The wise old woman archetype often portrays wisdom and cleverness in folktales. In the “Old Woman and the Giant,” a Philippines folktale, an old woman finds herself lost near a giant’s cave. A giant threatens to eat her unless she can make a louder noise than he can. This giant may have been the Manangilaw who was thought to have lived in Bicol. With a vicious looking face, deep voice, body covered in black hair and big feet; he makes a frightening image. The old woman replies that she is too skinny and bony to eat (children often say this in stories too). She says that if he lets her go, she will return with her daughter. Together they may be able to make more noise. Later, the old woman and her daughter make their way back to the cave, drum and a gong in hand. Their noise causes the giant to flee. He runs into his cave and immediately falls into a hole. The wise old woman prevails yet again!
Crone is "a phase in which you can be more authentic, more capable of making a difference in your family and in the greater world. Life gives you experience, and when you draw from it, that's true wisdom. By the time a woman is in her crone years, she is in an amazing position to be an influence. To change things for the better, to bring what she knows into a situation, to be able to say, 'Enough is enough.' You don't have to just go along with things, which is often a part of the middle years. You're often something of a loose cannon."
Jean Shinoda Bolen
Monday, October 30, 2017
The Old Woman and the Giant
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