FuRTHER reading

Heindel, Ned D. Hexenkopf: History, Healing & Hexerei.

Easton, Pa.: Williams Township Historical Society, 2005.

hex signs (hexenfoos) Round magical signs and symbols used by the Pennsylvania Dutch, primarily to protect against witchcraft but also to effect spELLs. Hex signs are both amuletic and talismanic (see amulets; TALisMANs). Traditionally, hex signs are painted on barns, stables and houses to protect against lightning, ensure fertility and protect animal and human occupants alike from becoming ferhexed, or bewitched. Hex signs also are painted on cradles, on household goods such as kitchen tools and spoon racks and on wooden or metal disks that can be hung in windows.

Each hex sign has a different meaning. Some of the symbols and designs date back to the Bronze Age—such as the swastika or solar wheel, symbol of the Cult of the Sun—and to ancient Crete and Mycenae. The most common designs or symbols, all enclosed in a circle, are stars with five, six or eight points; pentagrams, or Trudenfuss (see pentacles AND pentagrams); variations of the swastika; and hearts. The six-petaled flower/star, a fertility hex sign, is painted on utensils and tools relating to livestock, especially horses, and on linens, weaver's tools, mangling boards and other items. Pomegranates also are used for

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