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The Hag Kept Singing: A Temper Tantrum Beside the ...

The Hag Kept Singing: A Temper Tantrum Beside the Dying Fire

the house of twig own sing hag tender thunder witchraft danielle dulsky

Holding my grief like a slow-dying hatchling, I sought out the wisdom of the pipe-smoking hag. My plans were to prostrate myself at her feet and lament fallen dragon queens, to bemoan the state of the world, to weep, to be soothed to sleep by the rhythm of her low-groaning rocking chair and be gifted some great maxim that would calm and cool all my boiling parts. When I found her, at long last, she was singing a tune of oak and holly straight into the smoldering ashes of a neglected fire, an otherworldly owl perched on her shoulder.

The epic moment I envisioned failed to fruit, and the crone had no comfort for me. She scarcely looked up from the sizzle, unbothered by my particular tenderness, and I fell to my knees like a wounded babe, howling and kicking and beating my fists bloody on the ground. Thunder was rolling in the west, and I clawed my hands into the coals and smeared steaming ash on my cheeks. I sunk my teeth into moss and spat dirt at the storm. On and on my tantrum dragged, the spell of the irrational, and the old one let me exhaust myself, her song uninterrupted by my fit, her owl unmoved, and her rhythm giving roots to my rawest rage.

My flesh softened around my bones in time. My blood chilled just a bit, and my shrieking wild quieted to feeble whimpers.

Still, the hag kept singing.

A lightning bolt ignited some primal flame beneath my ribs, and I roared a final, vicious poison hex at the lawmakers, at the arrogant beasts who claim rule over this boneyard land, scavenge and feed on fear, and wear crowns woven from lying tongues and family gold. I puffed my belly broad, gnashed my teeth, and retched that old guttural sound of a witch threatened with the stake. My body twisted into an otherworldly shape, and I was a living curse. I was a death sigil. I was a wrathful banshee’s torment and an eternal wail.

Still, the hag kept singing.

The rains came then, and the last of the heat hissed from the fire like the ghost of hope leaving a dying warrior’s body. I collapsed into a heap of fragile flesh, and I let the waters wash the mud from my lips. I let the wind take the rebellion from my heart, and I wondered if it was the smaller stories I need now. I wondered if I might put my most epic myths to bed and speak instead of the quiet under-tree ceremonies, of the solitary fireside rituals, the secret hexing of systems, and of the late-spring storms. I wondered if the stories we need most offer us more than a war won, and, still, the hag kept singing. I wondered what might happen if we stripped the shining armor from our flawed heroes, and the hag kept singing. What other worlds might we find if we slowed our pace, burned the map, snuffed our lanterns, and squinted into the shadows? And the hag kept singing. What songs might we learn if we pursed our lips and put our ears to bark? And the hag kept singing, and singing, and singing.

 

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Danielle believes in the power of the wild feminine and human-to-nature intimacy. She is the author of The Holy Wild: A Heathen Bible for the Untamed Woman (Coming September 2018, New World Library) and Woman Most Wild: Three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within. She translates the wild feminine into motherhood, magick, multimedia art, and teachings of embodied spirituality, writing, and movement alchemy. Danielle is a Celtic free-style Witch, a lover of Irish Paganism, an E-RYT500 and YACEP through Yoga Alliance, a mist-dweller, and a shadow-walker. May all beings come home to the wilds.
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Danielle believes in the power of the wild feminine and human-to-nature intimacy. She is the author of The Holy Wild: A Heathen Bible for the Untamed Woman (Coming September 2018, New World Library) and Woman Most Wild: Three Keys to Liberating the Witch Within. She translates the wild feminine into motherhood, magick, multimedia art, and teachings of embodied spirituality, writing, and movement alchemy. Danielle is a Celtic free-style Witch, a lover of Irish Paganism, an E-RYT500 and YACEP through Yoga Alliance, a mist-dweller, and a shadow-walker. May all beings come home to the wilds.

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