.’ In the old days strangers may have been “witches” or the Japanese. Today are our strangers immigrants or those new people in town?

So if a black cat crosses your path today, maybe instead of being afraid, why not just wish it well on it’s way to the party/support group/meeting of strangers? Understanding comes when we allow compassion and positive curiosity to emerge even when we don’t understand what others are doing.

It’s good to remind ourselves to aim to treat all people as individuals, rather than members of a group. What do you reckon?

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