It’s stating the obvious that modern life is seriously disconnected from the natural world. In the past when people lived in a mostly agricultural society, they were necessarily more in tune with nature. Today’s city dwellers have to travel for a camping trip to satisfy a need to return to nature.
Modern cities are not only polluted and sterile of natural life, but psychics and mystics have reported that our cities also suffer from an invisible ethereal squalor. It’s as if a concentration of collective negativity along with hostility to the natural order has created a dark spiritual cloud swirling over our cities. I think most of us can sense this. Notice the difference between how we feel in the city and when we are in the countryside.
Yet, even if we don’t live on farms anymore, many of us still have an opportunity to return to the “old ways” of an agricultural existence, if in a tiny way. And that is by gardening! Some people take their gardening seriously and it seems to be good for the soul. Planting flowers and vegetables just feels good. The reward is the homegrown tomato in August! A backyard can become something like a miniature farm. A garden will also attract wildlife too. Bee and butterflies are the signs of a healthy garden.
The modern backyard garden may not have a barn, but we have something close…the tool shed. We keep our lawn mower and gardening tools in there, very much like the barns of old. Putting a hex sign on our tool shed would be a nice traditional touch! Hex signs were a folk art that were used to bless a farm. Painting it or hanging it on a barn was thought to protect the farm from misfortune and to bring blessings to the homestead. Why not include a hex sign on your own tool shed for the same purpose? It might be the start of adopting some traditional mystical and folk customs to our gardening.
Below I created some stencils to help you paint your own hex sign. This design is a traditional one, the double star. Right click the images and print them out, being sure to print them all the same size. Cut along the black lines with a sharp tool and you’ll have your stencils. The double star would be four colors, and you can pick your colors based on the color’s symbolism. I have included a chart showing some of the common meanings associated with the basic colors.
Combining the colors on the “star” rays has significance. For instance, in the example of the doublestar above, the primary rays are red and blue. This would symbolize the combination of the male and female aspects, representing the family. The rays with yellow and green symbolize the power of the sun giving growth to the green, the garden’s plantings. You can use any colors you find suitable.
Once all the stencils are printed and cut out, I’d suggest pinning all of them together. You want the pinholes to match up when you begin to paint them one by one. Start with the circle first. Traditionally it should be white. After it dries, carefully use the other stencils one after another, letting each dry properly.
You may want to paint on a square of plywood for a hanging hex sign, unless you want a permanent hex sign on your tool shed. After the colors are done, carefully paint the lines of the star in black. Use a straight edge and a tiny brush to paint the lines. You can embellish the basic design as you wish, adding your own personal touch, such as painting scallops around the circle.
After the hex sign is finished, empower the hex sign with a blessing. Depending on your belief system is could be a prayer, a chant or incantation, asking Divinity to bless your home and all who dwell therein. And if friends and family notice your hex sign, perhaps that will inspire others to follow the tradition and bring back a fun part of the past.