Review of Hex Magazine (Issue 1)

Giving a voice to the modern heathen household

I came across this fantastic, bi-annual, print publication after a long, long search through other, mostly mediocre journals and blogs, and what a find. I’m so glad I persisted. It’s like when a walk on the beach in the rain turns into a really special occasion. When something catches your eye, half hidden by damp sand, and you duck down to find it’s a fossil.

I signed up for the Hex Magazine newsletter, and was treated to a free PDF file of the first issue. Hex Magazine is currently on its tenth issue, but for this review, it is best to focus on the beginning.

 

This is the image from the front cover. An almost blindingly beautiful image by German artist Markus Wolff, of the Norse Earth Goddess Sif.

harvest-sif

(SIF original cover art by Markus Wolff)

‘We don’t deny the age we live in, but we consistently find ourselves in opposition to the views and beliefs adhered to by modern, industrial culture. Industrialized society pays heed to ideologies that we find contrary to our survival, including a devotion to materialistic rather than cultural or spiritual values, progress at any price, quantity over quality, convenience rather than conscious responsibility for our actions. All degenerative moral values which cause waste and pollution, and which encourage arrogance and isolation and eventually a loss of soul.’  (Feeding Our Roots/Page 3)

 

‘It has be consistently shown that as each group of people gives up the traditions of their ancestors, they invite the deterioration and destruction of physical and mental health, social structure, spirituality, the land and resources they depend on, and general well-being.’ (Feeding Our Roots/Page4)

art-odinn

(Odinn’s Self-Sacrifice on Yggdrasil sketch by Madeline von Foerster)

‘Within these pages  you will find many who believe they have a message…for the novice. who has only recently returned to their roots…for the academic, who read and re-read the Eddas and contemplates the runes daily, for the cook, who adds their prayers, magic and love to our daily bread…the mystic, the warrior, the healer.’  (Gratitude)

 

I have a bad tendency of sweeping over editors letters, but Hex picked me up and swept me along. It was all the confirmation I needed that I’d found the right publication. It connected with me and it’s not often at all that I want to re-read an editors letter.

 

‘We don’t deny the age we live in, but we consistently find ourselves in opposition to the views and beliefs adhered to by modern, industrial culture. Industrialized society pays heed to ideologies that we find contrary to our survival, including a devotion to materialistic rather than cultural or spiritual values, progress at any price, quantity over quality, convenience rather than conscious responsibility for our actions. All degenerative moral values which cause waste and pollution, and which encourage arrogance and isolation and eventually a loss of soul.’  (Feeding Our Roots/Page 3)

 

‘It has be consistently shown that as each group of people gives up the traditions of their ancestors, they invite the deterioration and destruction of physical and mental health, social structure, spirituality, the land and resources they depend on, and general well-being.’ (Feeding Our Roots/Page4)

 

I have a real love/hate relationship with technology. I refuse point blank to have the internet on my phone, for example, and find that by doing this, I am giving myself a small breather – something I believe we all need – from being ‘constantly in the know.’ I watch couples walking, not talking, with their eyes and fingers on screens. I see babies peel of socks in the cold, while their mothers are checking Facebook statuses. Hex neatly sums up how we should all be using technology. To find a publication which is, so to speak, on my side is hugely refreshing.

 

‘Technology is a tool and must be used properly, to support the growth and integrity of the people who it serves. I should now replace the wisdom of our traditions, or our spiritual and cultural selves.’ (Feeding Our Roots/Page 4)

 

The list of contributors to Hex are plentiful, and I wasn’t surprised to see artist Rima Staines among them. I thoroughly enjoy a good list of contributors. I have noted their names and intend to check out their other work, thus widening, once again, my pool of knowledge. It’s exciting, and something of a relief to see names of people you’ve never heard, of writing about things that you are eager to learn more about. That’s one good point about the internet, it can lead you off down many rabbit holes, to find the people destined to enrich your life with their words and teachings.

 

 As a young child, I remember being taught about the origins of the days of the week, and was delighted to turn to an intriguing article by Ensio Kataia about the names of our days.

 

‘The Germanic gods, runes and myths have left their traces in the very names of the days. This tells us something of their enduring, hidden power.’

 

‘Monday – Moon’s Day Mánidagr, gets its name from Mani (Old Norse Máni, Old English Mona), the Germanic Moon God (in the German tradition, the moon is always masculine), and son of Mundilfari and Glaur. The Germanic myth tells us how Mani pulls the moon through the sky and is chased by the wolf Hati. Lunar eclipses are the result when Hati, Mánagarmer (devourer of Mani) comes close to succeeding.  (Days of the week/Page 5)

 

Katai focuses briefly on the runes we ought to concentrate on, and how we can look at our actions and behaviour, and make necessary change, on Thursday the day of Thor, she says to take into consideration the rune thurisaz and ‘become aware of your temper and changes in mood.’ It’s a really well researched article, one which I will return to again, I’m sure.

 

The ‘kitchen’ is quite a major feature in Hex. There are seasonal recipes, including for Lebkuchen and Schmorgurker mit saurem rahm und dill (stewed cucumbers with sour cream and dill) and a column by Teresa Luedke, exploring

 

‘commonplace medicine/magical foods and tools in out 21st century kitchens – many of the very same resources found at heathen hearths a thousand years ago.’ (Kitchen medicine and magic/Page 11)

 

This column introduces three elements – fire, water and salt, and was also the beginning of my love affair with the art work of Jeroen Van Valkenburg.

 art-northland

(Northland by Jeroen van Valkenburg)

When I was under double figures, we lived in a tiny miners cottage on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. In this house the landing was minute, and, if I’d had three legs, I could have had one foot in each room with even straining a tendon. It was on this landing that my Dad read to us. My sister, two brothers and I would crowd around our Dad as he sat there, his back against the wall, reading to us The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. We all adored the story, and I remember, fleetingly at school, hearing about Brisingamen being a necklace owned by Freyja. But I never looked further into it. Alison Grandsmason has, however, due to the fact that there has been ‘little information written about its function or significance.’ She provides an in-depth exploration of the significance of Brisingamen to the goddess.

 

art-story

(My Storybook Children by Rima Staines)

There is a beautiful collection of personal accounts of birth, a trip out into the garden, an article on Norse Shamanism and plenty more besides. Follow the link and enjoy the journey.

Links::

Hex Magazine Website: http://hexmagazine.com/

Hex Magazine Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hexmagazine?fref=ts

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