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22 Dec 2013

Yule / Winter Solstice News 2013


Yule / Winter Solstice 2013

In this Edition:

Hex Announcements

Leather Bound Limited Edition of Issues #9–11!

An edition of 13 (and only a couple left!),
signed by the artisan (Jason Hovatter) and editors of Hex.
These are the final three issues of Hex in its original twice-yearly format,
bound in an exquisite leather folio.
Chock full of inspiration, history, good food, and myth!

Issues 10 and 11 are sold out and only available in these beautiful editions.

Pre-order your copy for $75 + shipping. Shipping date is October 1.
Learn more and order yours at
It’s first come…first serve.

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Hex Cookbook Project

We are now Accepting Submissions for the Hex Cookbook Project! Thistlemoon (aka The Leftover Queen, and Hex’s own Arrowyn Craban Lauer are putting together a cookbook full of seasonal and traditional European recipes.

We want your old family recipes, traditional favorites, or recipes with a modern twist on a traditional theme. We would love recipes that come with folklore, family stories, or historical background about the dishes or their ingredients. Bonus points if you have wisdom to share about traditional nutrition, farming practices, and the like!

Please only submit recipes to which you hold copyright, or which are in the public domain. It is acceptable to submit recipes that are inspired from published ones, but you will need to credit to the original.

Check our recipe guidelines and send your submissions to:

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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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It’s cold and dark out. It will only get darker until winter solstice. And what better time than this to gather together family and loved ones and enjoy a grand feast? On a particularly designated night, we might even enjoy a specially prepared ham. When the children sleep, perhaps they’ll dream of that famously long-bearded old man of the north who rides through the dark winter night’s sky. Perhaps we’ll even gather around our special tree and sing traditional songs.

Christmas? No, I’m not talking about Christmas. With one exception, what I’m describing are historically attested features of the Old Norse version of the pre-Christian Germanic festival of Yule. The feast and toast? The word jól (Old Norse ‘Yule’) is employed by traditional Viking Age poets (skalds) as a synonym for ‘feast.’ A vivid description of such a feast and traditional yule-tide toast is provided in Hákonar saga góða. The ham? This is the sonargoltr, a specially sacrificed boar during Yule festivities recorded in prose in Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks, and in the poem Helgakviða Hjorvarðssonar, and echoed in the later folk practice record.

That long-bearded old man flying through the night’s sky? None other than the famous god Odin (Old Norse Óðinn) leading his ghostly retinue through the winter sky (an extension of the widespread European motif of the Wild Hunt), perhaps even mounted on his flying, eight legged horse, Sleipnir, and maybe flanked by his ravens, Huginn (Old Norse ‘Thought’) and Muninn (Old Norse ‘Memory’). One of Odin’s many names is ‘Yule father’ (Old Norse Jólfaðr—compare modern Father Christmas). He’s not alone; his fellow gods may be referred to as the ‘Yule ones’ (Old Norse jólnar).

The tree is a little more complicated. It’s true that the first explicit reference to a ‘Christmas tree’ is recorded in Strasbourg in 1604 (Memorabilia qua edam Argentorati observata), but the central role of holy trees and sacred groves in pre-Christian Germanic religion is well recorded (for discussion of these sources, see the author’s article, “Their Holy Places are Woods and Groves: An Argument for a Historical Foundation for Environmentalism
as a Core Principle in Modern Germanic Heathenry” in Hex Magazine, issue 11). Given the apparent basis of so many Yuletide customs in pre-Christian history, it would hardly be surprising if the Christmas tree had a similar origin.

The modern English noun yule, like its Old Norse sister jòl, stem from a Proto-Germanic mother, a word that we have no record of, spoken by the linguistic ancestors of the modern English for time immemorial. There is much to be learned by considering those that came before us. When we see modern customs that mirror the ancient, let us think back to the toasts raised by our linguistic ancestors, as they thought back on their own forebears.

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By the Hum of Ullr’s Bow: Winter
Songs Compilation CD
On Sale: Half Price (From $8 to $4)

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

Order your copy here:

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

~ HEX Magazine

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>I< HEX >I<

> Please forward to all
interested and relevant parties <

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