Ssh! Don’t Say That Number Out Loud

The belief that the number 13 is unlucky is an ancient one.

The Romans believed the number 13 was a symbol of death. Norse legends claim that the 13th guest at a banquet is the spirit of evil. Traditionally, there were 13 steps leading up the gallows. In Christianity, the idea that the number brings bad luck is believed to have come from “The Last Supper,” when Jesus sat down with his 12 disciples — making 13 people at the table. For this reason, some believe that the first person to leave a dinner table at which there were 13 diners will die before the end of the year.  And a coven of witches was once made up of exactly 13 members.

The number “13” is a very significant number in all three books of The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy. Airtight door number 13 aboard the RMS Queen Mary is where a young crewman was crushed to death. In Cooking for Ghosts, Book I of the trilogy, Chapter 13 is when all the ghosts reveal themselves, and in Book II, Spells & Oregano, Chapter 13 is the “calm before the storm” — the chapter right before the most significant events in the story take place. In all three novels, Chapter 13 has the only chapter heading in which the number of the chapter is not spelled out, but is instead made to stand out by an Art Deco frame that contains the numerals, “13” like this:

Historically, here’s how the number has been UNLUCKY for some:

The thirteenth Apollo space mission was known as Apollo 13, and on April 13, 1970, there was an explosion on board the spacecraft that caused it to leak oxygen. This occurred two days after it launched into space at 13:13 (1:13 pm). The spacecraft only just made it back to Earth.

On Friday, 13, September 1928, a hurricane killed 2,000 people in Puerto Rico, Florida, and the Virgin Islands.

Friday, October 13, 1972, was a bad day in the history of aviation That day, Urugyanan Air Force Flight 571 infamously crashed in the Andes, killing 29 people. On that same day, 174 people were killed when a Soviet Aeroflot crashed in a lake about a kilometer from the runway.

But in some cultures, the number 13 is considered a good number:

The number 13 was sacred to the Mayans and Aztecs of central America, and it’s traditionally a lucky number in China.
Buddhists pay homage to 13 Buddhas, and the orthodox Jewish prayer book holds 13 Principles of faith. In Thailand, the New Year is celebrated on April 13,regarded as an auspicious day when all the bad omens are washed away by splashing water on people  And in Greek mythology, Zeus was the 13th and the most powerful god. Therefore “13” is the symbol of incorruptible nature, power and purity.

And for Hindus, like the character, Rohini in The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy, the belief is that 13th day of any month is an extremely auspicious day. Anyone who worships Lord Shiva on this day will be blessed with wealth and happiness.

What will the number 13 symbolize in DEMONS, WELL-SEASONED: Book III of The Secret Spice Trilogy? Well the last book in the trilogy won’t be released until 2019. So, we’ll have to wait to find out. But, here’s hint for you: In the year the story takes place, which is the year 2020, there are 13 full moons. This is not made up for the story, this is a fact. 13 moons in one calendar year, 2 full moons in one calendar month mean is called a “blue moon.” And on October 31, 202o, planet Earth experiences a blue moon. Don’t believe it?  Have a look on this moon chart.

What’s your guess that some very significant events take place on that date in the third book of The Secret Spice Cafe Trilogy?

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