Well, Blackie does it again. I am a huge fan of Blackie’s work and Hagitude did not disappoint.
Henwife, Cailleach, Wild Woman, Bone Mother and Yaga, Blackie covers them all in a mythic journey which encourages women to embrace ageing and step into their power.
The interesting thing about the journey this book takes you on though, is that you don’t necessarily have to be currently encountering a transition to elderhood in order to hear its lessons. The archetypes in this book can relate to all of us at any point in our lives, male or female.
I have long loved the character of the wild woman, the woman living on the edge of the village, the wise woman, the powerful woman. She is an old friend. Through Hagitude, Blackie shows us the many achetypes that are often rolled into one and in doing so shows us the many roles we may play within our community’s stories.
For example, I love Baba Yaga, the Cailleach and the Bone Mother. They call to my bones. Occasionally I am the introverted, grumpy elder that sits on the periphery, insisting that ‘they made their bed so they can lie in it’. And then the next day I am the hen wife, the hedge witch and the cunning woman , singing to my chickens, providing soul nourishing stories, listening to people's’ woes and attempting to help them through.
We are all these women, all wrapped into one complex being and this book shows this in so many ways. It is important to embrace them all.
As always in Blackie’s books they draw heavily on her own experience. This didn’t work so well for me in ‘The Enchanted Life’ but she has given it a lighter touch in this book. In later chapters she touches on her recent experience with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She talks of how her perspective of ageing and death changed and how these archetypes helped her, and this adds another dimension to the book.
If you are interested in the old women archetypes present in myths, legends, folktales and stories, both ancient and modern, then Sharon Balckie’s Hagitude demonstrates perfectly how they walk with us in our everyday lives.
You can buy Sharon, Blackie’s Hagitude in all good bookshops. If you would like to buy a copy please consider visiting my page on Bookshop.org where I earn a small commission for book recommendations. Here you will find a plethora of myth, legend and folktale. Just use the button below to visit.
Don’t forget to support your local library too and see if they have a copy to borrow.
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Great review. I'm still only at the beginning of the book. I read a bit then need to stop and digest for a few days as it resonates so deeply and makes my mind work overtime. Can't stop thinking about it. Sign of a good book I think!