What Is It About The Number 13?

Updated: Jun 3, 2019

Thirteen is often considered unlucky. I believe this could be a safeguard, or decoy, to conceal powerful sacred knowl­edge from the casual observer. To explore that possibility continue reading…


13 was a number central to certain traditions of sacred geometry, because it reflected a pattern which could  be seen to exist in man, nature, and the heavens. 

For instance, there are 13 major joints in your body.Women menstruate 13 times a year. There are 13 lunar cycles in a solar year, and the moon travels 13 degrees across the sky every day. A commentator writing about the Aztec calendar once said that, "Thirteen is a basic structural unit in nature. It means the attracting center around which elements focus and collect." Is this, then, the reason for Christ’s 12 disciples, King Arthur’s 12 knights, or the 12 major constellations in relation to our 

sun? The likelihood seems great indeed because thirteen appears in interesting groupings: the 12 tribes of Israel and the cast out Levites; 12 disciples, and Jesus (the central figure) or Judas (the antagonist) being the 13th.

Six circles placed around a seventh central circle is a model of geometric efficiency and perfection in the second dimension that has been known to mathematicians for ages. But this same configuration in three dimensions consists of 12 spheres arranged around one central sphere, making 13 in all - the most compact three-dimensional arrangement recurrent in nature that hints at the mysterious relationship of center versus circumference.

There is a sense of crossing from the mundane into the mysterious when we move from 12 to 13. The Maya have 13 “signs” in their cosmology, and their 13th Baktun was superstitiously feared as a harbinger of the apocalyptic 2012 phenomenon. Additionally, Zoroastrian tradition predicts chaos in the 13th millennium.

13 is a powerful number in numerology. It’s considered a number which signifies upheaval and even destruction. This might sound ominous, but 13 doesn’t have to be malicious. The change can be positive.This actually boils down to leadership. 13 represents a Guru or a master. Among all those born under the number 4, the number 13 people are very unique. They are unpredictable and can’t be analyzed easily. They are more like a puzzle. You can’t understand them easily and it will feel like you are unearthing a hidden treasure. There are many secret societies and sects that select their leaders who are born on the thirteenth. Consider that a child becomes rebellious at age 13.

This idea seems to constitute some ancient understanding of Hermetic thought. Of course, the idea didn’t simply disappear , it was kept alive by certain initiates who preserved and passed down the secrets of an esoteric tradition. Perhaps this is why the number 13 has always been associated with magic and the occult, and why it is a number  perceived to possess some mysterious power .

The interesting thing about the number 13 is you’re unlikely to see it a lot unless the universe is sending you a message. Because of the superstitious connotations, 13 is often removed from many public buildings. Many hotels don’t have a 13th floor, many restaurants don’t have 13 in their prices, and so on. So, when you see the number 13 a lot, pay attention. The universe is sending you a powerful message.

It represents the balance point between light and dark, the creative force and the destructive force, or the heavens and the Underworld. Like Jesus, it too is the Alpha and Omega at the same time. It signifies death, but it also signifies eternal life. In the traditional tarot deck, the 13th card is the Death card. It also represents not merely death, but rebirth and renewal. These were obviously pivotal concepts to ancient cultures, the understanding of which has faded common knowledge over centuries time. Solidifying it as an emblem of a secret knowledge, a knowledge which does indeed confer power upon those conversant with it. It is a knowledge that religious orthodoxies have long feared and tried to suppress.

13 may  be perceived as unlucky to those who fear the secret gnosis it represents, but for adherents of that gnosis it is (as it always was), a sacred number. Death is a time for celebrati