Unicorn Anti-Hate Hex
This year has been such a departure from the norm for me, I’ll usually take January to rest up after the Holiday market season, but this year chose to plow through a deadline to submit images on the 1st of January, spending my birthday on the 31st of December working. Then there were literally mountains of books on folk art and folk magic so sift through - searching for nuggets of inspirational material to work from this Spring. The Liminal art show put on by Conspiracy of Strange Girls in mid-January, Huldufolk art show in March (which, if you hadn’t heard, was marred by the presence of crypto-fascists and was shut down for the disturbance). Last in a run of gallery shows was the Unicorn Art Show in April, and a series of 3 Hex signs modeled after a Pennsylvania Dutch barn art tradition. In contrast to the original unicorn hex for piety, these Anti-Hate Hexes were made in response to the events at Huldufolk (which was held in the same space as the Unicorn Art Show), as an antidote to the damage done to the community.
The depth and breadth of the unicorn as symbol makes its interpretation and applications near inexhaustible. They have been seen as guardians of the forest, allusions to sexuality, an embodiment of purity and a spirit guide to the realms of fantasy and dreaming. They must be sought after with a pure heart, as emotional baggage that we carry can make us too heavy to exist within their finely tuned vibrational pattern. Here, faced outward rather than inward, the pair of unicorns rear up in defense of their respective medicines. Comfrey and All-heal, Motherwort and Valerian root, Elder flower and Yarrow all compliments to the crucible. Conflict can be transformative, giving rise to dialogue, understanding and compromise. Each disc bears symbols of protection and a radiant border to project its energy into the surrounding space, creating an energetic safe zone.
These round seals were a tradition carried to the East Coast by Germanic immigrants several hundred years ago. Their formulas were shared in farming communities and repeated with individual variations for a variety of purposes. Some were hung on barns to protect the building from fire, storms and disease, others were intended for the home to anchor values like peace, family and to attract prosperity. Many who practiced this folk art form did not and would not call it folk magic, but if you think of magic as a way of setting intentions to materialize on the material plane, you could easily make the argument that a Hex Sign qualifies. I’m interested in exploring crossovers with the Midwestern Barn Quilt, which is a much more recent phenomenon originating in Ohio in the last 10 years or so, but without the same connotations. I think it’d be a simple adaptation to create barn quilts that act like magic quilt squares, don’t you think?