We have the Bible, the Knights Templar, and Wall Street to thank for Friday the 13th's notoriety (as unlikely and murky as those sources may be). But, of course, the number 13 stands on its own as a harbinger of misfortune. It's been speculated that 13 may have gotten its reputation from the Code of Hammurabi, the Bible, or another ancient text. But, one spiritual discipline where 13 has no such dark mark is numerology, the study of numbers' spiritual and mystical significance.
Numerologist Felicia Bender tells Refinery29 that numbers derive their power from spiritual energy — not superstition. She admits that some numbers can be perceived as luckier than others, but no number, whether you encounter it in your everyday life or happen to be born on that day, is flat-out bad. Rather, certain numbers may require more "effort and tenacity," Bender says, offering four and eight as examples of demanding numbers.
It just so happens that 13's "base number," the single number that you can reduce double-digits to by adding the first and second digit together, is four (1 + 3 = 4). So, even if it isn't unlucky, does this numerological detail make it bad news anyway? No one wants to surround themselves with high-effort numbers, right?
"Nothing is negative unless we want it to be," says Chaldean numerologist Sharita Star, adding that this date can certainly come with challenges, but those should be met head-on. The presence of the number 13 is a sign that hard work, completion, and, most importantly, changes lie ahead. "That's why people fear 13," Star says. "They don’t like change."
Of course, resisting transition rarely makes things easier. If you believe that you're in a moment of upheaval, it'll serve you to make yourself part of the process, rather than shunning the idea of change altogether. Bender says a great way to start is to be particularly mindful on the 13th and watch for smaller signs of movement and progress in your life.
"[This] number insists that you be extremely disciplined in all practical matters," she says. "Reaching your goals, even the smallest, might seem more arduous than you’d like," but being present today, rather than hiding from it out of fear or superstition, will be beneficial in the long run.
Whether you believe in the power of the number 13 or not, you can rest assured that, as Star says, "nothing’s coming to an end" just because it's Friday the 13th. Now, get out there, enjoy your day, and pet a black cat.