Based upon the old tale of The Marriage of Sir Gawain, Kissing the Hag brings us face to face with the nauseating horror of the hag - the raw side, the dark side, the inside of a woman's essential nature. Here we find the untamed soul, the wild, angry, selfish, lustful, manipulative and incomprehensible elements of woman: all that makes us unacceptable and badly behaved. It is a book written for women who long to loose the chains of insecurity, convention, guilt and self-negation, and rediscover the freedom and creativity of their true nature. It is also a book written for men fascinated but infuriated by the women they love.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
Emma Restall Orr has written a wonderfully freeing book, it is beautifully written, with great sensitivity and understanding, for she has travelled this road of blood, sweat and tears, love and heart ache too. ~ Barbara Venn- Lever, The Positively Barbara Show, www.Myspiritradio.com
Kissing the Hag is Emma Restall Orr (Bobcat) latest and best piece of work to date. Written in her very distinctive voice, this is her tale,your tale, every woman's tale. It explores the dark goddess energy within all women, which Emma poignantly calls The Hag. This female energy is the dark energy of spirit that will not compromise. It can be the unacceptable in today's society, it can be raw, visceral, frightening. It is wholly inspiring.
The exploration of The Hag is mainly divided into what can be seen as the seven sections of a woman's life - The Blood, The Virgin, The Whore, The Mother, The Bitch, The Witch and The Old Bag. Each is an enlightening (or endarkening) portrayal of an aspect of the The Hag that lies within. Readers will empathise with the words scattered across the pages, with the anecdotes - both the author's own and that of the women she encountered. Men who read this work will perhaps come to know or understand (a little) the women in their lives in a different way.
This book was one I simply could not put down. It opened me up to my own Hag energy, enticing me to explore it in my own way. Something has loosened within, freed up the shackles that held her back, showing that it is okay to let her out, with honour and respect. To recognise the Hag is to recognise a very deep and important part of human nature, which today's society all too often rejects out of fear, loathing or misunderstanding.
Emma's writing is, as always, clear, honest and precise. She writes from the heart, but argues her points eloquently with an intelligence that is wholly appreciated, coming from a point of view that is anything but dry academia. Everything about this book is enticing the title, the chapters, even the front cover. It beckons you to explore the dark goddess within human nature, asking you to come closer, closer, finally embracing but never submitting to the potent, life affirming force of The Hag. ~ Autumn Song, Druid Network
A moving book with personal stories which no doubt many of us will recognise. A book every woman and every witch (male or female) should read. Highly recommended. ~ Wiccan Rede
With great insight into the debilitating nature of women's shadow side and a vision of empowerment for the respect, integration, and honor women can achieve, Kissing the Hag illuminates women's experience and stages of life completely, celebrating the dark goddess within every woman's soul. ~ SageWoman
Kissing the Hag is a wonderfully intelligent, earthy, cosmic diary of the feminine life. I love the way it walks the edge between personal and collective, physical and poetic, highly ethical and thick in the uncertainties. While many writers fall into spiritualizing and intellectualizing the feminine, this life-soaked book remains close to the fluids of body and soul, even as it gives birth to one trusted insight after another. It's an obvious gift-book for women going through a life passage, but it could also be important for men, who are closer to the mysteries presented here than they might wish to be. ~ Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and A Life at Work
"Kissing the Hag tracks the initiatory phases of womanhood through the titles that women get cat-called throughout time. Here the raw reality of the Dark Goddess speaks her honest truth, going beyond the bad-mouthing and the sweet-talking fantasies surrounding women, to the compassionate heart of female identity." ~ CaitlÃn Matthews, author of Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom and In Search of Woman's Passionate Soul
I noticed that there were tears running down my face and I hadn't taken a breath for half a page. This book is a legacy and an initiation, a treasure to be passed from mother to daughter - an acceptance of our power and the wild, dirty rude sides we have all, at one time or another, tried to hide. As I sit back after finishing this book I wonder what it cost to write such truth, to so completely reach inside and tear off the mask, to be willing to share such devastating and delicious honesty. I will one day give my daughter Kissing the Hag and hope she has less need of it than I do... Kissing the Hag demands your full attention, it calls passionately to something deep inside, something that will not be denied. The book is both devastating and life affirming and there is no doubt in my mind that it will change the life of every person brave enough to read it. Embrace your hag or she will bite you ... ~ Shannon Smy, free spirit and singer/songwriter in award-winning protest band, Seize the Day
Kissing the Hag is as challenging as it's title might foretell. Restall Orr explores the inner landscape of the wild female soul in a frank, down to earth, and deeply personal manner. Written with honesty rarely seen, each chapter explores the roles and relationships women might hold in her life, from virgin and mother to whore, bitch and hag, shattering one's certainty of what may or may not define womanhood. ~ Susan Warren