Posts Tagged With: Crone

A Visit With The Crone – A Short Story

A Visit With The Crone – A Short Story

Author: Jadalya Boudicca 

The inspiration for this short story came to me after a very turbulent and uncertain time in my life. I had just taken a major leap of faith that would have long-lasting effects, and whether it was positive or negative I didn’t know. Basically, one period of my life was ending, and another was beginning. I was terrified and unsure of myself, peering over the edge of the proverbial cliff and readying myself for the leap into Goddess-knew-what. I was coming face-to-face with the Crone, that unpleasant and brutally honest Hag that always appears when a death is imminent.

For those unacquainted with Crone energy, She can be one of the most terrifying aspects of the Goddess to face. Whether She be Black Annis, Baba Yaga, Kali, or one of the Fates, She always evokes a sense of foreboding, and it is well that She does, for She is not surrounded by flowers and sunshine, like the Maiden, nor does she carry a countenance of nurturing comfort, like the Mother. She is the essence of wisdom in its most raw form; She sees what lies in the murky darkness beyond and stares into it without fear. By communing with the energy of the Crone, one learns to accept death in life and acknowledge its necessity in growth. This is a hard lesson to face, and many of us will continue to struggle with it time and time again; however, when we learn it, we are graced with the ability to accept life’s flow and live in continuity with it’s cycles rather than fight it, and by doing so, we grow.

Let me introduce you now to the Crone.

A Visit With the Crone – A Short Story

I have met the Crone once or twice. Her fearsome eyes look you through to your bones, the houses of your stories, and read there all that you are and from whence you have come. She judges there where you will go, for she knows where all things must go.

The first time I met her, she scowled at me. “Your stories are dry; your words have no flavor and your lips are all but dead. One day you will die, and then what? Ha! Come back to me when you learn of it, and THEN share with me a story worth hearing, and I shall give you one as well.”

“But I do not know how, Grandmother, ” I said. “The only way I know to learn IS to die, or become near-death, and I fear it…Grandmother, I fear it’s grasp!”

“Heh…you are dead enough now, living as you are, “she replied, her voice harsh and rasping. “Go from me, now, and do not return until you have something worth saying and something worth hearing.”

I departed from the Old Hag then, forlorn. What is this she asked of me? To die, and THEN tell a story? One cannot do such a thing; it is impossible! Foolish old woman, I thought. Better to never go back…she spins old wives’ tales from the cobwebs of her senile mind!

I went to sleep then, and dreamt of great suffering, and of the Grandmother gnashing her teeth and swallowing me whole. “No, Grandmother!” I screamed. “Do you not recognize me? Do your eyes not know me?”

“I do not know you, ” she said, her eyes dark and glistening, her teeth yellow and tearing at me. “I do not know you because you do not know yourself.”

I leapt awake then, sweating and gasping for breath. Just a dream, I told myself. The old Hag has me scared out of my wits, with all her talk of death and dying! Let me throw her off now, out of my mind. And with that, I rested my head once more, and fell back into dreaming.

Once again, the Grandmother appeared in my dreams, with her fearsome grin and watery eyes. “Grandmother, ” I screamed, “why do you do this to me!”

“I do not do this to you, ” she smirked, “for you do it to yourself.”

Once again, I leapt awake, trembling and fearful. Were these just dreams? I shall face the Hag, once and for all, I thought. And a third time I slept, and a third time she appeared, more terrible and ferocious than before, making wrathful sounds and threatening to tear me apart.

“Grandmother, ” I said, my voice small from fear. “Three times you have appeared to me, and three times you have come to me with death. I am afraid, but I am here to face you now.”

“Then face me you will, ” she said, and swallowed me up. Down into the darkness of her belly I fell, but it instead of pain, I felt only warmth. How strange, I thought. The softness cradled me, and down I went, until a light could be seen. The light terrified me, but on and on I went, until I was enveloped no longer in darkness, but in light, and I felt arms around me, cradling me. “There, there, my sweet daughter, my beautiful one, ” a voice whispered, and when I opened my eyes I saw not the Hag beast, but a beautiful woman, and I knew this to be Mother.

“Mother, where has the old Hag gone?” I asked.

“She is here, too, ” the Mother said. And with that, I awoke, no longer afraid.

I rose and sought out the old Crone. “Well, ” she croaked. “What have we here! You are not the same sniveling girl that was here yesterday. Sit, and tell me what has changed. Tell me your story.”

I told her of my dreams, and as I told her my story, her eyes softened. “I have learned not to fear endings, Grandmother, for with all endings come beginnings.”

The Crone nodded, and her bones creaked as she roused herself. “That is a good story, child, ” she said. “Now, as promised, I shall tell you one myself.”

She looked at me then, and the darkness of her eyes drew me in until I once again could see nothing but black. In the darkness I saw swirls of light, small suns and stars. I saw these lights split and come back together, until they took the shapes of animals, great and small, all coming from the same light, and all returning to the same light. I saw men singing their songs, and women weaving their tapestries, until sound and material became one, intertwining all life together.

“You see, child, ” she whispered. “All comes from One, and all is connected. You are I, and I am you.”

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When The Crone Pays A Visit, You’d Better Pay Attention

When The Crone Pays A Visit, You’d Better Pay Attention

Author: Maire Durkan 

I wake in pre-dawn hours, heart pounding. I’d placed photographs of my beloved dead on my altar, placed a welcome offering of my dad’s favorite candy and whiskey, and lit a candle. I’d asked for a dream—contact with a message—and had expected something like the warm and loving messages I received during Audience With the Ancestors, a Samhain ritual performed by my coven (Grail of the Birch Moon) and member covens of the Assemble of the Sacred Wheel in three locations. I expected a message along the lines of “follow the way of love, ” but the Wise Woman, the Crone, had visited me in the darkness of night, in the waning of the moon, bringing the chill of winter and a stern message.

I have never been a lucid dreamer. So, when I find myself in my very own bedroom confronted by a messenger dressed in black who is–shall we say–brutally frank, I’m pretty freaked out. First, the specter makes sure that I am icy cold (which certainly gets my attention) , then she dissolves the headboard of my bed and tears chunks out of the door to a very real crawl space behind it while my father (who passed in 2008) tells me to “wake up.”

This dream is not a nightmare—but its message is certainly stern. So, I wake to a room not quite as frigid as the astral room. When my heart rate dropped to normal, it was time to figure out my spiritual game plan.

As I’ve said, the crawl space is quite real and exactly where it was in the dream. There are a lot of things in that crawl space—old manuscripts, old books, old clothes, old memories good and not so good—things that I’m not quite ready to part with because they hold a part of me for good or ill.

As the space is behind the very large, very solid oak headboard of a behemoth of a bed, I can’t get at it without putting in a lot of effort. I put them there for a variety of reasons—nostalgia, the hope that they’ll be repurposed, and even (in the case of the manuscript) because I couldn’t bear to look at it but couldn’t bear to throw it away either.

Clearly, it is time for me to do some shadow work. But I don’t want to! That’s why all that stuff is packed away in an almost inaccessible physical space and in an equally inaccessible space inside of me. I have a hunch that the Goddess and my dad expect a New Year’s cleaning that involves more than sorting through the tangible junk that lurks behind that closed door.

As I do a lot when I’m working through “things, ” I take a walk in the woods and farmland around the Brandywine River Valley. Sometimes, the land and the beings that inhabit it, have lessons to teach me and sometimes the process of walking in the quiet countryside helps me find my way to an answer or at least help me pose questions that point me toward more clues.

The woods have turned towards winter. A cold breeze rattles bare limbs and dry leaves spiral down onto damp, cold earth. In the meadow, horses stand in groups, nose to nose. A maple tree felled by Hurricane Sandy lies across the path pressing down the electric wire around the fields of dun colored corn stubble. Its branches are filled with the tight knots of next year’s buds– life and potential that will never be realized in its current form–although it will be transformed and used. Nothing in nature goes to waste.

Near the last unharvested soybean fields migrating robins chirp with alarm, then fall silent as a local red tailed hawk wheels overhead. I’m like the robin, chirping, alarmed. Then, silent…listening…watching.

The woods hold death and danger –felled trees, downed leaves, and the feathers left from a kill; this is a cycle. I must embrace this–for it is my story as much as the tree’s or the bird’s. But it was also full of life. In strong roots that held firm despite Sandy’s fury. In the animals that are foraging or hibernating. In the last red clovers blooming low to the ground. In the Red Tail soaring high above crying its glorious “Keeyerr!” I whisper, “She changes everything She touches and everything She touches changes.”

It’s time for me to touch, to draw out, acknowledge, and change. Nature is filled with harsh truths that I need to apply to my spiritual habitat. I have held on to old grief and hurt too long. I lock them away, unexamined, because they are too painful to acknowledge, but too much a part of me to easily relinquish.

It’s time to ground, center, pray for compassion and take them out of the darkness. It’s time to do the hard work of removing barriers that give false comfort and open the door to that shadowed place within myself.

Shadow work is as painful and healing as the nettle plant. Sometime the sting has to come before healing can begin.

When I get home, I know what I must do. This is my first task of the new year. Mastering my fear, I must open physical and spiritual doors, reach into the darkness, and bring what I’ve stored and hidden into the light to be examined, sorted, kept or discarded.

At fifty-two, (to paraphrase the Bard) , I’m a tree approaching winter. A tree shaped and weathered by many seasonal cycles. My roots are strong, deep, and I can withstand this shadow work. But I am still a vibrant, sexual, life-embracing woman. I acknowledge shadows and darkness and will to examine the things that I have hidden with care…but I will not hide there –I will open the dark door, embrace the Crone and embrace this new and powerful cycle of my life.

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Crone Inspiration

Crone Inspiration

Author: Rev. etain.butterfly 

I work in an outpatient surgery center and I must share a story about a lively 92-year-old Crone that came in for cataract surgery. As I was interviewing her I noticed she was really tan so I ask if she had been on vacation and she said with a gleam in her eyes “Why yes, I just got back from visiting my son and his wife in Florida.” I ask if she had a nice time and she chuckled and said, “Not really; I thought they were boring. All they wanted to do was watch TV.” I ask her what she would have liked to do and she answered “Go parasailing on the beach, do some snorkeling to view the beautiful fish in the ocean, and to go horseback riding’.

Wow, what an amazing energetic view on what a vacation should be. She was so full of positive energy and love of life. I couldn’t help thinking…”I want to be like that when I am her age”. She was a real ‘Crone – Inspiration’ and a joy to listen to. When it was my break time I sat with her in recovery room and listened to her views on life and the importance of keeping active.

According to Wikipedia: “The crone is a stock character in folklore and fairy tale, an old woman who is usually disagreeable, malicious, or sinister in manner, often with magical or supernatural associations that can make her either helpful or obstructing. She is marginalized by her exclusion from the reproductive cycle, [1] and her proximity to death places her in contact with occult wisdom. As a character type, the crone shares characteristics with the hag”.

Funny, I don’t see myself as disagreeable (although I can be at times) , malicious, or sinister in manner. Just for the record I don’t have a huge wart on my nose either.

According to Merriam-Webster: “Origin of Hag – Middle English hagge demon, old woman. First known use: the 14-century. The word became further specialized as the third aspect of the Triple Goddess popularized by Robert Graves and subsequently in some forms of neopaganism, particularly Wicca.”

Crone Council states: “Crone, hag, and witch once were positive words for old women. Crone comes from crown, indicating wisdom emanating from the head; hag comes from hagio meaning holy; and witch comes from wit meaning wise. Crones, hags, and witches frequently were leaders, midwives and healers in their communities. The meanings of these three words, however, were distorted and eventually reversed during the 300 years of the Inquisition when the male-dominated church wanted to eliminate women holding positions of power. Women identified as witches, who were often older women, i.e. crones and hags, were tortured and burned, and the words witch, crone, and hag took on the negative connotations that continue in our language. The Crone Movement, however, is re-claiming the positive meanings of these words.
The Crone began re-emerging into our consciousness in the early 1980s, and today many older women are embracing this connection. We are tapping into the ancient crone’s attributes of wisdom, compassion, transformation, healing laughter, and bawdiness. The ancient crone archetype strengthens our belief and confidence in age-accumulated knowledge, insights and intuitions enabling women to stand up for their rights.”*

The Crone Goddess or dark mother is the last aspect of the Triple Goddess, [Maiden, Mother and Crone] and she represents part of the circle of life. In today’s society where it seems everyone worships youth and beauty, this aspect of the Goddess is the most frightening and misunderstood of the three, as she symbolizes our destruction, decay and death. Here, as in nature, the death of winter is followed by the promise of rebirth in the spring.

Her positive attribute is often depicted as a Grandmother, a wise woman, or a midwife. She is beyond child bearing and now is the wisdom keeper, seer, and healer that is often sought out to guide others during life’s hardships and transitions. Her color is black and she is associated with waning or new moon, autumn and winter.

When I look into the mirror I see some wrinkles representing the aging process. My step isn’t like it was in my 20s; however some say it is hard to keep up with my pace. I don’t dwell on the changes happening to my body. I embrace the gift of living and all that the God and Goddess have allowed me to experience. I don’t sit home watching TV – I am out adding new experiences to my long list of things to do. Right now I am concentrating on Poi, and learning a new Tarot deck.

My 92-year-old patient told me to always treat your body as a temple – for God will reward you for taking care of yourself. She also said looking at the glass as half empty instead of half full will drain the life energy right out of you. She also said to look at life as if you were an innocent child and in doing so you will see adventure all around you. With that sparkle in her eyes she also said, “It doesn’t hurt to have a glass or two of good wine” She won my heart over with that remark.

I am Crone and I am a proud Crone. I have been on a journey of self-discovery for many, many years. I have learned many things as I have traveled on my true path of life. I have made mistakes; learned by those mistakes and moved on. I have learned to be more kind, show more compassion, learn to listen more and speak less. I have learned to share my life’s experiences. I am a Crone, I am a wise Crone, and most importantly I am a Happy Crone.
I wrote this poem to express what being a Crone means to me…

I am Crone (by Etain©)

I am Crone
I have learned to Know
I have wisdom to share and show

I am Crone
I have learned to Will
Manifest for goodwill

I am Crone
I have learned to Dare
It’s energizing I do declare

I am Crone
I have learned to Keep Silent
My happiness is reliant

 

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Footnotes:
* http://cronescounsel.org/The_Ancient_Cone

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Mother, Maiden, Crone

Goddess Comments & Graphics
Mother, Maiden, Crone

Mother Maiden, Crone
I am just a Witch alone,
honoring your many phases
as my own....
Changes come and go,
tides rise and flow
as your light continues to grow,
peeking through the window as I sleep,
my dreams you safely keep,
Goddess of the Moon,
your magick fills my room,
with blessings of the womb,
moonbeams dance upon these walls,
like golden threads, spun on a loom,
Stars circle round,
like a silvery crown,
as I draw your energy down..
Many Blessings you continuously bestow
with your magickal glow,
as above... so below....
Mother, Maiden, Crone
I am just a Witch Alone....

 

- by Mor`inanna~EagleSon

Source:

Blessed Be

Online Wiccan Resource Center

 

 

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Calendar of the Sun for February 27th

Calendar of the Sun

27 Solmonath

Day of the Elders

Colors: Grey, silver, and purple
Element: Earth
Altar: On cloth of purple, grey, and silver place three lit grey candles scented with cypress, a branch of yew, a silver chalice of fruit juice, and a silver tray of frosted white cakes.
Offerings: Food or other aid given to organizations that give aid to elders. Offer to spend time helping or keeping companionship with an elder.
Daily Meal: Allow the three eldest members of the community to choose the meal.

Invocation to the Elder Spirit

Hail, Old One,
Crone and Wise Man,
Silver of hair
And adamant of spirit,
Aged like fine wine
Through years of experience;
You who watch the young ones grow
And remember their path
And tell them the pitfalls ahead,
You who have made a friend
Of changing Time,
You whom Saturn has blessed
With a double circle,
You who keep the mysteries
And the secret knowledge,
You who mentor and teach,
Show us how to walk gracefully
Into the sunset of life.

(The chant for this day should be a wordless harmony. First the cakes are passed around, served in order of age, eldest first; then the juice is likewise shared. Then each member of the community, starting with the youngest, goes before each member who is past their second Saturn return, or if there are none the eldest among them, kneels, and asks for their blessing. After the next eldest has asked for the blessing of the eldest, the ritual is ended.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

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SONG OF THE GODDESS

Witchy Comments & Graphics
SONG OF THE GODDESS

I am the Great Mother, worshipped by all creation and existent prior to their
conscious-ness. I am the primal female force, boundless and eternal.

I am the chaste Goddess of the Moon, the Lady of all magick. The winds and
moving leaves sing my name. I wear the crescent Moon upon my brow and my feet rest among the starry heavens.  I am mysteries yet unsolved, a path newly set upon. I am a field untouched by the plow. Rejoice in me and know the fullness of youth.

I am the blessed Mother, the gracious Lady of the harvest. I am clothed with the
deep, cool wonder of the Earth and the gold of the fields heavy with grain.  By
me the tides of the Earth are ruled; all things come to fruition according to my
reason. I am refuge and healing. I am the life-giving Mother, wondrously
fertile.

Worship me as the Crone, tender of the unbroken cycle of death and rebirth. I am the  wheel, the shadow of the Moon. I rule the tides of women and men and give release and renewal to weary souls. Though the darkness of death is my domain, the joy of birth is my gift.

I am the Goddess of the Moon, the Earth, the Seas.  My names and strengths are
manifold. I pour forth magick and power, peace and wisdom. I am the eternal
Maiden, Mother of all, and Crone of darkness, and I send you blessings of
limitless love.

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The Witches Magick for February 8th – A Ritual of Thanks

The Witches Magick for February 8th – A Ritual of Thanks

Set altar facing East. Use the following items:

One blue candle

3 kernels unpopped corn

One apple cut on the cross, showing the pentagram inside

Light your candle with the following words:

“Great Goddess, Lady of the Summerlands,
Mother to us all. I welcome you to this place of power
and offer thanks to you for what you have given me.
I am a priestess of your path and I see with your eyes.
You guide me in the lessons I must learn.”
 

Put the bottom half of the apple in front of you. Charging the three kernels of corn between your hands, say:

“As the Maiden is ripe with potential, so is my life.
As the Mother gives birth, so do my thoughts.
As the Crone nourishes life, so do I nourish mine.”
 

Place the kernels in the center of the core-pentagram and melt wax from your candle to cover them. Replace the top of the apple while the wax is till warm. Let the apple sit on your altar for 3 days and nights. Remove wax token and bury apple. The wax token can remain on your altar for as long as you wish.

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View From My Side of the Broomstick

View From My Side of the Broomstick

Author:   Keyokwee   

I am always amazed and enlightened by the differing views that we all take away from our encounters with each other and Mother Nature herself. We can choose to look at ritual performed in the moonlight in the nude, as a powerful statement, a beautiful sign that there is nothing between yourself and Goddess, or simply cover up. But the choice is yours to do so and no less is thought of you if you choose not to do so.

Also since I am a Crone, I can truly savor a wicked sense of humor when it is delivered with justice! My husband, while pagan, does not go for the “foo-fer-all” of rituals instead preferring to sit on the sidelines and watch (usually mildly amused) . But he does understand and accepts me, as I am when I do my thing.

Now in the Crone aspect of life, I can truly respect Hecate. I am constantly amazed by what she can teach me, including and especially, in preparation for the unexpected in life. And since I’m mainly Irish, Hecate likes to throw a twist of the Murphy’s into my life, to keep me on my toes, and to gently remind me to cover my bases before throwing myself enthusiastically into my worship.

I’m reminded that I must approach Her with extreme caution and Wisdom because she will deliver a lesson that you’re sure never to forget. As Hecate is kind of like the Goddess of the Crones, she respects the fact that one is a Crone and allows some leeway for it. But in my case, She delights in delivering her lessons with a ruthless sense of humor. Case in point…

My husband and I live in a very rural part of Northern CA, and we like our privacy. It’s wonderful to have such freedom with no neighbors in sight. We have an above ground pool that is well used during the summer and we feel we can safely skinny-dip in the pool or pretty much walk au-natural around our house. (Polite people call before barging in!) And I feel quite comfortable in my own skin. So when my younger neighbor topped the hill after crossing the front pasture…I think that he pretty much got what he deserved!

It was a typical end to a very hot day. My husband I took advantage of the near darkness to dip into the delicious coolness of our pool and then climbed out to sit at our patio table. Each had our beverage of choice in hand. Mine was wine; his was beer. We were both caught up in the magic of the stars starting to twinkle overhead and the crickets and tree frogs were starting to turn up the volume on their nightly serenade.

There is something seductive about this time of the evening, especially when you are pagan. It’s one of the two times during the day that light meets dark and embraces. So we have come to expect that anything to happen.

I started humming and swaying and dancing around, caught up in the moment and had just raised my glass in a salute to the Goddess when the applications of Nature were driven home. The ensuing chain of events was a lesson to us all.

For it was at that time that our neighbor chose to walk over the top of the hill. But was that the end of it? Oh! Heck No!

Throw in the Murphy’s Law Applications: One Reubenesque Crone. Darkness falling. A salute to the Goddess with a glassful of wine. A gopher hole. And nine billion mosquitoes that all saw my 40 axe-handle butt shining with more lumens than a full moon reflected in an amusement park Hall of Mirrors!

You can see where this is going, can’t ya?

I was a mosquito posse’s dream come true served up on a smorgasbord! It was truly a sight to behold: A Gen-U-ine Kodak moment! I swear that I heard cackling a split second before everything converged at once. My neighbor got a free shot (Or so he thought) of a fat, drunk, naked middle aged lady who spilled her wine while flailing her arms around, waving at him!

I bet that was a little bit too much information! But on the flip side, I’m a crone and I can appreciate the warped sense of Her dark humor served up with a liberal dose of Justice and Common Sense!

The seductive song of a warm summer’s night was disturbed by the unexpected appearance of a fool! There’s a reason why I am a solitary. May your mind be seared by the shocking sight of a Crone moments before her just desserts are served in Spades! I’m no Barbie Doll, honey…this is the real stuff at 54-gravity served up on steroids!

Well that poor kid must have thought that his eyes and brain just sucked a big one on the un-sweetened Lemon of Truth because the ensuing retreat was felt on the local Richter scale.

And what desserts are those, ya almost forgot to ask?

Never think that you can get away with just a toast. Share or She’ll take it all! And if you toast Her, come with just a little wisdom and be prepared to use some common sense. Burn the incense of citronella or ‘Off ‘coils.

(Friends and neighbors, please call first. That’s the polite thing to do!)

And to the fool drinking the beer: Keep your mouth shut! Never again wince and look at your bottle and say, ”That’s going to leave a mark!” to the retreating form of your neighbor’s back.

In the blink of an eye that song of that summer night was drowned out and replaced by the high pitched whine of the incoming going to Glory! The mosquitoes were everywhere! I quickly started flailing about inside the midst of that cloud, stepped in the gopher hole in the process, and flung my last glass of wine out to the grass.

I left three-quarters of the cloud of mosquitoes there to deal with Mr. Naked Big-Mouth while I hastily retreated to spray myself with ‘Off’. The other quarter of them followed me into the house where they fed on his sorry carcass for the rest of the night because he refused to spray himself down!

So what marks is your sorry butt referring to now? The ones left in the mind of our neighbor, or the ones on your backside? Or on mine. Even my hills and valleys now have hills and valleys. (And have you folks ever sprayed yourself with Off after scratching yourself? There’s a real in-the-now reminder! Humph!)

I still swear I hear Her cackling and snapping Her fingers saying, “ YES! The Goddess is in the house!”

Peace and Blessings, Honey

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