Don’t step on the sidewalk cracks, walk under any mirrors, and stay away from black cats are a few of the taboos on Friday the 13th. We’ve all heard them before. Most people do not take it too seriously, but there are some who dread the date. By the way, if you’re interested, the word paraskevidekatriaphobia means fear of Friday the 13th! If you were looking for a definitive answer, there really isn’t one. Like many cultural traditions and long-running superstitious beliefs, the exact source is unknown. It is most likely the result of many different factors, strengthened over time by a combination of specific incidents, folklore and religion that have evolved over hundreds of years to create what we now refer to as the unluckiest date in the calendar. Here are a few of the beliefs about Friday the 13th:
- Some superstitions about Friday the 13th are rooted in the guest list of the Last Supper. Judas was the 13th guest at the table, and Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Coincidence?
- On Friday the 13th in 1307, thousands of Knights Templar were arrested on orders from King Philip IV of France because of suspicions that their secret initiation rituals made them “enemies of the faith.” After years of torture, they were burned at the stake. Dan Brown’s novel The DaVinci Code popularized the link between the Knights Templar and Friday the 13th.
- The first specific written reference to Friday the 13th as an unlucky day was in an early-20th century novel by Thomas W. Lawson, called Friday, the 13th. Ironically, a ship named after Lawson was caught in a storm and shipwrecked on the night of Friday the 13th, 1907.
- Superstition can result in an economic dip. Donald Dossey, founder of the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute, says U.S. businesses lose millions of dollars on Friday the 13th, because some people are reluctant to leave their homes.
- Friday’s position as the unlucky day may have been strengthened by it being the day of execution of criminals for many years, commonly called Hangman’s Day.
- Scandinavians believed 13 signified bad luck because their 13th mythological demigod Loki was an evil one who brought great misfortune upon humans.
- Hindus believed that it was unlucky for 13 people to gather in one place.
- Most skyscrapers and hotels lack a 13th floor, which specifically comes from the tendency in the early 1900s for buildings in New York City to omit the unlucky number (though both the Empire State Building and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel have 13th floors). Street addresses sometimes skip from 12 to 14, while airports may skip the 13th gate.
- Allegedly, the popular Friday the 13th films were so-named just to cash in on this menacing date recognition, not because the filmmakers actually believed the date to be unlucky.
- Black cats have been seen in Western cultures as an omen of bad luck — they have been associated with witches, and many cultures believe that a black cat crossing your path means you will suffer disaster or even death. Gamblers are especially fearful of the black cat curse – many of them believe that if they see a black cat while going to a casino, they should abandon their plans to gamble there.
Do you consider Friday the 13th to be an unlucky date? Has anything bad ever happened to you on this day before? Do you have any superstitions to help you avoid bad luck? Add your comments below.
The opium poppy is widely cultivated and its worldwide production is monitored by international agencies. It is used for production of dried latex and opium, the principal precursor of narcotic and analgesic opiates such as morphine, heroin and codeine. Poppy seeds are rich in oil, carbohydrates, calcium and protein.
The earliest reference to opium was in 3,400 BC where the Sumerians in lower Mesopotamia referred to it as Hul Gil, the “Joy Plant.” They, in turn, passed the knowledge of the opium poppy to the Assyrians, who gave it to the Babylonians, who passed it on to the Egyptians. The Egyptians were famous for their poppy fields and the opium trade flourished during the eighteenth dynasty (around 1500 to 1300 BC) under the reigns of Thutmose IV, Akhenaton and King Tutankhamen. Roman gladiators used opium to enhance their fighting … and to die as painlessly as possible if mortally wounded.
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, saw opium as a helpful narcotic for treating disease. The great physician Galen cautioned that opium should be used sparingly in 158 AD. He said it was better to endure pain than to be bound to the drug. It wasn’t until 400 AD that opium was introduced into China by Arab traders.
Alexander the Great used opium to help his soldiers march farther because they couldn’t feel the pain in their feet; and they could sleep through the night because the wounded were sleeping peacefully under the influence of opium. He introduced opium to India, where its cultivation flourished. One of the goals of Columbus was to bring back opium from India, as its access had been cut off when the Arabs were expelled from Spain. He didn’t get to India, but he brought back tobacco from the New World and smoking tobacco became common throughout Europe.
In 1803, a German chemist named Friedrich Sertuerner synthesized morphine from opium. Sertuerner’s wife overdosed on morphine and died. He then publically warned against its dangers. But morphine was also a great step forward in medicine. It allowed doctors to do true surgery for the first time. Morphine was heralded as “God’s own medicine” for its reliability and long-lasting effects. By 1827, the E. Merck & Company of Darmstadt Germany was commercially manufacturing morphine.
A new technique for administering morphine was developed by Dr. Alexander Wood of Edinburg when he invented the syringe in 1843. Wood believed that if morphine was injected instead of swallowed, “patients would not hunger for it.” He was wrong; and several of his patients became dependent.
John Witherspoon warned his fellow doctors in a June 23, 1900 article about their indiscriminant use of morphine. The morphine habit was growing at an alarming rate; and doctors were culpable for “too often giving this seductive siren until the will-power is gone.” Pointing to the Great First Physician, he said doctors should “save our people from the clutches of this hydra-headed monster” which wrecked lives and filled jails and lunatic asylums.
In my forthcoming book –
“Daughter of the Dark Lord, Book One, The Burning Sky”
the Dark Lord of the Provinces, a manipulative, heartless and cruel ruler, attempts to control the Denizen people that he rules by allowing them to become addicted to the medicinal serum. His plan is to cut off the supply of the Hul Gil, and then establish it once again, only this time with contingencies tacked on. In essence, he would be creating voluntary slavery with himself as the Dictator. Whenever the Dark Lord wanted something, he would simply cut off the drug until the people complied with his wishes, thereby maintaining power over those he considered to be worthless underlings. His daughter, Katherine, who is aware of the monster that is her father, is still shocked and stunned at the depths of his sadistic inhumanity and is determined once again to thwart his malevolent efforts.
The book takes place on the Provinces of Hell, not a destination that anyone would want to find themselves, and yet to her chagrin, Katherine is not only the Dark Lord’s daughter, but a potential victim of his evil plot. She must find a way to survive and somehow escape this retched place.
The book is in the editing stages right now, but in the meantime, keep checking back for updates and more interesting facts about Katherine and those who choose to fight in her behalf in –
“Daughter of the Dark Lord, Book One, The Burning Sky”
A prequel book to the Dragomeir Series Books One – Three
Also available for purchase at www.solitaireparke.com and various other locations – in multiple formats.
Who is this dark-haired beauty that they call ” The Ariella” or Queen Mother? She commands an army of Dragons and Dragon Riders as well as a group of seemingly misfit Creatures that dwell in various mountain locations around the planet. She has their fierce loyalty and is a force to be reckoned with among her global community; all of whom she guards with her life . . . she and her ominous and amazing Dragons, Basiliskos Verminthrax Pejorative – a male black Wyvern, and Invectum Viperathrax Pejorative – a male white Wyvern.
In The DRAGOMEIR SERIES books you can read all about this global population – their triumphs and defeats, while getting to know how “The Ariella” manages to keep them all alive from conflict to conflict. But how long has she been around, and how did she become Queen Mother to this unlikely group of characters?
To answer this question, I am currently writing a Prequel to the series, which will chronicle her life, and rectify some of the myth surrounding her tumultuous journey leading up to her title, “The Ariella” or Queen Mother. The story picks up shortly before her birth and follows her life thereafter. It was her destiny to become the Queen of the Dragons and a champion to the downtrodden misfits in her world.
If you love Dragons, Dragon Riders, Otherworldly Creatures, and lots of adventure and intrigue, I hope you will enjoy the first three books in the DRAGOMEIR SERIES –
AND keep watching for my forthcoming book, the Fourth Book in the Series –
- “DAUGHTER OF THE DARK LORD”
Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions. Happy Reading!
www.solitaireparke.com (Books available at numerous websites)
The Urban Fantasy is here to usher the reader into the current incredible developments at Mt. Drago, located in Phoenix, Arizona. Just when the inhabitants believe that all is safe, a new threat is forced upon them by strangers that no one knew existed. They introduce a Gate system that is not only extraordinary, but could very well be the end to mankind.
As a result of these peculiar people, dragon rider Tanis and his fellow riders are still battling the Dark Lords of the Provinces even though they have managed to acquire the third Crystal Key. Even with the introduction of the new dragons, the Amphiteres, will they be able to fend off the intense evil that has threatened to devastate their world?
Join The Ariella and her riders as they contend for their lives and possibly those of all humanity in “The Egg of the Amphitere” – Now at the following locations –
Thanks for following – Happy New Year 2016 to Everyone!!!