I think it's the beard. Another stereotype that surfaces when I look into the card is the concept that old is authentic. I see it in the Pagan community. My tradition or linage is traced back to Gardner, therefore it's not only authentic, it's the one true Wicca.
My tradition is decedent from the secret knowledge of the twinkie as set forth by the ancient Grand Poobah himself. My great grandmother was a witch, it's been in my family since we survived the burning times, and we keep them, our most dangerous secrets, but I can tell you.
I think it's the beard that gives the validating concept of age. Ancient seems to make knowledge... more. I will be the first to admit my attraction to it. As a Mason I love the heritage, the history. I went thought the same initiations as the founding fathers of this country and hundreds of famous important people have. I have attached myself to them, and they validate me. Don't they?
Some of my magic is very old, yes. But some of my most powerful magic is only a few days old. But somehow the new is not "authentic or real" because I freshly crafted it. I have tested this theory in my classes and litergies. I explain and promote a concept that is indipendanly valid and briliant on it's own merit. It never fails, someone will ask where did this come from? What culture has been hiding it away for all these years? How old? How long is it's beard?
What difference does it make? What if I told you that I made it up? or does it sound better if I say I developed it over years of practice and study all on my own without the help of the priest kings. Or my Grandmother taught me, which she did. What if I share with you the secret truth that the spirit of Gardner came to me in a vision, or no, wait, what if Gardner told Buckland who told Harry who told John who told Todd who told Robert who told me? But don't tell anyone I told you or they'll make me shave my beard.
Which by the way, in my opinion, is peach fuzz, mediforacly speaking.