On Becoming a Crone

On Becoming a Crone

Author:   Belladonna SilverRayne   

Why is it so hard to admit we’re growing older? Why do we fight it tooth and nail? Society and the media as a whole, wants to show aging as something to be fought against, to be put off as long as possible. Why? Look at any sit-com, news broadcast, music video…. it’s all about being young and “beautiful”. Youth is made out to be the epitome of what we all want to be. Who wants to get old, right? Wrong!

I will be 45 on my next birthday. A fact that, when said out loud at first, made me mentally cringe. “Me? 45?? That means only 5 more years till I’m 50!!” After I said it aloud several times, and really thought about it, I could say it with confidence. Yes. Me. 45 going onto 50.

And I love it! I am moving into the Crone stage of my life, and enjoying every minute of it!

I loved the Maiden stage, when I was young, supple, carefree, and self-indulgent. Who among us didn’t? Life seemed so simple, so easy to handle. And it was. My biggest worry was what outfit I’d wear out to the club to dance and make merry with friends.

I sowed my oats, looked out for number one (me, of course) and just basically did my own thing. I moved at the speed of light, never really stopping to appreciate the things around me, never really taking anything in. Just “doing”. As I got a little older, I met the person that would become my husband and the father of my kids and we began our life together.

And I grew.

Then came Mother-hood. My body showed great evidence of the birthing of my children, as did my energy levels, emotional (in) stability, and newfound patience. I now had three other human beings, put on this Earth by me, all looking TO me to provide, nourish, teach, and love. Wow! As they grew, learned, made mistakes, and matured, I did as well. I managed to learn along the way to slow down a bit, to really notice things as they happened around me. I watched and listened a little more carefully now. I loved every moment, good and not so good, watching these amazing people who were once actual, living parts of my own body, turn into individuals, all truly unique within themselves, seeing them overcome hurdle after hurdle. Such a reward in life I will never receive again. Or will I?

I divorced my husband, and watched my kids growing older, going out on their own, and beginning their lives as young adults.

And I grew.

When I first began my Pagan path, I was still in what is considered the Mother stage, my kids were still relatively young and “needed” me in a mommy way. I was still very fertile, and the idea of having another baby sometime was not out of the question. Time passed and that idea faded, along with my monthly menses. (Can’t say I miss them much!)

It took me quite awhile to realize that I was no longer in that stage once the Croning period began. I wanted to fight it, to deny it, all for vain reasons, I’m sorry to say. I wanted to cling to that youth, or at least the image of it. Or so I thought. Now, after having met, gotten to know, and come to love, many admirable women, all in the Crone cycle of life, I am fully aware that I too am at that stage. And come to find out, it’s not so bad after all!

As I move into my Croning time, I don’t look at it as an ending, but a beginning, very akin to giving birth (only this time, I don’t think I’ll need all the medications!) . I will be giving birth to my Self. I can allow my Self to now grow, learn, and experience life, as I once allowed my children to do these things.

I am eager to gain more wisdom as time goes by, as the Great Wheel turns, and as season drifts into season.

I am learning to cherish the lines on my face, as each one stands for some lesson learned, some path walked down, perhaps a hardship suffered and come through stronger because of it.

I have begun to admire my stretch marks as battle scars, won not on the field of some war, but fighting to bring life into this world, one wonderful child at a time.

I now embrace the fullness of my softened body, knowing that even though it may not bring life into this world any longer, or be as taut and supple as it was two decades ago, it can still allow for pleasures, for physical support, and for living life in a healthy, Goddess-filled way!

I am now allowing my mature mind to expand and create in ways that it could not in the past.

I enjoy the younger ones coming to me, asking for my opinion, needing a particular sort of comfort that only someone my age can offer.

I am now ready to walk towards the end of my path in this particular life, knowing that even though it comes towards me quicker than ever, there is still much to gather, much to pass on, but still much MORE to learn and take in.

In Pagan societies (as well as many others) Elders are looked to for advice, comfort, wisdom, and as examples. Who better to follow than a grand Crone or Sage, not past their prime, but fully embracing it, fully aware of themselves as human beings? I so hope to be such an example, to my children, my Pagan brothers and sisters, and non-Pagan friends, alike. I want to show what it is to age gracefully, to accept that life is a never-ending cycle of birth, growth, death, and re-birth, in so many ways. I want everyone to see that while youth has it’s merits and perks, so does growing older and wiser.

Whatever stage of life you may be in as a woman. Maiden, Mother, or Crone, realize the absolute beauty of the moment, embrace it for all it is worth, and live each cycle to the fullest. Know that you have earned all that you are made up of, inside and out. And fear not, for Crone is not the end of the line, it is the goal we, as women, all strive to attain.

Autumn: The Croning Time

Autumn: The Croning Time

Author:   Lady Abigail   

Spirited away, my energy gently glides above the treetops like a down feather blown within the circling wind. Below, I see the quilted workings of Mother Earth in the patches of green grass, freshly plowed ground and fields of grain ready now for the harvest. The air is sweet and cool as it moves round my body and delights me like loving whispers of voices unknown. Faeries dance on wing; their joyous laughter calling my spirit ever on. Reaching down, I try to grasp a bright purple leaf from atop the sugar maple. As my energy moves within the magickal moment, I feel the sun warming me as it moves through the essences of my being, giving glimmers of what possibilities lie just beyond. . .

And then, in a sound, a spark of light, the cracking of a twig, I find myself laying atop the freshly cut hay ready for baling. Yet looking down I find within my hand the big and beautiful purple leaf from the top of the old sugar maple. Did I pick it up in my dreams or from under the tree? In my heart I shall always believe it came within that veil of magick just between dreams and what others call reality.

I always looked forward to sharing my adventures with my Great Grandmother. She, in her wisdom, would listen to each of my quests with attentive wonder and delight. It didn’t matter if they were ones of my chasing a frog down the creek bank for a few short and muddy hours, or those that carried me above the tree tops and into the veils of magick and possibility. She was there for me, smiling and teaching; teaching me many lessons I still remember even today.

Now that Autumn is here and Samhain is quickly approaching, I cannot help but remember the magick I felt and still feel today in this time of changing. The energy seems to rise within my spirit, as it sparks and dances across the essence of my soul. It touches me in memories and stories shared as my Great Grandmother would teach the old ways and the understanding of the Seasons of Life. In this, I again feel I can soar above the treetops in the arms of Autumn.

Fall is more than a season or that time of transition from summer to winter. Fall is what my Great Grandmother called the “Croning Time;” that time where the giving of life moves to the teaching of life within wisdom, no longer giving birth to new life, but nurturing all that is life and all that life brings.

Autumn is the “Spirit Goddess of the Changing.” She is guardian of the Croning Time.” Autumn in Her feminine form, is welcoming us unto Her as She, in wisdom, changes to the Crone. Autumn is a Grandmother Goddess and a keeper of the Cauldron of Life. She is wise with great knowledge and the understanding, which has grown within and of her experiences. Proud and strong, She dresses in the glorious colors of all that She is and shall be again.

As the Great Crone, Autumn, welcomes us with understanding of our own personal changes within the seasons that are life. She teaches us that Fall, as the Croning Time, is a time of celebration and joy. As we celebrate the seasons and ourselves, we find the wisdom within to see the beauty held in all the colors that make life the magick that it truly is.

Today in the eternal goal of everlasting youth, we find disgrace in and hide the changes of our personal seasons of life. Wrinkles are no longer seen as the lines of knowledge and understanding from the roads in life we have traveled and conquered. Now they are marks of shame for what nature brings us. We fight and pull and dug until sometimes, we cannot even recognize the reflection looking back at us in the mirror.

Graying hair is no longer a crown of wisdom, but a symbol of old age to be hidden. Age is no longer held as a destination of honor but is approached with the fear that we will be cast away, unimportant and forgotten. For our society finds it easer to lock away the wisdom of the aged behind closed doors than to seek the secrets held within. Perhaps age causes us dread because it uncovers within what our emotions fear. For when we are faced with those aged by life it reminds us each of the approach of inevitable death. Death no longer being a new beginning but the end of what was.

Autumn, as the Great Crone reminds us, that time life and death are but a thought, a moment flashing past eternity. Not to be feared but each to be relished and enjoyed. For as with the seasons, each holds it on gifts. Spring, Her excitement of the possibilities of the magick life holds anew. Summer, Her knowledge growing as She gives birth to new beginnings and eternal hope. Autumn, in Her wisdom and beauty reminds us of all that we have and all we have to give. Winter, wraps us in Her soft blanket of white that we might rest within the arms of Mother Earth to be reborn again in Spring. For this time shall come again as time circles forward in the Great Wheel of Life.

For thousands of years, women of wisdom and age were honored, valued and revered as the Elder Women. Autumn, as the Spirit Goddess of the Changing, is also the guardian of the Croning Time. Dressed in Her radiant colors, She reminds us of the respect held by those who are entering The Croning Time. Autumn allows us to reclaim our identity and status of the ancients, as Crones and Elders. We are coming of age, accessing our wisdom and acting upon it. Croning is the process of becoming active wise women.

Croning can begin at any age and is particularly relevant for women 45 and older. Yet, even men can become Crones within their on understandings of this passage. Personal experiences of aging provide the understanding of your path within this Time of Changing. It is up to us to decide how the circumstances of life transform us and move us forward.

We can no more hold back time and aging than we can stop the Great Wheel as it moves forward in its seasons. Perhaps the reason we all find such a joyous renewal in the energy of fall is the power that Autumn gives us over the fear of change, in both life and death. Change should not be feared but celebrated, for life has given us another year of wonder, magick and beauty.

My Great Grandmother opened my eyes to the magick of the seasons. She walked with me as I found the Goddess all around me, dressed in Her bright and fiery colors of reds, oranges, purples, and gold’s. When I became tired, she encouraged me to walk forward on the hillsides and watch the morning rise as the glistening dew gave a kaleidoscope of color on the leaves. When I became weak, she would carry me until I could once more hear the sweet mystical voice flowing in the breeze that would renew my spirit.

Autumn is the Croning Time, a time of magick, a time for renewal of spirit. As you experience the mysterious energy of this mystical season, allow the child within you to replenish your soul . . . and again look to the treetops in their beauty and touch the veils beyond.

Now I am the Crone, proud to teach those within my life in honor to my Great Grandmother. Let the magick of the Season truly touch your spirit as you walk forward in the colors of life.

By; Lady Abigail
High Priestess Ravensgrove Coven
Greenfield, IN area
Copyright © 01102009

We Can Change The World

We Can Change The World

Author: Lady Wolfwind

I am growing older. That’s a fact. I’m still in the Mother stage of my life, but I am fast approaching Crone. I am okay with this. More than most people, I would guess. I’ve learned that part of my contribution to society, as a Crone, is to provide wisdom and guidance to those seekers who ask. I’ve fit into this role flawlessly. Most people don’t want to hear what you have to say and if they do, they don’t listen anyway. I’m sure this is just a natural part of life. I never listened to my elders either. I look back on it now and I remember their words. How I wish I’d heeded their advice. The road would have been so much easier and I would have traveled so much farther.

I think that we’ve all learned some hard lessons on our journey. I believe that it’s what life is all about. I believe that our lessons and experiences have shaped who we are and what we believe to be true today. I wonder what experiences have led all of you to the Goddess’s path? What made us choose to be so different than mainstream society and their beliefs?

I was talking to my husband this morning. He is not Pagan, but he respects me for who I am. I had had a conversation with our daughter the previous night and there were some things that were said that bothered me. It seems that in talking to my children, they expect me to “be” a certain way. They have expectations of who I should be and how I should be living my life and even what I should believe. They are grown and out of all the people in my life, they are the ones I feel pressure from to live the way society says I should. To put on a false face to please them and the world. They don’t live near me so there is no embarrassment that Mom is a Pagan. Most time I don’t think they know what it truly means and they don’t care to ask or to listen. They are caught up in living their lives and making a living.

As children, I put aside dealing with my own life and figuring out what I wanted for my future to raise them. I didn’t let my past life experiences determine how I would make decisions regarding them. I have come to realize, now that they are older, I’ve grown into the woman I was meant to become. All of my life experiences have made me who I am. They don’t seem to understand that I had past experiences before they were born. They don’t understand that I am living my life exactly the way I want to. They don’t’ seem to understand that it’s a person’s choice to not fit in. It’s the way it has to be. They talk about their past experiences and lessons and think that if it is so with them, it must be so with me. I can never be the person they think I should be.

My husband feels that this is a lesson for them to learn. That it takes years of wisdom before you understand what I’m trying to say. I’m so afraid that even he doesn’t understand what I’m trying to say. Maybe he feels that I should live like everyone else as well. He is younger than me. He set my fears at rest when he looked me in the eyes and told me, ” There are not many people who have the courage to live as you do.” I knew then that he understands me. He said it with such a deep feeling of respect and love that it brought tears to my eyes.

I am afraid that my children will wish they’d gotten to know me after I pass to the other side. Isn’t that the way it usually is? Don’t we all stand back and wish we’d said this or that? Don’t we wish we’d listened to one more story or just sat a few moments longer? Is there a time when we have that “ah ha” moment when it all becomes crystal clear and we finally put the final piece of the puzzle in place and understand the whole picture we’ve struggled with for so long? It is a sad realization that we never took the time to get to know the ones we love the most. Why do they feel the way they do? Why do they believe what they believe? Why is Mom so quiet? Why does Aunt Mary not cry? Do we know? Do we care? Wouldn’t it be nice to figure it all out while you’re sitting with them, looking into their eyes?

This is one of those lessons that I know will have to be learned the hard way. One day they will realize that I had a life before they were born. One day they will honor my strength for overcoming the obstacles that could have stood in the way of me being a good mother to them. One day, they will understand what it means to be Pagan and they will honor me for my courage to walk a different path. One day, they will realize how much I love them. One day, I will not be here. I want them to know me and understand me before that time comes. I don’t think it will work out that way. I think we all walk around with the wounds of “what if.” I don’t think it has to be that way. I think we need to take more time with the ones we love. We get so caught up in the daily grind. We get angry at each other for things that don’t even really matter. We need to learn to listen, not just hear. We need to listen to their body language, and we need to listen to the voice inflections. We need to listen to the subtle clues that vibrate through the air currents, which tell us about the other person. We need to take a moment each day and consciously decide to learn one thing about another person. Take the time to tell the ones you love how you feel about them.

I think if we would take a few moments each morning, instead of running out the door, to make a decision to slow down for a little while each day. If we would make the choice to not keep procrastinating about visiting our aging mother who tells the same stories over and over, to sit with our child and understand how their understanding the world around them, we would become better people for it. I believe it would change not only the ones we’ve taken the time with, but also ourselves. We have to stop letting life get in the way. I think we would understand how we all became to be the people we are and how the ones around us became the people they are. I think all of us would be able to let things go easier.

I believe, as a society, we have lost the course we were supposed to be on. Somewhere, we allowed money and instant gratification to become more important than even the ones that are supposed to mean the most to us. I think, as a Pagan community, we need to be different than that. I think we need to set the standards and set them high. I think we should start living as we talk, to be the example of change in our world. One person can make a difference. I feel that our time is coming. We need to be united and to send a message to the world. We need to slow down and let the message come through loud and strong. Pagans are about love and about doing what is right. We’re about caring about each other, even others of different races and beliefs. We have to start at home.

Tonight, call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile and tell them how much you’ve missed them. Reach out to someone who’s made you angry and tell them that you have forgiven them, set up a date with your spouse, dinner with your parents, a movie with your kids. Don’t worry about how much it will cost. It will cost you much more to not do these things. Don’t worry about what others will think. It is up to us to be the example. Today is the time to take the first steps toward a new world; one we all know is possible. I don’t believe we can put it off any longer.

Love to all my fellow witches,

Lady Wolfwind

Transitions …my journey from Spring into Autumn

Transitions  …my journey from Spring into Autumn

A child of the Moon is born, to two loving parents. She grows, nurtured by the strength of their love; safe, snug, secure and happy. All is well with her world. She is the Maiden; unfolding, blossoming, learning, yearning, hungry for knowledge. Seeking, wondering, always questioning. Entranced by the esoteric, the mysterious, the doctrines shunned by her parents, beliefs derided or feared, the source of future contention and turmoil. Something beckons… She sees in her world many things, many people. Her grandparents, loving and wise, teach her more of their ways than they realise; their love of the Earth, to plant, to harvest, to give back again, to keep the cycle turning, to see the beauty of the sunrise and sunset. Their own quiet, unspoken spirituality, always hidden, kept very private. She sees her father, the strong, quiet, scientific atheist, and her mother, the emotional, spiritual believer in God. Differences aside, their love is strong. Still, something beckons… As she grows, thoughts and ideas form. She quietly ponders, wonders, in her solitude. Why is she so different? She does not fit into the world of her parents, her brother, or peers. She feels somehow distant, alienated, alone. Her mother, newly Croned, has found new faith in Jehovah; passionately, fervently fresh and fanatical, dangerous, derisive, divisive. The Maiden wants no part of it. The Crone burns the Maiden’s secret treasures out of fear for her daughter’s soul. No respect, trust destroyed, childhood ended. Yet still, something beckons… The Maiden is now a Mother, scarred by the past, but matured, complacent. Her parents still together, father in quiet resignation with the wife, and the life he now knows. Their love is still strong. The new Mother still seeking, yearning, learning, hungry for knowledge, finds solace in crystals and herbal lore while teaching her children love, respect and tolerance. A new freedom of expression is slowly emerging; a desire to heal the heart, the people and the Earth, to plant, to harvest, to give back again, to keep the cycle turning. And still, something beckons… Cronehood fast approaches and still the Mother seeks; forever learning, hungry for knowledge of that which beckons. Fears of history repeating itself as she realises her goal. Has she become like her own mother, or has she learned? She treads softly, quietly, makes no waves, only ripples under the Moonlight. She has learned to stay silent, to hide what she now sees. It is not yet time to reveal new insights. Fear of rejection, ridicule haunts her dreams. Slowly confidence builds, to tell her atheist husband gently, softly, carefully reassuring. This is not a repeat of history but a lesson learned from it. Their love is strong. Cronehood, a heartbeat away, Her time; not of endings but of new beginnings. A time to blossom in the Sunlight with insight of that which beckons; the Goddess, to complement the God, the seen and unseen, dualities in  balance. Yet she has the wisdom to stay silent in the Moonlight as needed. The realisation that what is, always has been. To see the many different paths as aspects of the One, There is no one true path, but many. A time of forgiveness, understanding and tolerance, and to nurture those qualities within herself and others. This is her time, to share with her husband and children the wisdom of the Goddess; the Maiden, Mother and Crone. Their love is strong. Jenny Taylor (Jenwytch) I wrote this poem a while back, about my life and my journey into Witchcraft and Paganism which coincided with the beginnings of my transition from Mother to Crone …a similar age to when my own mother turned to a different spiritual path.  ;-) ~ Jenny

A Little Humor for Your Day – "I Know Now Why I Keep My Feet on the Ground, lol!"

British Airways Flight 602

“This is Captain Sinclair speaking. On behalf of my crew I’d like to welcome you aboard British Airways flight 602 from New York to London. We are currently flying at a height of 35,000 feet midway across the Atlantic.

“If you look out of the windows on the starboard side of the aircraft, you will observe that both the starboard engines are on fire.
“If you look out of the windows on the port side, you will observe that the port wing has fallen off.
“If you look down towards the Atlantic ocean, you will see a little yellow life raft with three people in it waving at you.
“That’s me your captain, the co-pilot, and one of the air stewardesses. This is a recorded message. Have a good flight!”

Quiz of the Day: What is Your Place in Nature?

Your Place in Nature? – Quiz

Humanity evolved from the heart of Nature. Day by day, season by season,  generation after generation, human lives were linked inseparably to the cycles  of the living world. Like the heartbeat of a great Mother, the rhythms and  workings of the natural world imprinted themselves into every cell of our  bodies. We knew our place within the whole and developed spiritual beliefs that  honored our independence within the vast network of sibling species.

For eons, the idea that humanity could be separate from the rest of life was  essentially incomprehensible. Only in the past few hundred years have our minds  fully embraced these concepts that tear us from the embrace of our broader  family. The new myth is hard. By keeping us from recognizing the Earth as our  natural means of support, it engenders in us a feeling of abandonment.

How do you perceive the living world around you? How do you view nature? Take  this quiz and find out:

As you consider each question, jot down your responses. Be brief. The point  is not to have everything all polished and exact – it is to get you thinking.

1.  How would you define Nature? What is your personal relationship with it?

2.  What is humanity’s relationship to Nature?

3.  What do you like most about the natural world? Which plants and animals  are most important?

4.  What do you not trust about the natural world? What aspects of it scare  you? Which animals or plants would you consider “bad?”

After taking this quiz step back. Create some distance between yourself and  the mainstream consciousness. Work with your beliefs. As you begin to see the  world more clearly, you’ll have an opportunity to observe your own beliefs with  greater objectivity. Feel your connections. The very best way to demonstrate the  illusion of separation is to gain some first-hand experience of just how  connected you really are. Then, when you hear messages that try to convince you  that you’re isolated, they won’t have any power. You’ll already know the truth  because you’ve felt it in your body.

Daily Feng Shui News for Sept. 3rd – 'Skyscraper Day'

‘Skyscraper Day’ brings up a Feng Shui cure for your living space, especially if you’re sandwiched between two taller structures. The smaller space in the center is often seen as a place that isn’t able to attract healthy, happy and prosperous Chi since the taller buildings around it block that high vibe. One way to correct this conundrum is to position a mirror, reflective side up, on the roof of your building. The mirror will symbolically reflect the height of the surrounding structures, bringing your building up with the big boys. Now everyone will get their fair share of the high vibe and be healthy, happy and prosperous too.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

Today's I Ching Hexagram is 1: Creative Power

1: Creative Power

Tuesday, Sep 3rd, 2013

hexagram09

 

 

The atmosphere is ripe with imagination, inspiration and energy, symbolized by the flying dragon. The dragon is an ancient symbol of an electrically charged, dynamic, arousing force that bodes well for creative initiatives. If your goals are in alignment with the greater good, your actions will meet with success, but this can only happen if you apply yang energy in a positive way. This hexagram, which consists of all yang lines, indicates a good time to take a leadership role, because Creative Power is with you now. But be forewarned: success turns to failure if you let strength turn to arrogance.

Believe in your vision and persevere; everything around you will flourish. Call upon Creative Power and let it work through you. Stay focused on your goals. Do not let yourself be distracted, or you may lose the power available to you now. And remember that when taking action, successful results require good timing.

Your Animal Spirit for September 3rd is Rabbit

Your Animal Spirit for Today
    September 3, 2013 

Rabbit

Poor Rabbit!  No other animal is so associated with fear than Rabbit—that nervous little bunny who hops and leaps at every little sound. Rabbit has come to you today to ask you to have the courage to face whatever difficulties you’re having instead of running away to a safe burrow. Face your fears, examine your old “fight or flight” patterns, and determine once and for all to stop hiding away.