Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Guest: the Hag

From: CS Lewis' Prince Caspian (The Chronicles of Narnia)

The quote: ". . .  I'm only a poor old woman, I am, . . .  His Majesty, bless his handsome face, has no need to be afraid of an old woman that's nearly doubled up with the rheumatics and hasn't two sticks to put under her kettle. I have some poor skill . . .   in small spells and cantrips that I'd be glad to use against our enemies if it was agreeable to all concerned."

Phenomenology: According to Prof. Salwa Khoddam, this Hag would be no less than the White Witch in disguise (it would be some disguise, really). She's not, imho. We're here confronted with the double side of the concept of Witch: either a ugly Medieval hag playing with "small spells" or a beautiful and powerful wiccan like in ancient religions, Renaissance literature, and current New Age trends. These two natures can anyway be united in one person, see Dante, Purgatorio 19: 7-24, 58, or Ariosto's Alcina.