Posted by: smstrouse | October 21, 2010

On Becoming a Crone

OK, I accept it; I’m a crone! But I refuse to buy into the popular image of the old woman with the wart on her nose who is disagreeable, malicious, or sinister – a witch.  Consider this definition from  “An ugly, withered old woman; a hag.”   Hmmphhh! 

But did you know that ‘hag’ used to mean ‘holy one’ (from the Greek ‘hagia’)? I’d say we have some reframing and reeducating to do – for ourselves and for all our daughters, granddaughters, and god-daughters.   

I am choosing to embrace the ancient Wise Woman archetype described by theologian Carol Christ as “The wise old woman, the woman who knows from experience what life is about, the woman whose closeness to her own death gives distance and perspective on the problems of life.”

Well, I certainly hope that I’m not that close to death. But it’s true, my perspective on life is different now from what it was even a few years ago. My body has changed (that’s a hard one to accept), but I’m getting to the point where it just doesn’t matter. Keeping healthy is more the goal than striving for some unattainable illusion of beauty, thinness, flawless skin. 

My theology has changed quite a bit too. I am much more attracted to Divine Wisdom (Lady Wisdom, if you will), to Christ Sophia.  I could go on and on about that, but the truth is that I am much more in need of accepting my own personal crone-dom. To be honest, the word (and the age) still does not sit well with me. My mind has still not gotten around the fact that last Sunday I turned sixty.  Like most things, it will be a process of discovery and acceptance.

But I do know one thing. I am not dressing up as a witch for Hallowe’en. Those negative images have got to go!

 “[The Crone] holds an unspeakable wisdom in the very cells of her body. The beauty and the horror of all life are held together in love. Being with her…. we begin to see everything from two sides–the side that is totally in life, and the side that is already dwelling in disembodied soul. The Crone helps us hold the paradox.”  Marion Woodman



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