Friday the 13th, the “bad luck day” comes from Paraskavedekatriaphobia, the term for fear of Friday the 13th. It may have started in 1881, when a group of influential business and military skeptics would get together on Friday the 13th and try to debunk every superstition. Nobody ever died from bad luck, and their membership included five men who ended up as Presidents of the US. One historian noted that literary references to Friday the 13th were nonexistent before 1907, when the novel “Friday the 13th” by Thomas Lawson was published. It told of an unscrupulous stockbroker who panicked the markets to his advantage through superstition. It became a best seller that enabled him to buy a schooner that sank – you guessed it – on Friday the 13th.
Another story says that the goddess Frigga, associated with Fridays by name, convened a group of 11 witches and the Devil on Friday the 13th, and made all sorts of mayhem. That must have been propaganda from the church militant; the Devil is not part of the old faith. Some say King Philip of France, enraged by the popularity and wealth of the Knights Templar, ordered their mass arrest on Friday 13th of 1307. Guess what – this story was unknown before the publication of the “DaVinci Code.”
In other words, this superstition has no basis in history or myth – it’s a modern invention based on skeptics trying to debunk superstitions.
Mercury “Retrograde” is more of a fact, but is really only a part of Mercury’s power cycle. The period of Mercury’s dominance lasts from the time it reaches the place of its greatest eastern elongation as a morning star, through it’s apparent standstill and backward movement, until it reaches its greatest western elongation and begins to look like its moving east. During that period, it makes an inferior conjunction, which means that Earth and Mercury make a straight line toward the Sun – it’s already been seen from Mars. This happens 3 or 4 times a year. So what does that mean to us?
Traditionally, it’s said that when Mercury is retrograde, it is “weakened”, but, in fact, it is emphasized, being brighter in the sky (because it’s closer to Earth during the morning star phase) and the conjunction. Matters connected with Mercury become prominent; travel, transportation, information, communication and commerce, or any type of networking. Just paying attention to details and being alert will help you avoid most problems – catching up on things you may have left on the back burner also helps.
But there are things we have no control over – trucking, shipping, the internet and electronics, and especially the weather. Solar Flares, CME’s and such may play a part (especially if the hyperactive area of the Sun happens to be pointed toward us), as might high winds, electric or geomagnetic storms, and storm-caused damage to power lines or infrastructure. In fact, there is a named hurricane forming as I write this. The current rash of pictures from NASA and Space.com bear this out. Mars happens to be in its own power cycle – gun violence and “open carry” advocates, war, terrorism, the increasing protests in Brazil (surrounding the World Cup) and other particularly Mars-like stories have been replacing celebrity couples in the headlines.
Mercury’s current power cycle began with its maximum eastern elongation on May 25th. The retrograde station occurred on June 7th; the inferior conjunction occurs on June 19th, and the direct station is on July 1st. The western elongation point does not occur until July 12th – check the news and see what happened before the 7th when official retrograde began.
The Full Moon (which occurs late on the 12th in much of the world) of Friday the 13th certainly will skew the quality of this Mercury cycle – there’s a Venus-Saturn opposition in the Full Moon chart that may be strong enough to “panic” financial markets. Mars forming a T-Square with Uranus and Pluto could certainly bring the Mars power cycle effects out into the open, and the Moon happens to be at maximum south declination, which usually adds to atmospheric and tidal effects. This lunation occurs close enough to the Mercury inferior conjunction to be potent, especially from the 14th to the 21st. The Moon also crosses the celestial equator within this window, and it’s closest approach to the Earth may result in strong winds, tidal surges, powerful storms and strong seismic activity during this time.
As you can see, it’s not all about Friday the 13th – in fact, that’s the only thing happening this week that can be written off as coincidence.