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Hexen Magick

Hexen Magick

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Published by D G Mattichak, Jr
A short description of Pennsylvania Dutch Hexen Magick with the results of a few experiments made with it.
A short description of Pennsylvania Dutch Hexen Magick with the results of a few experiments made with it.

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Published by: D G Mattichak, Jr on Sep 06, 2011
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08/19/2013

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Pennsylvania Dutch Hexen Magick 
 
Pennsylvania Dutch Hexen Magick 
Part One- Background
Hexen magick seems to have migrated to America with German immigrants, mainly from theRhine region, when the religious freedoms offered by William Penn and his Charter of Libertiesattracted an influx of migrants to South-eastern Pennsylvania. These people brought with them astrong culture of folk art, along with their folk magic and the occult writings of the day. Theinteraction of this European influence with the native Algonquian culture resulted in a home-grown American practice. The native influence is still evident as Hexenmeisters are also oftenreferred to as Pow-Wow Doctors (pow-wow is an Algonquian word for a meeting of medicinemen). Commonly the practice is referred to as
 Hex Work 
or
Speilwerk 
in the local dialect of thePennsylvania Dutch. The influence of the indigenous American culture of the Algonquian uponthe essentially Platonic/ Hermetic system is extant, especially in the herbal studies associatedwith the system.
Origins
Largely oral in tradition, Hex draws heavily on the mainstream medieval Grimiors, especiallyAlbertus Magnus and the Key of Solomon, but there are two main literary references that formthe foundation of these practices. The first, and most common, was
The Long Lost Friend 
byJohn George Hohman, a very traditional collection of European magick spells that use prayers,magick words, and simplistic rituals to cure common illnesses and to deal with various ruraltroubles. This book is the source of the Besprechen, or spells, that are used by Hexenmeisters intheir arts. The second, and by far the more obscure literary source is
The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses
by John Scheible (presumably the Pentateuch are the first five books of Moses).This book seems to be a compendium of many of the aforementioned Grimiors and is full of mainstream 19
 Literary Sources
th
 Century qabalah. It is claimed by the author that this book contains the secretsof the magicks that Moses used to free the Israelites from Pharaoh’s Egypt.Hex is divided into three main braches; the Besprechen or spells, the Himmelsbrief andTeufelsbrief (letters to Heaven and to the Devil, respectively) which are blessings and curseswritten on paper or parchment, and the Hex signs that are used to decorate mainly barns butsometimes (more recently) houses. Late occult writers have attempted to "Wiccanize" thepractice, but the essentially qaballistic symbols employed, from Albertus Magnus &etc., makethis impractical if not unwise. The isolation of talent for Hex is one of the powers attributed tosome Hexenmeisters and it echoes the very common practice with magick/mystick ordersworldwide wherein often the talent for spotting potential is in itself considered a great magickalability (note big league, baseball scouts!).
Practices
The areas of practical expertise are of a totally utilitarian nature, mostly comprising objectives of sorcery, bewitchments and exorcism (as is proper to an insular rural based community) with acertain amount of medical/scientific/botanical study included as R&D (nature is the greatestteacher). The Christian cloak that Hex often attires itself with is a ruse to throw off theinquisition (and the Tabloids?), and to be less frightening to Neophytes (Christian influence in
 
these things is often to invoke a secrecy of society- thus early Hex worker no doubt employedthis to their advantage also). The non-sectarian nature of its workings implies more strongly aconnection again to the Hermetic cults of Medieval Europe that often invoked Jehovah and Zeusin the same breath &etc.Looking at its basic points, Hexen practice is:1. Hexenmeisters are born not made, (vide anything on Tantric Buddhism in Tibet!).2. The passage of the "Power" from one person to the next, usually to the opposite sex, and theability to communicate the "power" to others is finite, implying that to teach this art to someoneis a strong karmic connection (or that progress in this practice leads to a higher practice or abilitywhich is exclusive of the lesser works of the beginner in this art).3. The use of a "Bonnet" as ritual headgear, (a crown of humility? Also: very similar to thepractice of the sacred magic- wherein a crown is the focal Magickal Weapon of the operation[the attainment "crowns" the Great Work in the Glory of the Knowledge and Conversation of theHoly Guardian Angell).4. Written & spoken charms are very consistent with an Hermetic method of Magickal Practice-the use of German having a strikingly similar effect as the "Barbarous Names of Evocation"(vide- The Key of Solomon; the Goetia). Charms, written in foreign languages would belikewise "barbarous" and so somewhat incomprehensible allowing disbelief to be suspendedslightly more easily.5. The schema of the sigils and talismans, which is almost rote taken from a number of medievalgrimiors (vide: The Key of Solomon, Grimorium Verum, anything by Albertus Magnus, workson Number by Plato, etc. etc. etc....
Part Two- The Himmelsbrief, Teufelsbrief and Besprechen
Taken in greater detail, the Himmelsbrief, Teufelsbrief and Besprechen (charms and spells) are,simple sorceries- The Himmelsbrief, or “letter to heaven”, and the Teufelsbrief or, “letter to theDevil” are very reminiscent of the Norse practice of “casting the Runes”, wherein a charm ismade in runic script and symbolically transferred to its intended recipient. The Besprechen aresimple spells or mantras that are intended to focus the Will by the surest of methods-
devotion
.The practitioner that had recited these mantras of healing was focusing on their most immediateneeds, hence the nature of the intended outcomes. The Himmelsbrief and Teufelsbrief use thesame method but employ a different form of symbol, the Mandala (although, especially to apeople that were largely illiterate, the script itself was a Grimior!) The method is a commonpractice of Medieval Hermeticism.Let us then dissect some of the Besprechen; the spoken charms:
The Besprechen
“I walk through a green forest,

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