Tag Archives: MAD Goddess

A Year of Becoming Crone

Crone woman in mosaicI marked sixty years of life last month. I am relishing the milestone. True, a trace of mourning for my lost youth still lingers around my edges, but the circle turns ever onward and aging is life. I find I spend more time imagining my crone years stretching out before me, who I want to be as Crone, and what legacy I want to create.

The triple goddess archetype of Maiden, Mother and Crone has been much misunderstood and often reimagined. I see it as a broad metaphor, not to be applied literally, nor its increments marked so precisely to biological functions in the life span of a woman.

The Maiden embodies youthful spirit of adventure and exploration, she is unfettered and carefree. Her energy is the awakening of and to life and in that respect she is ageless.

The Mother is the perpetuator of life. She has the potential to grow a child, give birth and care for the child, but that potential need not be actualized by the process of physical birth. The Mother is Creatrix of all life. Her energy is to bring change, to keep things moving forward, to create the unfolding of life, especially her own.

The Crone, of course, is the woman of experience. She is a vault of knowledge gained though life’s lessons—often hard learned. The Crone sees the bigger picture, her energy is of comprehension, compassion, and temperance. She has, perhaps, the most revealing of all vision, that of hindsight. The Crone brings closure, a laying down of burdens too long carried.

The passage from one life stage to the next, does not erase the former. We carry with us all the ages we have been. Neither are the transitions set hard and fast in the flush or loss of hormones. Some women enter their croning earlier, some after they are much older. Becoming Crone is not about age, it’s knowing, in your deepest place, when you have arrived.

I have been hearing the Crone whispers for some time now, but events of the past few weeks have turned up the volume. The voice inside me calls, “Don the mantle and cloak, enter the circle of Crones. Your time is at hand.”

But what does that mean? Sit on my porch swing and wait for younger seekers to come ask my advice? Check my inbox for an invitation to the circle? I’m thinking not. So, like I’ve done with most everything in my life, I’m jumping in feet first. The plan is to spend this year defining the parameters of my Croneship.

Many modern adaptations of the Maiden, Mother, Crone life cycle have expanded it beyond the three archetypal phases. Two models stand out as revolutionary and the books that introduced them have become timeless classics:  The Queen of Myself by Donna Henes and The Women’s Wheel of Life by Elizabeth Davis and Carol Leonard.

Ah, but of course! The three stages of the Triple Goddess are not the only points along the way. As on a beautiful color wheel, they are the primary hues, and between them are all of the beautiful blends—some in equal amounts, yes, but also those with a bit more of this than that, to give us all the colors of the spectrum.

The Queen lies directly between Mother and Crone. She is a powerful woman with much of the warrior about her, fighting for the right to her own sovereignty and for that of all women. From advocate to activist, she is a brave force in whatever causes she takes up.

In The Women’s Wheel of Life, Davis and Leonard give us thirteen unique archetypes, all distinct stages of the progression of blood mysteries, but again like the color wheel, the energies of each archetype strengthen the opposite aspect on the wheel. There are no less than five stages between Mother and Crone—Midwife, Matriarch, Amazon, Priestess and Sorceress.

In the Triple Goddess model, I have been more Crone than Mother for some time now. Queen felt right with her empowerment energy and capacity for the work of shaping society, but my urge to pass the scepter and crown to the next generation has become strong of late. While age alone and the death of my own mother makes me a Matriarch, the energy of Priestess and Sorceress feels much more visceral.

This makes sense to me. The Matriarch bears much of the Queenly qualities, still shaping and nurturing her family and community, while the Priestess and Sorceress are channels of Spirit. Their solo journey takes them through the deserts or to the mountain tops, they walk in the dark places, carefully listening, stirring past experience with divine truth, distilling the message that will be shared as Crone wisdom.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that true croning has almost nothing to do with natural age progression. True croning is an emergence from the depths of our self reckoning and the integration of our shadow and light, a beautiful blend allowing for all the tones. Where once we thought we knew everything, Crone shows us how narrow our vision has been.

The particular Crone energy I’m feeling is one of understanding, compassion, and acceptance that there are many paths to the same end. Between right and wrong action is a wide, gray chasm of potential for harm. I want to choose the way of least harm to myself—this precious, mortal vessel deserves at least as much love and care as I have given to others throughout my life.

I am quite ready to lay down the sword of the Amazon & Warrior, to pass the scepter and crown of the Queen to the next generation, knowing that it doesn’t mean ceding territory already hard-won. I have no doubt there are still many lessons to learn, but I believe they will be of a less corporeal and more transcendent nature.

Whether short or long, my journey to becoming Crone has begun.


Blessed Imbolc – Gently The Light Returns

Sunrise - Gently the light returns

The wheel of the year turns in its own time. Sometimes it seems not fast enough for us, and others it seems to speed along at breakneck pace. By our human nature, we’d all like the season we most enjoy to last the longest. For me, living in northern woods bordering Canada, that season is summer. I want it to arrive sooner, stay longer and take slow leave.

When I want to understand the wheel of the year, I think of the ancient peoples who followed it.

Based on the seasons, it marked the times of darkest winter, when survival depended on warm shelter and stocks of food, on trapping or hunting—or perhaps migrating to warmer climates for nomadic tribes. It followed the cycle of growth in the return of vegetation, foraging and gathering. Later it marked the times of cultivating and planting, then harvesting, of tending stocks and the timing of breeding.

Spring and fall are what I think of as in-between seasons. We watch the signs, consumed with anticipation of longer daylight and warmer weather, or filled with urgency to prepare for the dark and cold half of the year.

Imbolc marks an in-between time. The sap begins slowly rising up from the roots into the tree trunk, making it’s way to branch tips. We cannot see it, nor hear it, but we know it’s happening and that it will soon be time to tap the trees. This is the time of the earth’s quickening. Any woman who has borne children knows that time, when the child growing in the womb first begins to stir, as gentle a touch as a fly lighting on your arm.

Spring is stirring in the womb of mother earth and soon, like a woman whose belly swells round with life, the signs of the new season will burst forth around us.For now we wait, we anticipate, like zealous detectives we scrutinize the earth form for visible signs of spring’s impending arrival. When it seems there are none (or none we can yet see), we create celebrations to honor them, perhaps to coax them along.

Imbolc is more widely known as the secular holidays of Candlemas Day and Groundhog Day. A folk rhyme told, “If Candlemas Day be sunny and bright, winter shall have another flight.” Of course we know if the groundhog sees his shadow on February 2, we are in for six more weeks of winter.

Even during my lifetime these predictors once seemed reliable, but in recent years, the weather patterns seem to fluctuate wildly within all the seasons. Those of us connected to the planet and nature in our spirituality, see this subtle and have no doubt the climate is in upheaval—a transition phase marking a change.

This Imbolc, spend time in nature wherever you are living. Connect with the Earth Spirit through the souls of your feet walking her surface, through the scent of the air in your nostrils and the feel of it on your skin, through the vision of the landscape beyond your doorstep. Look for the signs she is giving you. Listen to what she has to say. Honor her as Mother and thank her for the life she gives.


All Work and No Play Is Just Too Exhausting

Yesterday I attended what is popularly known as a Psychic Fair. There were a lot of psychics there. Also several, very talented artisans offering hand crafted jewelry, clothing and accessories. I chatted with vendors over crystals and gemstones, herbals and essential oils, organic honey and beeswax, and singing bowls.

Today marks the midpoint of National Novel Writers Month, or NaNoWriMo. Before midnight, I should have 25,000 words of 50k for the first draft of my novel completed if I’m going to stay on par. I’m a bit behind, and I have two deadlines coming up on freelance pieces; the freelance work takes priority because it brings in the checks. More so, I’ve made a commitment to the editors. I have never left an editor hanging, and I never will – short of my own flat-line being the cause.

It didn’t make sense to take the day off to meet up with a bunch of girlfriends, talk off things metaphysical, sit in on some interesting mini-seminars and shop.

Or did it?

The day before, I struggled with the chapter I was working on, though struggle doesn’t seem to convey the experience. It was more liked I’d spent the day wrestling with a much younger, much stronger opponent, fighting for the pin. I was exhausted, I ached, my eyes burned and my brain hurt, but I wasn’t going to shut my computer off until I’d finished the chapter and at least gotten close to the word count for the day.

I went to sleep, trying to work out plot turns in my head. I didn’t sleep very well. I didn’t resolve any of my novels scenes either, so that was a waste. I remember thinking I needed a good neck and shoulder massage.

Well, what do you know? At the psychic fair a local mind and body wellness center was offering chair massages at a bargain. I signed up for fifteen minutes. The second the practitioner laid hands on my shoulder blades, I felt the heat penetrating through the light vest and shirt I was wearing. I thought maybe he’d warmed them first, but the heat lasted through the entire massage and it wasn’t just a surface warmth; I could feel it, like a pleasant electric charge, going deep into my muscles. It was the best massage I’ve ever had and maybe the most needed. I felt lightened, unburdened, when I walked away.

Usually I buy handfuls of crystals and gemstone when I go to these fairs. Sometimes I buy jewelry. I bought my singing bowl at a similar fair five years ago. I have never purchased clothing, and if I did, I’d expect it would be some  renaissance wear like a cape or puffy blouse.

This time, I bought a pair of socks. I paid more than three times for this single pair of socks than I have paid for any socks ever to warm my feet. And that was the point. Two days earlier, I’d told my husband I had to find a pair of soft, thick wool socks to wear with my slipper clogs to keep my feet warm in the studio (the floor is always so cold).

It occurs to me now, that the two things I asked the universe for were put before me yesterday. Say what you will about psychic fairs, metaphysical mysteries and the unknown workings of the universe. I’m sitting here today with relaxed shoulders and warm feet.

I also have a rested body and brain, ready to bring my word count up to par and reach the halfway point of a completed novel (first draft) written in one month. So while wasting the day when I should have been writing maybe didn’t seem like such a good plan, it was what I needed after all.

All work and no play is just too exhausting these days.

. mid Get a  ^  life!

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