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Why does one avoid 13?

  1. Mar 6, 2005 #1
    While setting my kitchen timer, I first hesitated, then defiantly set the display at 13 minutes. When I confront sidewalk cracks, I carefully step on them as if they were the edge of a stair. I have been told that if one placed their bet upon 13 on the roulette wheel, one had a better chance at winning against all of those bettors superstitious.

    Where in your life does success accompany or deny superstition, whether you believe in it or not?
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  3. Mar 6, 2005 #2
    Triskadekaphobia. The fear goes back a very long time.

    The ancient Hebrews thought 13 was unlucky because the thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the letter M, which is the first letter in the word "mavet," meaning death.
    Some speculate that a fear of the number 13 is the reason we recognize only 12 constellations in the Zodiac, omitting a thirteenth... Ophiuchus ( the Serpent Holder) that, by its location, could be included.

    It is said: If 13 people sit down to dinner together, all will die within the year. The Turks disliked the number 13 that it was practically expunged from their vocabulary . Many cities do not have a 13th Street or a 13th Avenue. Many buildings don't have a 13th floor. If you have 13 letters in your name, you will have the devil's luck (Jack the Ripper, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy and Albert De Salvo all have 13 letters in their names). There are 13 witches in a coven.

    My Grandmother said that its a holey number. With friday the 13th's ...Great Flood began on a Friday; God tongue-tied the builders of the Tower of Babel on a Friday; the Temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday; and, of course, Friday was the day of the week on which Christ was crucified. It is therefore a day of penance for Christians.
    I have no problem with 13, but if you need a reason...seems you have lots to choose from.
  4. Mar 6, 2005 #3


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    Also. Jesus had 12 apostles making 13 including him, and was betrayed by the thirteenth; they all participated in the Last Supper, which made thirteen at table. All but one of them (John) were to die violently, according to Christian tradition.
  5. Mar 6, 2005 #4
    Then is superstition a self-fulfilling prophesy?
  6. Mar 7, 2005 #5
    Jack The Ripper is pushing it a little bit.
    I wonder...Greg Bernhardt...1.2.3...12.13. hmmm
  7. Mar 7, 2005 #6
    I've always thought that it was. Its so much easier for some to blame the superstition. Of course odds are, the event would of occured in spite of the number 13, or the black cat.

    :wink: @ the 13=Bernhardt connection.
  8. Mar 12, 2005 #7


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    I'm not even sure if superstition is so much a self-fulfilling prophesy so much as a hunt for something to blame after something bad has happened.

    We joke around the lab about this. We have a few good luck charms (toys) to amuse ourselves. None of them work, but when something doesn't work, if someone notices the toy has been moved from its usual location, or was over someone else's lab bench, they proclaim that's the reason, and on the next attempt, they move the toy over to their bench. Everyone knows that's not going to make the experiment work the next time, the methodological changes they made will be the real reason, but it's good for keeping up the mood to be able to blame the problems on something other than yourself and keep you motivated to keep finding solutions. Sometimes you just need a reason to laugh about something silly.
  9. Mar 12, 2005 #8


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    Maybe we have to get rid of Fridays, and find a replacement day. :biggrin:

    Were they Friday the 13th before or after the Julian calendar? What about the Gregorian calendar? How about we go back to the Jewish lunar calendar - what days where they then?

    Besides, I like 13 - it's so Prime. :biggrin:
  10. Mar 12, 2005 #9
    Does anyone avoid 6? I dont avoid 13, but I do the same thing you guys are talking about with 6. Is there an official name for the phobia? Its from the 666 thing, you get it...
  11. Mar 12, 2005 #10
    Are you attracted to 999?
  12. Mar 13, 2005 #11
    lol no,..... why? :uhh:
  13. Mar 13, 2005 #12
    Turn your monitor upside-down! (Good-evil symmetry operation?) Actually, 9's were often used in witchcraft.
  14. Mar 13, 2005 #13
    I have no special feelings toward 9 that I am aware of... lol

    I dont really THINK that 6 is evil, just one of those silly things, you understand...

    I think that as long as we understand that its not REALLY bad and that its only a number, then its not a big deal. I would, however, be worried if someone actually believed that a number by itself is evil and can bring about something bad. lol
  15. Mar 13, 2005 #14


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    The digit 6 has nothing to do with the number of the beast, six hundred and sixtysix; St John never saw the indo-arabic digits and was thinking either the Greek method of expressing numbers with letters of its alphabet or the Hebrew one. Then those letters could be interpreted as an acronym for some person or agency. I have heard the conjecture that the person intended was a Roman Emperor, perhaps Nero.
  16. Mar 13, 2005 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    I believe a connection between the 666 and Nero is suggested in the Dead Sea Scrolls...at least so some scholars have claimed.
  17. Mar 13, 2005 #16
    You're right, it doesnt. Its more of a symbolic thing.

    Dont worry, its nothing compared to the fact that I dont believe in Satan in the first place. :tongue:

    I watched a special on the History Channel that suggested that the 666 was not even meant to be a number, but a name written with Roman numerals somehow. It was a while go...
  18. Mar 14, 2005 #17
    Hah...the 666 stuff, its from Revelations chapter 13 !!!!!!!
  19. Mar 14, 2005 #18
    I always liked 13.... it was my favorite number for a long time. Nick when I was little was channel 13, and so was my bus.
    Thomas McCurdy
    6+7=13 :)
  20. Mar 14, 2005 #19


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    Look at the american eagle on the dollar bill. Of course the shield has thirteen strips, alternately red and white, but did you notice that the olive branch in its left claw has thirteen olives on it? (hard to see, I know). And the right claw olds thirteen arrows. In the design above the eagle (formally called the crest) is a ring of thirteen clouds surrounding thirteen stars.

    And the pyramid on the other side of the bill has thirteen levels. All of this is to honor the historical fact that there were thirteen states which formed the original union.
  21. Mar 15, 2005 #20
    I think its rather ridiculous to avoid the number 13. I have always liked the number, especially when its on Friday's because then everyone acts superstitious. :biggrin:

    As I was reading through everyone's posts, I noticed a few things about witchcraft were mentioned. You all are a bit misinformed. There are actually 12 witches in a coven, not 13. Thirteen was a number assigned during the persecutions and people believed they were practicing dark magick. Not necessarily true. I have yet to find a source that confirms that. The number 9 as well has no significance in the Faith.

    It always amazes me how people avoid the number, yet it appears so frequently in our culture and our every day lives. It makes me laugh.
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