In The Desert Of Seth

By G. B. Marian

Miew Khem: The Holy Month of the Black Cat

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!

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9 responses to “Miew Khem: The Holy Month of the Black Cat

  1. journeyintoinsanity February 11, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    I’m always looking out for black cats! I’ve been privileged to be owned by two of them in my life, most recently by a very large black male named Ace. He was the ultimate “cool cat.” I only wish I’d had more time with him. Everyone was his friend, I only ever heard him hiss once in the seven years he was with me, and he taught me the importance of chilling. I wish black cats weren’t so demonized. They really are genuinely awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

    • G. B. Marian February 11, 2015 at 5:34 pm

      Ace sure sounds like he was a great cat! I’m sorry to learn of his passing. My wife and I had a beloved cat pass away last summer, and it was really traumatic. (We even keep her ashes on our ancestor shrine.) But hey, I guess you could say that your time with Ace was “Seven years of GOOD luck!” That’s pretty terrific! And who knows; maybe his spirit will visit you during this strange time. Maybe keeping vigil into the wee hours this Friday night would be a good idea, if you can!

      Liked by 1 person

      • journeyintoinsanity February 11, 2015 at 5:37 pm

        That’s a wonderful way to look at it. Seven years of good luck with him. He’s visited me in dreams, just kinda wandered into whatever I was dreaming to say hi. I’m definitely going to keep a vigil on Friday. Fantastic suggestion! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. katakhanas February 11, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I agree that this time of year is a hallowed one. In the Egyptian calendar, this is the month of Paremhotep, the third month in the season of Peret (“Emergence”). As a priestess of Bast, I very much look forward to the spate of festivals coming up in Her honor, not the least of which is the one called “The Feast of Chewing Onions for Bast”! So your homage to the beautiful black cat is very timely. I love that image you incorporated into your post depicting the Great Cat slicing off Apep’s head–look at Her ear-to-ear grin as She wields that ancient Egyptian equivalent of a Ginsu knife!

    And a hearty “Huzzah!” to you and your fellow members of LV-426 for all these welcome life changes! May Set continue to smash all your obstacles to well-being and abundance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • G. B. Marian February 12, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Thank you very much! These life changes are definitely welcome, but they certainly aren’t very easy; I hope we all survive the next month! And yes, this is the time of Emergence, which actually matches up with our springtime here in North America oddly enough, considering that the Inundation and Harvest seasons don’t match up with our other seasons quite as well. (I guess that’s part of the difference between the U.S. having four seasons and Egypt having only three.) As for Bast; when we were still trying to find a good name for this 28-day period between two consecutive Friday the 13ths in February and March, Patrick suggested naming it after Her. (He actually suggested Bastet Noir, which has very a nice ring to it.) After discussing it for a while, the three of us eventually decided on a term that could hopefully be linked to all feline Goddesses in general – but Miew Khem was almost named after Our Lady of Bubastis for a hot second there! (I suppose if someone else wanted to use the name Bastet Noir, they’d be more than welcome to do so.)

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Ekunyi February 13, 2015 at 9:20 am

    Nekhtet! Victory! Such marvelous news for you and your brothers. I’m incredibly glad to read of it.

    Learning about this sacred time for LV-426 really struck a significant chord for me. First it got me thinking back to what I was doing around this time in 2009, and I admit, I… was somewhat blown away at the realization. I don’t honestly remember all that much of the details of what happened during that month. I was in my junior year of college, I was at the lowest point that depression has yet to take me in my life, but this was… legitimately when it all hit critical mass. I wound up leaving school for a week at the end of February after almost doing something drastic, spontaneously fled to Colorado to be with my sibling Tenu (of Grave Moss and Stars), got off all the medications that seemed to have made things so much worse (for me) and in the midst of the vast red mountains, took an oath to whatever gods/spirits may be (I was too low to believe in anyOne specifically at this point) that I would do whatever it took so as to never scare and hurt my family so deeply again, even if I couldn’t see reason enough just yet to take these steps for myself.

    ….so, um. Yes! Significant, harsh, changes that wound up leading towards my life improving. I’d say so! Oof.

    I share this in part because, if it would be permissable for a non-LV-426 member to do so, I’d very much like to honor this time, honor the destruction of who I was at the last time this occurred and the development of who I am today. The name of the month itself also immediately reminded me of my Mother, Bast; as Katakhanas mentioned, her festival of “Chewing Onions” takes place during this time, as do a few other smaller festivals. I also thought of Her seven arrows, potentially honoring each of them for four days during this span.

    But as an LV-426 festival that I would respectfully acknowledge, Set would also see plenty of attention (as He usually does here in Pittsburgh *wry grin*).

    Would this be acceptable to you and your brothers? If not, I completely understand and respect that decision. Thank you for your consideration.

    Like

    • G. B. Marian February 13, 2015 at 12:12 pm

      By all means, we would be honored if you observed Miew Khem too, and that goes for anyone else out there who’d like to observe it as well. We can’t exactly claim credit for inventing it, anyway! We just came up with a name for it because it became too tedious to say “Happy Two Consecutive Friday the 13ths in February and March!” several times in a row. So please have at it! Mi fiesta es su fiesta! Happy Miew Khem! Dua Bast! Dua Sutekh! 🙂

      I deeply empathize with what you’ve described about the ordeals you experienced during this time in 2009, and I’m very glad that you got through them and that you’re in a much better place now. (I also totally didn’t realize that you and Tenu are siblings!) This really does add to our theory concerning Miew Khem. I wonder how many other people have had similar things happen to them during this particular convergence?

      In any case, here’s hoping you have a wonderful day today, that you will soon conquer any troubles you might be experiencing right now, and that something truly wonderful will happen for you and yours by next Friday the 13th! 🙂

      Like

  4. mikhaeleast February 16, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Well rather interestingly, on Saturday I attended a Kemetic ritual for Bastet: the first Kemetic (group) ritual I have ever attended. And right here in the US!

    Liked by 1 person

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