Triskaidekaphobia-- fear of the number thirteen-- may seem superstitious and even silly, but for some it is well nigh crippling. There are those who won't even leave the house on the thirteenth of a month for fear of foul fortune. How will they manage in this once-in-a-century year of every single day having a thirteen appended to the date? And for those who follow politics, note the odd coincidence of this being the one-hundred and thirteenth US Congress.

And note, this is fairly uniquely a Western problem. In Asia, the number thirteen has never been deemed significant as a portent of one sort of luck or another (not to suggest that Asians are immune from superstition -- far from it, they simply have different sets of lucky and unlucky numbers, and so different associated phobias). The origin of the numerological assignment of fate is hazy, with many tying it to the thirteen portrayed as having been present at the Last Supper, though the best theory focuses on the preexisting obsession of the Romans with the neatly divisible number twelve, thirteen being one indivisible deviation up from that.

There will, as usual, be twelve 'thirteenths' of the month this year. Coming up in a week and a half will be the first thirteenth of 2013, and an hour past noon on that day will be thirteen-hundred hours for those keeping military time, and thirteen minutes into that hour, the first of twelve 13:13s on the 13th of '13. Such an abundance of thirteens flying around may, for the triskaidekaphobic, suffice to effect a sort of radical therapy, a final confrontation of the thing feared powerful enough to dispel the fear altogether. But then again, if for some strange reason, the number thirteen really does bring bad luck with it-- well, then hold onto your seats, folks. It's going to be a bumpy year.


Note: Shortly after noding this entry, this noder reached level 13: Guardian of the Word.

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