The Night Hags
Babba Yatchka and Hogartha
Hags- or Night Hags- are frequently confused with witches or Wiccans, which are priestesses of the old so-called pagan earth magic. They are, in fact, totally un-related both by practice and species. Hags are, in fact, elemental beings- some actually being the remnants of certain ancient goddesses- who are generally thought to be the personification of winter, predominantly within the British Isles. Some hags turn from hideously ugly to breathtakingly beautiful at the turn of winter to spring. Often having a triumvirate character- as most commonly seen in the three "weird sisters" from Mac Beth- they sometimes simply have three phases within the one hag. One example of this is Cailleach Bheur of Scotland. Also known as the Blue Hag, she is a cross between an underworld goddess and a fairy spirit. She is often depicted with fangs and sometimes three faces, exemplifying the essence of the triple being or deity. Many Night hags, however, seem to represent fertility deities gone awry, or as warning spirits. Such creatures are Black Annis- who eats stray children and lambs, and Peg Powler- also known as Jenny Green Teeth. Peg is a hag who inhabits rivers, and is often described as having long hair and sharp teeth. Peg is fond of grabbing the ankles of those who stand too close to or wade into the water, pulling the hapless victim under the murky water to drown. Most hags, however, are thought to bring in the winter and cause snow, sleet, and ice storms.
Such a being is Babba Yatchka. She and her sister - Hogartha- spend their time brewing up "Autumn's Essence" in their Stone Cauldron and prepare for their deeper "Winter Brew"!!! They use their enchanted Tanglewood brooms to brush the winter clouds and cause icy rain and snow. They also use them to stir the winds and send the autumn leaves dancing. With their blighting breath they kill the fruit left too long on the tree and vine, bringing heavy killing frosts to the land. However, within the color of their hideous green skin lies the promise of the returning Spring and warm Summer days to come.
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