Femme & Freaky : The subversive power of Friday the 13th

As a kid, I possessed an inexplicable love for Friday the 13th. 

It felt like a special day. The horror movie marathons and spooky superstitions had a lot to do with my excitement, but I whole-heartedly believed it was a day to celebrate.

To me, it was weird that people considered it a day of bad luck. I couldn’t fathom the number 13 being so off-putting to people that hotels opt out of a 13th floor. And Fridays are so fun! I wanted to make the day an occasion. Fast-forward to my tarot-reading, ritual-loving self, I learned that Friday the 13th signified a day of the Divine Feminine: a day of raw, untamed magic.

Today, I want to reclaim Friday the 13th by embracing the Divine Feminine–and expand on the sometimes restrictive or dogmatic concept of Divine Feminine.

Friday is influenced by the planet Venus. As a planet, Venus rules feminine energy: creative, generative, beautiful, bountiful, wild, primal energy. 

Also considered feminine? The number 13. Generally, there are 13 moon cycles and 13 menstrual cycles in one year. I’ve found it interesting that the Tarot Queens in the Minor Arcana tarot are the 13th card. And it really lights my brain up if I apply this same logic to card 13 of the Major Arcana, The Death Card.

With these cosmic influences together, the potency of Friday the 13th conjures our curiosity, entices our exploration and experimentation, invokes imagination of our most creatively absurd ideas; we are being called to express the unexpressed.

As we know, however, Friday the 13th feels nothing like this. People tiptoe through the day as if not to alert the bad luck lingering in the shadows. 

The mysterious, electric experience of Friday the 13th that I feel, is interpreted quite differently by others.

When I think about why people are so afraid of this date, it comes down to this:

In a heteronormative patriarchal society, it’s really no surprise we’d fear a day of the Divine Feminine–because feminine energy itself is deemed fearsome in a culture that venerates all things Masculine.

We are taught very early on as little Magicians and High Priestesses learning the ways of the world, that we must subdue the parts of us that express the nature of the Divine Feminine if we are to exist in this current paradigm.

We must name all unknown things. 

We must domesticate the primal. 

We must demoralize the spirited. 

We must criticize our creativity.

If Friday the 13th is a devotion to the wild, unruly, and mysterious energy of the Divine Feminine, it is no wonder we are taught to fear it. Divine Feminine energies of intuition, creativity, resourcefulness, expansion are feared because that’s what makes a human unpredictable, ungovernable, uncontrollable. 

Instead we are taught in every area of our lives, our families, our classrooms, in our places of worship, in media we enjoy, to hide what makes us stand out. We are taught to suppress our feelings, ideas, or curiosities. We are taught to be quiet and sit still. All of these things benefit no one except those who stand to gain more power from the perpetuity of production which upholds the patriarchy.

The manifestation of this fear on Friday the 13th not only becomes an entire day of knocking on wood, but pokes at the underlying fear that we have of ourselves: What makes us weird. What makes us wild. What makes us chaotic. What makes us unique.

The belief that there’s something wrong with us is so deep, that we hide away what makes us sacred.

It makes me think of this quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.” —Marianne Williamson 

The fear of Divine Feminine gifts is illustrated in the persistent misattribution, too. This quote from Williamson’s book, Return to Love, is regularly and grandly misattributed to Nelson Mandela

Going deeper, even if we remove the patriarchal lens of fearing the raw energy of Friday the 13th, and we reclaim the day to embrace the Divine Feminine, that language is still off-putting.

For a variety of valid reasons, the words “feminine” and “divine feminine” alienate people. 

Just this month, on multiple, separate, and wholly different occasions, I heard people say the divine feminine didn’t resonate with them. Naming energy Divine Feminine feels antiquated and limiting for many.

At the same time, it’s been helpful for me to identify types of energy I feel, as well as recognize when I’m over-saturated in some areas while depleted in others.

When I hear Divine Feminine or Divine Masuline, the profound, expansive energy being contained in binary language feels restrictive. Does being feminine mean to be still and small and quiet? Does it mean to value genitals? Does it mean pretty? Does it mean to birth children? Therefore does tapping into Divine Masculine mean dominance, strength? Does it mean loud? How do these energies present themselves?

The aversion toward Divine Feminine energy could be rooted in what we’ve learned about acceptable feminine traits, and more succinctly, that feminine=woman. What I find most helpful when reflecting on the Divine Feminine, is working through my conditioning and understanding of gender and gender norms.

When we dispel what we’ve been told about feminine traits, female behavior, gendered roles, we can start to establish our own language, our own knowings, our own experiences of Divine energy.

For example, feminine energy in societal lens says femininity is perfect curves, a kept home, a womb. Feminine energy is “attractive,” which has come to mean: symmetrically beautiful, with a made-up face, form-fitting clothing, white features. It is “creative” in the sense of child-bearing reproduction. To me, these are not spiritual, ways of looking at feminine energy, but sociological assignments. Even in the spiritual spaces, Divine Feminine is commonly depicted as motherly, as softness, as receptivity, as beautiful, as gentle and nurturing. Though those aspects might be true for some, the dominance and rigidity of that description can make Feminine energy feel even more unapproachable or inaccessible. 

When I separate what society says about feminine energy, with what I’m told is Divine Feminine, and sit with what I feel, there is a completely different experience.

To me, Divine Feminine is unbrushed hair. an untidy apartment. scribbles in a notebook.

It’s the permissed time without a schedule and no guilt.

It’s rest and ease.

It’s clothing that allows the body to breathe, to jiggle, to expand. Or no clothing at all.

It’s less focused on outward appearance or external gratification, acceptance, or approval, and more tapped-in to the soul-led expression. 

Divine Feminine energy tells me the way it looks doesn’t matter, the way it feels is everything. 

It’s a wild, boundless, primal existence. 

It’s indulging in desire.

It is the beautiful and brutal cycle of Life/Death/Life, moving in tandem with that flow. 

It is an unpredictable, chaotic, mysterious, unbridled spirit.

Divine Feminine is the space of doing absolutely nothing while experiencing absolutely everything.

In the space of Divine Feminine there is creativity, imagination, brainstorming, feelings, meditation, intuition, empathic ability, passion, appreciation, expression, freedom.

This is the part of me that roams free like a dirty-footed, stained-dress child with skinned knees and twigs in their hair. 

The Divine Feminine I understand is unlike what I’ve seen or been told. Yet it’s the most true thing for me.

If you’re curious, my Divine Masculine energy takes these wild, primal, raw ideas and encourages me to be vulnerable yet fortified enough to put ideas out into the world.

Both are love. Both are healing. Both know how to bark and bite.

Neither are about societal success, norms, expectations, or gender. I am both and neither and ebb and flow between the expressions. Sometimes my balance is even between Divine Masculine & Divine Feminine, and other times my balance comes in the form of needing more of one type of energy more than another, or calling in an archetype so I can move through an experience.

My point is this: Divine energy is not something that can be measured or qualified or put into a box. It is not about being a man or a woman. It is about embracing how you experience the spiritual that’s all around us, accessible to everyone, and trusting that what you feel is Divine – Feminine, Masculine or none or all. 

Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine energies are expansive, not limiting, as our society has told us it must be. 

There are multitudes of experiences of Divine Feminine and Masculine, but there are also numerous ways to feel and experience Divine energy. The Divine Feminine and The Divine Masculine are simply two archetypes we assign to describe certain expressions of energy — there can be more, there can be many. This think-piece, The Balancing Path: Nonbinary Perspective on Gendered Divinity, opened my mind to the ways we can name or perceive Divine energy. 

So if we’re celebrating the Divine Feminine on Friday the 13th, to me, it’s a prime day to tap into the weird, the eccentric, the imaginative. These are the Divine Feminine energies no one warned you about 😉 

Friday the 13th offers a day to say fuck the norms. Fuck the fear. Fuck the rules about who we are  “supposed” to be. 

Friday the 13th Ritual:

Just kidding 🙂 I’m not gonna tell you what to do on this date. It feels wrong to give parameters on a day that’s around expansion and letting your freak flag fly. Use anything I offer as a starting point:

Gather with your friends – you know the ones you can be silly and loud and gross with.
Fill up the pages in your notebook with stream-of-consciousness journaling–no editing or critiquing or erasing.
Be naked and barefoot.
Take time for your “weird” hobby or interest.
Create for the sensation of it, not the production of it.
Dance
Live out a fantasy

POTENTIAL JOURNALING PROMPTS

>What are some things you’ve been taught about Divine Feminine Energy? What do you agree with or not agree with? When you are experiencing Divine Feminine energy, what does it look like? What does it feel like? Recognizing your own experience not only allows you to tap into that power freely, it also honors your experience as a full human.

>What are things about yourself that you have been told are weird, or have been mocked for being, doing, liking? Assuming they are not harmful behaviors of course, what are some ways you can reconnect with that part of you? What do you enjoy about those things? How do you feel it makes you unique?

If you want to celebrate with me, I’ve got a couple Friday the 13th events planned:

Tarot Movie Marathon – a series of heinous and hilarious pop culture tarot moments
Virtual Tarot Readings – a one-of-a-kind Friday the 13th Spread for a group of your favorite weirdos. Openings are available at 1:00pm EST (the 13th hour), 5:00pm EST, and 6:30pm EST

The fear of Friday the 13th uncloaks the fear of Feminine.

Once we remove the veil, we can feel for ourselves what it means to be Divine, to be femme, to be freaky.

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