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1 May 2012

May Day/Beltaine/Walpurgisnacht News 2012


May Day/Beltaine/Walpurgisnacht News 2012

In this Edition:

Hex Announcements
Kitchen Medicine & Magic: Nerthus is Spiraling
Runic Reflections: Elhaz
New Music from Greed & Rapacity: Loki Bound
Blackened Cascadian Folk Music @ Seattle Folklife Festival, Friday May 25
Hex Magazine @ Trothmoot, June 7–10

Support Hex! We are a community-supported not-for-profit publication. You can support us by heading to and ordering magazines, CDs, and prints, and by spreading the word to all like-minded folk!

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Submit Your Story: “What I Learned from the Runes”

For Hex Issue 11 the theme for personal narratives will be “What I Learned from the Runes.” Share your experience of how the runes have changed your life.

Submissions are due June 21, 2012, and may be sent to

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Hex Folk Market ( is here! Join our online market
community in celebration of folk ways and sustainable living. Browse through
our selection of international merchants or set up your own shop for free!

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Leather Bound Limited Edition of Issues #5–8 + CD!

An edition of 13, and signed
by the artisan (Jason Hovatter) and editors of Hex.

Each copy is $100 + shipping. Available at

It’s first come…first serve!

Note: Issues Five and Six are no longer available except as part of this compilation.

All proceeds go to Hex Press to support its continued effort to provide folks
with an excellent volunteer-based, community-supported, not-for-profit publication.

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Feeling Hexy?

Hex is putting out an initial call for Heathen Erotica. For a side project, not a regular issue. It will be published when we get enough material.

Accepting submissions for stories, poetry, art, photography, recipes, whatever. You can submit under
your own name or a nom de plume. The usual high standards of quality apply! IE: if it’s smut, it better be really good smut!

Send submissions to

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Kitchen Medicine & Magic: Nerthus is Spiraling

Around the first of May the energy of Nerthus is spiraling into succulent, seductive, and productive excellence. The leaves have returned to the grape vines, the early summer flowers are blooming, the bees are buzzing, and the roosters are crowing their heads off! Be sure to take part in her dance, and just try to keep up!

Some of the traditional Heathen and Pagan celebrations of the old European world that were held around May Day included Walpurgis Night, Beltaine, and the Roman Floralia. A search on the Internet will show you other celebrations based at this time of year from around the world. Many similarities exist between these varied celebrations.

One important element they hold in common is the use of fire and the ceremonial putting out and relighting of “need-fires” to end the old energy and start new fresh energy flowing. Once the fires were going again, jumping over them could bring warding and luck, while passing animal/livestock between two fires kindled from the need fire was also used to cleanse away old energy. Those who had been through the fire cleanse would be given blessings to carry them through to the next festival of the year at Midsummer. A wealth of folklore surrounds such celebrations.

Locally our May Pole dance was held over the past weekend and was another great success! I was privileged to be asked to lead the ceremony. Our May Pole has been in use about 8 or 9 years now and the layers of ribbon hold much luck for this community.

May Day here at the Hedgewife Hearth is all about the garden. The spring crops are giving way to the summer basics, at least in part. Some cool weather crops keep giving food for the table even after the traditional harvest. If you have the space, let the collards, broccoli, and radish plants grow through their cycle, and harvest any parts they produce to add to the table. My experience shows that three collard plants can produce about a cup of yummy, sweet greens from buds and young leaves four or more times a week. Even more often if you don’t mind the slightly stronger taste of some of the older leaves.

The same harvests can be made with broccoli and radish plants. All three of these traditional plants also have yummy tasting flowers raw or cooked. The young seed pods are regularly used in some cultures, just throw them into the cook pot with the rest of the plant, or eat them raw. If you’ve got a lot you can pickle them.

Our morning meal utilizing these odds and ends from the garden is almost entirely homegrown, including the eggs – the only exception was the bacon grease used to cook it and the salt used to season it.

Elsewhere in the garden summer crops are starting to dominate. Tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes, cucumbers, squashes, and beans are all well on the way to fulfilling their promise. Watermelons are poking out from the dirt of the old compost pile which is sure to give them a great boost.

“There is rosemary, and that is for remembrance.”
– William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Most of the herbs are also coming along nicely. You might think about making a small harvest of their prime new growth for later use, or making a commitment to explore their medicinal properties. For example rosemary, which grows with abandon where ever it lands and will even grow in flower pots, makes a tasty herbal tonic tea for digestion, improves circulation, and relieves headaches and the symptoms of gas and IBS. Plus, it’s aroma and ingestion are stimulating to both mood and memory.

Many of our ancestors down the line knew these plants had useful properties. Today we can revive these plants to use at our own hearths.

Rosemary or Chickweed Tea

Use dried or fresh plant material.

Add a tablespoon of dried herb or 3 tablespoons of the fresh needles to a cup of nearly boiling water and allow to steep from 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and add lemon or honey if desired. Though they both taste fine without such sweeteners and flavorings and are non-toxic, pregnant women should consult their doctor before use.

Have fun celebrating the spiraling wheel of the year and may earth bare you up with all her might!

~Teresa L. Hedgewife
Pine Cone Hearth, Georgia, USA

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• Elhaz •

Old English Rune Poem

Eolhx (Elk-sedge) is native most often to the fen,
it grows in water; it wounds grimly,
burning with blood any warrior
who, in any way, grabs at it.

~ Rune poem translations by Sweyn Plowright

You are drowning in a flood, that roars across the plains and sweeps away all in its path. It is the bursting of all banks, the strident overcoming of all merely mortal understanding. There is no escape from the inevitable, only submission to its harsh and overwhelming dictates. Surrender graciously or violently resist: the outcome is the same.

So it is with wyrd. We are carried on its eddies and whorls like twigs on the back of the wide ocean. We cannot understand where it has come from, nor grasp its ultimate destiny. Who will dare claim knowledge of all things? Such a one has only the scorn of time to look forward to.

We are cast into the paths of dangerous obstacles, natural and human alike. Little enough choice is afforded in how we might respond: we strive and struggle to veer in the path laid down by the tidal swell, and hope that fortune will favor our fierce efforts. We are, no matter how strong the illusion of our self-assurance, vulnerable beyond belief.

Who then can claim to sit in judgment? Who can truly claim credit for their own feats and efforts? Was it thy own worth, or that which thou hast inherited? There is a profound humility in the art of ancestor worship: when we acknowledge those lost to us, we acknowledge the source of our good luck and mourn the past wounds that leave the ill luck we might still share.

The awesome conflict at the rim of the swamp is the awesome conflict of the individual awash in the ocean of life. We writhe and struggle and impede ourselves no end; when wyrd has you in its clutches, all you can do is let go and try to ride its momentum as best you can. Tether yourself to your forebears! Find wisdom where you can! And for the rest, trust to blind hope.

Yes, and tether yourself also to yourself. For it is all to easy to be washed away from ourselves, to be carried from our convictions, courage, and stillness – into the arms of our fear, anger, and bewilderment. The threat of human vulnerability – crystallized in the hanging blade of Death itself – invites us to clam up, to clutch and be blinded. We must make the effort to release our white knuckle grasp from the illusory truths that provide the semblance of safety.

That is what Odin taught as he hung from the bough of the tree, and Elhaz, in circuitous ways, is a tree of death.

A harsh lesson and a harsh law, this rune! Who will dare face its challenge? A trick question: none of us has a choice. But take heart: the threat of dissolution is also the invitation for the swan to take flight. And inside every fear is a kernel of gold.

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New Music from Greed & Rapacity: Loki Bound

With clattering and crushing performances of music as technically confounding as it is eviscerating, GREED & RAPACITY is less a band than an experience. Its two progenitors collaborate from Portland, Oregon and Sydney, Australia…and they’re proud to announce the release of their new EP, Loki Bound, through Milam Records.

Loki Bound is a one track, 33-minute doom metal plunge into ravening insanity. Animalistic shrieks and grunts, mind-breaking time signatures, and oppressive layers of down-tuned guitars invoke total chaos and suffering. Meanwhile lurching bass, pummeling drums, and eerie choirs drag the listener, struggling but helpless, into the eye of Loki’s captive fury.

According to esteemed metal blog The Lurker’s Path’s assessment, “Loki Bound is a lesson in how to construct and execute extreme metal in the most organic sense of the word…Combining the somnambulism of better dark ambient acts together with the occult sensibilities of higher echelon black metal outfits like Deathspell Omega has paid off no end on this EP…the music on display represents a band maturing beyond their contemporaries.”

Loki is the Norse god of chaos. Bound by his fellows for crimes real and imagined, rotting, burning up in the inexorable drip of the serpent’s venom. Humanity’s most potent, most primal instincts personified, then bent against themselves, pent into an apocalyptic tide of hatred, paranoia, resentment, and spite. The mythic embodiment of (self)righteous disgust. It’s only fitting to invoke his name on such an otherworldly slab of pure sonic mayhem.

According to the band themselves, “Loki Bound is akin to an irresolvable, all-consuming existential crisis, a nadir without end.”

The cassette edition (with digital download) of Loki Bound is available through:



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Hex Magazine Presents:
Seattle Folklife Festival
Blackened Cascadian Folk Night!

Hex is pleased to present this exciting performance
as part of the 2012 Seattle Folklife Festival.
7.30-10pm, Friday May 25th @ the Vera Stage.

Performers include:
Lasher Keen

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Hex Magazine at the 25th Annual Trothmoot!

Hex Magazine will have a stall at the 25th Annual Trothmoot, June 7–10, 2012, and Hex’s H. A. Laguz will be presenting a paper.

The 25th anniversary Trothmoot includes many workshops and well-known speakers and promises to be a fantastic gathering. Hope to see you there!
More information at

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By the Hum of Ullr’s Bow: Winter Songs Compilation CD
is still available!

Bands on the compilation CD

• A Minority of One • Allerseelen • Andrew King
• At the Head of the Woods • Beastianity • Hamramr • Irij
• Ironwood • Ruhr Hunter • Sangre Cavallum • Sieben
• Steve von Till • Svarrogh • Waldteufel • Wardruna

You can read more about the artists here:

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Until Midsummer, may you and your
household be blessed and kept. Hail!

~ HEX Magazine

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We are currently looking for:

• submissions
• funding

If you are interested,

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