Hagitude: Reimagining the Second Half of Life

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Hagitude: Reimagining the Second Half of Life

Hagitude: Reimagining the Second Half of Life

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And rather than suffer the wrath of her stepmother, she throws herself into the well, because that’s obviously a wise thing to do and then has a series of visions, which, as far as I could tell, if you boil them down were: be a very good little girl, do exactly what you’re told. Blackie explores these archetypes in Hagitude, presenting them in a way sure to appeal to contemporary women. Each season is represented by a witch to offer guidance and regale you with tales of iconic females.

These days we own just a small patch of land, and so I am focused more narrowly on the keeping of bees and hens, and the growing of vegetables and herbs. In spite of the fact that menopause can be triggered for a variety of reasons and that the whole journey can last 20 years or so, Western society at best treats menopause as a joke, and at worst, as some sort of disease that shouldn’t be acknowledged or discussed. And then she had written songs based on it and singing those songs as a group of women, just in a village hall in Devon, made my marrow melt. And what was more astonishing, is the way which I also describe very briefly in the book, that they were all associated with the geology of the places that they came from. She has written two novels and two non-fiction books exploring it, including the eco feminist bestseller If Women Rose Rooted.Her books have been translated into several languages, and she has been interviewed by the BBC, US public radio and other broadcasters on her areas of expertise. So if we begin with a kind of interrogation around what is it, that gift, what is it that we uniquely bring? Sharon: Yes, we had been at that stage at the point that I had the idea for the book, we’d been in Ireland probably five, getting on for six years.

So all of those things and the fact that she is really, really funny just make me adore Granny Weatherwax. Everyone has different experiences of womanhood that doesn’t make any experience less or more valuable, nor does it exclude. Probably wouldn’t necessarily recommend mine as the way to go, although it was very, very effective.To the podcast where we believe that another world is still possible and that together we can make it happen. How better to introduce you to this book than with Dr Sharon Blackie’s own words: ’There can be a perverse pleasure, as well as a sense of rightness and beauty, in insisting on flowering just when the world expects you to become quiet and diminish’. Just because in terms of engaging with the land, it struck me that that was a really deep and profound and personal and moved into that area of magic interaction that our Western Left Hemisphere brains don’t really engage with very well. And particularly in our fairly toxic, fairly damaged, it has to be said Western culture, where growing old feels – and you say this somewhere in the book – as if it’s it’s a penance and a punishment. And Granny, again, is one of the truth tellers that is never gratuitously unpleasant or rude or whatever.

So I think these kinds of conversations we need to be having as older women amongst ourselves, and we need to be figuring out a lot of stuff for ourselves that we can then use to draw younger people, at all stages of their life, into these conversations. Perhaps that is why I’ve stumbled across not one, but two different books that recently released that discuss the menopausal years.I would love to go into that one in more depth, but I have a suspicion that we would be mining my own psychology, and that’s probably not useful for the podcast. I’m honestly amazed that someone who speaks out against the patriarchy and who values women’s spaces and who sees how truly marginalized women are cannot see the how her perceived threat - by THE most marginalized segment of society - mirrors the way men under patriarchy are threatened by the women they oppress. And it is curious that that doesn’t seem to bear any relationship to my preferences, any more than the fact that I was born in the north east of England seems to make any difference to my preferences always for the West.

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