Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Hex on You!

The tiger has come, and I shall face the ferocity of the tiger's year with the strength and boldness of the eagle.

A goat like me is basically tiger-food, so the Chinese horoscopes say that the first few months will be tough. The recommended feng shui was too darn expensive however, so I had to resort to some good ol' American magic from the other side of the world and counter the hex with a hex.

Hex signs are not only magical but they also add color to a place, which my drab, ancient-looking, dust-bunny laden room sorely needs right now. Hexcraft is associated with the Pow-Wow or Hexerei tradition of magic of the Northeastern United States. This oral tradition was limited to a small, isolated community called the Pennsylvania Dutch people [1], but it was popularized fairly recently around the world by famed Neo-Pagan author, Jenine Trayer, also known as Silver Ravenwolf [2]. Pow-Wow is similar to the Afro-American magical tradition of Hoodoo, which is more popular in the Southeastern U.S., in that it uses elements from the Bible and the 6th and 7th Books of Moses. But while the magic of Hoodoo focuses on the Psalms and veneration of Catholic saints, the key elements of Pow-Wow magic comes from yet another book: "Pow-Wow, or the Long Lost Friend" by John George Hoffman.

Rummaging through the internet I found a fairly easy-to-copy design of the traditional double-eagle hex sign. According to my source, the two eagles stand for strength and courage, the heart for love, and the three tulips for faith, hope and charity. Just what I need for the coming year.

This wooden disk was painted with a thin layer of 
white acrylic paint for drawing and using a compass, 
the center of the circle can then be easily marked. 
I drew a grid so that both sides would be 
geometrically proportional to each other.

Due to the simplicity of the designs, the "flat" painting style and 
the minimal palette of colors, anyone with an ounce of painting skill 
can make a basic hex sign.

Bathala Nawa!

[1] They're actually Germans, or "Deutsch" in the vernacular..
[2] Of course there are other authors who have written about Pow-Wow magic, like Scott Cunningham, but I have to admit, "Mama Silver" is the most famous of the bunch.

More Reading:
[1] Pow-Wow, or the Long Lost Friend http://www.sacred-texts.com/ame/pow/index.htm
[2] Hex Signs: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~aferm/pennsylvania/hex.htm


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