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Experience, Wisdom and The Power of the Crone

When we hear the word Crone, it suggests the negative stereotypes of a haggard, ugly old woman, cackling with a type of madness.  A witch-like woman who lives outside of society and community in a decrepit hovel in the woods. Generally presented as disagreeable, jealous of youth and beauty and, often, exhibiting supernatural or magical abilities.  It hasn’t always been this way.  The Crone archetype has been exhibited in many different cultures through myths, folklore and story.  It is believed that in the Paleolithic era, the mother goddess was honored and revered as one; for ancient peoples understood the cycles of birth, death and rebirth. As societies moved from being woman centered to being dominated by men, the Great Goddess was split into 3 separate entities, identified by the stages of woman’s lives: Maiden, Mother, Crone.  This is best evidenced in the triple faced goddess Hecate.  Personified in myths by Demeter, Persephone and Hecate. This myth shows the cyclical spiral of birth, death and rebirth: in the seasons, in our development, in our integration of the lessons of our physical reality into our psyches.

The maiden archetype is associated with youth, beauty, the bursting forth or life, energy and the newness of everything. It is associated with the waxing moon, innocence, vitality, creativity and learning. The mother archetype is represented by the full moon, stability, nurturing, patience, determination, protectiveness, and a focus on getting things done. The Crone archetype corresponds to the waning moon, loss of fertility, external beauty, activity and aging in general. 

I think that the modern interpretations of these archetypes, although useful in some ways, do not begin to understand the depth of what it means to be in the crone stage of life.  Our society dwells on usefulness and productivity. From very early on, we are taught that if something is not productive or “functioning”, then it has no use and must be discarded.  As women, we spend our early lives learning new things, starting families, raising children, supporting and nurturing our families in so many ways.  Then suddenly life begins to slow down. Husbands pass away, relationships end, children grow up and move away, we are passed over at work as new ideas and technologies outpace us and the wisdom we have acquired.  It often brings on emotions of sadness, depression, isolation and disassociation. 

This cusp is the autumn of our physical reality. In the autumn it is time to look over and evaluate everything that has been gathered.  This slowing down is, actually, an incredibly beautiful thing.  It is a very important time.  It is a time when the quiet can and should be used to integrate the lessons of a life well spent.  To take the knowledge of experience (divine masculine) and have it become true wisdom (divine feminine). To create a life of balance based on our own intuitive knowing.

The Crone has used her experiences as teachings and lessons.  She has coppiced off all the ideas, habits and even relationships that do not support her or foster her growth. This makes her an incredibly strong and free figure, which is why the words hag  (from the word holy), witch (from the word wit) and crone (from the word crown) all have such negative connotations in language. A crone does not focus on the could have/should have/would have of life.  She integrates what is with what she truly desires moving forward. A true crone learns from the difficulties of life and focuses on the gifts and the joys of what is and moves forward because she understands that what she focuses on is what will dominate her reality.

The Crone by Catherine Weser

It is about finally living in authenticity.  Doing what we enjoy and saying no to those things that we do not.  Respecting both our passion and our outrage and being able to express them both unconditionally.  It requires a knowing of ourselves, it very often requires a period of solitude, reflection and meditation before our rebirth. And that rebirth is important.  Our community is in desperate need of this wisdom.  Women are coming to understand the importance of this circle.  The Crone, the wild woman, the grandmother, these elders were valued in ancient cultures for the deep intuitive wisdom they were able to impart.  It is important that as we transmute these experiences into gnosis, that we remember that our community needs this now more than ever.

Stay Balanced.

Stay Blessed.

Have an amazing week!

By Stargazer

I am a lifelong learner. I have lived experience in many, many forms but what I hold dear is my connection with the land, my spirituality, my ancestors and teaching others that there is another way to live besides the current offering!

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