Celebrating the Crone
Maiden, Mother and Crone. The stages of a woman's life. How often do we think about or honor the Crone? Since I am considered a Crone now, it is not surprising that I am looking more deeply into what she is; what she embodies; and how she is in this world.
The Crone is a woman who no longer menstruates physically, she is now a fully embodied wise woman. With many moons behind her and the experience she has acquired, she can now turn her attention to being a guide for the young. Being free in her body - no longer worried about pregnancy, pretense or deep fluctuations in hormones, she has come to a serene place of acceptance.. an embodied dance with the rhythms and energetics of life.
I have been guided by grandmothers with silver hair as magnificent as the moonlight for a very long time in my dreams, it has helped me develop a keen appreciation for the Crone, it has allowed me to see aging as an exquisite and delicate gift. It has helped me make healthy choices in the now and embrace with subtle anticipation the day when I too will be a grandmother to the children of our world.
In ancient times and cultures, the Crone was revered. The Crone was consulted for matters of importance and well being of tribes. Children and grown alike would come for advice and storytelling to the skirts of the Crone. The gray hair was looked at as stripes of honor and the wrinkles as badges of courage and experience. When a woman’s blood flow would stop coming it was said she no longer needed it, as she had accumulated the wisdom of the moon enough to embody it and invite it to stay. These wise women understood the importance of death and renewal at such a cellular level they no longer needed to be reminded every month.
In todays culture, the Crone is in great danger of being crushed. In a society where faster, better, younger is the theme and tattooed into our consciousness every day… The elders are very often overlooked and seen as nuisance, annoying, slow, their beauty is smudged over and often shoved into care homes or confined to a bedroom in the house, Google has now usurped the throne of the wise one.
We see Maiden archetype everywhere- the endless pursuit of youth.. From a multibillion dollar market of beauty products to the movie screens.. Everyone wants to be young, plump and fresh. We see the Mother archetype- the caring loving mother and as Lara Owen mentions in her book, although limited- it is even revered in religion.
But the Crone.. where is she?
She is hidden, she is stashed away… all that power hidden in her belly and nowhere to go. She has been pushed to abhor her post menopausal state, as though it is a condemnation rather than a blessing, as if not being able to birth children is now a curse that spills inward into a barren womb.. All that wisdom rejected, unacknowledged, dishonored in exchange for the pursuit of staying young and ‘fertile’ only to be ridiculed and mocked by a society that in paradoxical cruelty repudiates the Crone as well.
No, the Crone cannot expect to be accepted without first accepting herself, knowing that her bones are indeed each day becoming more and more one with the earth...
The silenced Crone cannot demand a place in a society where she too has helped exile this archetype.
This is why we need to speak of Her, the Crone- the holy guide that lives and will one day emerge from you and when it does… you will have a choice: will you let her in and feast on the banquet of your holy life experience or will you shut the door in her face and leave her out to starve in hopes that the maiden and mother, whom have left, will someday come back.
Many times I have wanted to write about the Crone even create for it but I am held back by the misleading belief that I have to be one to speak of it. ‘No more...' my sleeping crone has whispered, ‘you must begin to pave the way for my visit.. planting seeds along the path that may bloom for my homecoming.’
Resting and gestating in me, she is harnessing strength to come and live fully, to guide, to teach, to dance, to remind, to slow me down, to make me softer, to be reflected on my skin and in my gaze when the time comes.
So in the meantime, I will speak of the Crone to our children and to anyone that will hear - I will honor the magnificently wise women I am surrounded by, sisters hiding their beauty behind veils. I will remind them, I will whisper, I will nudge, I will invite….
‘Take off your veil! You are holy sacred wise woman, you are here, you are a message… now is your time to guide!’