Call Yourself A Hag. I Dare You!

When I wrote the Crone book, A Call To Crone; Weaving Wisdom With Threads of Irish Heritage, I thought I was writing it for women around my age, sixty-eight, or older. However it seems that is not entirely true.

Just after it was printed, I got an email from a woman who had just purchased the book at Courtney Davis’ studio/art gallery and was hoping I might sign it when I was on the Hill of Tara for a workshop. I know this woman a bit. She’s in her forties. And my first reaction was, “You can’t buy the book! You’re not old enough.” It was just a harbinger of things to come.

Although I’m pretty clear that the Ireland journeys and workshops I offer are for elders, young women are constantly wanting to sign up. “I’m not old, but I’m an old soul. Does that count?” was one email I recently received. No, it doesn’t count. There is really no magic age for becoming Elder or Hag or Crone. But age implies life experiences and those are essential. Also essential is knowing that you are now in the final journey of your life, a journey that will end in death. This is not a place younger women stand, yet so many aspire to be Crone. And I am fascinated by those that truly believe all women have an inner Crone. No. They don’t. There may be seeds germinating, but these women have not begun to imagine, let alone cross, that threshold to the final journey.

I just watched a video in which a young woman, probably early forties, reads a poem, Call me a hag. I dare you! It’s long, much longer than the following few lines.

When I look at you
I see you turning into
Beauty, time, wisdom
And suffering overcome.
I see the woman I aspire to be
Endless spark of wit and fun.
You are a marvel of the universe
More beautiful every day.

If you can’t be put in a box
And refuse to comply
With how others tell you
You should live your own life
If you respect all of nature
And call it your friend
And think maybe this life isn’t where it all ends
Tell me, what is wrong with that?

No. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, as well intended as this piece might be, it feels condescending, like a pat on the head. A young woman’s myopic vision of what it means to be an Elder, Hag, and Crone. And unfortunately at this point in the piece the author moves from ‘you’ to ‘we’, claiming for herself the wisdom of the hag. Just NO!

And so once again I sit with the question, what’s going on that young women so aspire to be Crone and claim Elder wisdom? Why are they so anxious to name themselves Hag? Because they are not. They have not yet begun to step onto this journey of older age, often a rocky road. And thus the challenge.

Call yourself a hag. I dare you.

Judith –

Young Lights. Old Lights.

Greta Thunberg is shining a bright light on our environmental crisis. She is lighting a fire of attention and action around the world, especially among young people. Amazing. And a powerful reminder of the power of one. Yes. We are in trouble. The scientific evidence is both daunting and compelling.

In the narrative of this crisis, there is the accelerating loss of our natural environments. In the narrative of this crisis, there is the devastation of habitat and the loss of so many animals. In the narrative of this crisis there is the question of whether humanity will survive.

Yet largely missing in this narrative is the devastating loss of sacred relationship with the Earth – the devastating loss of human soul. This is a loss that has been forged through centuries of believing that we have dominion over the Earth. Believing that we are somehow separate from and superior to the Earth. Believing that somehow our intellect and our science will save us. 

We have disparaged, discarded, and now forgotten what the ancestors knew. And now we are paying the price. Yes. We need the young lights like Greta. We also need the old lights of ancestor wisdom. The soul of the Earth depends on it. Our souls depend on it. For indeed there is only one soul. 

Judith –