The Hex Factory
The Following is an excerpt from the book, 9 Worlds of Hex Magic , 2013 by Hunter M. Yoder
I met Matthias Waggener, tribally known as Jarnefr at a Sunnewende Faining back in 2009 he along with his brother, Paul and other members of their tribe, the Wolves of Vinland were in attendance. They appeared to be members of a motorcycle gang with true religion. Matthias and I kept in touch, He has an interest and a natural aptitude for Hex Work and contributed Hexes to some of the essays that I wrote and got published. He and his crew are out of Lynchburg, Va and Cheyenne, Wyoming. The WoV have the Neo Germanic Tribalism down cold as you are about to see.
1.Matthias, how do The Wolves of Vinland as a tribe contrast with rest of the ASATRU/ Odinist Folkish community?
The Wolves of Vinland’s brand of Heathenry is basically only unique in one aspect, however that one aspect makes for many contrasts when compared to other kindreds. Our model is true, ever evolving modern tribalism. The reason this is so different from what we are accustom to seeing today is that true tribalism demands a high (or the highest) level of participation from its members, if you ask most kindred leadership if anyone in their kindred is ‘required’ to do anything to gain, or maintain their membership, they would say no, or the standards would be laughably low. Tribalism puts such a microscope on the individuals ability to perform in order for the system to work, that presenting a warm body just won’t cut it. Often times you will have kindred members who have no real concept or understanding of the Mythology or Runes, and we consider that to be sub-par. You cannot be considered a Heathen, if you have no knowledge of it as an ethos and are not using that knowledge actively to improve yourself. The Runes contain this knowledge and the study of them is the foundation of Heathenry, not an added’ hobby’ that can optionally chosen. We are an Odinic Wolfcult dedicated to the way of the Alfather, one tirelessly searching for wisdom, difficult and extreme initiation, and one with contempt for apathy and stagnation whether spiritual, mental or physical. We have very high standards and even higher expectations for our members. I think it is the lack of ‘acceptance’ that sets us aside, but also has allowed us to achieve what we have so far, and what we will in the future.
2.You speak of the 'Monoculture' what are you referring to?
The mono-culture we refer to is the idea that we, as people, are all the same, no matter what our backgrounds, race, or culture. The reason this is dangerous at the present time is not so much the philosophy as much as it is who is pushing it on us and why. In the past the govt/politico systems used/exploited the differences in cultures to avoid unified fronts of rebellion and to promote a general lack of cohesiveness amongst the populace for obvious reasons. Now as we have fully embraced the role of a consumer nation, these differences get in the way of profits as every culture consumes differently. This means costly broader advertising campaigns and culture specific products. Also those early divisions they instituted are starting to unify within themselves which poses a problem to the top. So the best way to solve this is to dilute the culturally based movements and ‘herd’ them into the same consumer habits for more generic, predictable patterns. Standing in opposition to these ideas are groups such as The Wolves of Vinland who are actively producing and perfecting a system of tribalism that rebels against consumerism because of it understanding of its own true culture.
3. What are the WoV views on ritual animal sacrifice? Why is it important?
In Man’s quest for spiritual ascension and illumination, certain ‘tools’ have emerged that have been proven to assist him in the process. Breathing excercises, Yoga/ Stadha, Galdr, etc. Ans among the list is Blood Sacrifice. Like any tool, an understanding of it and experience with it is paramount to its successful application.
The first idea to attack is its purpose. In most Heathen circles you see them performed to ‘Honor’ a God during a ritual. I personally do not think that the act of killing an animal in that God’s name brings honor to Him or Her. It is the act of sacrifice that honors the God. In ancient times producing an animal was sacrificing a piece of their livelihood for assistance in willful acts following the sacrifice. Today the animals rarely represent an actual sacrifice on the part of those present, which strips all of its connotations from it. The greatest practice one can use to honor his/her Gods is through ones own deeds, and if these are already present then there is no need to take the life of an animal to prove it.
I personally find the act of blood sacrifice to be very similar to the use of entheogens, Galdr, or Stadha. It is a tool that can heighten the function of the human mind to a state where it can open doors that appear closed or non existent to the normal state of observation. In this type of ritual you are ’sacrificing’ the life of the animal to achieve this state in order to gain the wisdom beyond those doors. With this wisdom we increase the effectiveness and potential of our actions that will in turn bring glory to ourselves and our Gods. This reconciles the practice back to one of Odinic sacrifice of Blood, and life for the attainment of knowledge to increase the life of those sacrificing.
One must approach this practice with caution and respect, because much like the use of entheogens, it can be abused or used too often creating a callousness or ‘tolerance’ to the effects, no longer able to produce the same results quickly becomes an unhealthy practice.
4. You are a proponent of the Centurion Method, what is it and how do you integrate it with your views of the Neo-tribe?
The Centurion Method is a physical training system created by Craig Frasier across the pond, that focuses functional movements with functional objects. It also has a large emphasis on the philosophy of physical results and their effects on not only the body, but the mind and the spirit as well. As Heathen men and women, we are willfull beings, and excercising of the will is the only way to make it stronger, and one of the best ways to do this on a daily basis is to fatigue the body to the point where the completion of the next rep becomes as much an act of the will as one of the body.
For these reasons, the W.o.V. integrated it into tribal practice since it was the perfect fit philosophically and financially. With the only equipment required is a log and a rock, it destroys any excuse one might have to not be in shape, and since our tribal physical standards are measured by running and other bodyweight movements, it is the best system to create serious gains in these areas.
5.Looking at your recent videos on self sufficiency on your Neo-Tribe page, you have focused on gardening (Urban gardening) How did your interest in horticulture evolve?
I actually started gardening less for myself and more to show people that even in urban settings, anyone who wants to make a change in their lifestyle can do so, and gardening can be a small step towards this as a tomato plant in a pot on your porch or turning your whole lawn into a garden. It is also a way of bringing the soothing Vanic ideas of our Mythology closer to home. Of course once you start it becomes an immediate source of natural wisdom, as almost all aspects of gardening can be applied to your personal life for greater success in it. Weeding, composting, seeding, are all things our lives lack in either understanding or practice. Again my main focus is on urban gardening and showing the joys that growing produce for the same amount of work that it takes to mow your lawn, as well as positive effects of eating fresh non GMO foods and creating less reliance on outside corporations for food.
6.Other then agriculture, what are your thoughts on the magical aspect of certain plants and have you tapped into that aspect?
Plants have always had deep spiritual ideas linked to them from Idunna’s apples to mistletoe that killed Baldr. Obviously when I think of magical plants its not one of these that comes to mind. I have long been a proponent of entheogens as a way to expand the spiritual functions of the mind, or ‘awakening the Fylgia’, however it is not only the ‘edible’ ones that have this power. It is endlessly fascinating to me that these experiences are given to us through plant life; it is a true testament of our kinship with the natural world, and what we stand to lose if this relationship is not preserved. I’ve also found that the use of some of the more powerful plants can be the gateway to understanding and respecting of some of the more subtle ones, but to me, from the oak to the mushroom, all plants are magical and communion with them is an integral part of any spiritual path.
7.What is meant by 'rewilding' urban blight? How is it accomplished?
When we talk about ‘re-wilding’ it is the acknowledgement that the very act of becoming civilized is one of relinquishing freedom. Everything that is wild is free and everything that is free is wild especially by today’s standards. So as we become more wild, we become more free. The reason we say re-wild is because we have to retrain our senses to perceive our world without the use of the civilized filter, and to realize that most of the time the only thing that is keeping us from achieving this freedom is our preconceived notions about the world we live in. The brainwashing signs, and unwritten rules we bow to. A sign that says ‘No U Turn’ can’t actuall prohibit you from making such a driving maneuver. There is no force field that you will hit if you attempt it. In fact, even the police officer will not prevent you, only punish you for taking advantage of freewill, but most the time you’ll just get to where you are going faster. If you see a tree, you climb it. If I see a building I do the same thing, and once on top, I’m filled with the same uplifting sense of accomplishment as I take in the world around me from a new perspective, rather than gazing wantonly up from the street, crushed under the assumption that I’ll get in trouble if I try. We see the world around us as an environment we can use to heighten our life experiences and silly laws are going to get in our way, we are ‘wild men’ because we are trying to live free.
8.Your are quite the accomplished Hexologist and have integrated the Runes and Bindrunes very skillfully into your work. How are they energized with your intent and how do they exist in your mind after completion?
In my process, the Hex undergoes different phases of charging that are all part of the overall energy that the finished product will project. Referring back to my previous interview; I think that a Hex is much like a kenning, in the sense that they should be translatable by the adept to reveal their true meaning. This means that all of the symbolism, numerology, Runic inscription, colors, angles etc. should all add up.
When you look at one of the more popular style Hexes coming out of the new generation we see a lot of use of the Ægishjálmr. This a great example of this idea. All of the aforementioned aspects point to the same direction, or evolution/experience that it projects on the viewer. They overlap each other inorder to show specific intent as the numbers (3,9….), the angles (90, 45, 180,….), the colors (most commonly Black and White), and the Algiz Rune at the end of each point (15 count, a number able to be multiplied into the angles), all correlate to show representation of the cosmic properties that allow for ‘miracles’ or acts of awe throught the existence of Hamingja. All of my Hexes to date have had all these qualities but end in the ideals behind the quantum paradoxes and tangled hierarchies that are the foundation of Magick and the willful control of ones environment. Going back to the ‘Helm of Awe’ we see two numbers that do not immediately fit with the scheme. The eight main lines (generally counted with the intersection point to be nine) But we know that eight is actually part of the numerical layering when the three hash marks on the staves add up to twentfour, and then we see not only the significance of eight to the number of Runes in each row, but the total number of Runes in the Elder Futhark, in a sense naming all the Runes as a part or division of this concept; as well as introducing the eight (Wunjo) and six (2+4) or Kenaz, to add to the Hagalaz and Algiz; so now Runically you have a row of Hagalaz, Algiz, Wunjo, Kenaz; leading to a tally of 11 or (1), the first line willfully drawn by the creator in the act of ‘Risting’ the Sign. The hand drawing the hand, as Escher represented it.
So back to answering the question, I believe the Runes, when chosen correctly for the intent are immediately charged by becoming the outlet by tying the other pieces back to them. The process of finding the correct Runes under this method is challenging, but very rewarding, since it is accumulating amount of time spent focusing on a Hex during its creation that gives it its initial power.
9.Are you able to raise the wind in ritually executing your Hex werk? Is it a by-product of your intent or the focus?
The Wolves brand of magical practice is very connected with Nature and our environment. It is widely believed that these are the entities that you must ‘convince’ to aid your will in achieving its goal. Much like Egil petitioning the Vaettir with his Niding pole in his saga- its my contention that a vast majority of a Vitki’s power comes from a cultivation of a strong relationship with the Earth and the Elements, they are very powerful allies, and little can be done without their approval.
I have often witnessed many seemingly strange events while working magic, as if Nature were mimicking the emotions that were being put into work. Due to these observations I have changed some of my approach to a lot of my work by starting off by bringing my breathing, heart rate, and body movements in tune with the wind, the sounds and motion of the trees and grass, before continuing working my intent. Just like many of the Masters of Martial Arts have professed there is a cadence to everything- By learning to identify it one can make the decision to work within or without it, depending on the nature of the work.
" The Event Horizon" Matthias Waggener
10.How does your Hex werk differ from Galdr magic? Is there a hybrid form?
I see Hex Werk as a part of my spiritual ascension, and since Galdr and Seither, Taufr, Blood sacrifice etc. are also equally part of this development within me, I see no difference between them because they all serve the same purpose. Some traditionalists have referred to them as ‘painted prayers’ and I agree. My Hexes are painted experiences of spiritual understandings, the text of which is written in the language of numbers, colors, symbolism, and Runes, rather than confined to my English vocabulary. I might be painting wisdom received during a ritual that used all of the above during the construction. I will then use the same tactics to revisit that moment time and time again throughout the process. The Hex becomes a living picture that captures that time and space and encapsulates it. How then could you differentiate between the practices?
11. You are back in Wyoming after living in Virginia and forming the WoV there along with your brother Paul. It must be quite a change, what can you tell us about the reasons for the move back?
My move back to Wyoming seemed to be something that was fated. In the years after the formation of the Wolves, we began understanding what resources were going to be needed, and the type of environment that was going to be most conducive to the development of these ideals. The ability to seclude ourselves from standard society, land, and a more sympathetic Government structure were all key to this process and Wyoming had that. We also felt the need to expand our organization beyond the East Coast in order to offer the brand to Heathens in the West that are interested in getting and giving more from their Heathen communities. We never made this play because we didn’t want to weaken what we already had, and who would want to leave what we had already invested so much into?
As things would have it, late in 2012, my wife (who is from Wyoming as well) was asked to return because her mother and grandmother were both experiencing health issues, and some extra help in the homestead was needed. So through necessity I’m now back in Wyoming and using it as an opportunity to realize old goals, a regional chapter is already forming as we already have 4 patch members that make up our Western ‘nomad’ chapter.
12. How is the reconnection to the West's Big Country landscape going? It must be quite a contrast to Virginia and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Reconnecting with the Western Bioregion is like meeting an old friend that you never thought you would see again. It is quite a culture shock after ten years in the South, but there is a wildness still that I think is absent in most other parts of the country. That is a welcome change.Laws are more lax, less government excercising control- and liquor ia a lot cheaper!
13.What is the connection between landscape and your Hex werk?
The connection between the natural landscapes of the area and the artistic expression that come from the region are an inseparable bond. Art imitates nature, and the familiarity with the plants and animals is integral for this to happen. The ones we see in PA Dutch Hexology are the very backbone of that culture. Farm animals, native birds, and plants, and trees of the area are all represented in their works because that is what the identified with.It is natural for someone in the East to use the oak as a symbol of virility, but it would be strange for the man sitting under a giant redwood to still use the oak to represent this. The wildlife and landscapes are the native tongue of the people, and this is the language of the Hexologist.
14. It is my thinking that the internet and the digital age we live in has also allowed us to become more primitive and self reliant, what are your thoughts?
The internet does put us in direct contact with basically all the information stores in the world which allows us to learn at a faster rate, however I must say, I have met very few people who can regulate their usage of this tool without it becoming a detriment to their goals. It is much live the TV in the sense that it winds up monopolizing our time- Time that could be spent actually doing the things we are ‘youtubing’. To me it is also the very pinnacle of our ‘I want it now’ society. If we added up the time the average person spends on TV and the computer, we would all have the time to be learning the very same skills, etc. through real life experience and reading real books, which I believe are superior to using the internet. Its existence is truly a blessing and a curse, and I am a proponent of low-tech living, real mail- handwritten papers and face to face meetings, but sometimes the web helps facilitate these things-but if I had a choice, I would destroy it.
15.You have your zine out, NEO-TRIBES.How important is it for Folkish Heathen Kindreds to evolve into Neo Germanic Tribes?
I know many people will disagree with me, but I believe that the Heathen path as it is laid out in the surviving lore is one that is in contradiction to modern societal norms. I believe that it has little or nothing to offer an individual on his/her path to true Wunjo-because it is exactly opposite to the lifestyle that was producing this for thousands of years, primarily in the way that we interact with each other socially. There is no longer cohesive community, we see very few long term friendships, or even strong family ties- because we have been taught that we must sacrifice these things for careers and our other personal endeavors, and this makes us weak as individuals and a people. Bt returning to tribal style living we strengthen these areas- begin to see ourselves as part of a greater whole and in doing so start to find a life much more worth living.
I’m not saying only Heathens living a tribal lifestyle are ‘true’ Heathens, but I do think all true Heathens will eventually become tribal Heathens.
16. What can we look forward to seeing from Matthias Waggener and the WoV in the near future?
The Wolves have begun our Western expansion project, that is going very well. As we further establish ourselves in this area, we will seek to replicate to some degree what we achieved in Virginia. We will be purchasing land in the near future and begin construction. We will also continue to work on the Neo-Tribes project and probably add more small publications in order to showcase more Heathen art and perspective, I assume to hit one hundred or more on my mailing list by the end of the year. I am also working on a book that will combine not only my writings, but those of the members of the Galdraguild, which as you know has a very prolific list of modern practitioners. The Virginia chapter is in full swing with their construction of a long hall which will be finished in early to mid 2014 and Grimnir continues to put out great pieces of work and has recently been named Grandmaster of the Galdraguild as well. In short, what will the Wolves bedoing? Victory, Growing, Strengthening and Ever Rising high as a tribe and individuals.
Thanks Matthias Waggener!
Hunter M. Yoder, 9 Worlds of Hex Magic
Matthias's notes on his Hexes
the first one, gold background) is called The Event Horizon. the center repping the black hole or hagal the desructive side of what we now think of as one side, the speculation of the white hole being the implanted seed in the viewer, and was done for my father, who is an orthodox priest who is very involved with icons, which have a parralell idea as a hex, so the colors and hues that i chose were from the pallate of existing famous icons, but used in a hex context. the wheel is also engraved in a 32 spoked wheel to keep in line with the 8 breakdown showing the stability of something that is often related to chaos, or hagal(9) the bordering colors are rep of the basic passions that spiral around our inner universe that have the potential to create or distroy or both. The second one was done for my mother and was a play of of the traditional fink and is a rep of the blending of hamingja form two families under one name and the children embodying that, colors chosen from the german flag as well, but are very powerful colors of family pride and the drive to victory. the white surrounding the bird as a symbol of protection within the family. the first one i sent you was titled Dagaz and is kinda self explanatory, the light and the spectrum of brightness...