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Scot and northern English dialect
1. a firm spot in a bog
2. a soft place in a moor
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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Illustration, by Doris Burton, of the hag of Blackwater Mere. Courtesy Fortean Picture Library.


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Term sometimes applied to the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess. She represents Wisdom, although, at times, she can seem to be terrible, as when she is in character as the Gateway to Death.

Rosemary Guiley suggests that the origin of the term may be found in the Egyptian heq, who was a matriarchal ruler of predynastic times who knew the Words of Power. From the Old Norse, there is hagi, a "sacred grove," and haggis, or "Hag's dish," which is a mixture of organ meats that is still served today.

In Scottish Witchcraft, the goddess Cailleach, the "Mother of All," was often depicted as a hag with the teeth of a bear or the tusks of a wild boar. She was reputed to be a great worker of spells. Fragmentary accounts survive of how she created the earth, fashioning the hills and the lochs, the valleys and the mountains. In Scotland, also, is the New Year custom of Hogmanay, which stems from the pagan Yule celebrations. "Hogmanay" comes from Hagmenai, or Hag's Moon, signifying the last night of the old year. Couples and families would celebrate the night together, making a point of not parting till after midnight, when they would do so with a kiss.

Barbara Walker says that Hag originally meant "holy woman." In Greece, she became Hecate, the Queen of the Dead. As such she wore a veil over her face, so that no one would know the manner of their death. Old High German uses Hagazussa, or "Moon Priestess," to describe a wise woman, while in the sixteenth century "hag" was synonymous with "fairy." Robert Graves speaks of the "Hag of the Mill" which, he says, is another name for the White Goddess, and states that the Greeks called her "Alphito, Goddess of the Barley Flour."

In England, a hag is a hedge enclosing a field or pasture and it is also a term applied to a cut-like gap or ravine in a mountain. This latter may be because of its serpentine-like meandering. In England, there is a mound named Hagpen, where "hag" meant serpent and "pen" meant hill. It seems possible that hag could mean both serpent and dragon. Hag is a name for the slime-eel, a snake-like fish related to the lamprey. These meanings are related to beliefs that the serpent represents earth energy, as seen in ley lines and so-called dragon lines. There would, then, seem to be a correlation between Hag, Serpent, and Earth Mother.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Broadly speaking, Hage's latest book seems to twine together the themes visited in his earlier work.
El Hage stressed that sound governance, robust risk management frameworks and adequate involvement by control functions including human resources in compensation design and decision-making are critical to the effectiveness of compensation incentives in addressing misconduct risk.
Other prominent artists to wear Hage's designs include Iraqi-Canadian rapper Narcy and Kuwaiti multimedia artist Zahed Sultan, while Firas Abou Fakher -- guitarist and keyboardist with the seminal Lebanese indie band Mashrou' Leila -- has performed in a striking blue abaya from Zero One.
Hage said the state of New South Wales (NSW) has a strong trade relationship with the UAE, worth over AUD 460 million a year and NSW is the economic engine room of Australia has enjoyed 26 consecutive years of economic growth and has a AAA credit rating.
More clarity of the kind Graber delivered in the Hage case is needed from authorities at all levels.
Hage a travaille sur l'edition politique et l'imprime politique 1960-1970, sur les editeurs qui ont lutte aux cotes des Algeriens pour l'independance de l'Algerie.
For the most part, Hage deftly builds his argument in a thematic rather than strictly chronological manner.
Women's chances of responding to chemotherapy were also found to be linked to the presence of HAGE.
Mr Hage said: "For the first week we currently have 78 booked, which we have 190 seats on sale so appreciably 41% of seats booked.
LinksAir commercial manager Roger Hage said the surge in passenger numbers to Cardiff was thanks to the work they had invested in "reinvigorating" the route since taking over at the end of 2014.
Hage Geingob, the new President of the Republic of Namibia, which will be held next Saturday.