I have come to accept the fact that I am entering the Crone part of my life, and I’m in the process of figuring out what it means. In my faith, Crone is one of the categories of Goddess, a type of Goddess both honoured and feared, like the women who embody her.
I’m not worried about being feared. I’m tall, confident and plain spoken. I’m a lesbian. My best friend Doug says he notices that far more frequently than straight women, gay women meet his eyes in work contexts, defer to him less, interact with him in ways he’s accustomed to with men. I think that’s why straight men often find me intimidating, even when I’m not trying to be so. Released from any desire for male approval, I’m claiming power that is just there, part of standing in my own shoes.
Yesterday, I lit a candle on my altar for the Crone. I listened for Her, opened myself to what she had to say. She asked “What do you know?” It ocurred to me that this is the power of the Crone. She knows. As a Crone, I hold in my body, brain and heart, knowledge that I have absorbed through study and experience throughout my life. There are things on which I am an expert, many of them. I began to list them to myself, the things I know in my bones.
They (the mysterious they) say that once, Crones were feared because they retained their wise-blood, that all the regenerative power that can create and birth a human being was being held within now, accumulating and increasing as the woman got older and older. I’m guessing as well, that in a culture with an early average mortality age, that a woman who made it to menopause was a tough old bird.
I am a tough old bird.
The other part of the Crone is sexuality. This is a sexuality from a woman containing her power, who knows things, including that her body is her own, and what it wants and needs. This is a sexuality of claiming pleasure and connection and wholeness, the dark and the light together, for no other purpose than ecstacy and love. Aphrodite is also a death Goddess, also a crone. How could the Goddess of Love Herself be a maiden only. That is the hopeful wishes of men who would like to control Love and Sex. Love and sex are larger than that, they contain wisdom, experience, transcendence, these are things that only a mature woman who has lived can embody as deeply as they must be. This is not to disrespect the truth, certainty and sharp and quick clarity of the Maiden, or the creative power and connection of the Mother/Creatrix, only to add another level that is earned, that is Known.
The Crone challenged me to write from my knowing. It’s a huge task, to pluck from a lifetime of knowledge those pieces that can be put in linear order, explained. I have a lifetime of teaching and explaining experience to help me, it’s daunting, but exciting to begin.