My Grandma and I flying a kite on her 94th birthday.
We round out our brief exploration of the triple Goddess with the Crone.
I have a special place in my heart for the Crone. My grandmother was very dear to me and was not only my grandma but a close friend. She was very matter of fact, always said things as she saw them (especially in later years and sometimes in a way that might be considered “rude”.)Yet she also always believed that learning was something that kept going for the entirety of ones life and that there were endless things to be curious about and wonder and awe were around many a bend in the road. She also never feared aging. She was not one to dye her hair (although she always got it “set”) and she took pride in her appearance. But she wasn’t worried about getting wrinkles or grays. She just felt frustrated by the limits her body gave her later in life (my grandmother lived to be 95).
I have also been blessed to have many amazing women in their Crone years in my life and have gotten to learn from (And continue to learn from) them.
The Crone years of our lives are those that begin during peri-menopause and menopause. These are our later years and correlate with the waning and dark moon, late fall and winter, dusk and night. She is the invitation to turn our attentions inward that come with all of these cycles. When I think of the Crone, I think of a woman who is not afraid of the darkness.
The Crone holds deep wisdom. Sometimes she is illustrated as an elder woman living in solitude, as the Medicine or Wise Woman, or the Midwife. She is the person we turn to in search of healing, and in search of answers. She is the storyteller and the story keeper. Someone must hold the stories of all that has come before and pass this down, so that the wisdom is not lost.
When cast in shadow she is seen as “the hag”, sometimes frightening, sometimes weak. Our elders are often set aside, due to our own ego fear of aging, yet they hold the most wisdom of any of the life stages. When we embrace the aging process as growth we are more able to access the medicine that resides in the aspect of the Crone.
When I think of the Crone in balance, I think of an energy that is nurturing, yet not enabling. One that can hold and support but not coddle. She is a powerful force and one to be honored and respected.
I picture a strong woman who speaks her truth and yet also knows the power and gift that silence can bring (this is often a skill learned in our Mother aspect but I believe it is more honed, in the Crone phase).
I also picture a woman who is completely embodied in herself. She has done her tasks of raising children (or birthing her career, or whatever this might have been for her), and now she is able to focus more on herself. In balance she has strong and clear boundaries and knows when her energy is best served turning inward.
As with any stage or aspect of the triple Goddess we hold the Crone energy within us regardless of our current life stage.
In what ways do you see this energy reflecting in you?
Emily Morrison MA, MFT