Category Archives: Third Act

Goddesses and Crones

Mature trees still produce gorgeous blossoms
Mature trees still produce gorgeous blossoms

Last time we talked about the Goddess

and how she could be represented in three different forms.  While not all ancient religions had a notion of The Triple Goddess who was represented in this way, most had female deities who were respected or feared (or both!).  These deities had the characteristics of either Maiden, Mother, or Crone. What’s relevant to women over 50 is the image of the Crone.

The Crone is associated with the third part of a woman’s life.

Which is not to say that her life is now two thirds over!

The crone comes into play as a woman goes through menopause, when she no longer brings life through her body, but now brings other things to fruition.  She is mature, ripe and ready.  She has learned from life’s lessons, both joyful and difficult, and draws on that knowledge and experience to be able to teach and lead others.

In traditional societies the Crone was both respected and feared.

As a goddess she was associated with the new or waning moon, and death; with magic and the underworld.  Older women/crones in society were recognized as the keepers of wisdom, healing, and midwifery.  The older woman was sought after for her knowledge and experience, and held in high esteem.  She was no sweet little old lady, however!  She didn’t sugarcoat her advice or worry about how her opinion made others feel.  Because she had so much inner power and could be severe, she was often feared by others in the community.

Can you believe that older women were once praised as hags?

Yes, ‘hag’ may actually have been derived from a term meaning “woman of prophetic or oracular powers.”  Later it was a word referring to village wise women .  Unfortunately, if someone called you a hag today, it would probably not be intended as a compliment!

A lot has changed over the centuries!

Fortunately, contemporary women have been reclaiming and celebrating the word, “crone,” bringing back its original meaning, and adding twists of their own.

Google ‘crone’ and you’ll find dozens of websites devoted to women’s lives and interests after 50.

Health, beauty, style, travel, spirit.  All these topics and more are paired with the word ‘crone.’  There are so many women who are proud to call themselves crones.  It’s a revolution of sorts!  And who better to lead the way, than the baby boomers who questioned everything in their youth?  Now they’re similarly questioning what it means to age.  Not necessarily gracefully – but with a vengeance!

Rather than embracing anti-aging, these women are defining what it means to be ageless.

Christiane Northrup, MD has written a book (Goddesses Never Age) that might be a manifesto for a generation of women embracing their Third Act.  In the book she discusses: optimal health and using your inner healing powers, pleasure, experiencing the darker emotions, love, eating joyfully, movement, beauty and connection to spirit.  She exhorts you to

Embrace your inner goddess.

You might enjoy that label better than Crone!

I still like ‘crone,’ though.

I like the idea of taking an insult and turning it on its head, making it positive and joyful and, yes, ‘juicy.’  I like looking at pictures of women older than myself and imagining what I will look and feel like when I’m their age.

I’ve started asking myself questions – questions that you might like to ask yourself.

How can you feel better and move more gracefully in your body?

What makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning?

Who do you love, and how can you love them more fully?

What do you want to learn and do before your next birthday?

And how about the answers?

I’d love to hear some of your questions – and answers!

Until next time,

 

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