This article explores the esoteric meaning of the number thirteen in a reasonable amount of depth so you can determine its true meaning. If you prefer to read a short overview, head to the symbolic meaning of the number 13 here.
The number 13 is typically associated with good luck and bad luck. In England, for example, it is common to describe the number 13 as “unlucky for some.” However, 13 doesn't really relate to luck at all.
As a matter of fact, we don't really experience good luck or bad luck. We actually transmute good energy or bad energy. The outcome of this transmutation is what you experience in life. It is merely perceived as good luck or bad luck.
The esoteric meaning of the number thirteen is also considered a mystical and magical number said to be the ending of old ways in order to bring in new beginnings. This is closer to the truth, but it only works if you know what the esoteric meaning of the number thirteen means in the first place.
If you don't, you won't be aware that you have the opportunity to bring about new beginnings. Consequently, you will continue performing the same habitual patterns of thoughts, emotions and actions which result in the same or similar experiences.
And that could either be good luck or bad luck.
"As a being of Power, Intelligence, and Love, and the lord of his own thoughts, man holds the key to every situation and contains within himself that transforming and regenerative agency by which he may make himself what he wills." ~ James Allen - As A Man Thinketh
The symbolic meaning of 13 has a correspondence with bad luck because of its association with Friday 13th which is traditionally seen as a day when bad things can happen.
This common belief, however, probably dates back to 1307 when Emperor Philip V of France ordered the arrest, torture and death of the Knights Templar.
The actual date the order was decreed was Friday 13th October – hence we still treat Friday the 13th with a day of bad omens. Some Templar escaped, others were given a pardon. Those that were tortured and murdered were clearly not the lucky ones.
In China, the 13 is an auspicious number mostly associated with good luck. It is said to relate to longevity and assured growth. This is true if you are aware of the energy you are transmuting.
Like the four, the esoteric meaning of the number thirteen reveals the experience you are creating through the nature of your thoughts, emotions and actions.
However, in China, the 13s ties with four also mean it serves as a number that brings bad luck. 1 + 3 = 4 and four. The word four has a phonologically similar to the meaning of ‘death’ in Canonese.
In tarot, the 13th card of the Major Arcana is that of Death and has a symbolic meaning of the final end to something. The Death card can, quite naturally, be misconstrued as a bad omen, but more often than not augurs an opportunity for improvement.
The end of old patterns augurs the beginning of something new. What that new beginning is will depend on what the next cycle of life has in store for you. If you are consciously aware of what that is - and the four prompts you to look - you can change old patterns and transmute good energy that results in better quality experiences.
We see this idea represented throughout ancient cultures as reincarnation or resurrection. Although reincarnation is mostly attributed to life after physical death in the material world, the same principle applies throughout the course of our lives in a spiritual sense.
Reincarnation and resurrection are merely symbolic expressions to explain the laws of thermodynamics; energy does not die, it transforms. I explain how the laws of thermodynamics work in this article.
The early Christian writer, Arnobius Adversus Gentes wrote, “We die many times, and often do we rise from the dead.” By dead, Arnobius means unconsciousness content, the lack of understanding.
Rising from the dead basically means to bring unconscious content to life. Unconscious content is thought of as "dead to the world" (the physical plane) because it is not conscious and therefore not a part of your life.
Unconscious content is thus associated with the Underworld and Hell. The reason for this is because the unconscious can create havoc in your life and create a "living Hell."
The eminent psychoanalyst Carl Jung called the unconscious dangerous because it is the shadow side of the True Self. In trying to make itself known it can cause you to create the most terrible situations for yourself.
"The more negative the attitude of the conscious towards the unconscious, the more dangerous does the latter become." ~ Carl Jung, Symbols of Transformation
There are two ways to learn self-knowledge; the easy way and the hard way. When you make a fool out yourself or have an bad experience that forces you to reflect on how you are living life, you learn the hard way.
Most of us will continue to learn the hard way because we are not consciously aware of home our thoughts, actions and behaviours are creating the experiences we have in life.
Numbers and symbols give you a heads up and enable you to adopt new patterns of behaviours before your run yourself into trouble.
When you see 4's and 13's, observe what is happening in your life and prevent something bad happening before it happens.
In the Number Symbolism guide, I explain how numbers work in greater detail, what they mean and what you need to do at each stage of the cycle from 0-9. Knowing the esoteric meaning of numbers and symbols could, quite literally, mean you avoid "bad luck" and transmute "good luck".
Ancient poets associated the 13 vibrations with reincarnation but it is also heavily linked with the solar system. The astronomical reference to thirteen relates to the houses of the zodiac and either the Sun, or the Moon in the centre, the sun being the male energy, and the moon the female energy.
Sun and Moon are highly symbolic references that relate to the human psyche. I explain the esoteric meaning of the sun and the moon in the Beginner's Guide To Symbolism which is essential reading as it lays the foundations for how to interpret esoteric wisdom.
To use symbols and numbers as a self-development tool, you need to know the difference between the conscious mind, subconscious and unconscious together with how we transmute energy. It may sound complicated but it's really quite easy to grasp.
In relation to the esoteric meaning of the number thirteen, you will find clues in Jesus and the 12 disciples, Romulus, one of the founding brothers of Rome, is followed by 12 shepherds and in Greek mythology, Odysseus has 12 companions. There are also 12 gods of Olympus and the 12 labours of Hercules each represent a sign of the zodiac.
Note how there is always 12 of something around the central character - the 13th element. The 13th element is you - the part of your conscious mind with which you make decisions.
You will also find 12 stars featured in the halos of saints. The halo indicates the individual is enlightened - consciousness is alive in the light of the conscious mind. The Virgin Mary – the female principle associated with the Moon, often appears with 12 stars around the top of her head.
The moon gets its light from the reflection of the sun. The sun is a symbol of the self-knowledge; the illuminated mind.
The ancients devised the esoteric meaning for the number thirteen because of the celestial motion of the Sun and the Moon. The Moon travels an average of 13 degrees a day and there are 13 weeks between the equinoxes and the solstices.
The equinoxes and the solstices, of course, signify the changing of the seasons, whereby, the end – or death – of one season enters into a new season, a cycle of new beginnings.
Interestingly enough, the 13th letter of the English alphabet is M, which in ancient Hebrew is spelt Mem meaning mother. In Egypt the word for water is Moo. The divine mother is associated with water and the Moo-n.
All life begins in water.
Examine a US one dollar note and you will find the number thirteen appears an alarming number of times. On the front, the Eagle to the right has 13 tail feathers and is clutching 13 arrows in one talon and an olive leaf with 13 branches and 13 berries on the other.
Above the Eagle’s head are 13 stars, representing the 13 original states of America following the signing of the Independence. On the Eagle’s breast is a shield with thirteen stripes and in its beak is a ribbon with the motto “E pluribus unum” which has 13 letters.
The motto above the pyramid in the Great Seal at the opposite side of the bill also has 13 letters – “Annuit Coeptis.” Furthermore, there are also 13 levels of the pyramid culminating with the infamous All Seeing Eye at the top.
In the ribbon below the pyramid is the Latin inscription “Novus Ordo Seclorum” which means New World Order. Perhaps it is a coincidence that “New World Order” has 13 letters. But there is no such thing as coincidence!
The repetition of 13 in the one-dollar bill represents the death of the old world and the beginning of the new. Perhaps the new beginning was in 1776 after the United States broke free from the chains of colonisation.
Or it could refer to the secret agenda for a New World Order – “an idea” associated with the number 13 – unlucky for some. If the mysterious Georgia Monument – “the Guidestones to an age of reason” is an instruction to the leaders of the New World, the population will be culled to 500,000,000. That means a lot of unlucky people!
Powerful families have spoken about taking steps towards a one-world government, one-world religion and a global currency. Their tone and intentions are chilling. The banker Paul Warburg, financial advisor to Franklin D. Roosevelt, said:
“We shall have World Government, whether or not we like it. The only question is whether World government will be achieved by conquest or consent.”
Then there is this spine-tingling message from George Bush Senior addressing the US congress with an alarming speech in 1991. Oh, and by the way, make a note of the date this speech was given – just a coincidence, nothing to worry about!
I explain the deeper meaning of the number 13, its associate - the number 4 - and all the other numbers from 0-22 in the Number Symbolism Course. This course will show you how you can use numbers and their associated symbols to guide you through life - and believe me, numbers are a guide you need by your side. Learn what they mean and you can make decisions with confidence.