From Dr. Ryan Llera – Kingston Ontario Veterinarian
There are two Friday the 13ths coming up, and they’re only a month apart from each other (i.e., one this week and another one four weeks from now). This is an extremely important event for LV-426; it only happens 3 times every 28 years, and there are never two consecutive Friday the 13ths like this at any other time of year. It’s always between Imbolc (February 1) and Ostara (March 20-23), and it’s always on a non-leap year that starts on a Thursday. (There’s always a third Friday the 13th in November, as well.) These two dates book-end the “final hour” of winter before the glorious “dawn” of the Vernal Equinox, when the Sun crosses the Celestial Equator and the “light half” of the year begins anew. For us, this is a time not only for celebrating (1) the positive results of killing Osiris and (2) the marriage of Seth to Ishtar and Anath (as any of our normal Friday the 13th rituals would be); it’s also a time for (3) experiencing some major initiatory event. This special 28-day period has only happened twice since LV-426 first began (once in 1998 and again in 2009), and it won’t happen again until 2026. But since there doesn’t seem to be a name for it as of yet, we’ve decided to call it the month of Miew Khem (the Egyptian words for “cat” and “black”).
Black cats are one of the first things people associate with Friday the 13th (aside from hockey masks, of course). Everyone knows the old superstition about how you’ll get “seven years of bad luck” if a black cat crosses your path; but what most people don’t realize is that cats are actually apotropaic critters that scare demons away from their humans (like the heroic cat “General” in the 1985 Stephen King film, Cat’s Eye). I might also mention that the color black was considered good in ancient Egypt, since it’s the color of soil that’s been fertilized by the annual flooding of the Nile (hence the name Kemet or “Black Land”). Because of this, the Egyptians associated black with the idea of a bountiful harvest. Bearing this in mind, black cats can be linked to the ideas of (1) execrating evil and (2) knowing that something really good is going to happen soon. In other words, black cats are actually lucky as far as LV-426 is concerned, and we consider them to be a perfect (not to mention ironic) symbol for any Imbolc/Ostara season that includes two Friday the 13ths.
In both 1998 and 2009, one or more of us was stuck in some kind of rut; but when the month of the Black Cat came around, difficult (and sometimes extremely painful) changes happened that led to extraordinarily positive results. For example, I was living in a truly terrible situation up until Miew Khem 2009, but I had become used to the situation and was too scared to leave it behind. By the time Miew Khem was over, Seth had forced me onto a path that would eventually lead me to meet my wife and start a new life with her. Now in 2015, the story is somewhat similar. I haven’t wanted to discuss it because I didn’t want to jinx myself, but I was knocked down to a part-time status at my job back in September of last year. This has hurt my family pretty hard financially, and we’ve been struggling to pay our bills ever since. I’ve also been applying for jobs and going to interviews left and right, but nothing came from it. Just yesterday, however, I was finally offered a job, and I begin two weeks from now – right in the middle of Miew Khem. As you can probably imagine, I’m both ecstatic and terrified; this is a much-needed blessing, but it also means that the next month of my life is going to drastically change, and that’s always a scary thing. But something like this always happens at Miew Khem, it would seem, and it’s always a change for the better.
“Aww, good kitty! Who’s a good little smiter of isfet?”
Tony and Patrick have both had similar things happen around the time of this convergence in 1998 and 2009. I won’t go into too much detail here, but suffice it to say that Patrick had his life torn apart sometime around Miew Khem 2009, and that it was shortly after that when he and I first met. This drastically changed his situation for the better, and it changed mine too (though neither of us knew it at the time). In fact, I think that must have been when Seth first started revealing Himself to Patrick, just as He first started revealing Himself to me back in 1996 (thanks to the good Reverend Marilyn Manson). And Tony has also been struggling with some negative things lately, but he seems to be doing much better now that he’s just returned from a fateful trip to South Korea. Let’s just say that something happened to make him a much stronger and more confident person that he’s ever been before, and that we’ll be celebrating this feat (as well as my own) over the next 30 days. It’s things like this that make us believe that having two consecutive Friday the 13ths during the Imbolc/Ostara season is actually a holy cosmic convergence of some kind, and that it somehow blends Typhon’s counter-Osirian and counter-
Apophic aspects together as one.
I don’t know if anyone else out there has ever experienced something like this at this time of year and under these conditions; maybe it’s just an LV-426 thing, and maybe we’re totally alone in this. Instinct tells me this isn’t true, and that there must other people out there – other Pagans, other companions of Seth – who experience something similar. But if nothing else, I want to encourage everyone to think of the period from this upcoming Friday to Friday, March 13 as a very special event. Even if you see no reason to celebrate Friday the 13th as a holiday, I encourage you to look out for black cats over the next 30 days. No, I don’t mean “Look out!” in the sense that they might hurt you, but in the sense that other people might be trying to hurt them. Sadly, some assholes are just so damn superstitious that they’ll actually harm or abuse any black cats they might encounter (and especially on Friday the 13th). Hell, even people who would never actually harm a black cat will often pass it over in a pet shelter when they’re looking to adopt, and they do this simply on the basis of the cats’ fur color. (Sounds dreadfully similar to something else, doesn’t it?) Anyway, my point here is that if you should see any black cats over the next month, don’t take it as a sign of “bad luck”; take it as a sign of good fortune and give the wee beastie a kitty-safe treat!
It’s interesting to think that I was still a solitary practitioner at Miew Khem 1998; then there were two of us at Miew Khem 2009; and now there are three of us here in 2015. Will there be a fourth member by the time Miew Khem 2026 comes around? Perhaps. But even if that doesn’t happen, I’m proud to share this year’s event with my brothers in Typhon. And while it feels like my life is going topsy-turvy right now, I know in my heart of hearts that this is really a good thing, and that the next phase of my existence will be even better than the one I’ve been traveling for the past 6 years. I thank Seth Almighty for never turning His back on me, and I’ll be making offerings to both Him and Ishtar this Friday night, when Miew Khem begins. There will also be an execration of
Apophis in our immediate future, which will overlap with Devo’s Poopocalypse 2015. I encourage everybody everywhere to banish and execrate any negative energy they might be experiencing sometime during the next 30 days, for while every day is a good day for kicking Ol’ Double-Ugly in its rotten teeth, Miew Khem is an especially effective time for doing so (in my opinion at least).
Happy Miew Khem! Gods bless us all! May the Red Lord frighten away all evil with His deafening roar! May the Lady of Babylon and the Shieldmaiden of Ba’al give us strength in our battles! May our trials and tribulations make us stronger and more resourceful people! And may every black cat upon this Earth be blessed and protected and given food and shelter!
Photo by Valeria Janno on Pixabay