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Author Topic: Hex Signs anyone?  (Read 5372 times)

Tana

Hex Signs anyone?
« on: January 30, 2012, 12:06:58 pm »
Hi,

these traditional sigils caught my interest.
I wonder if there are some of you working with them?

Is there something more to consider and take care of, while crafting them that goes beyond clockwise/counterclockwise drawing and painting? (Using traditional patterns and colors.)

Do you craft your own, according to the symbols and color meanings?
Or even working in new stuff?

I'm curious. :)
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

spoOk

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Re: Hex Signs anyone?
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2012, 12:13:21 am »
Quote from: Tana;40894
Hi,

these traditional sigils caught my interest.
I wonder if there are some of you working with them?

Is there something more to consider and take care of, while crafting them that goes beyond clockwise/counterclockwise drawing and painting? (Using traditional patterns and colors.)

Do you craft your own, according to the symbols and color meanings?
Or even working in new stuff?

I'm curious. :)

 can we start at the beginning?
I know what hexing is but I've never seen or heard of Hexing signs.
closest thing I've known of was pentagrams...for banishing etc. and elaborate ways to charge and send off sigils.
Ize bel zafen.
Ize bel daleen.

MadZealot

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Re: Hex Signs anyone?
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2012, 03:49:09 am »
Quote from: spoOk;40979
can we start at the beginning?
I know what hexing is but I've never seen or heard of Hexing signs.

The OP might have been referring to Pennsylvania Dutch 'hex signs'.  They are an art form unto themselves with their own boatload of lore.
I leave the seat up

Tana

Re: Hex Signs anyone?
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2012, 10:09:19 am »
Quote from: spoOk;40979
can we start at the beginning?


What MZ said.
It's a traditional thing, and the word 'Hex' is misleading.
It is said, that it was 'sechs' the German word for six and was mis-understood as 'hex'.
If you google it, you can see a lot of nice pictures of the signs.
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

Holdasown

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Re: Hex Signs anyone?
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2012, 10:13:20 am »
Quote from: Tana;40894
Hi,

these traditional sigils caught my interest.
I wonder if there are some of you working with them?

Is there something more to consider and take care of, while crafting them that goes beyond clockwise/counterclockwise drawing and painting? (Using traditional patterns and colors.)

Do you craft your own, according to the symbols and color meanings?
Or even working in new stuff?

I'm curious. :)


In the book Northern Magic I read they are touched on briefly. They seem to be mostly protective in nature and I am pretty sure each part has a meaning. While they are sigil magic I think most of the community that uses them are Christian, ie. Amish and Mennonite. They seem to be restricted to a community. They are very pretty and I would think as useful as other types of sacred geometry.

cigfran

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Re: Hex Signs anyone?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2012, 10:13:52 am »
Quote from: Tana;40894
Hi,

these traditional sigils caught my interest.


The Fall 2011 issue of Hex Magazine, a beautifully printed small journal of heathen traditionalism in the modern world, included a really nice illustrated introduction to the tradition of hex signs.

Tana

Re: Hex Signs anyone?
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2012, 10:44:42 am »
Quote from: Ula;41019


 

I've seen that there are books about them.
But I'm sure, they won't cover the topic of creating new styles with more pagan/witchy  background.
I found online some little overview about the basic symbols and colors that are traditionally used.
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

Tana

Re: Hex Signs anyone?
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2012, 10:47:57 am »
Quote from: cigfran;41020


 
Oh yes, the Hex Magazine, came across this online before.
Will check it out.
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

ccardinot

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Re: Hex Signs anyone?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2012, 01:16:58 pm »
Quote from: spoOk;40979
can we start at the beginning?
I know what hexing is but I've never seen or heard of Hexing signs.
closest thing I've known of was pentagrams...for banishing etc. and elaborate ways to charge and send off sigils.

 
Aren't you guys talking about planetary sigils? They can be quite impressive.

Cheers!

Tana

Re: Hex Signs anyone?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2012, 01:18:12 pm »
Quote from: ccardinot;41052
Aren't you guys talking about planetary sigils? They can be quite impressive.


No.
It's this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hex_sign
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

Morag

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Re: Hex Signs anyone?
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2012, 05:17:10 pm »
Quote from: Tana;41023
I've seen that there are books about them.
But I'm sure, they won't cover the topic of creating new styles with more pagan/witchy  background.
I found online some little overview about the basic symbols and colors that are traditionally used.

 
I was quite sure that I'd seen a book from a pagan background on them before, but I can't remember the author. I'd thought it was Cunningham, but a search reveals he only mentions them in Magical Household.

If I were home I'd be able to see what he said in that book, but I'm unfortunately still at my grandparents' old place.

Now I'm wondering who wrote that book that I saw all those years ago.


(This post was probably less than useful. Sorry.)
My pronouns are zie/zir/zirs but they pronouns are easier to remember for most folks.
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Everyday Magic | Morag's Spindle

Ana

Re: Hex Signs anyone?
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 05:23:52 pm »
Quote from: Tana;40894
Hi,

these traditional sigils caught my interest.
I wonder if there are some of you working with them?



 
Since we were talking about this in chat... yes, I work with symbols sort of like this because I work with them in my quilting.

With quilting, there are a lot of different layers of symbolism built in starting with the colors of the quilt and moving on to the pattern of the piecing, and then finishing with the actual "quilting" or stitching of the layers of the quilt together.  The final piece of the work of the quilt seems to some like it might be the most mundane of all, but it's the binding of the quilt, and therefore the binding of your will in the quilt. It finishes off your spell as much as it finishes off the quilt.

I'm not going with any particular "expert" in this because a lot of what I've found has come from different sources over the years, but a lot of it is just what I personally do when I make quilts.

Piecing patterns:
Star patterns, for me, and traditionally as well as far as I've seen, are protective symbols, whether it is an Ohio star, a Lone Star, or any other star variation.  Not all sources I've found go into -why- this is a protective symbol, but in my own interpretation, an 8 pointed star especially, pulls from all directions, and all elements to create a protective barrier.  

Building block patterns such as Log cabin variations, are blessings for stability and prosperity of a home.  The center square is traditionally red, which symbolizes the hearth of a home, and each "log" that surrounds it can hold a charm as you stitch it in.  It may be something as simple as using someone's old clothes, which puts a piece of yourself, or someone else that you love, into the quilt so that your own energy, and the energy of loved ones, adds a blessing into the quilt for the home.  These can also be for good health and healing.

Spiral patterns are for fertility.  We were discussing pinwheels, and I think I would put pinwheels in this category because of their spiral nature.  According to a website I glanced at they also can represent air (which seems obvious) as well as symbolizing that things keep moving and turning like the Wheel of the Year.

Ring patterns are for unity and fertility, such as the wedding ring patterns.  

Chain patterns are also for fertility (yes, there's a lot of fertility patterns... they go on beds, go figure!) such as the Irish Chain, Irish Double chain, etc.

9 patch varieties can mean a lot of different things from healing to prosperity and... you guessed it... fertility.

Interlocking patterns in quilting, in my usage are for protection.  They're the ones that end up looking like Celtic knot work when it's finished.  

The colors that you use in your patterns add another layer of meaning and power to your working, and the meanings are fairly "standard" overall, but your intent into them makes it more than anything.  

The final part of a quilt, which is actually in my opinion when you can put the most power into a quilt is during the actual quilting of the layers.  If you hand quilt it, each individual stitch is loaded with intent and energy in your work.  But on top of that, you make those stitches into a design, or several, as you go.  This is when you can add on multiple layers of protective symbols, or fertility symbols, or healing symbols.  You may want to use a leaf pattern or floral pattern to symbolize fertility drawing from the fertility of the earth, but if your focus was on healing, you could use the same pattern to represent taking the healing from the earth and nature.  Wavy lines to symbolize air or water depending on your intent.... What is interesting here is that the sky is literally the limit.  Whatever you might draw or use in something else you can stitch into your quilt.

Binding the quilt- as I said before, I see this is as the finishing touch to your magickal work as much as it is the finishing of the quilt as an object.  It's what completes it and seals it.

As I said, I'm not an expert on this, and where I got the little bits of information I have I've built on, and they probably weren't experts either.  But it works for me.

Hope that helps

Fier

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Re: Hex Signs anyone?
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 10:01:21 pm »
Quote from: Ana;41078


 
This is awesome! Thanks, Ana.

MadZealot

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Re: Hex Signs anyone?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2012, 05:21:58 am »
Quote from: FierFlye;41092
This is awesome! Thanks, Ana.

 
Yes, that's great stuff.  
Hand-quilting is an underappreciated art form imho.  Certainly I don't have the skill for it.
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MadZealot

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Re: Hex Signs anyone?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2012, 05:53:47 am »
Quote from: Tana;41018
..... the word 'Hex' is misleading.
It is said, that it was 'sechs' the German word for six and was mis-understood as 'hex'.


I've heard that, too.  Also, that 'Dutch' in this context is derives from Deutsch, meaning German, which is probably correct.
My understanding regarding 'hex', however, is the word derives from the German verb hexen, meaning 'to hex', to perform magic/witchcraft, etc.  A practitioner of PD folk magic (often an elabourate form of faith-healing) might be known as a Hexenmeister.  
The art practiced might be known alternately as hexerei, braucherei, Pow-Wow, or 'trying'.  Their 'spells' might take the form of Himmelsbriefs (letters to Heaven) as written appeals to the Almighty, which one could then wear inside the shirt, close to the heart.  Very Christian stuff, actually.  
 
The hex signs are a whole other ball of wax.  You can probably google a list of PD hex symbols & colours and their meanings.  The only books I've looked at on the subject are Hex & Spellcraft by Karl Herr (a pseudonym) and American Folk Magick by Silver YouKnowWho.  There are others on my Amazon wish list, I just haven't gotten around to ordering them.  Of the two I've mentioned the formal seemed the more reputable.  Silver's book does go a length to Wiccan-ise the PD material (a mistake and a disrespect to the tradition, imho) but she does show you how to make your own circular magickal folk art, but of course YMMV.
I leave the seat up

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