We Are Not All Old Hags!
An excerpt from The Good Wiccan Guide – Part One: Introduction and Popular Mythology.
Why are witches often shown as old hags? Well, those versed in magic may live longer so will show signs of aging more. Some familiar signs of age include wrinkled skin, grey hair, being what they call “long in the tooth.” And did you know that the cartilage in peoples’ noses and ears actually continues to grow as they get older, so they may develop larger noses and longer ears.
In olden times, being exceptionally OLD, usually also meant profound wisdom. Being toothless may be a feature of old age, as would having a little stray hair on the chin of post-menopausal woman.
Exaggeration is certainly one way to communicate concepts to people. Unfortunately is does not always portray people is the kindest of light to get certain points across. In the cases of witches, it is true that the when you are actively following the Way, and dedicating your life to study, as I have done, you will put a little bit of mileage under the bridge.
While there are many brilliant young witches out there who have a past-life or intuitive grasp of the Way, there’s a reason why the ‘old ones’ or wise crone is so revered in Wicca. The older you get, your grasp does not get more firm, but actually lightens up a bit more and becomes less of a strong-hold and more embracing of all. I personally like to subscribe to Frank Baum’s depiction of a true sorceress in his book, Glinda of Oz, who was supposed to be centuries old and yet still looked young and vital and beautiful with long flowing hair and clear eyes. Now there was a Good Wiccan!
The old hag is a type of witch (whether old or young) who has not truly learn the Way and holds too tightly to dogma and ‘doctrine’ to the point that they lose their beauty and grace.
I think I will talk more about Glinda in my next blog… so stay tuned!