The Hex Factory

Heiden Hexology

Hunter M. Yoder

 Hunter M. Yoder is a Pennsylvania German Hexologist, he paints Hex signs such as the ones that are seen painted on barns in his native Berks County. However, He views these 'signs' as being more then decorations. 

The most prolific and outspoken artist of a modern school of "hexologists" is Hunter Yoder, owner and operator of the Hex Factory in Philadelphia. Born and raised in Berks County, Hunter was inspired by local artistic traditions, and even painted a barn on his father's property near Virginville. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Hunter embraces the title of "Hexologist," and has sought to reinvent the mythology of the modern hex sign by incorporating aspects of his interest in ancient pre-Christian ritual culture. Hunter's work combines plant geometry, runic inscriptions, and several designs which are an homage to the work of Lee Gandee. Like Gandee, Hunter experiments with the use of art for shamanic and magical purposes, believing that his work is an extension of his spiritual path. Identifying himself religiously as a Heathen, Hunter blends traditional motifs with arcane occult emblems in the interest of reviving ancient Germanic religion. While for many people in Pennsylvania, this particular approach remains highly controversial, especially because of the historical abuse of such interest in Germanic culture during the second World War, Hunter aims to break down such taboos in an effort to take his art in an entirely different direction, blending old and new mythology. Despite these obstacles in belief, tradition, and culture, it is undeniable that Hunter's work is visually stunning, and part of the spectrum of modern applications of continued interest in Pennsylvania Dutch culture in the United States.


page 119, "Hex Signs, Myth and Meaning in Pennsylvania Dutch Barn Stars," by Patrick Donmoyer, a publication of the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University, 2013

I would say this, there is an energy in the magical signs of our Pennsylvania German ancestors. It is very real and powerful. Anyone can participate in making them. In doing so you are tapping into something much larger then mere personal self expression. As I explained to a former teacher and friend, A stream or river has run in its bed for hundreds of thousands of years maybe longer, so it is with folk magic. No one is quite sure how it works, just that it does and always has.

He is the owner and creator of The Hex Factory Gallery which is dedicated to Pa German Hexology and is located in East Kensington, Philadelphia. From this vantage point, Yoder has internationalized this folk art practice and his work has been seen around the world.

The Pennsylvania German or Deitsch culture has been flourishing here in the New World for over three hundred years. Philadelphia was the entry point for almost all the German Palatinate immigration that makes up Deitsch ancestry. They came seeking religious freedom and good farmland. Hunter Yoder's oldest ancestor in the New World, Johannes Keim, purchased land at the headwaters of the Manatawny, in the Oley Valley and then returned to Germany for nine years before finally returning to the valley in 1706. Maria Catherina KEIM, Johannes's daughter and Jacob K. YODER were married about 1754. Hunter can trace ten generations of his line that has lived and died in Berks County, Pennsylvania.
Of special interest to Yoder are the signs and symbols of his prechristian ancestors. He postulates that Hex signs never looked very Christian to begin with. He is able to determine exactly what ancient Germanic tribe he is kin to using a very precise instrument, linguistics. The Pennsylvania German dialect, Deitsch is still spoken in the Palatinate region of Southern Germany. This dialect was derived from the migrating Germanic tribe that settled in this region, the Alemanni. 
His interest in creating what he calls, 'Tribal Art of the Pennsylvania Germans' has led him to describe his work as 'polychromatic cave painting' Yoder first showed this kind of work in a show he also curated, called "Deitsch Heathen Hexology" it was shown at GERM BOOKSTORE AND GALLERY in Fishtown, Philadelphia in 2009. That same year his essay by the same name was published in the Portland, Oregon publication, HEX MAGAZINE. In it Yoder wrote, 
"In the year 2007, I combined a traditional Pennsylvania German 'Barnstar' motif from northern Berks county with an Icelandic Galdrstave. Both worked on a framework of 'eight' radiating from a center. At that moment it became very clear that Hexology would never be the same again."
In addition to creating a large body of original Hex Works, Yoder has authored three books on the subject.

Hunter Yoder's ineffable Big Sandwich! Shamanic/Odhinnic inspiration?surging instinctual emotions?and Ursprung physicality = Art, sex magick, & git?r done.   Amber Faith

 

Yoder has been described by Robert Taylor of "Changes "as, The father of New Wave Hex! He synthesized the Hex art with the Runic. With that, the boundaries of possibility greatly widen. 

 Hunter, many thanks for THE BOOK... it helps expand our notion of what "fits" in spiritual imagery. A nice contribution to the field!  Dennis Boyer 

Yoder is perhaps the strongest young artist, though also the most naive. Glasses and matted blond hair, he lives in a tipi he built on the edge of Kutztown. Floor-bound, hex-sign derived wood sculptures redolent of local sources.
September 19, 1976
Robert Pincus-Witten


 Hunter M. Yoder

2080 East Cumberland Street
Philadelphia, PA 19125
thehexfactory@gmail.com
917 375 4982                    
RESUME

Birth Date,  1954, Reading Pennsylvania
Education, Kutztown University, BFA, Painting, graduated Cum Laude, 1977

SHOWS:
June, July, 2014, 2015 "The Kutztown Folk Festival," Kutztown, PA, demonstrator and exhibitor.
September, 2013, 2014, 2015 "Heemet Fescht, " The Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, demonstrator and exhibitor
August, 2013,2014, 2015 "Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day" Clark Park, Philadelphia, demonstrator and exhibitor
April, May, 2013, "Das Sonnenrad Show," The Hex Factory, East Kensington, Philadelphia, PA, one man show.
May, June, 2012, "Fruchtbarkeit Hexerei" The Hex Factory, East Kensington, Philadelphia, with O. Henrietta Fisher.
March,April, 2012, "Heiden Hexology/ Sex Magic" Jed Williams Gallery, 615 Bainbridge Street, Philadelphia, with O. Henrietta Fisher.
January, February, 2012, "Between The Sheets," The Hex Factory, East Kensington, Philadelphia, with O. Henrietta Fisher.
November, December, 2011, "Gottinen und Heiden Hexology," one man show, The Hex Factory, East Kensington, Philadelphia, PA 
September, October, 2011, "Heiden Hexology in Oley, PA" Clay on Main, Oley, PA
August 2011, 2013," Folkish Summer Hallowing," sponsored by the Irminfolk, Milford, PA Workshop and presenter.
May, 2010,"Group Show to Benefit The Nikola Tesla Inventor's Club," Germ Bookstore and gallery, Fishtown, Philadelphia.
October 2-4, 2009, "A Folkish Winters Night," A Confederation of Folkish Heathens, Northern Virginia, Workshop and presentation.
May 9, 2009, "Valhallapalooza," Newport, Rhode Island, Presentation and Workshop of Pennsylvania German Hexology.
February, March, 2009, "Deitsch Heathen Hexology," Curated by Yoder, four Heiden Hexologists at Germ Bookstore/ Gallery, Fishtown, Philadelphia

Earlier Film Work                                                                                                                         
December 1984, "Cineprobe," Museum of Modern Art, New York City, one man presentation of his experimental films
February 1981, "Personal Cinema Program," Millennium, New York City, one man presentation of his experimental films
June 1980, "Cinema Different Programme," Festival International Du Jeune Cinema, Hyeres, France. screening of "Diet of Worms"
May 1977, 112 Workshop, 112 Greene Street, New York City, screening of Yoder's, 16mm experimental film shot in Berks County, "Diet of Worms"

PUBLICATIONS
"112 Workshop/ 112 Greene Street," Savitt and Brentano, NYU Press, 1981, pages 109, 362, 363.
"In and Out of Kutztown, A Documentation of the Art Series Program. 1974-1981" Segment on Yoder by Robert Pincus-Witten. Page 120, Art Series Press, 1981
"Hollebier Haven" Summer 2007, Journal of Three Sisters Center for the Healing Arts
"Hex Magazine, Issue 4" Fall/Winter 2008, 'Runic Symbology in Contemporary Deitsch Hexology'
"The Backdoor Hexologist," 2009, 355 pages,Hunter M. Yoder, The Hex Factory Press, ISBN 978-1461028789
"Hex Magazine, Issue 6" Spring/Summer, 2010, Cover art.
"The Journal of Contemporary Heathen Thought, Volume One," 2010, 'Magic Plants Used Symbolically in Germanic Heathen Hexology'
"Hex Magazine, Issue 9," Fall/Winter 2011, 'Six Questions to Six Hexologists on Their Six Hexes'
"The Philadelphia Inquirer," April 15, 2012 Review of "Heiden Hexology/Sex Magic," show at Jed Williams Gallery by Edith Newhall
"SideArts," Cassandra Hoo, Review of  "Heiden Hexology/Sex Magic" show
"Heiden Hexology, Essays and Interviews," Hunter M. Yoder, 2012, 332 pages, The Hex Factory Press, ISBN 978-1-300-04863-3
"Hex Signs, Myth and Meaning in Pennsylvania Dutch Barnstars," Patrick Donmoyer, Kutztown University Press, 2013
"9 Worlds of Hex Magic," Hunter M. Yoder, 2013, 292 pages, The Hex Factory Press, ISBN 978-1-304-62490-1
"Tyr: Myth-Culture-Tradition, Volume 4," Ultra Press, 2014, page 368
"Hex Highway," Hunter M. Yoder, 2016, 270 pages, The Hex Factory Press, ISBN 978-1-365-36021-3