Cronehood: the imperative, work, province and privilege of becoming truth and living truthfully in the depths

Ageing is no accident. It is necessary to the human condition, intended by the soul. We become more characteristic of who we are simply by lasting into later years; the older we become, the more our true natures emerge. Thus the final years have a very important purpose:

the fulfilment and confirmation of one’s character.

- James Hillman

“Life is a farce if a person does not serve truth.”

- Hilma af Klint

“A crone is a woman who has found her voice. She knows that silence is consent. This is a quality that makes older women feared. It is not the innocent voice of a child who says, “the emperor has no clothes,” but the fierce truthfulness of the crone that is the voice of reality. Both the innocent child and the crone are seeing through the illusions, denials, or “spin” to the truth. But the crone knows about the deception and its consequences, and it angers her. Her fierceness springs from the heart, gives her courage, makes her a force to be reckoned with."

— Jean Shinoda Bolen

portrait of a crone
by a crone crony

"Women's most feared power over men is the power to say no. To refuse to take care of men. To refuse to service them sexually. To refuse to buy their products. To refuse to worship their God. To refuse to love them. Every therapist knows that sex can be forced, but no power in the world can force love from any woman who wishes to withhold it."

- Barbara Walker

“The Crone has been missing from our culture for so long that many women, particularly young girls, know nothing of her tutelage. Young girls in our society are not initiated by older women into womanhood with its accompanying dignity and power. 

Without the Crone, the task of belonging to oneself, of being a whole person, is virtually impossible.”

- Marion Woodman


"These are tales of power, of glory, as we rewrite what Cronehood is in this time and embrace the ancient model of authority, wisdom, and resilience. These women teach us to laugh, to sing and to dance. We are reminded of our connection to the broadest cycles of existence and are invited to wield power in ways we have rarely seen modeled. These Crones come to tell us the truth of this time: a truth that has been smothered and hidden for far too long. They pull back the layers of misogyny and ageism to reveal the stunning beauty of the Wise Blood Years, the time of stone and steel, the years of the Witch and the Hag." 

- H. Byron Ballard

“I associate the Crone with the Dharma, othe Truth-As-It-Is. She sees all truth and can bear it, and Her compassion is without end.  She allows the letting go of small self-limitations, and is She Who Returns Us to All.”

- Glenys Livingstone

“The Crone’s Dark Space is often symbolized in the Cauldron – a place of transformation, where the new is cooked up. She is the “Organizing Principle” that knows the recipe; she can be trusted to deliver from deep within. Her cauldron is not for mixing poison as has been told; it is a Cauldron of Creativity, frequently found at the bottom of deep fears, volcanic emotion, deep sadness.”

- Glenys Livingstone

“In cultures around the world, there are myths and stories about Crones, Grandmothers, and Old Wise Women. “

“In Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man she is the Cailleach.
In Slavic folklore, she is Baba Yaga.
In Northern Mexico, she is La Loba, Wolf Woman.
In Norse mythology she is Elli.
In England she is the Woman of the Mist.
In France, England, Ireland and Spain she is Sheela na Gig.
The Mythic Grandmothers are a guiding force that keeps memory and tradition alive through the ages. They remind us that what lives must die, and what dies is transformed into new life.”

“They are the cold nights of winter.
They are the deep, dark woods.
They hold the wisdom of the bones and stones.
They are the shapeshifters.
The initiators and tricksters.
The trouble makers and storm bringers.
They are the voice of the earth.
They say what needs to be said.
They are unapologetic in who they are.
They are timeless and eternal.”

- Tara Wild


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