Monday, 27 October 2014

The ’Hag’ is a term once used to describe an old woman, often with the intention of accusing her of witchcraft or the likes. These ‘Hags’ of course were not the Devil worshippers that the Christians proclaimed, but the herbalists and midwifes of early society. Their knowledge of natural lore and herbalism  is still remembered today in the term ‘hedge-witch’.

The roots of the term Hag (*hagatusjon-) are shared with the term Heg, as well as Hex and Heks. Hex we all know means ‘six’ – and ‘Hexe’ magic traditions still live on today in the Pennsylvanian Dutch folk. (Dutch here being derived from word Deutsch, as these settlers were German). 

The Hagall rune (the double LL spelling was widely used in National Socialist Germany) comes from the ‘Hag All’ which means ‘All Protecting’. Here we find another connection of the Heg, as the term Hedge is a protecting barrier that surrounded a dwelling, road or garden. In fact the term garden itself comes from the Germanic word Gard, with the same root words ‘guard’ and Gar (Anglo Saxon for spear). Even the term ‘Home’ comes from Holm, from which we also get the word Helmet – all these words connecting to need to protect.

The Hagall rune was a popular symbol on the shields of Germanic warriors  - a protecting rune which invoked would protect the warrior, much in the same was the rune of the Sword God Tyr/Tiw was inscribed upon the swords of Germanic folk.