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ISSUE 3

Articles Available Online:

  • The Importance of Becoming ~ EditorialSince this issue appears at the onset of the invigorating, transformative season of Spring, we felt it only natural to turn our attention to the subject of our own growth, and the way it is also divided into almost seasonal stages. In this spirit, we solicited accounts of pivotal life events that change us as we grow up.
  • A Call to Hoes ~ Sowing the Seeds of Hope“If we don't turn around we'll end up where we're going,” has no truer (nor more frightening) an application then to the current state of our food production and consumption. An average meal takes a voyage of 1500–2500 miles from the farm to your fork. An average food calorie, after the fertilizing, processing, packaging, and transporting, takes 7 to 10 'calories' of fossil fuel energy to produce. The implication of these statistics and how they reflect pollution, global warming, and the all around destruction of the earth, should make us more than a little uncomfortable. Trumpeting is a wake-up call to ‘turn around,’ reestablish our connection to the land, revive the self-sustaining ways of our past, while, as Alisa Smith, co-author of Plenty explains it, “We [can] immerse ourselves in the here and now, and the simple pleasures of eating [will] become a form of knowing.” Choosing to reduce our impact on the environment by the way we eat, is an important (and delicious!) place to enact change. But you don't need to take our word for it. Here is a collection of lists, suggestions, excerpts and quotes from those who have taken up the shovel to create a better tomorrow.
  • Viriditas ~ The Greening Power of NatureIn our culture, most basic living skills have been forgotten. There is so much confusion surrounding even simple life choices, that people look more and more to ‘experts’ to assist them. What should I eat? How should I raise my children? How can I have healthy relationships? How do I take care of myself? The problem is, experts all have their own agendas—which are often at odds with what is best for you and your community. Until recently, our ancestors answered these questions through cultural traditions, passed down without much fanfare, generation after generation—which is, unfortunately, an inheritance we don't always have access to. But where did their ancestors learn them? The common belief seems to be that they learned through trial and error over time. But the idea that people would systematically test all of the plants of a new terrain, to see what was edible—or that they would stumble upon a vast knowledge base of plant lore (with many varied cultures coming to the same conclusions) by accident—seems a bit absurd to me. In fact, the people themselves tell quite a different story…
  • The Ancient Folk of the IslesAnd we'll return from cavern and from hill...
  • I AmI am the rays of the radiant sun, the willow tree and its shade; I am the giant mouth of the ocean, the fossil that never decayed.
  • Spicy Ginger ElixirThis is a rather strong syrup, you probably won’t want to drink it straight.
  • Lancashire Hot PotLamb is a spring meat, to be sure, and if you use new carrots, new potatoes and new onions in this recipe, the whole dish is a delicious homage to the fresh first growth of the season.
  • Dandelion and Spring Onion with Warm VinaigretteFreshly emerged dandelions herald spring—and good eating. Dandelions grow in abundance everywhere in the spring, it seems, but be sure to only choose the ones which grow well away from the road. Your own backyard is best. Is there anything more enriching than picking your own wild dinner greens right outside your own door? Here is our own recipe for dandelions.
  • Yogurt Honey Fruit DressingThis is a creamy dressing that can be used to liven up just about any combination of sweet fresh fruits.
  • Finnish Summer SoupServes four.

Articles Only in the Printed Publication:

  • Coming of AgeComing of Age stories by four people: Squiffy, Jason, Gerhard, and Blake.
  • The Language of Myth ~ Origo Germanica Part 1: LinguisticsGermanic myth is notoriously difficult to interpret because there is a gap of about 1200 years in its recorded history. No orally-transmitted belief system—indeed, no language currently known has passed such a span of time without undergoing major changes. Our best hope of truly making sense of these myths lies in comparing their elements, structures, and themes with those of other Indo- European peoples whose belief systems share a common ancestry with our own. This is a recurring column dedicated to examining the origins of our ancestors’ culture and ideology from an Indo-European perspective.Other factors come into play as well, but language is the vessel in which myth is transported from one generation to the next, making the speech of our ancestors the Language of Myth.

    Throughout the life of this column I will be constantly referring to cognate words and forms from different languages to illustrate their relationships. Since the greater portion of our attention will be occupied with examining elements of Germanic heathenism within an Indo-European context, I thought it would be best to take some time to explain the origin of Germanic language, culture, and myth, charting their divergence from an Indo-European unity and explaining precisely what it is that makes Germanic language and culture Germanic.

    Article by Antonius Block.

  • Hair of the HundYou know the feeling. You lie there. You don’t want to even open your eyes. Kein Licht, bitte! The uisge beatha (“water of life),” was verily the water of death. You have the katzenjammer (“cat’s lament”) as they say in Germany, or as they say in Norway: jeg har tommermenn (“workmen in my head”). Ancient wisdom, as usual, seems to have presaged the findings of modern science. We know that too much alcohol causes fluid loss, irritated stomach lining, a depressant effect, expansion of blood vessels, drop in blood sugar, toxicity, drainage of nutrients from the body, and many other more scientific-sounding effects. But we don’t want to hear long words like that right now. Please!

    Article by Squiffy Q. Veisalgia.

  • Everything She Touches Changes: Learning the Art of HexThese hex sign prayers were much different than the prayers I memorized and recited at bedtime or before supper, different even from the spontaneous prayer I might utter when a teacher announced an unexpected test for which I was unprepared. These designs made things happen (and here she paused) if (she emphasized) all was in order. So I had to listen and learn, to be responsible and not work unless she said it was “OK.” She also said this would involve a lot more thinking than painting (though, in the end, she taught me many of the traditional designs by rote, perhaps having had a hint that the end of her time here was coming.) And she repeated many times her belief that only the designs that were properly prepared by a true Hex(master) were hex signs. To illustrate, she once pointed to a coffee can sitting on her shelf, adorned as it had come from the factory with folk art designs, including a traditional-looking eight pointed star design. “That is not a hex!” she insisted. Mass produced designs, simply copies of real hex signs, were no more than pretty designs, she insisted. The true hex, she said, was a specific painted prayer, with much more work “behind the scenes” than what showed in the painting. True hex signs also, she explained, were always blessed.

    Article by Jj Starwalker.

  • Sex, Status, and Seidh: Homosexuality and Germanic ReligionThe popular image of the Viking male is that of a brawny, and oh-so-manly, man (his wife is often portrayed as being pretty brawny too). It is true that in the sagas and heroic poems, warriors insult each other with accusations of effeminacy, and based on this perception, homosexuals are excluded from some Asatru kindreds today. But how wide-spread was this prejudice in early times, and what exactly did it mean? In the following article, I have tried to move towards an understanding of homosexuality in the context of contemporary Norse religion by examining the available historical and literary evidence regarding homosexual practices from the ancient world.

    Article by Diana L. Paxson.

  • The Valkyrie PerspectiveIt was my intent for my Master’s Thesis to argue for a re-examination of modern assumptions about what was considered ‘female,’ during the Anglo-Saxon period, and expand the idea of the valkyrie, and valkyrie-like qualities of the feminine. As an already thorough overview of the valkyrie has been presented in the Fall 2007 issue of Hex, I will focus on the voice of the valkyrie as heard in one text in particular, the poem “Wulf and Eadwacer” from the Exeter Book, a 10th century codex of Anglo-Saxon poetry.

    Article by Jennifer Culver.

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