Starwalker's work was featured July 16, 2014 on Ross Svebeck's segment on The Buzz from Fox9, KMSP-TV. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.
As shown in this video and in this article from the Bangor Daily News website, a prosperity hex sign by hexenmeister Jj Starwalker was chosen by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to represent that state on the 2010 White House Christmas Tree . The tree will be decorated with ornaments representing each of the 50 states and will stand in the Blue Room during the holiday season.
Sacred Signs - Embracing a tradition steeped in power and energy that invites good, a
West Corinth artist creates hex signs for clients nationwide by
Read this interview from the Friday, November 6, 2009 issue of the Bangor Daily News
In The Beginning....
It began with the curiosity of a young girl visiting her
Grandmother. There were people who would come, quietly,
to the back door. Grandmother would shoo the cousins away
and would sit with the visitor, on the back porch, talking
Usually visitors came to the front door, you know. They
were shown into the parlor and offered food and drink. The
cousins were hurried off for a quick wash-up and then, if
we could behave, we were invited in to sit on unforgiving
furniture and answer questions about our age and schooling.
“Yes, M’am,” “No, Sir,” and
perhaps offered a cookie before being released.
But when these “back door” visitors came, things
were different. There were hushed voices, and serious faces.
Sometimes Grandmother would get up and go to the locked
cupboard. She would take out a battered old bonnet and put
it on but instead of heading for the garden she would sit
on the porch hunched over some sort of work. We never could
quite see what, and if we approached, we were run off with
a stern look. After a bit the visitor would rise, tuck something
into pocket or purse, and depart. The bonnet went back into
the cupboard and oftentimes the cousins would be sent on
some small errand… those that hadn’t disappeared
from her sight, that is, and life would continue.
For years I was curious about these goings on, but Grandmother
would never explain and avoided my questions in all manner
of ways. I never connected her secretive, bonneted doings
to the painted decorations that graced her home, the circular
designs with many pointed stars, flowers, hearts and fanciful
birds, though they were connected.
Later, a few years before her death, she began to reveal
to me her doings behind the bonnet that had sparked my youthful
curiosity. I learned that she had been taught, against much
tradition, the art of the hexenmeister and powwow. The hexen
were the circular designs with which she “decorated”
her home and the reason for the back porch visitors. Her
father had entrusted her with the knowledge, even though
in those days women were not generally taught such things
and certainly were NEVER found on a ladder, at the peak
of a barn, painting the designs in their traditional location.
He wanted the knowledge of the design and empowerment of
these “painted prayers” and the healing traditions
of the “pow wow” to continue and instructed
her to teach one of her sons.
My only uncle showed no interest and it was on this account
that, in her declining years, Grandmother decided to once
again break tradition and instruct a girl. I was the granddaughter
she chose. The eldest daughter of an eldest daughter, as
was Grandmother, we all are marked with identical moles…
as are my eldest daughter and her first daughter. So, as
the “talent” has found a path, the tradition
Grandmother did not have time before she passed on to impart
to me all that she knew, but at her knee, bonnet on her
head, she taught me the basics:
Whether drawn upon request, as a powerful prayer for good
fortune, change, growth, protection, prosperity, love, happiness,
balance… or painted “just for pretty”
the hex sign designs are powered by symbols reaching to
Jj Starwalker began her career at a folk artist in the
1970s. Using batik as her medium, she created hexen and
stuffed dolls and other pieces. Her first major showing
was at the Los Angeles, CA gallery The Egg and the Eye (now
Folk Art Museum) .
She is a member of the Worldwide
Women Artists Organization and participated
in their international show, through March, 2007, at the New
Port Ritchie (Florida) gallery. The show is entitled
"A Woman's Work is Never Done" and Ms. Starwalker's
work, shown to the left, is entitled "Everything She
Touches Changes." Click the image to see a larger version.
She is now pursuing paths that includes her hex craft,
subsistence farming and a spiritual path as a spinner and hearthkeeper,
working with Frigga and her Handmaidens.