//////////////// Historical understanding of the hag as filtered through internet-sourced definitions (impressions)
1. (google) a witch, especially one in the form of an ugly old woman (often used as a term of disparagement for a woman).
2. (urban dictionary) An unattractive, middle-aged (or slightly older) woman. The term is commonly used to describe hysterical or ugly women in positions of power.
3. (miriam-webster) 1 : an ugly, slatternly, or evil-looking old woman. 2 archaic. a : a female demon.
4. (wikipedia) A hag is a wizened old woman, or a kind of fairy or goddess having the appearance of such a woman, often found in folklore and children's tales such as Hansel and Gretel. 5. (dictionary dot com) Hag definition, an ugly old woman, especially a vicious or malicious one.
6. (encyclopedia britannica) Hag, in European folklore, an ugly and malicious old woman who practices witchcraft, with or without supernatural powers; hags are often said to be aligned with the devil or the dead. Sometimes appearing in the form of a beautiful woman, a succubus is a hag believed to engage in sexual intercourse with sleeping men, causing severe nightmares and leaving the victim exhausted. Although viewed in most lore as the antithesis of fertility, the hag is believed by some scholars to be a remnant of primitive nature goddesses.
7. (free dictionary) An old woman considered to be ugly or frightening. A witch; a sorceress. b. Obsolete A female demon.
What does a Hag do ?
//////////////// THE HAG VS THE PATRIARCHY /// If the struggle of "good & evil" exists, it is not the superheroic struggle it is advertised to be. Conceptual Evil stems from a fear of death and all other unknowns. Evil is that which engenders confusion & revulsion, and in its wake can be a pathological clinging to states of light, illumination, forcing light into obscure bodies, correcting, redeeming, “understanding” — a thirst for the gruesome surgery of our material plane. In the here and now, knowing more is always Good, and not-knowing is the enemy, the object of our assault. Fearing Evil, we fail to value that which is mysterious, unreasonable, and we thus miss the total, the holistic. Worse, vilifying natural dark forces - attacking them with glaring beams of light - only chases them farther away, where they intensify, growing horrible and resentful, becoming awful in a self-fulfilling prophecy.
This central conflict is the mythical condition of the patriarchy. Its stories, fables and vast history are detailed guides to the paranoias that have ruined this world. The hag is decent personality, but under this system, they are forced into the role of the other, the enemy. Various definitions of Hag emphasize different properties of the character, but two are mentioned across the board: ‘Aged’ and ‘Woman’. Under a patriarchal glare, most positive associations with “femininity” are those found in youth: a beauty, grace, and naiveté that goes hand in hand with frailty, weakness, incompleteness. These principles are regarded as opposite of strength: that virile principle assumedly male. This switcheroo of polar division is a crucial abomination made to tyrannize any expression of female-ness (aka femininity) not wedded to either pretty fragility or roles defined by relationship to the ‘family’ — essentially, vilifying any expression of womanly independence or self-sufficiency.
The ‘aged’ Hag has accepted that hermself* is beyond the social desirability of youth perfection. As they connect with their inner resources of strength in lieu of social approvals, the Hag moves definitively outside the sphere of femininity as-it-is-known. *My choice to use pronouns rooted in herm (or their, familiarly) refuses the way ruling ideologies have characterized that-which-is-feminine in the fleeting and fragile nubile moment. The understanding of the Hag gender must push ruthlessly forward into an ambiguously realized state. Despite its female origins, I think definition going forward can apply to a person of whatever gender who finds hermself having aged, now positioned unfavorably against social perception, but unwilling to force subservience to social demand.
The ill-tempered and nasty reputation of Hags is a condition or illusion cast by the capitalists as punishment for not purchasing their mustache bleach and pink razors. The hag need not feel oppressed by the conditioned responses of the general public, and the crafty hag uses the condition to advantage. Hag revulsion can be used as a natural cloaking device (eg unseen elderly), as the Hag’s mood and situation permits, ignored. The cloak of revulsion allows herm a kind of social ease. The Hag is free to give attention to herm’s environment. The hag has the power of noticing and perceiving odd connections in the most mundane of phenomena, without and within. These Noticings are accumulated. This is the raw practice of the hag’s Spirituality.
The delightful thing about the hag is sense of wisdom gotten over time. The Hag is involved in particular relationship to herms environment, their corner of familiarity. The hag is one who tends objects in magical space, a witchy property. This is the association with supernatural being that haunts the Hag concept, and yet the Hag is perfectly natural. Hag bodies marked with age are records of knowledge gotten in the most personal realms of existence. Hag eyes pierce through lies of the oppres- sors, slick youth advertising gimmicks communicating false values. No one can tell the Hag what is best for herm for no one else has lived in the body of the hag, and that barometer has grown into the ultimate arbiter of herms path.
A hag has a secret which is rooted in the fresh youth that herm once was. The creative power of the hag nods to boundless energy of youth, a testament to that past creature and beyond, into the raw stuff of soul itself, a willful action of human natural power. Even with cragged fingers, the hag can summon the fresh beauty of their own infant nature in their works, not necessarily “to make something beautiful”, but as a fingerprint of the maker.
And the hag can also create terrible potions and wicked spells when herm is feeling bad and punishing. The hag’s established relationship to ruin and darkness and can summon the power of these states, in forms unrecognizable and incomprehensible to authoritarian councils. Neither practiced beauty nor learned ferocity is either better or worse than the other but both capabilities of creative power channeled in whatever mood.
Religions have seized on those dark capabilities and urged us to purge such wicked actors from the world, shame them and suggest they suppress themselves. Propaganda books like The Hammer of the Witches (1486) were written by impotized men and accepted as gospel in the persecution of independent women in terrible eras of Moral Imperative. There is a suggestion that the Hag’s comfortable links to the darkness and decaying world are the cause of society’s problems.
The Hag’s is not a sanitized occupation. The hag may live in filth and Filth itself a term unnecessarily vilified. But sanitation reeks - the bleach and perfume deadening your delicate cilia is equivalent to the loss of self knowledge that marks our human generations as suckers and slaves to capitalist engorgement. This madness, this mania is from whence the hag cackle stems. And what if the cackle were a terrifying battle cry, reducing armies to sudden embarrassed awareness of their own insufficiency and impotence-masking virile violences?
The true career of the hag is to navigate life with curiosity, appetite, emotion, dream — actions that must dig around in the gray dirt of each day. A devious and dark hag is a real person because herm is noticing and reacting in genuinely crabby outlook to the shitshow concocted by our universal oppressor patriarchy. You should be surly and rancorous about this scene — the necrocene — an opus of millennia adding up to a bleeding apocalypse fried from the inside with wireless vibration.
The Modern Hag