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Kissing the Hag: The Dark Goddess and the Unacceptable Nature of Women

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Kissing the Hag is a wonderfully intelligent, earthy, cosmic diary of the feminine life... this life-soaked book remains close to the fluids of body and soul... 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 t ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published March 16th 2009 by John Hunt Publishing (first published October 31st 2008)
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4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  148 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Titus L
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
As a male reader, I particularly liked the moral in the Arthurian Marriage of Gawain at the start. Beautifully, almost poetically written at times, with a very interesting mix between analysis and personalized accounts. I found Orr's exploration of the seven Goddesses, which I do consider as underlying female archetypes, to be sensitive and insightful. Personally however, I would have enjoyed this work more if I had read it at a younger age when so much of which she speaks was still shrouded in ...more
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If ever there was a book that has personally spoken to me then this is it, as through it I feel I have rediscovered myself. This book is a beautifully written account of what it truly means to be a woman especially from a Pagan perspective. It teaches us not only to understand, but to embrace the darker aspects of a woman's nature rather than suppress it.
In this modern and conventional world it is so easy to lose touch with one's Wild and beautiful nature and conform to what society dictates th
Didi Delighted
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
K.S. Thompson
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was drawn to a discussion on another social networking site and a list of books recommended by one of the members. This book leapt out at me and after enjoying “Eating in the Light of the Moon”, I decided to order it. As it turns out, for me this was the perfect follow-up.

While this isn’t an “easy” read (it can trigger a lot of emotion), I was able to devour this book in two sittings. The author blends storytelling and retellings of life-altering events, enabling you to view issues from sides
Nimue Brown
Oct 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: moon-books
I've taken this quote from the beginning of 'Kissing the Hag' - it gives a flavour of the book, in terms of both the writing style and the content. It's a very readable book, in which some quite difficult subject matter is handle in prtty accessible ways.
The story of Gawain and the Loathly Lady runs through this book - a mythic counterpoint to talking about issues of modern femininity and gender relations. I've talked about that aspect of the book in more detail in another blog post - http://n
Mar 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is another wonderful book by Emma Restell Orr. Her beautiful prose lulls you into a false sense of security and then she makes you think about subjects you were intending to consider until you have formed your own viewpoint.
Dec 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women, archetypes
Starting with a well-told retelling of the Arthurian tale “The Marriage of Gawain,” Orr explores seven goddesses (I keep thinking of them as archetypes): the virgin, the whore, the mother, the bitch, the witch, the old bag, and the hag. The book is written for a female audience, but the author welcomes male readers in the hopes that the book will help them understand the women they know a little better, and because under these various goddesses there’s a “current” that is common to human nature ...more
Pegi Eyers
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"With great insight into the debilitating nature of women’s shadow side, and new visions of empowerment for the respect, integration, and sacred honoring women can achieve, the chapters in Kissing the Hag illuminate women’s experience and stages of life completely. The Wild and Dark; The Blood; The Virgin; The Whore; The Mother; The Bitch; The Witch; The Old Bag and The Hag celebrate the dark goddess within every woman’s soul. This book can inform us how to live more wholly, and to weave the dar ...more
Sep 03, 2010 rated it liked it
Some powerful gems of wisdom. I think I will be coming back to this book from time to time- glad I have a copy of it.
Jun 19, 2012 rated it did not like it
I tried to keep reading then remembered that life is too short. The book did not speak to me, felt repetitive. I friend I respect recommended it, so I'm sure others will enjoy.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paganism
So, how to label this book? What is it about?

Paganism? It is written by a druid and it does mention Goddess here and there, but...

Spirituality? Yes and no...

Philosophy? Possibly.

Or does it mattter? Speaking of my own experience, Kissing the Hag is all about transformation and thought-provoking book of women and aspects of the Goddess. Or the Goddess and the aspects of women. Or the life and what challenges, phases of life, taboos a woman will face.

The only minus I'll give is to editorial work.
"Kissing the Hag" is a book for every woman, from every walk of life, of every age. While Emma Restall-Orr comes from an animist Druid background, I find that this book is relevant for all women, regardless of their background, and throughout, the book is peppered by personal accounts from many different women. I'd even recommend it to male readers to gain some insight into the wild woman (and I'd love to find a similar book from a male perspective).

The author goes through the facets of the Hag,
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fem-lit
Kissing the Hag: The Dark Goddess and the Unacceptable Nature of Women is the perfect book to indulge reading right before bed. In weaving a tapestry of different themes and identities of womanhood, Emma Restall Orr succeeds in creating an easy and accessible book for all ages of women. It may not be quite as accessible for women who believe that characteristics of womanhood are simply patriarchical constructs; women of colour and trans-women (for their personal unique experiences of womanhood) ...more
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
What an excellent book; I'd had it down as to read for a long time and thought that I would actually get to read it and now that I have I wish I'd read it sooner. The whole thing was certainly written by a lady who knows her subject with a passion (and not just because she happens to be female) that shines through the whole thing...even when that thing is mud, blood, snips and snails.
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very good but it peters out a little at the end and, although the author really gets to the heart of the dark side of the feminine, there's a few little faux pas throughrout that bring the rating down (such as referring to Down Syndrome by the archaic mongolism.) Despite its flaws, it's worth a read and you'll almost certainly find something that speaks to you here.
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: occult
A book that gives some deep insight into the minds and motivations of women.
After reading Kissing The Hag, I have come to a better understanding of myself.
This is a book every woman, and the men who love them, should read.
Dec 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A thoughtful, challenging, inspiring book exploring the unnaceptable aspects of femininity, and how to live with them! This is now my Favourite ERO book, I expect will be re reading it. It's not just for women, blokes may find this really helpful too.
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What DOES a woman want? I could teach you, but I'd have to charge.

No, seriously, a good pick for a different perspective on the various phases of a woman's life, including aging, which I am personally finding very helpful.
Oct 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I acquired this book for 10p in a crazy special offer Emma ran this summer. The book was a delight to read. It gave an accessible broad overview to starting druidry from a woman's perspective.
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pagan-stuff
THE absolute best in women's spirituality.
rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2015
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Dec 23, 2018
Angela Hunt
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Jan 05, 2014
Marsha Mcgregor
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Nov 10, 2017
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Oct 20, 2015
Dajana Heremic
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Jul 04, 2018
rated it it was ok
Feb 22, 2012
Joanna Rose
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Jan 20, 2018
Sophie Horsman
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Oct 20, 2012
Leah Pavasaris
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[from Wikipedia] -- Emma Restall Orr is a British neo-druid, animist, priest, poet and author. She worked for the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids in the early 1990s, becoming an Ovate tutor. In 1993 she became joint chief of the British Druid Order (BDO) staying until 2002. Together with the Order founder Philip Shallcrass, she developed the BDO into one of the largest and most influential of its ...more
“Round-bottomed, soft-bellied, irrational, magical, too caring, too carefree, proudly demanding, unfettered by dependence, sexually unashamed, hairy, hungry, unpredictable, silently present, intangibly distant, ceaselessly gossipy, alarmingly uninhibited, seething with potential, incomprehensible, altogether unfathomable, dangerous and deliciously powerful, she is the hag. She bleeds. She laughs so hard her belly shakes, she snorts and farts. She is the dark side of woman, the inside, the raw side beneath the surface skin we are taught so well to cleanse and tone and remedy with paint. She is the woman whose self-expression is not quite under control. Mysterious, intuitive, emotional, curvaceous, lustful, needy, selfish, natural and free, she is the me we long to - but know we shouldn’t - reveal. Feeling” 0 likes
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