By Kathryn Weber
The number 13 has long been considered negative and unlucky. But what are its feng shui implications?
For too long well-meaning feng shui practitioners have preached that 13 is unlucky — but that’s only half the story.
It could be because the number 13, when the single digits are added, make a four.
In Chinese traditions, four is a number associated with death because the name four in Chinese sounds similar to the word death in Chinese.
But that’s not feng shui.
Far from it. Feng shui looks at the number 13 as a four, too, and the number four, not the word four, mean completely different things.
In feng shui, the four is the number of artists, literary people, travelers and is associated with the oldest daughter. Four is the number that corresponds to the southeast sector and romance, or more to the point — sex.
Perhaps most importantly, the number four – and consequently 13 – is related to all of the above and the very happy flower of romance.
Long regarded as the number for attracting love, four brings romantic interest in the form of suitors and prospective lovers.
The number four has long been associated with amour and the ardor of lovers, but when activated, such as with water, the ardor can tilt toward lust, ill-minded intentions, and infidelities – all the lower forms of romance. That’s why activating parts of the home where the four star flies can sometimes be associated with scandal.
In the west, the number 13 has clearly been associated with death and misfortune.
Many hotels and businesses opt to forgo the 13th floors or don’t have rooms numbered 13. Some airlines have a 13th row on their planes, and in fact, many American airlines do, though many airlines outside the US strictly adhere to a no 13th row policy.
After a quick look on Seatguru.com, China Airlines, did not have a row 13 on any of its aircraft and neither did Virgin Atlantic, but Virgin America did have a 13th row on both their Airbus A319 and A320. Apparently, Virgin must feel differently about row 13 outside the US than it does inside the US.
In the west, it’s a tossup, about whether the number 13 is lucky or unlucky, to be filled with dread or with reverence. But in the east, the opinion is much clearer: the number 13 is almost always excluded because of its association with the dreaded four.
Even so, the number 13 isn’t a number to dread.
How do I look at the number 13?
I’ve always looking on 13 as a growth number and one that augurs good fortune. The original colonies of the United States were 13 in number. One could also say 13 is also the number of Jesus and the twelve apostles.
I’m also a four kua – and 13 makes four when added together.
The number four in feng shui is the tiny green shoot of grass that pokes through winter snow, the rise of creation and coming growth, the rise of chi.
This is how I choose to look and feel about the number 13. But you may see it differently – and if you do, then you should make your own choice as to how you feel about it because ultimately, that’s what counts most.