Our foresisters were the Great Hags whom the institutionally powerful but privately impotent patriarchs found too threatening for coexistence, and whom historians erase. Hag is from an Old English word meaning harpy, witch. Webster’s gives as the first and ‘archaic’ meaning of hag: 'a female demon: FURY, HARPY.’ It also formerly meant: 'an evil or frightening spirit.’ (Lest this sound too negative, we should ask the relevant questions: 'Evil’ by whose definition? 'Frightening’ to whom?) A third archaic definition of hag is 'nightmare.’ (The important question is: Whose nightmare?) Hag is also defined as 'an ugly or evil-looking old woman.’ But this, considering the source, may be considered a compliment. For the beauty of strong, creative women is 'ugly’ by misogynistic standards of 'beauty.’ The look of female-identified women is 'evil’ to those who fear us. As for old, ageism is a feature of phallic society. For women who have transvaluated this, a Crone is one who should be an example of strength, courage and wisdom.
Mary Daly, Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism
“Hag Magic is not just for old women. Symbolically, a hag is the third and final stage of the feminine side of anyone’s psychic development. She represents completeness and is a necessary step in self-realization. We can all access our inner hag, regardless of age or sex.
Your inner hag is the rebellious, possibly cranky, and obstinate voice inside you that utters truths you would often rather not listen to.Start paying more attention to her. Offer her a bigger part in your life- If you dare!
Do you have fair-weather friends who seem to be taking advantage of you?Let your hag tell them what you really feel. You have nothing to lose. Has a family member asked for your advice about a relationship? Let your hag speak up- tell the truth without being mean, even if the truth may hurt. The family member will likely end up thanking you for it. But your hag already knows that. Often, when asked her opinion, a hag will reply with a truth-revealing question, such as, “Well, how would you like me to answer that?”
The following are some specific exercises and spells one can do to get in touch with and amplify one’s inner hag.
Take out the nine of swords from a deck of tarot cards. It depicts the end of a nightmare or overcoming the tests, and the moment of understanding. Spend time contemplating this card every day for seven days.
Visualize yourself standing before the most terrifying hag imaginable. She sets three tests for you. What are these? Imagine, in great detail and length, the hardships you encounter while attempting to pass these tests in order to reach your goal. Continue this visualization for as long as necessary to remove any blocks you have.
Create a shrine to the hag. Decorate it with images of cats, black dogs, skulls, cauldrons, and fire. Carve the triple goddess symbol into a black candle, but only burn this in darkness. Ask the hag for assistance in matters involving the psyche and the spirit.
Have a Hecate Supper at a three-way crossroads. Prepare a fine meal that includes fish, garlic, honey, lavender or rosemary, and whatever else you deem appropriate. After dark take this meal to a three way-crossroads somewhere quiet, perhaps out in there country. If weather and other conditions permit, sit down at the crossroads and dine with Hecate. Otherwise, leave the meal for her, plate and all and do not turn back.
Plants of genus Artemisia can be put to use in calling on the hag. The Greek goddess Artemis, who sometimes assumes hag form, rules over magic, the psyche, and wild female nature. Soften a spring of wormwood or mugwort in a bottle of red wine, make a tea of dried mugwort or wormwood, or make or buy a bottle of absinthe. Take small sips of your chosen Artemisia beverage while doing your spellwork. (Do not use any of these if you are pregnant!!!)
Spells invoking the hag can be done at the Full Moon or during the last quarter. Use only black or white candles, and focus on the image of a powerful, intuitive, old woman who is pleased to walk alone.”