Normally I do not read much in the way of Pagan magazines. All too often I find that the content is either too superficial for my liking or simply doesn’t apply to any of my experiences. I also confess I feel skeptical whenever any new magazine is announced. It takes a lot of work to gather the material for one, and doing it several times a year can quickly lead to burnout. When I first heard the announcements for Hex magazine on Myspace I merely noted it, made a connection there, and forgot about it. Then it seemed to grow, and I saw some more mentions. The first issue came out. Then a second, third, and fourth. The first issue sold out. Last fall I checked out their web site again to discover that the first issue was available online as a pdf and started to read. I was impressed enough by the variety of material, such as the interviews with my friend Starwalker (who was trained by her grandmother in making Hex signs and also works as a volva) and traditional foods advocate Sally Fallon, that I decided to order a copy from the rapidly shrinking pile left of issue 2.
I read this issue from cover to cover, which is a rarity for me with any sort of magazine. I feel extremely pleased to have done so, because even the articles which didn’t captivate my attention proved to have at least a few pieces of information I had not come across before. No small feat, and my hats off to all the contributors for doing such excellent work with all their submissions. My favorites are as follows: the “Revolution of Thrift” editorial which argues in favor of voluntary simplicity (a lifestyle I am embracing more with each passing day), Teresa Luedke’s article on roots (and a name I recognize from a certain Heathen mailing list), Juleigh Howard Hobson’s article on warding magic, and the interview with Diana Paxson. I’m also very pleased that Hex is able to bring together people from a wide range of the Heathen spectrum; I saw references from Asatru Folk Assembly through the Troth and likely many contributors span at least that range in beliefs. There was also a noted lack of any overtly political stances, or even a pro-universal or pro-folkish stand, and I commend the editors for pulling together such a wide range of contributors. I sincerely hope this is continuing with future issues.
I will admit that I was originally feeling reluctant to lay out $15 for one magazine. Having held it in my hands, with full color printing and high quality paper, I feel that my money was well spent. I look forward to not only ordering issues 3 and 4 but also obtaining a subscription. Good pagan/polytheist publications are far too rare and the good ones deserve all the support they can get.
Five shiny valknuts out of five.
In other news, my self-imposed recovery period has ended. I’ve been fully accepted into grad school part time (in library science, for those wondering), my spiritual practices are happening again, I’ve started in a year-long rune study, and I will be presenting at Pantheacon next month! My topic is the “The Role of Mysticism in Reconstructionist Religions” and is currently slated to happen on the last day of the con, and I will be presenting with my friends Erynn and Phil. Hopefully I will see some of you there.