Post by Joanna on Oct 12, 2017 22:02:29 GMT -5
Cornwall Witchcraft and Magic 'Expert' Discusses Friday the 13th
For generations Friday the 13th has been considered a day of bad luck. In fact, according to a new survey, nearly three-quarters of Brits report having suffered bad luck on the ominous day. Some people are even expected to change their plans because of the fear the bad omen day. This phobia is so common it now has its own special name, Triskaidekaphobia – a fear of Friday 13th.
Peter Hewitt, of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic at Boscastle near Tintagel, said the idea of Friday the 13th being unlucky has been made famous by horror films, but the fear itself is much older. Some historians suggest it is because “Good Friday” was the day Jesus Christ was crucified. In some parts of Western Europe during the medieval period, a dislike of Jews (who, together with the Roman authorities, had been responsible for the death of Christ) led some Christians to accuse Jewish communities of various scandals such as the kidnap and murder of Christian children. In Germany, it was believed that Jews made wax images of Christ and stuck them with pins like a voodoo doll or “poppet.” According to Hewitt, this demonstrated a medieval fear of Jews and “image magic,” in which wax effigies could be used for magical purposes. Examples of modern British “poppets” can be seen on display in the Museum and were used for various reasons to focus healing energies to certain part of the body, to “prick the conscience,” and to curse, he added.
Before the 1400s,”'ritual magic” was widely practiced among the elites of Europe and Friday was an important day. Friday belonged to the goddess Venus and her name, as well as the names of angels, were invoked to assist magicians in attaining their goals. Rituals were often accompanied by the sacrifice of animals or birds – on Friday a dove was beheaded – unlucky for some.
“We have a number of items associated with ritual magic,” Hewitt confirmed. “This type of magic was revived in the early 20th century by societies like the Golden Dawn. Various rituals and rites were used to prepare initiates to receive visions of the future and to gain wisdom. The number 13 is seen as unlucky in the west because it suggests disorder and excess. Judas was the 13th disciple and the betrayer of Jesus,” he continued. “The number 12 on the other hand has been traditionally used to order religious ideas such as the 12 Tribes of Israel, 12 Labours of Hercules and historical time such as months and signs of the Zodiac.”
It is also believed that on Friday, October 13, 1307, Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar and put an end to the Order, leading to the beginning of many of esoteric legends and myths about the knights. However, Hewitt said the most famous “13" was probably the witches’ coven, when, in 1662, the Scottish witch Isobel Gowdie claimed she practiced magic in a group numbering 13. These witches were believed to have made a pact with the devil.
“There is a big difference between what the authorities said about witchcraft and what witches themselves say about themselves,” Hewitt explained. “You can find out the practices of modern witchcraft at the Museum in Boscastle and discover many charms and talismans that were made by cunning folk to protect people from bad luck. In fishing villages across Cornwall, a well-known charm was the hagstone. It was hung up at the cottage door and touched before going to sea. Another familiar charm was the horseshoe,” he advised. “The iron was perhaps a type of protection charm against those spirits of mischief known in Cornwall as “piskies,” but the shape of the shoe was also thought to capture luck for the owner especially if placed above a door.”
The museum closes October 31, but will reopen for the new season April 1, 2018.
Source: Oliver Vergnault, CornwallLive, October 10, 2017.
See also “13 Weird Friday the 13th Incidents”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/4620/13-weird-friday-13th-incidents
“FDR’s Lifelong Fear of Friday the 13th”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/5398/fdrs-lifelong-fear-friday-13th
“Why Does Friday the 13th Scare Us So Much?”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/1851/friday-13th