With Friday the 13th Happening During Mercury Retrograde, Are Bad-Luck Vibes Supercharged?

Photo: Getty Images/Ridofranz
The superstitions swirling around the number 13 are so strong, plenty of tall buildings simply don't have a 13th floor. And even when there is a 13th floor, a significant number of people may very well be uncomfortable staying on it, at least in a hotel setting. While certainly not everyone believes in the bad luck of 13, the fact that Friday the 13th is a popularly recognized date for things to go awry is enough reason to consider its power. (Heck, some even have a full-blown phobia surrounding the calendar event.) But is there any spiritually rooted reason to fear the date's bad luck—and with it happening during Mercury retrograde this go-around, should we expect those potential back-luck vibes to be that much stronger?

In some of the best astrological news of late, I'm thrilled to share that the answer is a strong, "No!" The lore of Friday the 13th and its bad juju, though passed down in secular circles for centuries, is thought to be rooted in Christianity and the patriarchy. (Eve tempted Adam to eat the apple on a Friday, and Judas, thought to be the 13th apostle, betrayed Jesus.) But, pre-Christianity, "13 was the number associated with the moon—given that there are 13 lunar cycles in a year—and also with feminine energy, as [people who menstruate] have, on average, 13 menstrual cycles a year," says astrologer Madi Murphy, co-founder of spiritual-wellness platform CosmicRx. Pair that with the fact that Friday is ruled by love-planet Venus in astrology, and this Friday the 13th becomes a "powerful day to honor beauty, connect to nature, and embrace fertility," says Murphy.

"Friday the 13th is a powerful day to honor beauty, connect to nature, and embrace fertility." —Madi Murphy, astrologer

But what about Mercury still being retrograde this Friday, you ask? According to Murphy, the slow-down energy prompted by the planet's apparent backspin just adds to the reflective power of this day. "Given that we started 2023 with a double retrograde of Mars and Mercury, we are meant to enter the year gently with a focus on our inner selves—planning, plotting, and reflecting," she says. And as it turns out, the energy this Friday, January 13th, is no different. Below, Murphy breaks down the cosmic co-occurrences on this day that lend it a particularly restful, sensual, and not-at-all-unlucky vibe.

3 reasons why, astrologically speaking, this Friday the 13th is well-aligned for rest and reflection

1. The moon will be in beauty-oriented Libra

Libra is the sign of "beauty, balance, grace, and love," says Murphy, and its planetary ruler is Venus, the planet of love and beauty. Since Venus is, again, also the planet associated with Friday, "we're getting a double dose of Venusian energy on this day," says Murphy. She suggests embracing that energy by "anointing yourself with your favorite perfume or essential-oil blend, or by dressing up in luxe fabrics like silks or satins in the colors of pink, red, or gold to represent connection to the heart."

2. Mercury is wrapping up its retrograde in Capricorn

As noted above, the energy will be slow and reflective this Friday (and not aligned for charging ahead or starting new projects), thanks to Mercury still being retrograde in Earth-sign Capricorn. It doesn't go direct until January 18, meaning there are still a few more days left to embrace the "re" vibes of any Mercury retrograde: reflect, review, reassess, reconsider, reimagine, and so on.

Paired with the very slow movement of Mars, which just wrapped up its own retrograde on January 12 and is not yet back to moving full-speed ahead, the energy of Mercury retrograde makes this a great time for rest and relaxation, says Murphy.

"Take advantage of this cosmic invitation to get cozy and cuddle up, take a warm bath, read a book, or practice a gentle yoga flow," she says. And whatever you do, avoid launching into any new project, relationship, or activity. "Anything you try to start now will just be met with frustrations, miscommunications, or setbacks, so use the time instead to recharge and focus on behind-the-scenes work," says Murphy.

3. We're at the tail end of Capricorn season

As the grounded cardinal Earth sign of the zodiac, Capricorn is associated with "all things business, leadership, government, and traditional structures," says Murphy. And we only have a few days left of Capricorn season as Friday the 13th arrives, making the reflective day an apt invitation to reimagine our relationship to all of the above, she says. The natural culmination of this energy makes it an aligned time to set intentions or outline goals for the year—particularly around how you might bring more ease and flow to your work and less grind and hustle. If tarot is a spiritual practice in which you participate, Murphy also suggests pulling a few tarot cards this Friday in order to gain insight around how you might show up as a more authentic leader in the year ahead.

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