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24 Mar 2011

Ostara News 2011

~ THE TURNING OF THE WHEEL ~
Ostara 2011

~ HEX ISSUE 8 IS HERE! ~

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

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And don’t forget: the much anticipated Hex Folk Market (www.hexfolkmarket.com) 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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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 submissions@hexmagazine.com

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Spring Foraging

As the Spring weather goes through it’s many faces the desire to be outside grows. This is a good time of year for foraging! Normally one would associate foraging with finding food in the wild, however, foraging can be far more complex than that; it can mean “searching for provisions of any kind” (www.dictionary.com). This means looking high and low, round and round, up and down, in other words looking for something that will fit our needs. Personally this word from Old English holds a certain appeal to me, it seems to act as a link that might be helpful in connecting me to my ancestors. Something I might possibly relate to, because let’s face it most of my modern life is very, very, very far removed from theirs!

Before the modern era, foraging for wild edibles may have been a common practice for many (probably most) people, even a basic survival tool. This would have been a skill learned over generations, passed on from experienced elder to child with many learning tools involved, such as: what could be harvested where, what parts of each plant are edible when, or even how to prepare a wild food to make it edible. Today we would be hard-pressed to gain their level of knowledge. Yet, if we take the time to look for it, information about foraging wild edibles can be found through many excellent sources including books, the internet, and even hands-on classes.

Another area ripe for foraging is the vegetable garden. This can be a good place to start to learn wild foraging since you already know most of the plants. Look into what you are growing and discover if it might offer a harvest other than its traditional use. A prime foraging example comes to us in the form of “Baby Salad Greens” available in the produce department of the grocery store. The commercial process most often employed to produce these greens involves growing the plants to the desired leaf size and cutting all the leaves off at once. In home gardens you can forage these baby greens from your own lettuce patches by pinching off and only taking a few leaves, usually healthy leaves growing lowest or closest to the bottom of the plants. Each plant contributes a leaf or two to an overall salad, while the rest of the plant continues to grow and produce many more foragable salads.

Many plants in the garden can be harvested in this manner. For instance maybe you don’t need to harvest a whole cabbage; try picking some of its lower leaves. Many cabbage family relatives (brassicas) can also be foraged in this way. Try young broccoli leaves picked while still tender from anywhere on the plant, they are tasty this way. You can purchase seeds already mixed together to use for this purpose. Llook for baby greens mix or the often-used term mesclun greens.

Recently I’ve become aware of yet another form of foraging – one that we can all learn to do – in the grocery store. Many of us have been foraging in the grocery store for a while now without even knowing it. We do this by shopping around the edges of the store – in the produce, meat and dairy sections. The rules change somewhat when foraging in the grocery store versus in the wild or even the vegetable garden. For instance we don’t have to worry (as much) about misidentifying something because just about everything is labeled (or so they say). Of course some rules remain the same, such as collecting foods that are closest to their natural state, or as close as we can get them.

Foraging in the grocery store allows us to have more control over what goes into our diets by looking for foods that have the least amount of processing and/or unfamiliar ingredients. A good forager reads all the labels and eliminates the iffy ingredients (can you pronounce it or is it a jumble of chemistry syllables?) in favor of what would be a healthier choice. By foraging we can get back to the natural foods our ancestors consumed to get them through many thousands of years.

These days I seem to be applying the word and concept of foraging to many of the things I do. For instance I like to forage in the local Good Will for items that would be useful to my household, allowing me to save money for the home and the resources already gathered all across Midgard. Another way I’ve been foraging is trying to purchase products like new clothes or household things that are at the very least made on my continent and in particular made in the USA.

Foraging in the grocery store is looking for the things we need with a purpose versus being a zombie-like consumer. If we don’t make the choices for healthy foods with our buying power the food producers will just continue to give us what makes money for them instead of what will bring us the healthiest bodies. Get back to the basics, forage with a purpose!

~ Teresa L. Hedgewife
March 2011

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•GEBO•

Old English Rune Poem
Gyfu (Gift) for men is adornment and complement,
support and dignity; and for all the dispossessed
forgiveness and sustenance, who would otherwise
have nothing.

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

Recent events in Japan have shocked the world – one of the most powerful nations on earth brought to its knees by raging seas and roaring earth; and held to ransom by the Faustian threat of nuclear fission run amok. Who can say when the full consequences of these events – economic, political, environmental – will finally have played out across the planet?

It is tempting to embrace defeatist pessimism when we are confronted with the vulnerability of our seemingly unassailable technological development. It is also tempting to roll up into a ball, to turn away from all but our own concerns. As if we could somehow protect ourselves from our own vulnerability merely by denying or ignoring that of others.

Gebo is a powerful message to draw in such times, then. A two-fold point is made by the rune.

First of all, Gebo reminds us that everything is interconnected. Australian uranium, brought out from the red earth of its northern expanses, is the fuel driving the death machines that fester and seethe in Japan right now. Radioactivity is likely to drift all over the world, likely to be carried by ocean currents, precipitation, and all the other invisible threads of our integral interconnectedness.

Even if the consequences of this spread turn out to be trivial for most of us (and compared to what Japan faces, the rest of us can’t really complain all that forcefully), they’re a potent reminder that the principle of exchange – symbolised in the Gift – provides the structure of all causality.

In other words, we are all connected in a myriad of hidden relationships. We might think we understand how the world works, but in reality it is far more complex than any one person can honestly claim to be able to grasp. And if these statements are true even for the things we have constructed, imagine how much more forcefully it applies to the natural world!

This message of the reciprocal connection of all things which Gebo presents invites consideration of the second point. Namely that we cannot avoid hard times and hardships simply by ignoring them. Certainly, the suffering unfolding in Japan is not the responsibility of folk on the other side of the planet. And yet…the planet is not all that big, particularly when regarded in light of the unimaginably vast cosmos in which we reside. In a sense such an epochal disaster is everyone’s to respond to.

So although it is tempting to retreat to the fortresses of our ego identities and pretend that everything beyond us is an illusion, we have to consider that such a reaction to world-scale crises is really a very cheap way to avoid confronting our own vulnerabilities.

How much more strength does it take to say “there but for the grace of the gods go I,” and begin to act on ways to change one’s own status quo? When we adopt this kind of empowered humility we begin to give the infinite horizon of mystery her due – and thus we begin to live true to the advice that Gebo intimates.

In every person’s life there are contradictions, failings, blind spots, and we are all more or less adept at avoiding owning up to our own flaws. Gebo is saying “give yourself to yourself,” give away false assurances. You might feel less safe, certain, strong…but in return Gebo offers the opportunity to grow, heal, transform…and ironically, become stronger. Or so we can hope!

There are many, many environmental crises unfolding in the world today; the Japanese nuclear disaster is merely the most immediate and dramatically obvious. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to do a little research, find a worthy cause, and put even a fraction of your energies into it. It seems we might be living in darkening times…but remaining active and optimistic will always be the more courageous path…and therefore, I’d like to hope at least, a little more Heathen.

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

Bands on the compilation CD include:

• 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:
http://hexmagazine.com/harvest/winter-songs-cd/).

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: Issue Three Almost Gone! :

Issues One, Two, Four, & Five are sold out!
Limited numbers of Hex Issue Three (and also issues Six and Seven of course) remain…

Order at: www.hexmagazine.com/subscribe.htm

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Until May Day, 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 in applying or have any suggestions,
contact: info@hexmagazine.com

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Due date for Spring 2012 submissions
is Autumn Equinox 2011

submissions@hexmagazine.com

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Support your community while exposing like-minded
folk to your goods and services…

Advertisements must be relevant to HEX readers, and inclined toward a Heathen aesthetic. Prices listedare for completed AD files. If you need additional graphic design, we can help. Just contact us about our design fee.

AD space is now available in the newsletter for $10 a run.

Contact info@hexmagazine.com if you are interested.

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