Almost everybody has an extraordinary dread of the number 13 which, if they only noew the real truth, is not at all the unlucky number they imagine it to be. The origin of this dread is due primarily to the fact that it was much used in connection with occultism and was in far-off times regarded as a powerful although a fatalistic number.
The opposition of the early church to occultism was one of the principal reasons why this number come “taboo”. It was given out that as 13 sat down to the Last Supper it would be unlucky if 13 were to eat together and that one of the 13 would die within the year and so forth.
I must say I could never see the logic of this, for if Christ had not been crucified, the Scriptures would never have existed.
There was another reason, however, why 13 was dreaded and this was because the occult symbolism that stood for this number was represented by a mystic picture of “a skeleton with a scythe in its bony hands reaping down men” .
It was a curious picture that few could understand and those who did kept their knowledge tothemselves in an age when even to speak of such things was to forfeit one’s life by torture or at the stake.
This picture allotted to the number 13, although drawn or painted in many different was, always contained the same idea; a skeleton reaping in a field, hands and feet springing up among new-grown grass, the crowned head of a man fallen at the point of the scythe, while a female head with flowing hair parted in the centre appeared in the background.
To find the true interpretation of this weird picture one must go back to the meaning attached to the single number of 4, of which the 13 makes a second 4 in its compound number.
The single 4 is a strange number in itself. Persons dominated by it are usually misunderstood and lonely in their lives; people who bring about opposition with secret enemies constantly at work against them; they reverse the order of things ion communitites and governments; they are attracted to social questions and reforms of all kinds; they rebel against authority and set up new dynasties or republics.
The 13 has all these qualities in its higher scale, but even more accentuated. It cuts down all before it, reversing the order of shown by the hands and feet springing up in the greass and the 90V CCCCCCCCCCBVVGCD `2