Let’s Talk Witch – The Crone


Egyptian Comments & Graphics

The Crone

 

 

In the mundane world, when people use the word crone, they usually envision a shriveled old woman, bent and wrinkled. It is not a compliment. If you’re a woman and you overhear your blind date referring to you on his cell phone as an old crone, feel free to hit him with your purse. Hard.

But in the Pagan world, the world crone has a completely different meaning. Well, three meanings, actually.

The first meaning is the one that most of us might think of automatically-the crone as the representation of the third embodiment of the triple goddess: maiden, mother, and crone. When the goddess is in her crone guise (such as at Samhain), she has reached the end of the year and the end of a cycle. Wrinkled she may be, but also wise and revered. And as Pagans, we know that eventually this phase too will pass, and the goddess will come around again as maiden, young and beautiful.

The word crone is also used to indicate age and honor in the practice of Witchcraft. A crone is a woman (sorry, guys, but there is no male equivalent-I guess you’ll just have to settle for being called “that old, wise Pagan dude”) who has practiced the Craft for many years and has attained much wisdom and experience along the way. To be called a crone in this context really is a compliment, a term of respect and honor. Personally, I look forward to the day when I am called a crone!

Crone can also be an indication of the stage of a woman’s life. Once a witchy woman has hit menopause (or it has hit her), she is no longer considered to be in the mother stage of her life and has moved on to the status of crone.

Despite what you might think, this is not a bad thing.

Remember that it is only in our modern world that “old” has become a bad word. In days gone by, the older generation was more often looked up to and admired for their knowledge and their wisdom. The Pagan community as a whole is much more likely to still do so.

So if you are a woman of a certain age, enjoy being a crone. Rather than bemoan what you have lost (remember, it will all come along again in your next life), rejoice at when you have gained—wisdom and knowledge and the ability to lord them over the younger generation. Be proud to be a crone; you’ve earned it!

 

 

Everyday Witch A to Z: An Amusing, Inspiring & Informative Guide to the Wonderful World of Witchcraft

Deborah Blake

 

A Few Idea for Celebrating Samhain

Samhain/Halloween October 31st.

All Souls Night, Feast of the Dead, Festival of Remembrance, Feast of Apples, New Year…

Samhain is one of the major festivals of the Wheel of the Year, for many Pagans the most important festival of all. It is the third and final harvest festival of nuts and berries and a fire festival. All the harvest is in, all is complete, it is the end of the cycle of birth and growth, it is the point of death. The seeds of the harvest have fallen deep into the dark earth, they are unseen, dormant, and thus apparently lifeless.

The God, as Sun King is sacrificed back to the land with the seed until the Winter Solstice, and the Goddess, now as Crone, mourns Him until His rebirth at Yule. He travels the Underworld learning its wisdom. This is the time of the descent into darkness, of pre-conception, out of which new life, new ideas, will eventually emerge.

Traditionally the veils between the worlds are at their thinnest now. Boundaries dissolve and all is laid bare. It is time to honour and offer hospitality to, our ancestors.

At Samhain the dark half of the year commences. It is a truly magical time. Death is always followed by rebirth and while this is the end of the old year, it is the beginning of the new year. For the Celts the day did not begin at dawn, it began at sunset, it began with darkness. Light is always born out of darkness, they are inseparable, interdependent, and necessary. Darkness is fertile with ‘all potential’. With the beginning of this dark phase comes the opportunity to rest and reflect on the past and to dream of new beginnings. The seed now hidden in the earth will germinate in its season. Look for the seeds in yourself!

Honouring The Ancestors

Honouring your ancestors is a very special thing to do at this time and can be done in many simple ways. Think about all those departed souls from your life, both family and friends, children may wish to remember pets even – place photographs of them on your altar. Offer them your hospitality, welcome their presence into your home. At your Samhain feast, consider laying an extra place for them to join you at the table – cook and eat their favourite dishes, talk about them – re-member them, bring them closer. You and your children can make an offering for departed pets by leaving some dog food outside on Halloween night, many night creatures appreciate this offering.  Be careful what you put outside – we used to put out bread and milk but are dismayed to find that this is fatal to hedgehogs – and we lovehedgehogs!

Candle Ceremony for The Ancestors

This is a wonderfully simple ritual which can be shared with both friends and family, or worked alone. You can include children in it – it begins in darkness and ends full of light.

It’s a great balance to trick or treating!

You will need a supply of small candles, either black or white, or a supply of night lights. You need a heat proof container or tray of sand or earth to put them in. Place one in the centre of the container from which all the others will be lit. Switch off all the lights and sit gently in thedarkness. Allow the darkness to enfold you. Ask for the presence of your ancestors to come to you. When you are ready, light the central candle saying “We welcome our departed loved ones into this home and honour your presence amongst us”. Allow each person in the circle to spontaneously remember someone who has passed to the Summerlands and remember something about them and light a candle for each person from the central candle: ‘I remember Great Aunt Sheila and her generosity of heart….’. Allow this to continue for as long as it takes to complete the re-membering. You will end with a tray full of radiant candles. When all is complete, give thanks, and allow the candles to burn to completion.

 

Seed Scattering Charm for the Ancestors

 

This simple charm is designed to honour the Spirit of those who have passed onto the Summerland. The seeds you scatter will grow in memory, a gift of remembrance to the Earth.

You will need:

A packet of seeds of your choice

A small dish

A small white candle in a suitable holder

A pouch or bag for your seeds

The night before your Seed Scattering Charm, pop the seeds into the dish and light the candle. Think about the person or people you wish to honour and remember, and as you do so say ‘gone from sight but not from the heart. Merry Meet Merry Part.’ Or you can use your own words. Leave the seeds in the dish overnight and let the candle burn down completely – always taking safety precautions. When you are ready place the seeds in your pouch and hold the pouch in your right hand on the way to a place of your choosing. On arrival take the seeds and scatter them, saying ‘You are remembered and held in my heart’. Repeat three times.

Where to do this? You can go to a favourite special place of your choice, a place that holds fond memories of the people you are honouring, or even your own garden – the idea of watching the seeds germinating and growing in honour of people you love is very special. The charm works just as well if you plant the seeds in a small pot.

This charm works very well as an offering of thanks to Spirit of Place. The instructions are exactly the same, except that when you prepare the seeds the night before the words are ‘ I give thanks for your beauty, it warms my heart. Merry Meet Merry Part.’

Charm donated with generous heart by the Counter Enchantress.

The Isle of Avalon, Isle of Apples, Isle of the Dead.

Glastonbury, where we are based, is also known as the Sacred Isle of Avalon, or Isle of Apples, and also the Isle of the Dead.

In mythology, here the entrance to the Underworld is found, ruled by Morgan, Queen of the Dead. There are many apple games played at Samhain which grew out of the belief in the Apple as a sacred and magical fruit. The Apple is a symbol of life and immortality. In Celtic tradition, apples were buried at Samhain as food for those souls who are waiting to be reborn.
The Apple, cut crosswise, reveals the five pointed star, or pentacle at its core, a symbol of the Goddess.

Symbols of Samhain

The Pumpkin

Pumpkins are very much an American tradition which has been successfully marketed in the UK and Europe. Everyone loves them, especially of course, children. If you consider that the Celts regarded the human head as the Seat of the Soul, the concept of the carved pumpkin with a candle inside it as the Light shining from the Soul, it becomes just about acceptable……..

The Cauldron

The Cauldron or Holy Grail is closely associated with Samhain. It is feminine, and is the cosmic container for all life and death, of transformation and rebirth.

The Besom Broom

The besom is used as this time both practically and symbolically. It sweeps away the last of the Autumn leaves, but is also used ritually to sweep out the old, to clean and clear away old energy, creating space for the new. Traditionally besoms are made from birch twigs – the birch is associated with purification and renewal.

You can make a besom at this time of year by gathering a large bundle of birch twigs tied together. Drive a broom handle into the middle of the bundle – ideally hazel or ash.

Acorns

The Acorn is the seed of the great Oak, representing wisdom, longevity, rebirth – a promise of strength to come. An acorn in your pocket is an amulet of good fortune to come. All nuts from our indigenous trees – walnuts, hazelnuts, conkers and so on – are pure potential and carry the attributes of the mother tree.

Colours of Samhain

Black for death and endings, orange for the vitality of life within death, purple for wisdom, insight and inspiration.

The Samhain Altar

A cauldron. Apples, nuts and berries. Black candles to honour the passage to the Summerland and the Ancestors. Photographs of deceased family and friends.



Buttermilk Bread Charm for Samhain.

You will need:

3 mugs of strong white flour

500 ml of Buttermilk (available from the supermarket)

I teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda

Samhain ribbon in black or purple.

A handful of rye flour

A scattering of oats

twig of rosemary for remembrance

Place the flours in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Sieve in the blended salt and soda and pour in the buttermilk. Mix well with a wooden spoon until the dough feels springy. If it feels too sloppy just add a little more flour. Turn it onto a board and cover with a fine dusting of flour. Pat it with your hands until you have a round shape. Take a sharp knife and score lightly into eight sections, one for each festival. Our picture shows the bread scored five times to make a pentacle.

Place onto a greased baking tray and pop your buttermilk bread into a moderate oven for about 20-25 minutes. Keep and eye on it. When the bread is ready it will change colour and it will sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Cool completely on a wire rack. When it is cool, place the rosemary on top and tie it with Samhain ribbon.

Take time to concentrate on the bread you have created and turn the loaf three times saying

“From the fields and through the stones, into fire, Samhain Bread, as the Wheel turns may all be fed. Goddess Bless.”

Now take your bread and share it with your family and friends and pass on the generous blessings of this festival of completion and beginning. Eat it fresh, as soon as it is made if you can.

Recipe donated by the Counter Enchantress. Adapted by the Boss Lady with permission.

The Counter Enchantress is discovering that you can add almost anything appropriate to this simple bread recipe and it STILL WORKS beautifully. You can decide for yourself what the appropriate additions are for a particular festival, in this case rye flour. oats and rosemary, and just do it. There is much kitchen magic in working with one recipe through the Wheel of the Year just changing it a little as the wheel turns…..


Honour the ancestors, have fun and enjoy………..

All information offered is checked to the best of our ability, and whilst every effort has been made to make it accurate, no responsibility will be accepted for errors and omissions.

Any information displayed on our web site(s) or other printed matter from the shop is not regarded to be authoritative or certified as the best practice and is only considered to be useful supplementary advice to other certified codes of practice. All information on our web site is updated regularly. From: http://www.goddessandgreenman.co.uk/samhain

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

 

 

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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The Goddess and The God

The Goddess and The God

Author:   Danielle.dyer   

The Goddess has been worshipped as a Triple Deity -Maiden, Mother, and Crone (Dark Mother, Wise Woman, The Hag) – from the beginning of religion. The numbers three, and multiples of three, are sacred in many ancient cultures. The priests of Babylon taught that three was a lucky number as well. In the writings of Pythagoras, we find that the philosopher called three a “triple Word, ” meaning that using the number three in particular circumstances, such as repeating spells and rituals three times, can create whatever is held in the mind of the user.

Later in history, the alchemist Paracelsus associated the number three with gold; to alchemists, gold was not so much a physical metal as a symbol for spiritual enlightenment. The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao-Tsu said that three is the perfect number, for it engenders all things. In numerology, the number three represents creativity, activity, and knowledge.

Ancient Mystery Schools always had three main steps or degrees through which the student must pass. Today, we still find this idea of three degrees of knowledge used to designate a Witch’s progress in a coven.

We can understand this trinity better if we compare it to the three stages of human life: youth and puberty, adulthood, and old age. Since the Goddess’s power is all encompassing She will present aspects that speak to all humans, regardless of their age. These esoteric ideas cover and comfort from birth to death and beyond.

The first Goddess aspect is the Maiden. This phase holds the matrix of creation, which will produce and create when the time is ripe. She is matter and energy held in suspension until the right time arrives. The Maiden, sometimes called the Virgin or the Huntress, represents the Spring of the year, the dawn, fresh beginnings of all life, the repeating cycle of birth and rebirth, the waxing moon and the crescent moon, enchantment, and seduction. Her traditional color is white. She is the Way-Shower, the Guide through the inner labyrinth to the Divine Center where the greatest of spiritual Mysteries lie.

The second Goddess aspect is the Mother. This is the matrix in motion, the archetype involved in active creation. In humans, the physical desire, the mental will and concentration, and the spiritual balance and understanding are all necessary to produce a desired result. It is easy for humans to identify with the Mother aspect, for they see the Mother around them in all human and animal mothers. The Mother aspect of the Goddess represents the Summer, blazing noon, reproduction, and fertility, the ripeness of life, the Full Moon, and high point in all cycles. Her traditional color is red, the color of blood and life itself. She is the Great Teacher of the Mysteries.

The last aspect is the crone, also called the Dark Mother, the Old Wise One, or the Hag. Since this aspect symbolizes death and dissolution, it is frightening to many people. Everything in the universe has a life cycle, at the end of which they malfunction, decay, and transform into a different set of materials, elements that are recycled and reformed into something new. In humans, the soul is recycled by the Crone and her cauldron into a new incarnation. The Crone represents winter, the night, the universal abyss where life rests before rebirth, the gateway to death and reincarnation, the waning moon and the New Moon, and the deepest of Mysteries and prophecies. Her traditional color is black, and sometimes the deepest of purples or dark blue. She is the Initiator into the Mysteries.

The fact that She is a single archetype plus a trinity of aspects makes Her very complex. It is impossible to reduce the Goddess’s spiritual form and meaning to words on paper. She is the beginning, the ending, and everything in between.

The Horned God has been recognized and worshipped as far back as the Stone Age, where we find paintings of horned, ithyphallic men. The Horned God is not the Christian devil. We find the image of the Pagan God in the Egyptian god Amun-Ra, with his ram’s horns and in the Greek Great God Pan, with his goat horns and hooves. Among the Celts, the Horned God was called Cernunnos. This deity was sometimes linked with the Otherworld, particularly the Underworld section, and reincarnation.

In the original myths concerning the God, one finds him as the co-creator, vital companion, and mystical priest of the Goddess. His prime purpose is to join with Her to create order out of chaos, substance of spiritual matter, and life from universal energies swirling in the dark abyss. His next purpose is to carry out Her will and see that Her laws are obeyed.

The God is also frequently seen in trinity form, although, like the Goddess, His more complex that this simple definition. The three aspects are the Divine Child, the Son/Lover, and the Sacrificed Savior/Lord of Death. Even though these three aspects are the most important, the God has many others: Sky-Father and Ruler of the Heavens, Lord of the Forest and Animals, the Supreme Healer, the Trickster, God of Judgment, the Great Magus or Magician, God of the Waters, and the Hero-Warrior.

As the Divine Child, the God represents beginnings and the start of new cycles. This includes new hope and new opportunities, physical as well as mental, emotional, and spiritual. His traditional color is the dark green of plant life. The Divine Child is the signpost of the inner spiritual journey we each must take, the sign that says, “begin here.” We begin as a child, taking the first tentative steps along an unknown and unfamiliar path that leads to a mystical destination that is difficult to understand until we reach the end.

The Son/Lover aspect symbolizes maturity and responsibility, the desire to take into account the needs of others more than oneself. The God in this aspect balances sexual desire and need with companionship and tenderness. His traditional color is red, the color of the life force and the birth fluids. Combined with the powers of the Goddess, He shows us that there must be a blending of different energies to create. This creation includes ideas, inventions, and the arts. He is the Companion on our spiritual journey, the one who points out the path if we start to go astray.

The Great Rite of Wicca is connected with the Mother aspect of the Goddess and the Son/Lover aspect of the God. Those outside the Wiccan religion can misunderstand this Rite. The Great Rite has its roots in the ancient Sacred Marriage between priestess and King, which dates back to the Neolithic era. Originally, a king or tribal ruler could not hold the office unless he wed the Goddess. He had to be a Chosen One, either appointed by the High Priestess of the tribe’s religion, or have passed certain stringent tests. This esoteric, spiritual marriage was symbolized by actual nuptials between the would-be king and the High Priestess of the Goddess or the land, which included sexual rites.

Today, Wiccan groups usually practice this Rite in symbolic form, rather than in actuality. The symbolic act is the dipping of the athame into a cup of wine or juice during a ritual (the cup symbolizes the womb of the Goddess and the athame the phallus of the God) . Some Witches believe that the priestess should dip the athame into a cup of wine or juice held by the priest. However, you can reverse this, with the priestess holding the cup and the priest using the athame. If the Great Rite is physically performed, it is in private and between a husband and wife, high priestess and priest.

The Sacrificed Savior/Lord of Death aspect of the God can be difficult to understand as the dark aspect of the Crone. Mystery Religions frequently were connected with the Sacrificed Savior, who gave his life so that spiritual knowledge and enlightenment could come into the world. This aspect of the God always resurrected and lived again, reminding us that everything is recycled and that human life reincarnates. The Greeks used the word soter for Savior; soter means “one who sows the seed.” In mythology, the Sacrificed Savior was reborn of the Earth Mother aspect of the Goddess.

The Lord of Death was originally the Lord of Comfort for the souls who rest in the abyss before rebirth. At the will of the Goddess, He gathers souls at the proper time and guides them to the afterlife, while comforting those who fear or are in pain. Under His Celtic guise of Lord or the Wild Hunt, the God sees that karmic debts are paid and that destiny is fulfilled. In this, He is the equivalent of the Greek goddesses, the Erinyes. However, unlike the Erinyes, who relentlessly and mercilessly hunted down those guilty of the breaking of blood laws, the Lord of the Hunt makes certain that the souls He seeks are ready for the transition, that they are in the right place at the right time to meet their destiny.

Although His appearance and actions are fearsome, this aspect of the God is actually one of great compassion. His traditional color is the black of the abyss in the Underworld, the temporary black of death that absorbs and erases pain and suffering. He is the Gate-Keeper, who tests our worth before we are allowed to enter the deepest Mysteries.

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   

(Samhain 2012) 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.

Crone Chant for Good Judgment

Goddess Comments & Graphics
Ancient Hag, Wise Grandmother,

You of Wisdom, like no other,

Help me weigh choices with precision,

To make a good and fair decision

Show me what I need to see,

Shed some light on what should be.

And should I turn a deafened ear

Open it so I can hear

Help me feel what I should know.

Show me now which way to go.

Guide me in what I just do.

This, Old Crone, I ask of You.

So Mote It Be

The Wiccan Way

THE WICCAN WAY

Recognizing that there is more than one path to spiritual enlightenment and that Wicca is but one of many, and that Wicca holds within itself the belief that there is more than one type of step set to the spiral dance, find here listed common denominators of the Craft.

That there is above all the Goddess in her three-fold aspect and many are her names.  With all her names we call her Maiden, Mother and Crone.

That there is the God, consort and son, giver of strength and most willing of sacrifice.

That and it harm none, do what ye will shall be the law.

That each of her children are bound by the three-fold law and that whatever we create, be it joy or sorrow, laughter or pain, is brought back to us three-fold.

That as she is the mother of all living things and we are all her children, we seek to live in harmony not only with each other, but with the planet earth that is our womb and home.

That life upon the earth is not a burden to be born, but a joy to be learned and shared with others.

That death is not an ending of existence, but a step in the on-going process of life.

That there is no sacrifice of blood, for She is the mother of all living things, and from her all things proceed and unto her all things must return.

That each and every one of the children who follows this path has no need of another between themselves and the Goddess but may find Her within themselves.

That there shall not by intent be a desecration of another’s symbols of beliefs, for we are all seeking harmony within the One.

That each person’s faith is private unto themselves and that another’s belief is not to be set out and made public.

That the Wiccan way is not to seek converts, but that the way be made open to those who for reasons of their own seek and find the Craft.

And as it is willed, so mote it be

Condensed Version of Wicca

CONDENSED VERSION OF WICCA

We believe that the ultimate godhead is unknowable.  This doesn’t make for a good working relationship with the diety, however.  So, we break it down into a Goddess and a God.  Different Wiccans worship different Gods/Goddesses.  We can utilize *any* pantheon.  Some worship Pan/Diana, some Cernnunos/Aradia, Isis/Osiris, and many others.

We see our Goddess as being Triple Aspected — Maiden, Mother, and Crone, and she is reflected in the phases of the Moon — Waxing, Full and Waning.  We see the God as the Lord of Nature, and he is reflected in the seasonal changes.  Like Jesus Christ, he dies for the land and the people, and is reborn.

In general, we believe in reincarnation and karma.  What you call Heaven, we call the Summerlands.  We don’t believe that Hell exists (or Satan either.)  We believe that there should be balance in all things – when the balance is disturbed, that’s when ‘evil’ occurs.  Fire, for example is not ‘evil’.  It could be considered such when it  becomes out of balance, as in a forest fire, or house fire.  Controlled fire is a useful tool.  Anger is not ‘evil’, but when unbridled can’t help but lead to negative things.  When properly expressed and balanced with constructive working to correct that which invoked the anger – it, too, can be a useful tool.

We regard the Earth as our Mother, and try to have respect for Her by not polluting her and try to live in harmony with Her and Her ways.

Women reflect the Goddess, Men reflect the God, so the Wicca have a Priestess and Priest to ‘run’ the religious services.  We call our services circles.

This was sort of an “Reader’s Digest Condensed Version” of Wicca.

THE GODDESS

THE GODDESS

The Goddess is the universal mother. She is fertility, endless wisdom and love. She is all aspects of nature, harmful and helpful. Wiccans acknowledge both aspects of Her nature.   The Goddess has three aspects; The Maiden (Anu, Elaine, Blodeuwedd), The Mother (Badb, Arianrhod, Margawse), and The Crone (Morgan LeFey, Cerridwen, Macha). The Maiden is innocence, Springtime, renewal, youth, dawn and the continuation of all life. The Mother is the richness of life, nurturing, Summer, the day and a teacher. The Crone is darkness, night, the rest before the continuation of life, wisdom, counsel and reincarnation. Each of these aspects shows different stages of a women’s life, and each can be placed with the phases of the moon; The Maiden being the waxing moon, The Mother the full moon and The Crone the waning moon. (2)

The Goddess of the Wicca is the Great Goddess. She is the Ground of Being, the Mother of All Living; the Creatrix, and the Destroyer, for She is ever Dual. She is the Earth Mother, the Lady of the Moon, and the Star Goddess. She is Queen of Heaven, Queen of Earth, and Queen of the Underworld. She is the Triple Goddess: the Virgin, the Bride, and the Hag, called the Three Mothers in Celtic regions.

The three aspects of the Triple Goddess are usually described as the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone; it must be remembered that the connotations of age associated with those titles derive from the experience of humans, who are subject to age and death; the Goddess is eternal: ever-changing and ever self-renewing, She will be young or old as She pleases.

As the Virgin, She is the Creatrix, the Lady of Birth and Death, the Star Goddess, the Queen of Heaven, the Giver of Inspiration, the Initiatrix.

She is Diana, Lady of the Moon and the Wild Things, Ever Virgin unto Pan: virgin unto the All, and therefore wed to None.She is also the Virgin Mother; and Her blue and white colors, and title “Queen of Heaven”, were borrowed by the Catholic Church for the Virgin Mary. Hers are the Waxing Moon, Venus as Morning and Evening Star, and all the vast starry realm; Her sacred color is White.

As the Bride, She is the Preserver, the Lady of Growth and Fertility, the Earth Mother, the Goddess of flocks and herds, Lady of Love and Fruitfulness and the fertility of the land; as Goddess of the Land She is also the Goddess of Sovereignty, and it is only by Sacred Marriage to Her that the King holds the right to the Throne. Hers are the Full Moon, the Earth, fruits and flocks and fields; Her sacred color is Red.

As the Hag, She is the Destroyer, the Lady of Decay and Death, the Goddess of Night and the Underworld, and also the cave and the tomb. For that which is born must also age, and decay, and die; and out of that which is dead and decaying arises new fertility, for life feeds ever on life. She is the Sow who eats Her own young, the “Nightmare Fertility and Death in One”, the Great Necessity by which the food chain and the cycle of life continue. Hence She is also the Goddess of regeneration. Hers is the Waning Moon, the dark night, the silence of the shadows, the midnight crossroads, and the wailing of the widow; Her sacred color is Black.

The Goddess is the Queen of all Witcheries: She is the Enchantress, the Shape-Changer; She is Isis, the “Lady of the Words of Power”; She is Cerridwen, the Sorceress at Her Cauldron; She is Hecate, the Mistress of the Magick of the Dark Moon. She is the Great Lady. She is the Goddess.

Excerpt from:

Wiccan’s One Universe

Cronehood: Aging Gracefully Or Just Aging?

Cronehood: Aging Gracefully Or Just Aging?

Author:   Rev. etain.butterfly   

I am enjoying my Cronehood journey and wish I could say the same for many of our aging population. What I am observing and I must say it is a concern to me…why do people of age want to home in on talking about their illness (s) and making it their main topic of conversation? I can understand when a crisis happens, there is a new diagnosis that is heavy on their mind and that there stages they go through (shock, grieving, barter, and acceptance) , however I am not talking about this. I am talking about the need to focus on the aging process as a loss and a ‘giving up’ instead of looking at it for what it is… a process that can offer freedom and joys. Let me give you some examples.

A friend of mine is a diabetic and he has this condition because of many years of not paying attention to what he ate and the amount of what he ate. He continued to gain weight and the signs started showing up that he was near developing Type II Diabetes at age 58. When he had a chance to correct the situation by diet alone, he still made bad decisions about his food intake. Then he was given the devastating news that he was now a full fledge diabetic that must take insulin.

I was very patient when he learned he had to change his eating habits, monitor his blood sugar, and learn to give himself insulin shots. I understood it would take him time to adjust, so his constant talking and yes, even complaining, was expected. As a friend, it was my job to help him through this transition and give him the needed support to ease all the changes that he would have to go through.

So, here’s his story now. He’s 68 years old and has had this condition for several years. He continues to make this health issue his topic of conversation even when things are going really well. The fact is, he has had this condition for 10 years and has chosen to play the ‘poor me scenario’. His doctor has provided him with excellent information and several resources to help him cope. He always needs to announce to anyone and everyone in earshot that he is a diabetic and then goes into the same old routine of boring them to death with details of his blood sugar and his eating routine. An example of his usual conversation…

”Oh my blood sugar is 100 and that is good but usually it is higher than that. Gosh, what do you think that means? Should I call the doctor? Maybe I should eat a candy bar to get it higher. What do you think? I will have to check it again later. Maybe I should call my daughter.”

He has a daughter who is an RN and he is driving her bonkers. When I am around him, I end up tuning him out when he starts this nonsense. Now I find myself avoiding him because I am sick of hearing his persistent complaining. It is taking a toll on my psychic energy. In other words, it sucks the life right out of me and, after visiting with him, I am tired and so ready to take a nap.

I see this with other Crones also. They talk about their arthritic aches and pains plus stiffness in their joints as much as they do about the changes in the weather. These are chronic conditions, meaning they will experience this from time to time, and talking about it obsessively won’t change a thing.

At what point do people decide that the aging process means they need to constantly talk about their health issues? At what point do they stop engaging in healthier topics of conversation? What are the reasons for this shift in how they converse with people and, more importantly, do they even realize how depressing this whole routine is?

One reason may actually be major depression (also known as clinical depression) , which is a medical illness. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain and can appear in people regardless of age, race or economic status. The illness can appear after a triggering event or for no apparent reason at all.

Look for signs of:

•Constant complaints of aches and pains (back, stomach, arms, legs, head, chest) , fatigue, slowed movements and speech, loss of appetite, inability to sleep, weight increase or decrease, blurred vision, dizziness, heart racing, anxiety.
•An overall sadness or apathy, withdrawn; unable to find pleasure in anything. Also irritability, mood swings or constant complaining; nothing seems to make the person happy.
•Talk of worthlessness, not being needed anymore, excessive and unwarranted guilt.
•Frequent doctor visits without relief in symptoms; all tests come out negative.
•Alcoholism can mask an underlying depression.

Another reason is ‘doing as others do’. Meaning they mimic what other elders are doing. Again if that is what they see and hear from their associates, there is a strong chance they may get caught up in the same negative behavior.

A third reason is the lack of stimulation, which will give them other things to talk about. Many times, elders find themselves alone with infrequent visitation from family and friends. They concentrate on familiar things like illnesses, chronic aches and pains, and the medications they take.

I, too, have minor health issues, however I chose to acknowledge that ‘it is what it is’. I have been dealt this hand and therefore I will do what I can to not let it slow me down. As I said, I am an observer of people partly because I am an RN and it’s part of my job. I have made note that those individuals who are really struggling with major health issues hardly complain at all. They keep a positive attitude and, in doing so, don’t let their condition stop them from enjoying life. Along with keeping a positive attitude, you may also find, as I have, that ‘like attracts like’. People benefit from being around cheerful positive people.

As an Elder and Crone myself, I hope to stir the Pagan community to take notice of how they choose to age. Are we aging with grace or are we just aging? Talk to the God and Goddess for help in modifying your way of thinking so you can handle life’s little ups and down. If you have family and / or friends who are displaying this type of behavior, show empathy and love by helping them comprehend the negative effects that persist when they chose to concentrate on their health issues in a pessimistic way. Sometimes it becomes a habit and they don’t even realize how often it occurs.

Behaviors can be changed, so make up your mind to age with GRACE and not just age.