Posts in Cultural Healing
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.

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The Hulder

Huldufolk is the name of the art exhibition at Jackson Flats that these three pieces have been made for. The Hulder are a part of the folklore of Scandinavia, living within and embodying the landscape and human interaction with place. The Hulder can be generous or vengeful, in accordance with how well treated they have been - just as Minnesota will care for us in accordance with how well we tend to healing our natural and cultural surrounds.

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Serious Questions

Poring over seventy or so books that I checked out from the library this last month, I came across many examples of magical notation hidden in folk art pieces from my European cultures of origin (Scandinavian, Slavic and Celtic). The hypothesis that I’m operating on is that pre-christian pagan symbolism has been cleverly folded into more recent versions of traditional crafts that exist currently in much diluted form. There are whole industries predicated on the production of faux-heritage kitsch, but what if we’re missing the fact that all of the symbolism being re-hashed in popular culture originates in the pictographic languages of a few root cultures going back to the Neolithic age, when these glyphs would have been applied with much greater labor and purpose.

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The Spell of High Summer

Approaching the Summer Solstice, it’s important to take pause and breathe it all in. The skin should be given freedom to soak in light and water in abundance, cleansing the static that clings to the soul. The lungs should open and with them the heart center, allowing radiant patters of thought to flow outward, mingling with the energy of the world. The greater the challenges presented to us on this plane, the more we stand to gain from cultivating open hearts and minds, shedding old ideas like skins, clearing a path for renewal. Mindfulness begets mindfulness, and lights the way for those who come after us.

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