The Crone Archetype is often one that women struggle to connect as easily to as the lovely Maiden or the nurturing Mother. Not a lot of us want to claim the 'ugly old hag', however, I want to share with you the original beauty of this word.
Crone came from 'crown'. It is a crowning.
A crowning of wisdom, experience, the blessing of being able to grow old, spirit connectedness, of self-knowledge.
For me, Crone has become an energy I crave more of as I began my forties. Even though official Croning usually happens between 50-60 (with menopause and the physical shift), we all have Crone energy in us… from birth. You can see it in those babies that have 'old souls' in their eyes. We can all tap into the gifts of the Crone like:
- Relying on intuition and self-knowledge over outside validation
- Being able to hold the paradoxes of the world like birth and death, light and dark, and knowing all are needed
- Seeing what is sacred and worth acting upon versus what is less important and accepted
- A connection to ancient and inner wisdom
- Trusting ourselves and our place in this world
Crone energy is an essential energy. In fact, I would beg to say that it is what is most needed today. We need to know what to accept, what to change and how we can do that in a way that will move us forward -- not create more conflict. The Crone is an expert at coming from compassion and only attempting to change what needs to be changed and can be changed. Her intention is not to create drama or conflict, really the opposite.
We can take back the 'ugly old hag' and transform her into a powerful, wise, experienced women that we are. One way we do that is with ceremony and ritual. I create these for people I know, but here are some ideas to create your own for yourself or friends.
Tips for a Croning Celebration:
You might want them all to bring a treat to share, and maybe something to represent their Crone energy for an altar.
I like to have an altar to hold the intention and energy for the ceremony. You can have sage, candles, items that represent this Crone energy. I also love flowers, crystals, and drums (and that's just me).
Music playlist prepared if possible to play in the background or before or after the ceremony.
One person to run the ceremony, usually not the one being Croned.
Food table or set-up. (Usually for after the celebration, but some people include food in their ceremonies.
Any items you may use for the ceremony like flowers, a crown or tiara, a sash, a staff, or whatever will help the Crone feel like one… in a magical, energetic way.
I invite you to use your creativity for the ceremony. Ceremony is really just 3 parts:
1. What I'm leaving behind
2. Physical representation of crossing a boundary
3. What I'm stepping into
Let's break it down:
- Have all participants sit in a circle, or a semi-circle around the woman being croned. If there is more than one you can choose to do one at a time or together in a circle.
- Set the container: start with why you are here and what the intention is:
- We are here to acknowledge and witness this life passage. This woman brings with her all of her experience, wisdom and heart to this new time in her life. The time of the Crone. We are here to honor her entrance to this new space in her life.
- Light a candle or do something to symbolize the beginning of this container.
- From here, have the woman speak to what has been, what has brought her here or whatever is on her heart. I often have the woman speak this part with a scarf or covering over her face to symbolize the veil that prevented her from fully embracing her crone before.
- Then, have the women of the circle approach her individually to offer any blessings for her past and what they've witnessed along her journey and all that she leaves in the past. You might want to have someone to record these beautiful blessings for her on paper.
- After everyone has spoken blessings to her past, she can lift her veil (the physical symbol of her unveiling the next phase of her life). Then she speaks to what she hopes to step into. These may be affirmations or they may be just goals, intentions.
- Then give women the chance to offer encouragement and support for what she is walking into. You might even have each offer a flower with their support. You might want to have someone to record these beautiful blessings for her on paper.
- Summarize once more for her what she wants to walk into.
And so it is.
Blow out the candle and have a feast.
It doesn't have to be complicated or ornate. It's a marking and a celebration. We all deserve to be celebrated, especially as we age.
Who of your friends needs a Croning to tap into more of their wisdom? Set it up for them.