‘Unlucky’ day can be sacred

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TODAY is Friday the 13 and is considered by some to be the unluckiest day of the year.

But not Scarborough witch and pagan Eleanor Boyce, who believes the day is actually sacred.

Eleanor, who runs a shop called Moone Chylde in North Marine Road, explained that the association of the number 13 with bad luck came about when Christianity came to this country and its followers tried to stamp out paganism.

She said: “Everything to do with paganism was considered evil. The relationship with the number is linked to the fact that the old Celtic calendar was marked by 13 moons.

“The full moon was celebrated by druids, witches and pagans.”

Eleanor, who run’s a witches’ coven in Scarborough, also said it’s a myth that there are always 13 witches in a coven.

The Friday element of the superstition relates to a pagan goddess, so again was attacked by Christians at the time who wanted paganism to be feared and “warned off” the old religion.

Eleanor said: “It depends what you believe, but I don’t believe that Friday the 13 is unlucky. In fact I would say the opposite.”

She explained that paganism recognises two forces in nature, which are personified as god and goddess, which can be compared to yin and yang in Taoism.

Eleanor also said that many pagan festivals were changed or adapted, such as Christmas which relates to the pagan festival “old yule”.

In the old religion there were eight festivals each year which were related to the sun’s course.

The festivals are still celebrated by Eleanor and like-minded individuals.

Her coven meets for these festivals and includes people from Scarborough and further afield.

Another person who doesn’t believe the day is unlucky is Whitby Goth Festival organiser Jo Hampshire, who was born on Friday the 13 herself. She said: “It has never had any significance for me apart from the fact it’s my birthday!

“We would never take it into consideration when working out dates for the festival or anything like that.

“I don’t think it’s as much of a strong superstition as it used to be.”

However, Scarborough Ghost Walk guide Gary Potts believes that people still like a bit of superstition and mystery in their lives.

He said: “I think a lot of people do still believe in that sort of thing. People love to hear stories and be a bit frightened, though children tend to be sceptical.

“A friend of mine always used to take Friday the 13 off work, but today will be a normal day for me.”

The fear of number thirteen is called triskaidekaphobia.