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

 


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

Crone Inspiration

Crone Inspiration

Author: 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


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

Hello, I’m A Witch!

Hello, I’m A Witch!

Author: Greengate

I’m sure you all recognize this: you enter a crowded room, a party is going on and people are busy talking to each other over a glass of something, exchanging pleasantries they don’t really mean. They all wear the uniform: the expensive cocktail dress for the ladies, the suit that tries hard to look expensive, for the men. Everyone but one lady conforms to the norm. Black long hair flowing freely over her shoulders, long skirt, heavy ethnic jeweler, a large purple shawl hugging her shoulders, a faint Patchouli aroma in her vicinity. When you see her, you can immediately tell something about her, even if you didn’t exchange one word with her before. She can only be one of two things: an eccentric artist or a Neo-Pagan.

With a glass of wine in your hand, you work your way towards her, hoping to engage her in conversation. The sneaky thought of verifying your suppositions about her drives you. You exchange meaningless cliché’s and you seize the opportunity to ask:

“You have a wonderful sense of style. Are you an artist? I’m sure you paint.”

“No. I’m a Witch.”

She will probably tell you this with a firm voice and look directly at you, waiting for a reaction. But what should your reaction be? What did this lady actually tell you? I know what I believe a Witch to be, but let’s first consult one of the most used online resources for English words: the Merriam-Webster Online Thesaurus. According to it, a Witch is:

1. a woman believed to have often harmful supernatural powers (in the old days women were sometimes accused of being Witches and using evil magic to make the crops fail or an animal die suddenly). Synonyms: enchantress, hag, hex, sorceress. Related Words: charmer, conjuror (or conjurer), enchanter, necromancer, voodoo; magician, sorcerer, warlock, wizard.
2. a mean or ugly old woman (heaven help you if your ball lands on that Witch’s lawn) — see CRONE.
3. a person skilled in using supernatural forces (freakish storms that were once thought to be the work of Witches) — see MAGICIAN.

I can’t even begin to count on how many levels the good folk from Merriam-Webster are wrong. And not only are they wrong, but the definitions they give are insulting and rooted in hateful prejudice. But because I’m a Pagan who just had a good cup of coffee and a piece of Belgian chocolate, I’m going to be generous and give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they aren’t deliberately ignorant, just misinformed. And, boy are they wrong! Every word and every implication of their explanations misses the point and is just about as accurate as a drunk who tries to put the key in the keyhole. I wonder if someone actually took the trouble to talk with people about this subject or, judging by the 15th century explanations, they had a séance and summoned none other than Tomás de Torquemada, the first grand Inquisitor, and asked him for his definition of this term.

I could go on for a long time fuming and stewing in my own juices, but there is no point in doing that. Instead, for the benefit of Merriam-Webster’s editor, and for those who don’t know what Witchcraft means, I’m going to describe it’s meaning, as this Pagan understands it. A Witch is a practitioner of the magickal arts. Nothing more, nothing less… I know this is a short definition, but it tells you all you need to know. If the editor of Merriam-Webster wants a more detailed definition, he would have to pay me in order to get it.

Now, let’s return for a moment to that exotic lady who introduced herself to you as a Witch. Why would anybody tell you that? Witchcraft is not something that defines a person, it is something a person knows and practices. Witchcraft is a tool that can be employed by someone to better his life. It does not tell you anything about the religious convictions that person holds, nothing about the morals or ethics that person may adhere to, nothing about the character that person has. So, I ask again: why would anybody introduce themselves with such a statement? It is like saying “Hello, my name is (fill in name here) and I know how to ride a bike.” It is as ridiculous as that.

Some of my fellow Pagans wear this word as a badge of honour. I completely understand the sentiment behind it, and I believe it is completely wrong. It is about time we put aside our differences; it is about time Pagans find common ground and define this word that defines us. In order to do this, I’m going to share some of my thoughts with you.

Witchcraft is a tool.

Witchcraft is nothing more than a tool, always at the disposal of those who have the knowledge to use it. This knowledge can be acquired from different sources. A spell cast in the proper way and with conviction will work every time. It doesn’t matter what your moral or ethical convictions are, it doesn’t matter what you want to achieve. If you are able to raise enough energy and successfully apply your will to it, the spell will be effective. Of course, everything we put out there will find its way back to the point of origin, amplified or not. There is no free lunch. One way or another, a bill will always be presented to you.

Witchcraft is not a religion.

In the minds of many people Witchcraft is synonymous with religion. This confusion between the two must be clarified. Witchcraft exists independent of ANY religion. You can do magick and belong to Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. You can even be Agnostic or Atheist and practice the craft. So when you say, “I’m a Witch,” you are not telling me anything about your beliefs. The only thing you are telling me is that you know how to manipulate energy towards achieving a specific goal. You know how to do stuff.

There is a notable exception that must be mentioned. If in your magickal work you draw upon the divine energies, Witchcraft and religion come close together. But in spite of that they never mix. They stay separate. Religion has to do with your beliefs, Witchcraft with a certain way you achieve a goal. That means that if your spell involves the invoking of a deity, you do your spell in their presence and perhaps you are helped by their energies. That is not a religious act. That is an act of magick assisted by the divine. By far the most magickal work performed inside and outside the circle doesn’t involve the divine. Most of the stuff a Witch does, falls under the category of natural magick. It involves plant, animal and mineral material, oils, candles and a strong will. Nothing else.

The confusion between Witchcraft and religion may arise from the fact that we often choose to do magickal work inside a circle. Most Pagans, when they cast their circle choose to invoke the Goddess and the God, thus the magickal work is done in their presence. But, despite what some may say, their presence is not a sine-qua-non. A perfectly good circle can be cast without invoking any divinity. The casting of a circle is an act of magick and not a religious act.

Witchcraft is not exclusively hereditary.

Some of my fellow Pagans hold the view that Witchcraft is hereditary. They believe this excludes newcomers to the ancient art, because they had the misfortune to be born in a family that has no known magickal tradition. I respectfully disagree with this view. It is certainly true that some families pass on through the generations a certain sensibility towards magick. They may even pass on hidden knowledge. But all this does not exclude others, unrelated to them, from acquiring the knowledge. Witchcraft is an art, and as in every art certain families produce artists in every generation. That doesn’t mean that the son of a lawyer can’t learn how to paint, and do it brilliantly!

Witchcraft is neutral.

Magick can’t be good or bad, nor can it be white of black. The energy we use in it is always neutral. We colour it by applying our intent to it, but that does not change its neutral character. In order to categorize magick as good or bad, we must apply a moral judgement to it, and no matter how you look at it, that process is always a subjective one. Different people apply different values to their actions. What you may consider a good thing may be the worst outcome for me.

One may be tempted to explain the “good and bad” aspects of magick by associating it with constructive and destructive outcomes of the magickal work. If you care to analyse this view deeper than the surface, you will immediately notice that it is false. A destructive spell can sometimes be a good thing. You may want to break down blockages, remove obstacles or alter an unhealthy situation. In this case you must use the energy to destroy the old situation, in order to allow something new to develop. So, when someone tells you that they are a good Witch, regard them with suspicion. The neutral nature of magick is one of the first things one must understand in order to understand the ancient art. If this is not clear to the person you speak to, there is a deficiency present in their training.

Let’s once again return to that colourful lady. She told us she is a Witch. Why? Is this the most important thing about her? Or perhaps she feels the need to advertise something that sets her apart from the masses… Of course one can wear his convictions with pride, but why advertise them? I put it to you that the most successful practitioners of the ancient art are those that we don’t know anything about. We can only see that they are well adjusted, successful and happy. If a person feels the need to say “I’m a Witch” to a complete stranger, it may be a sign of an uncertainty they have. If you want to reaffirm this fact to you, do it in private. If you are not convinced your magick works, go back to it and study it.

I could understand if such a person would tell me immediately after we met that they are Pagan. I also wear this badge with pride. This statement tells us that one follows Pagan principles, lives a life that is in harmony with Mother Nature and that they feel at home within the Pagan framework, regardless of their religious convictions. If you belong to the Pagan nation, be proud of it, but don’t advertise what you can do by saying you are a Witch. That suggests that you came to Paganism only to learn the craft and take advantage of the possibilities it offers. Paganism is more than just the practice of the craft. So, what would you do after she told you “I’m a Witch”? I know what I would do: change the subject.