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ISSUE 5

Read more about the By the Hum of Ullr’s Bow compilation CD here.

Articles Available Online:

  • Old Ways for a New Day ~ EditorialWith this issue of Hex, the magazine’s slogan has been changed – no longer is it “For the Heathen Household,” but rather “Old Ways for a New Day.” The change represents a refinement of, and rededication to, the magazine’s essence. “Old Ways For A New Day” invites us to go beyond literalism. Our folk heritage is more than dusty museum pieces: this slogan reminds us that Heathenry is a living force that embodies a much more fertile world view than those that reign in this modern age. The world view I have in mind is called optimism. I think optimism – choosing to look for and live out the positive story lines – was essential to the flourishing of the premodern European peoples and their traditions. Living so much closer to nature, to death, and to mystery must have demanded it. Optimism must have carried many generations of folk through the hardships of harvests, migrations, winters, and wars.
  • Returning to Our AncestorsThis is not a scholarly work, although I’ve read and researched quite a bit. My purpose is to share the insights and thoughts in my path from a childhood in Buffalo, New York to the Heathen way of life. This may help others identify similar dormant yearnings in themselves or others who are moving towards Heathenry. I also want to document the awakening process of coming home to our ancestral religion and culture. The title started out, Returning to the Gods of Our Ancestors. But in writing this article, I saw that my return was two-fold. My first step was to acknowledge the importance of ancestors in our lives. Through them, I was able to take the second step towards a relationship with our Gods. This article explores my first step.
  • What I Learned From My Grandparents: My Opa, Pierre Repping, Was...My Opa, Pierre Repping, was an inarticulate Dutchman whose hands created marvellous gadgets, could fix anything, were pretty skilled at painting, and crafted elaborate grandfather clocks. He had been an instrument maker for most of his working life. When I was a child we spent hours and hours in his garage, making wooden swords, go-carts, and half a hundred other projects.
  • What I Learned From My Grandparents: My Grandparents Came From Sweden...My grandparents came from Sweden. As both my parents worked full time, I was practically brought up by them. They were Lutheran; she (Hulda) very much so, he (Nils) not so much. But they were still both very Heathen by American standards. Standard fare for bedtime stories was Grimms' Fairy Tales – Copyright MCMXLV Grosset & Dunlap, Inc. (I still have the book), along with stories about Trolls, Giants, and the Gods. They still spoke Swedish and delighted in teaching me, an only child at the time.
  • What I Learned From My Grandparents: Although Both of My Grandparents are Resting Within the Earth...Although both of my grandparents are resting within the Earth, their spirits, and their lessons, walk beside me every day.
  • What I Learned From My Grandparents: In Memoriam For Carolyn McManaman – Born Carolyn PotratzBesides making the best spaghetti I’ve ever had, the overwhelming memory I have of my Grandmother is that she was kind and accepting. She never treated me like the black sheep that I am. I remember a Christmas when I was 16 and she confided in me that she finally figured out how to shop for me. “I can get you a skirt, but it has to go with combat boots.” No judgment. No lecture about how young girls should behave.
  • Od's Girlif you were not a fool you would see me for what I am you who sits so comfortably in the fine saddle of a fine mount you who dares to ride out to war without paying me my due
  • Spicy Pickled VegetablesThe longer they ferment, the better the flavor...
  • Dutch Apple Cinnamon BreadThis is a recipe that will fill your Home with the familiar fragrances particular to the Yule Tide.
  • Venison Paprika StewThere is nothing finer than to come in from a cold, wet day to enjoy this hearty stew.
  • Butter GrogThis is an extraordinarily rich beverage, and will no doubt contribute to the weal of your “winter coat”! Prost!

Articles Only in the Printed Publication / PDF:

  • Music, Myth, and MagicMusic during the Viking age was used to directly influence the acquisition and communication of altered states of mind—indeed, a range of mythical tales exist depicting the power of music over a given character’s state of mind and demeanor. In other words, music was not only a source of leisurely entertainment, but also a direct means of inducing feelings of joy, anger, and sadness, as well as including the possibility for cajoling states of berserk frenzy among men and playing an important role in the ritualized forms of vocal performance in the magical practices known as galdr and seidr.Article by G. Peterson.

  • A Vanic HearthThe hearth is the ultimate seat of sacredness in the everyday, and as such is extremely important to Vanic practice. One of the ways to be more mindful of the Vanir in daily life – both Their flow into your world, and your connection to Theirs – is to practice hearth magic, sometimes known as kitchen wizardry. Essentially this is cooking with magical intent, cleaning with magical intent, and preparing items for regular household use – such as handmade soap and candles – with yet with more magical intent.Article by Svartesol.

  • Kitchen Medicine & Magic: Audhumla Part OneAs Nature’s Simplest Food, milk and its accumulated 8,000 years of history has had a profound effect on the Heathen folklore about cows. It has spilled over into fairytales, myths, fables, traditions, religions, festivals, and the many other dramas that are a part of our collected culture. The traditional information available about cows in the areas of Heathen Northern Europe, along with cattle and dairy lore, makes an endlessly fascinating and essential addition to our understanding of the Heathen world. Any small part of this lore could seemingly fill a whole book! This is part 1 of a 2 part exploration from a Kitchen Medicine and Magic point of view. We’ll start with some history and tradition in part 1 and move on to the dairy industry in Part 2 [featured Hex Issue 6, Spring/Summer 2010].Article by Teresa Luedke.

  • The (Re)WildingOur place for countless generations has been spent living as close to the Earth as we can. Even as our life-way has withdrawn with increasing rapidity from our trust in the bounty of the Earth and temporarily allowed our populations to swell to greater numbers than the land can sustain, we do still retain a tenuous connection with the cycles of wildness.Article by Brun Russellson.

  • The Wand and the VeilMany non-Heathens can cite at least one personal brush with the so-called paranormal. For Heathens, however, what some call the Otherworld is simply a part of magical life as we live it. We do not compartmentalize the realms as others do, and the veil for us is not something to lift like a stage curtain, but rather a force field we can probe and transit with changes in modes of consciousness that permit us to make effective use of spirit energy.Among the many experiences I have had with the ‘paranormal’ in my life – including bizarre meetings with exactly the right person at the right time and other incidences of synchronicity, clairvoyance, predictive dreaming, sudden correct hunches, and many other phenomena – one recent event truly piqued my Western analytical mind. Although psychic bonds with fellow humans can be explained well enough, I believe, by concepts of “hive mind” or Rupert Sheldrake’s “morphic resonance,” happenings with objects are less easy to explain.Article by Elizabeth Griffin.

  • Listening and Sheltering: Grimms’ “The Owl”Could Heathenism best be defined as hospitality? As welcoming generosity, as listening and sheltering, as open-handedness through strength? In trusting what we cannot know, in abandoning our arrogant, disembodied addiction to the armour of tight-fisted control? Does this mean that we must abandon the right to our own rigidity? Is a Heathen better served by a mind like the light on the ocean at dawn than by a mind like a prison wall at midnight?Article by Harigast.

  • Sacrifice: Part OneGiving is a basic human activity. We create and maintain connections with others through the process of giving and receiving. Gifts are the shuttle that weaves the weft through the warp to create the bonds of the social fabric. We give in celebration, from obligation, in the hope of reciprocation, the desire to share what we have with those close to us, in recognition of need, and out of generosity for the benefit of the wider community. It comes, then, as no surprise that humans should seek to create and maintain a relationship with the Gods and wights they encounter through giving. The enduring practice of giving something to divine figures in most religious settings, be that prayer, worship, offerings—or gifts and service to other humans and the community in the name of that divine figure—is testament to the power this activity has as a human characteristic.Article by J. Blade Canty.

  • Tangra: Ancient Bulgarian PaganismTangra was worshipped by many tribes, its name differing among them: Dengir (Sumerian), Danguz (Baltic), Tengri, Dingir, Tingir, Dangar (Turkic, Altaic), and of course the Bulgarian Tangra. We will look only into the last, the Bulgarians, as their heritage and form of Paganism differs from that of the Turkic and Altaic tribes. We have to look at the Bulgarian heritage as an Irano-Aryan tribe because of both etymological evidence (the nomenclature of the words bolg, balhara, balhash, and bulkar as well as many other words which are still in use today) and religious/spiritual evidence (many Bulgar tribes also practiced the Irano-Aryan Zoroastrian tradition and both cults strongly venerate fire).Article by Dimo Dimov.

  • I Don’t Call him Santa AnymoreWhat could I say? Sheer horror kept me from protesting. Any mention of Santa Claus generally had that effect on me; I was like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car, hypnotized, and unable to move out of the way. Besides, as I had gotten older, the strange longing that was twin to the terror had begun to grow, and now almost equaled it. Santa Claus, like the Christmas tree, was a mystery to be solved. And if the Christmas tree was really the World Tree, who or what was Santa? I had to know, no matter how dangerous that knowledge might be. Even though I knew that whatever I learned would be like those optical illusion drawings in which the young lady sitting at her dressing table is suddenly revealed to really be a skull, and that once the illusion has been stripped away, the hidden meaning can never again be unseen or unlearned.Story by L. Beth Lynch.

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