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21 Mar 2009

Ostara 2009 News

~ THE TURNING OF THE WHEEL ~
OSTARA / SPRING EQUINOX 2009

: NOW AVAILABLE :

Limited Edition Leatherbound Hex Collection

This complete collection of all four issues of Hex magazine, is beautifully bound in leather by Jason H. Craban. Each magazine is stitched into the spine of this sturdy and handsome handmade case. The binding lays flat for ease of reading, and is held closed by a leather strap. The edition is limited to 23, all numbered, and signed by the artisan and editors of Hex. It features the first two issues which are now out-of-print and unavailable as well as the third and fourth issues which are nearly sold out as well.

IF YOU WANT TO PURCHASE A COPY
REPLY TO arrowyn@hexmagazine.com WITH YOUR ORDER.

First come, first serve!

They will go fast, so act quickly! If you are one of the lucky ones, when your email is received, you will be notified, and sent an invoice through PayPal to complete the purchase of your copy.

Each leatherbound copy is $100 + shipping

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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IMPORTANT HEX ANNOUNCEMENTS

As you have heard, Hex is going through some major transitions, all geared towards making Hex Press a sustainable project. In the works is a new expanded website, staff additions, and a switch to more affordable printing. In case you missed the announcement last time, Hex is not putting out a Spring issue so that these changes may be gracefully implemented. However, a Fall issue is already in the works. In light of all these changes, the submission due date for this Fall issue has been extended to May 1st. So please, send us your wisdom, your stories, recipes, art, and literary musings. We want to hear from you.

The narrative subject for the Fall issue of Hex is…What I learned from my grandparents. Send your experiences to submissions@hexmagazine.com.

I want to extend a hearty welcome to H. A. Laguz who has joined the Hex staff as an editor and contributing author. He is really capable, and motivated to help manage this beast. Literally, a god send! [Learn more]. More staff updates will follow as the season progresses.

Finally, I am still looking for help with the Hex Folk Market website. If you are proficient with Ruby on Rails, reliable, want a job, and want to make me really happy, contact me: arrowyn@hexmagazine.com.

Thank you all for your continued support and involvement with Hex!

~ cheers, Arrowyn

* * * * * *

. : EGGS : .

Out of the egg, from the lower part,
Come ra
w Mother Earth;

Out of the egg, from the upper part,
Soared the high va
ult of the sky;

Out of the yolk,
The shining sun r
ose up;

Out of the white;
The clear moon
did shine…

~ an old Russian folk song

Eggs have been associated with Ostara for quite some time, and that’s understandable since egg production is affected by the amount of daylight available. Chickens, or more properly “laying hens,” generally stop laying eggs or lay sporadically in the winter, but as Ostara approaches and the sunlight grows in Spring the egg laying cycle picks up allowing more eggs to find their way to the table. Today laying hens  are fed with special “laying mash” and sometimes given extra artificial light in order to keep them producing most of the year, laying about 5 to 7 eggs a week at their peak.

Laying mash is a high protein feed with other nutrients added to keep the chickens healthy and producing eggs with shells strong enough to make it to your kitchen. This protein can come from animals or animal by-products. However laying mash can also be made with high quality vegetable proteins as well, these feeds are referred to as vegetarian mash. Anyone considering adding chickens to their homestead should seek out this vegetarian feed source. Even though chickens aren’t vegetarians and will gobble down bugs of all kinds; reptiles like frogs, lizards and snakes; and even baby birds who fall from the nest- at least with vegetarian mash they aren’t eating pigs, cows and other chickens. If you use laying mash, you also don’t need a rooster.

Eggs are one of nature’s most simple and versatile foods, and one of the most affordable. They can be eaten raw, cooked in numerous ways, added to main courses, side dishes, salads, and deserts. When I was growing up my dad would even feed the dog a raw egg every week to help his coat stay shiny.

At one time nearly every household had chickens running around, and their eggs were used in more varied ways. In the 1877 edition of “Household”  readers were advised to use eggs to “seal letters, soothe burns, keep plaster from blistering and dislodge fish bones from the throat”! (1)

Even egg shells are useful, they make great additions to garden soil. They have also been used as a common measuring device throughout history.  At one time recipes often called for a  “wine glass full,” or “a pinch of,” or “take one egg’s worth,” or “half an egg shell’s worth.”

As recorded in Bald’s Leechbook III #35, an egg or ag, can be useful for healing as well. “For a spider’s bite take a hen’s egg, crush it raw into ale and fresh sheep’s dung, so that he does not know, give him a good cupful to drink.” (2) Yuck! I guess “he”  better “not know” what’s in it! Most often eggs seemed to have been used as a binding agent in most healing concoctions and poltices, many times only the whites were used.

Words like Ovomancy, Oomancy, or Ooscopy refer to using eggs for divination. Fragile, yet full of promise, eggs can symbolize life, fertility, prosperity, new beginnings and protection, all qualities often associated with the season of Ostara. Think about it, there is something alive inside that shell and still forming, so in a way, tomorrow lives inside that egg (well, in store bought eggs, you may have to remember the potential implied).

To prophesize with an egg try meditating on the answers you are seeking while holding the egg, then break it into a pot containing 2 inches or so of boiling water, and examine the shape the egg takes to get an answer to your inquiry. Do you see any figures, animals, letters, runes, or other shapes? Think about what you see. What are the first associations that come to mind? How does it fit in with your inquiry? Write down your thoughts.

After “divining” do not throw away the cooked egg or the shells. Crush the shells up and sprinkle and scratch them into the dirt around your house plants and if you don’t eat the cooked egg, try to find a place to put it outside.

Today eggs are a relatively inexpensive food, so if you don’t grow your own reach for the organic offerings. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program all Certified Organic eggs must come from birds that are not caged and are allowed to spend some time outdoors. They are also strictly fed an organic all-vegetarian laying mash and have not received antibiotics. Though this label does not guarantee they have been given ‘humane treatment.’

One of my best egg cooking tips concerns the texture of cooked eggs. Especially when it comes to creating better egg dishes like scrambled eggs, omelets, quiches, frittatas, stratas and other custard-like eggs recipes. Trying using cream or half-and-half instead of whole milk or skim milk and especially don’t use water. The fat in cream and half-and-half coats the molecules in the eggs, giving them an inviting fluffy, creamy texture – verses the watery, flat texture when using  water or other forms of milk with less fat.

Eggs are also an allergen and seem to affect children most, though they can outgrow this allergy by the time they are about 5 years old. Some never outgrow the allergy but must be cautious just like individuals allergic to seafood, nuts, or bee stings. The type of protein within the egg, particularly in the egg white is the culprit and not always easy to recognize in our food. Eggs, in one form or another, might be used to glaze foods like pretzels and bagels or used as a foaming agent in beers, and fancy coffee. Since 2006 food labels in the USA must list any possible egg ingredients or cross contamination possibilities. They can also be present in flu shots and other medications so be sure to let your physician know if you suspect any egg allergies before getting shots. Eggs also show up in shampoos and other body products where they do not have to be listed in the ingredients but may still cause allergic reactions.

Enjoy eggs during this season of promise and new beginnings. Experiment with natural egg dyes like beets, grape juice, onion skins, carrots, or even spinach leaves. Or try decorating an egg tree, perhaps with an artificial rabbit under it, which is another Heathen-era favorite of Ostara.

Hail Ostara!

~Teresa “Hedgewife” Luedke

1 Telesco; Patricia. A Victoria Grimoire.  Llewellyn Publications. NM 1996, page 137
2 Pollington; Stephen. Leechcraft, Early English Charms, Plantlore and Healing. (England: Anglo Saxon Books, 2003) page 393

* * * * * *

• ANSUZ •

Old English Rune Poem
Os (Deity/Mouth) is the origin of every language,
Wisdom’s support and counsellor’s consolation
And to any warrior gladness and confidence.

Old Icelandic Rune Poem
Ass (God/Odhinn) is progenitor
And Asgardh’s chief
And Valhall’s leader.

Old Norse Rune Poem
Oss (Estuary) is the way for most on journeys;
And the scabbard is the sword’s.

~ Rune poem translations by Sweyn Plowright
http://www.mackaos.com.au/Rune-Net/Primer/

With Ostara, spring bursts into full life, casting off the shackles of winter’s weight. Now is the time of testing, when the hibernation and dreaming of the dark months is found worthy or wanting. When we find whether the saplings and young flex with springly strength or wilt with dreary weakness.

Thus the river carries us on its back – the ice melts, what has been concealed is revealed. We discover where we truly stand, and perhaps whether we are moved to new words and new speech or the same tired truisms and forgotten maxims. Traditionally Ostara is a joyous occasion; but there is a dark undertow to new life.

Is what needs to be finished, finished? Are we ready in time to crest the spring tide? Can we catch onto inspiration’s momentum or will we languish in the tongue-loosening god’s wake? In spring scabs form on the wounds that have bled out the old, bad blood; but let us take care not to over-extend and harm ourselves in the moment of release.

And what of Odin, the Lord of Language? That eloquent God, at once master and slave of his own brilliance, at once scintillating and mired in misery? What does the One Eyed God inspire when spring releases us from winter’s claws?

Breathe deep. Open wide your chest, stretch your arms in invocation of the flow of life itself. Suck the fresh spring air deep into your lungs, your heart; spread your ribs to bursting.

Breathe deep. Listen to the song that your breath sings as it sweeps through your blood, as oxygen is restored and tired old carbon dioxide is done with. Feel your tongue loosen with delight at the prospect of song.

Breathe deep. Don’t pretend to understand or to be in control but let the spontaneous will to poetry seize your life. With Ostara nature becomes a kaleidoscope of joy; let the clash of colour inspire, possess and carry you free of all gloomy moorings, through all harrowing river rapids, beyond the slavery of mute silence, and into the shining reaches of an infinitely singing sea.

* * * * * *

A Minority of One

Bathe in Fiery Answer CD

Originally released as a cassette on Tavarn Keben label in 2007

Now available from Autumn Wind Productions
www.autumnwp.com

Album Track Listing:
Wave Rolls, Cambry (hart of the chyld), Full Spectrum Dominance, Gnawer from Beneath, Lungs, Breath, Tomorrow Never Knows, Peat Fire Flame, She

“…if you missed out on the very limited cassette release, this will be a chance to right that wrong. If you were lucky enough to land one, the additional tracks make it more than worth your time and cash. The insert with the notes on each song is a welcomed addition as well. The digipak uses the same cover art as the original tape, but I strongly suggest picking up the special edition that features a leather cover handmade by Jason Craban himself. The release was pressed at 1000 copies, but the special editions are limited to 100. Highly recommended!!!”
– reviewed by [j] of Plague Haus

“I won’t ever refer to [this] as music because this is not music. In A MINORITY OF ONE, the gentlemen and gentlewomen step into their roles as artists. Sound artists. While many tracks could possibly be labeled as organic ambient, most of them are beyond that. There [is] some singing but most of the vocals here are chants and grunts, manipulated beyond recognition and looped in eternity. Other sounds include horns, bells, animals, drums, other percussion things, clicks, scratches, thundering, and well, possibly anything that can and will make a sound if you bang it or drop it.…This is simply phenomenal, monumental and nothing near anything I’ve ever heard before. It’s so strange and at the same time so genuine and irresistible.”
– reviewed by Markus Eriksson of The Shadows Commence

“Bathe In Fiery Answer is obviously going to be of considerable interest to fans of Waldteufel and L’Acéphale (although it sounds a lot more like the former than the latter), but it’s also highly recommended for people who are into the sound and aesthetic associated with the Glass Throat Recordings label (there’s that direct connection to Blood of the Black Owl, of course, and AMO1 also seem to manifest a similar tribalistic/shamanic atmosphere to bands like Ruhr Hunter and Fearthainne), In Gowan Ring, Fauna, and the Cascadian scene in general. Don’t come to this album expecting neo-folk, though – it’s much more unorthodox and experimental than that. Keep an open mind, though, and you may just find yourself beguiled by AMO1’s eccentric offering.”
– reviewed by Simon Collins of Judas Kiss Magazine

To order the album directly from A Minority of One you may go to the band’s MySpace page:
www.myspace.com/aminorityofone

* * * * * *

The Folk
Coming to DVD
June 2009

Documentary filmmaker Shawn Owens (The Eldritch Influence) turns his camera on Heathenry in his home state of Minnesota. “The Folk” looks at the practice of Asatru in the “Land of 10,000 lakes,” interviewing kindred members, and capturing them as they passionately practice the faith of their forefathers.

Available through:
www.hermeticproductions.com

* * * * * *

Hex will again be sponsoring the Blackened Cascadian Folk night at the Northwest Folk Life festival this year in Seattle. Last year’s performance was a great success, and we are excited to repeat it. Details will follow…

* * * * * *

Hex needs your help! This is a community-supported not-for-profit publication. You can support us by clicking the link above and ordering magazines and prints, and spreading the word to all like-minded folk!

* * * * * *

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

~ HEX Magazine

* * * * * *

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