Wikipedia defines the Crone as an archetype
The crone is a stock character in folklore and fairy tale, an old woman. In some stories, she is disagreeable, malicious, or sinister in manner, often with magical or supernatural associations that can make her either helpful or obstructing. The Crone is also an archetypal figure, a Wise Woman. She is marginalized by her exclusion from the reproductive cycle, and her proximity to death places her in contact with occult wisdom. As a character type, the crone shares characteristics with the hag…
Wikipedia goes on to note :
The word became further specialized as the third aspect of the Triple Goddess [maiden, mother, crone] popularized by Robert Graves and subsequently in some forms of neopaganism, particularly Wicca in which she symbolizes the Dark Goddess, the dark of the moon, the end of a cycle. In New Age and Feminist spiritual circles, a “Croning” is a ritual rite of passage into an era of wisdom, freedom, and personal power.
We here in America do no honor aging as have some culture. In fact, the very Boomers who are coming into the age of the Crone are the ones whose numbers started the cult of youth in the 1960s which was magnified by the new power of TV and profession of marketing to demographics: a perfect storm. I claimed being a young Crone at 60 without really understanding what I meant by that. At 66 I feel I’m fully into Cronedom/Hagdom and know that I am not alone in wondering exactly what that means. For me it is something other than the high-fashionistas (even thrift fashion is expensive) of Advanced Style – which is no more than Vogue for the older set, and more even than the 80 plus (still rail thin) models with glorious gray (genes is luck, bottle we can also have) hair. For me the essence of Crone is well-described by Lucille Clifton:
is what i ask myself
maybe it is the afrikan in me
still trying to get home
after all these years
but when I wake to the heat of morning
galloping down the highway of my life
something hopeful rises in me
rises and runs me out into the road
and i lob my fierce thigh high
over the rump of the day and honey
i ride i ride
“Left to my own devices, would I trade this for firm thighs, fewer wrinkles, a better memory? On some days. That’s why it’s such a blessing I’m not left to my own devices. Because the truth is I have amazing friends and a deep faith in God, to whom I can turn. I have a cool kid, a sweet boyfriend, darling pets. I’ve learned to pay attention to life, and to listen. I’d give up all this for a flatter belly? Are you crazy?” Anne Lamott
What is the Call of the Crone?
The Call is that restless feeling – no matter where we are or what we are doing if it isn’t connected to our soul we *know* in our very body and heart and mind that there is something else we are being drawn to, called to. The Call is spiritual. We have gathered a life of experience. What are we to do with it?
There is no more meandering. There is no more escape – not one more errand to run, not one more load of laundry to wash and fold, not one more phone call to answer, not one more letter to type, not one more word I can write until I take the next step. Until I am willing to fall. Standing at the very edge of the cliff I shout at god/us, “Are you sure I’m ready for this? It seems we’ve been moving awfully fast these past few years…How do You know I’m ready?…the angel leans forward, kisses me on the lips. “Love is all that is real,” she says, “good-bye.” She turns my shoulders around. I face the edge. I do not jump. It is more subtle than that. I simply let go. Christina Baldwin, Calling the Circle: The Once and Future Culture
Molly Gordon says: “The great work is not about overcoming darkness. Darkness and light will not be separated. Our great work in our businesses and personal lives is to tend to what lives in the darkness so that, when it comes to light, it comes as a sprout breaking through the earth where it will bear fruit…There is no way back to ourselves and to each other that does not being with compassionate awareness that we’ve once again lost our way…”
In Women Who Run with the Wolves Clarissa Pinola-Estes notes that “The soul skin vanishes when we are not paying attention to what we are really doing, and particularly the cost to us…Psychologically, to be without the pelt causes a woman to pursue what she thinks she should do, rather than what she truly wishes. It causes her to follow whoever or whatever impresses her as strongest – whether it is good for her or not…She pulls back from taking the next step, from making the necessary descent and holding herself there long enough for something to happen.”
How Shall We Answer?
We “follow the call, even when we’ve no idea of where to go, in what direction, or for how long…Though women come back into themselves, draw on the [soul]skin, pat it closed, and are all ready to go, it is hard to go; really, really hard to cede, to hand over whatever we’ve been so busy with, and just leave.” (Pinkola-Estes)
We claim our divinity.
…there is a difference between intellectually believing you are divine (‘hey cool, I’m divine!’) and truly knowing you are divine through direct, conscious experience (‘holy shit! I AM Divine!’). It’s a bit like the difference between believing the the idea of eating healthier – as in, you read a lot about it, and your health-nut friends all tell you it works, and you occasionally swap sausage for tofu – and actually having the energized, personal experience of glowing physical health because yo have consciously changed your own diet. Sera Beak,The Red Book.
Anyone in the throes of transition can identify with this Call. All of life’s transitions take us through call, struggle to understand, response. This is not for the faint of heart, and not something to be done alone. All hero’s have traveling companions. Do you know who yours are? More to come on answering the call.