Believe fairy tales aren't true? Think again, she's watching and waiting for you.
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
Sunday, March 10, 2019
Thursday, February 28, 2019
Michael Meade's podcast "Wise Woman at the Cross Roads" (Living Myth Podcast #112) discusses the role of the wise old woman in story and her archetypal wisdom in life.
"In what turns out to be a treatise on the Wise Old Woman of the World and the importance of the feminine mysteries of life, Michael Meade tells an old wisdom tale from Africa. The story offers a pertinent reminder that we all wander on the road of life and death, and that each crossroad in life is an opportunity to awaken further to the deep gifts and precise mission of our souls.
The old story reveals that the Holy Spirit was once considered the bird of Sophia, the feminine source of wisdom. The Wise Old Woman turns out to be the sage in the heart, the immediate spirit of awakening and an instinctive connection to the enduring song of life."
Monday, January 14, 2019
I recently came upon a podcast in which mythologist, Marina Warner, speaks of the "enchanted forest." Warner describes the enchanted forest as a place for the hero to face both trials and self-discovery, and in doing so, experience an initiation. Living in the center of this forest is the wise old woman. But who is this old woman who can live in such an environment? Warner gives the example of Baba Yaga as the dual sided figure, both frightening and kind.
Old women (whether hags or crones) were often the tellers of folktales, for they held the wisdom of both folklore and life. They were healers with "medicines" of stories, words and ancient practices. Over time, their knowledge of herbs became marginalized and condemned as the advancement of science and medicine took hold. Healing moved from the purview of women, into a study soley for men.
As the old woman's power disappeared in the world, she was transformed from the wise crone into the figure of the witch. Ultimately, the witch was persecuted, and many accused of being such were burned at the stake. The power of the living crone appeared to go "up in flames" while in reality she simply returned to the enchanted forest, awaiting the right time to return. That time is now. (To listen to the podcast, click here.)