After I tell folks the name of my blog I regularly get asked, “What is a Crone?” And from those who only know the Hollywood version of what a Crone is, I usually get the look that says, “Why on earth would you want to be an old hag?”
Every once in a while I think that maybe I should change my blog’s name. A lot of women out there have begun using titles like, Goddess, Wild Woman, Wayfinder and even Witch, but I keep returning to Crone. So I thought I would acquaint you with why I use this designation.
Firstly, the dictionary will tell you that a Crone is a cantankerous, withered old woman. Wow, now that’s just harsh. Who would want to be one of those? This is where the definition of a Crone went sideways and this is the image Hollywood loves to portray.
Another definition comes from the triple goddess, or the maiden, mother, crone archetype. That being the three aspects of a woman’s life. The innocent young maiden or child, the nurturing mother, and the wise old grandmotherly sage. This is where I began my understanding of what a Crone is.
So what’s with the word Crone?
The word “crone” is derived from an ancient word for crown, suggesting the wisdom that emanates from the head like a halo. Ever notice the golden halo’s painted around angels or saints in renaissance paintings? These auras of light were symbolistic of ones divine connection to God.
A crown also represents being a sovereign, as in the ruler or queen of the land, or in the case of being a Crone, to self-govern, or to be autonomous and effectual.
Crones were traditionally the oldest woman in the village who was sought out and venerated for her knowledge in healing, community traditions and as wise council, plus advice on many aspects of village life. Her long life garnered her respect and was considered a leader of sorts in her community – especially amongst the woman folk.
Is the title “Crone” relevant today?
Here’s why I choose to use the term crone. Our society is crying for leadership. More than ever we are in need of gentle guidance from those who have gained a lifetime of wisdom and have lived through, and recognize the cycles of nature and of history.
We have lost the traditions of a family hierarchy. We over value youth. We covet things over people and we have complete disrespect for the world on which we live. The ship of society has gotten so off course and it has been fighting the current of life for some time. We need only to watch the nightly news to confirm this to be true.
But one thing that seems to be glazed over, is the fact that in western society, we have an aging population. Almost 30% of the population is now over the age of 50. That’s a significant number. That’s clout. And with that age (hopefully) comes a lifetime of knowledge, wisdom and insight.
Not only is there a large group of wise people out there, but because we live in an affluent society and have access to better health care, we are living much longer. So as the years go on there will be even more of us old folk. We have the power to make a difference, if we choose. No rocking chairs for us.
I like the title, Crone. It is an unexpected word. It’s not gentle or squishy. It’s different from what’s out there and it has a hint of badassery to it.
Maybe she’s a witch? Maybe she’s a bitch? Maybe she will smote you down with her SUV if you try to take her parking space?
Or maybe she will sit with you in love and compassion as you work through a hardship in your life. Perhaps, offer some sound advice and a plate of homemade cookies – no poison apple here.
Either way, you can be sure that if she is a Crone, she will be able to offer up exactly what you need to hear, good or bad. And just maybe, the world could use a little more well aged wisdom, and learn to respect the Crones and Sage’s of this world, they have a thing or two to teach us all.
Respect of all age groups is a good start to turning the ship of society around so that it can once again float gently down the stream of life as it was always meant to.
I want to live in a world where being old is an achievement and that I am celebrated for having white hair and wrinkles, but I also known, that it is my responsibility to act in a way that is worthy of that respect. So that one day, the people who matter most to me, will honor me for the knowledge and contributions I make in this life.
I want the salutation of “Crone” to be a title of honor, a sign of the highest mastery of who I am. A title equivalent to a professor of life.
So I will continue to keep my blog’s name, and offer up what wisdoms and insights I can and hopefully, when I am very old, I will have achieved my goal and the title of “Crone” will be considered a gift of dignity and respect.