This article originally ran on Nov. 13, 2015 in Daily Offbeat

By Tony Sokol

Feeling lucky punk? Friday the 13th isn’t about that.

NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2015 /Daily Offbeat/ — Today is Friday the 13th and we here at Daily Offbeat are feeling luckier than a black cat walking on a crack under a hot tin ladder. 13 is not an unfortunate number. Sure, the Apollo 13 didn’t make it to the Moon, but ancient Greeks crowned Zeus the thirteenth and most powerful god.  According to the visions of Mary Agreda, Mary, Jesus’s mom, made her assumption on a Friday the 13th in August. And of course, “Friday the 13th,” the 1980 horror movie, went on to be a classic and spawn a lucrative franchise. How lucky is that?

Madame X, the owner, administrator, mentor and matriarch of the International Nightkind Coven House of the Dreaming and co-founder of the New Jersey-based Vampire Court  Iron Gardenfloated over to Daily Offbeat to give some occult background to the number 13.

“Many moons ago when I worked in International finance, I worked on the 13th floor of a building but they omitted 13 so it was called 14,” Madame X began.

“While I have studied the number 13, it is only one of the numbers I have studied like the number 2 and 8. 2 represents the duality of Chaos, unity, collaboration. It is a number of power but underestimated unexpected power smile emoticon. All have specific associations and all wield their own power,” she said. “But it is the number 13 that is the number of perfection: Creation and destruction, the Alpha and the Omega.  It is the number of love, motherhood and of knowledge.”

“The 13th card of the Tarot is the card of Death,” Madame X enumerated. “The Nazarene Last Supper was 13. The apparition of Mary in Fatima, Portugal was on a Friday the 13th. Other mystical associations include the Egyptians 13 steps to eternity and why there are 13 steps on the pyramid on the dollar bill.”

Madame X pointed out that the United States of America began with “13 colonies. The first U.S. flag had 13 stars, and even today it still has 13 stripes.”

On Friday the 13th of this year, Madame X conducted “a private gathering of those close to me who are interested in what lies behind the veil.”

While the high priestess confirmed that she “will be doing ritual work” she said she was “not at liberty to disclose” what kinds of ritual be performed. All she could say were that they were would include Nightkind traditions of various paths.”

“It is our intention to come together and learn from each other,” she said. It’s the perfect night for it.”

Madame X is a Chaos Magic practitioner and November “is the month of Blotmonoth or the month of sacrifice or giving thanks.”

“I designed a Vampire high mass that consists of 13 participants,” she explained. “Four priests, 4 guardians, 4 nurturers and a center energy anchor.”

The number is significant because “13 is a number of power and dominion. Each number has its own special power. 13 is a rather chaotic number it is a number of creation and destruction, thus the death card.”

The spiritual significance of the number 13 “has ancient roots beginning with the original 13 tribes. It had special significance during the times of Babylon and Egypt and continues to have great occult and mystical significance.”

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When asked why the ancients may have fixated on the number, she offered, “perhaps it has to do with the lunar phases, 13degrees, 13 weeks is the time it takes from the equinoxes to the solstices. 13 weeks times 4 is the 52 weeks it takes the Earth to make one complete revolution around the Sun.”

“There are 13 Buddhas, 13 Mexican solar gods, 13 solar disks. 13 Treasures of Britain, which are cloaks, crooks, drinking horns, mantles etc of the great leaders and heroes of old. The most interesting ones for me would be the Cauldron of Dyrnwch the Giant and the chariot of Morgan Mwynfawr.

Because the number 13 has such significance for Chaos Magic practitioners, Daily Offbeat heard the dissenting voice of Princess Vermillion Gray, also of the House of Dreaming. Gray is “a witch, not Wicca. Wicca is some made up stuff to make things sound nice. Not all Wiccan are witches. It’s a new age religion.”

“I was born a witch,” Princess Gray explained. “I do not need tools, like tarot cards, I don’t need to cast circles, my will is my circle. I place my will to do my bidding. For example, I moved to a sweet country life, with annoying noise people. All four of whom have put up their homes for sale and moved.”

“This, to some is harsh and unethical.  But, a witch does as he or she does, for the betterment of the good. To many I am the storm and to many I am the calmness. I am solitary, but not alone. I have no boundaries. I don’t believe in boundaries. I do what it takes to get the job done.”

“The veil door is never closed to the witch. We are not good nor evil. I work with both good and dark. We are a team,” Gray said. “If it takes death to get a job done, than so might the will be it.”

As to the mystical significance of the number 13, Vermillion doesn’t see it.

“As a witch, 13 is simply a number, like any other number. If one sees it as good or bad, it’s because they will it to be so,” she pronounced. “To me, it’s a number and I give it no power.”

Black Friday got its bad rep on Friday, the 13th of October in 1307 when France’s King Philip IV ordered the Knights Templars to be simultaneously arrested and ultimately executed because God was “not pleased.” The Templars were suspected of worshipping Baphomet and were believed to have the mummified severed head of John the Baptist at their headquarters on the Temple Mount.

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Thirteen years ago this week, Zeena Schreck, who wrote and performed the musical piece “Bring Me the Head of Geraldo Rivera,” “cut away from self-deception” and dissolved her “bond with a non-profit California corporation known as the Temple of Set.” Zeena held the highest possible leadership positions in three of the most notorious occult orders of modern times as the High Priestess of the Church of Satan and the Temple of Set and was the Female Alpha of The Werewolf Order. She decided that her teaching could “no longer be confined” and resigned from the Temple of Set Council of Nine to found the Storm, which evolved into the Sethian Liberation Movement.

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