number thirteen meaning

Number Thirteen

Last Updated on December 6, 2023 by Avia

Meaning of Number Thirteen: The symbolic meaning of the number thirteen receives a shady interpretation in different cultures and various eras in history. Number thirteen meaning is surrounded with controversy.  Is this number lucky?  Unlucky?  Only you can decide for yourself, but this post and may help you with your decision.

Quick Keywords for Number Thirteen

For those of you who want fast, quick references, the following attributes have been associated with the number thirteen…

  • Completion
  • Magic
  • Intuition
  • Psyche
  • Warning
  • Power
  • Creativity
  • Betrayal
Number Thirteen meaning
Number Thirteen meaning

Number Thirteen Meaning in Myth and Cultural History

As with most mysteries or superstitions, they gain credence over time through story-telling. Number thirteen meaning is associated with many different myths and cultural events throughout history. Here are a few examples…

Number 13 Meaning in Norse Myth

An honorary banquet was held in Valhalla for Baldur (god of nobility, redemption, and admirable strength) among eleven other Norse gods. Loki (the trickster) came to the banquet as the uninvited thirteenth guest. Afterward, we learn Baldur was slain by Hoor who, to execute the god, was given a magic spear by Loki. As Loki provided the weapon, and he was the odd god out as the 13th guest at the banquet, by association, the number thirteen got a bad rap in ancient Norse societies.

Similarly, the darker symbolism of thirteen continues in its Christian association with the Last Supper. Christ and the twelve disciples formed a group of thirteen to share the last meal. This could present inspiring meanings such as: Devotion, Connection, Communication, Honor, Reverence, etc. However, thirteen is seen as a foreboding omen as we learn of Christ’s fate after the gathering.

The Thirteenth Guest

In France, the number thirteen is referred to as le point de Judas, to mark Judas’s betrayal of Christ.  This term originates from the idea that Judas was the first to leave the table at the Last Supper. Also in France, it is still the practice to hire a quartorzieme, or a fourteenth guest to a dinner party if only thirteen were in the original total.  This is said to assure a problem-free event.

In the guest company scenarios, the finger is often pointed at figures such as Judas or Loki (at Baldur’s banquet) with augurs an unlucky or nefarious association with the number thirteen.

However, one may also consider the opposite, and recognize the enlightened guests, Christ and Baldur as the thirteenth entities. This brings about a heightened perception of the number and lends symbolism of:

  • Ascension
  • Resurrection
  • Enlightenment

Friday the Thirteenth

It is considered an unlucky day, but the origins for this are vague. It’s been theorized that the unlucky day is connected with the Last Supper which took place on Friday among 13 disciples at before Christ’s crucifixion. Another association with the rueful day is connected to, Friday 13th in 1307 when King Philip the IVth of France gave direct orders to have the entire assembly of the Knight’s Templar was systematically assassinated.

number thirteen meaning
Number thirteen meaning

Number Thirteen in Ancient Greece and Egypt

In ancient Greece, Zeus was counted as the thirteenth and most powerful god. Here the associations of Zeus give the number thirteen symbolic meanings such as:

  • Totality
  • Completion
  • Power
  • Realization
  • Attainment

The number thirteen meaning is also a sign of good fortune in ancient Greece where it is associated with Zeus because he is the thirteenth among the most powerful of Greek gods.

The symbolism of thirteen comes into play when we learn of Osiris (the Egyptian god of life, death, and powerful solar symbol) was murdered by his brother Typhon. Isis, Osiris’ wife, and sister collected his body with the intent to restore Osiris back to life.

However, Typhon stole Osiris’ body and cut it into fourteen pieces, and scattered them about the earth. Isis continued her quest to revive her beloved, but could only reclaim thirteen of the fourteen body parts (the fourteenth part being Osiris’ penis which interestingly fell into the Nile and was eaten by a school of fish. Bummer. This tale of Typon symbolically implies that the meaning of number thirteen is the precursor to completion.

Also in Egypt, there are thirteen steps upon the ladder that leads to eternity. Upon the thirteenth step, it is said the soul reaches the source of itself and attains spiritual completion.

Aztecs and Number 13

On a more positive note, the number thirteen is sacred and honored in ritualistic practices in many Native American tribes. The Aztecs also hold the number thirteen sacred and divided their week into thirteen days.  Each day is ruled by a god.  The thirteenth day is ruled by Tezcatlipoca, who represents: Mystery, Psyche, Illusion, and Magic.

Number Thirteen and the Moon

There are thirteen moons in a calendar year. As such, the symbolic meaning of number thirteen deals with moon associations such as:

  • Femininity
  • Magic
  • Psyche
  • Emotion

Similarly, ancient European cultures, as well as earth-based religions, recognize the thirteen moons in a year.  Here number thirteen meaning is aligned with all the associations of the moon:  Emotion, Cycles, Intuition, Mystery, Devotion, and Influence.

Thirteen Meaning in Numerology

There are various ways numerology perceives the number thirteen. It can be taken individually by analyzing the number on and number three separately. Or, the two numbers can be added, 1+3 = 4…in this case we investigate the numerology meaning of the number four. Here is a break down for each scenario…

 Number 1: We then recognize the presence of the number one, which precedes the number three. This amplifies the preexisting symbolic meaning of the number one, which deals with:

  • Beginnings
  • Initiation
  • Solidarity
  • Unity
  • Birth

 Number 3: From a numerological perspective, we first recognize the presence of the three. Symbolic meaning of the number three is vast and powerful. At its simplest, the symbolic meaning of the number three deals with:

  • Creation
  • Completion
  • Order
  • Advancement
  • Mystery

 Singly, these individual number meanings put together tell a story of a path that is just beginning (number one), and will lead to greatness in the expression of the union of opposites (number three).

number thirteen meaning
Final thoughts about number thirteen meaning

Thirteen added: Adding and reducing single numbers is a common practice in numerology. Do this, we receive another symbolic meaning of the number thirteen. To wit: 1+3=4. Fours lend a grounding effect to the high-pitch energy of 13. The energy of number four brings the thirteen down to a level where we can begin to rationalize its meaning more clearly. The reduction to four is a message that at its core, the thirteen is a means to an end and this numeric energy will always return us to the calm root or source which is ultimately our cosmic home.

From a deeper numerological perspective, thirteen can be considered the fulfillment or manifestation of the number three. It is also important to note the number thirteen is a prime number and is only divisible by itself. This is symbolic of:

  • Incorruptible nature
  • Purity
  • Integrity

I hope you have enjoyed these observations about the symbolic meaning of number thirteen. Check out the links at the end of this page for more number meanings and symbolism.

As always, thanks for reading!

Mighty brightly,

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