On Cronehood

The Sunday Stew is looking for a crone to contribute to their weekly blog. (If you’re interested, contact Kallan or Jennifer through that site.) Not that I think I have anything interesting to say on a weekly basis but the call got me to thinking…



Google’s definition of crone is, “an old woman who is thin and ugly”. Merriam-Webster? “A withered old woman.” Dictionary.com? “A withered, witchlike old woman.”  Ummm… Definition #2 on Wiktionary.com: “An archetypal figure, a Wise Woman.” Not unflattering, but…

PaganWiccan.about.com discusses crone as the third stage of the triune goddess of Maiden/Mother/Crone. They say the Crone is, ” […] the final stage. She is the hag and the wise woman, the darkness of night, and eventually death. She is the waning moon, the chill of winter, the dying of the earth.”

When I was growing up, crone was (and to a certain extent still is) a derogatory term. I can remember Mom referring to her mother-in-law as “an old crone”. (They didn’t get along.) Sometime later, I understood a crone to be a woman who had passed menopause. Stepdad’s mother qualified in that regard…

Let’s see: I’m thin; I don’t think I’m pretty but I don’t think I’m ugly, either; I’m not withered; outwardly not very witchlike; still learning, so maybe not so wise; but I am past menopause!

Yes, I’m approaching “old” but I’m not there, yet! Body parts may not work the way they used to and I may not be able to stay up all night partying anymore (without paying a heavy price), but my enthusiasm for life certainly hasn’t waned. If anything, it’s waxed.

Two of seven? Not sure I qualify…

No one is ever free from the responsibilities of daily life. My 100-year-old mother-in-law still pays attention to her finances and has a full daily schedule, even though she lives in a nursing home. Okay, perhaps some are. My mother is free from those responsibilities but not in a good way. However, being semi-retired and an empty-nester gives me more freedom to pursue interests I wouldn’t have been able to shoehorn into my schedule twenty years ago and still get a good night’s sleep. I was able to go back to school at age 49 and yet relax in my recliner to read or watch a ball game in the evenings.

(There is a caveat to the above: there are people who are free from the pain-in-the-ass of bill paying, meal-cooking, house maintenance and even child-rearing. They’re called rich and hire others to do such things. I’m not one of them and I suspect you aren’t, either.)

Wise? If you count learning from life’s experiences and making an effort not to repeat mistakes or faux pas as wiser, then yes, I suppose I am. That’s not to say I still don’t put my foot in my mouth far enough to chew my ankle on occasion. But everyone gets wiser in that regard on a daily basis. That’s just part of living. Or should be.

I think the one thing I’ve noticed the most as time has gone by is: issues that used to really bother me are no longer worth the expenditure of energy, either mundanely or magically. As a result, my heart rate stays calmer and major spellwork is rare. I don’t mind little stuff, like reinforcing work I’ve already done but if it comes to something big, I’ll think about it long and hard before I put forth that sort of effort. It’s not being lazy, it’s reserving energy for something truly important. (And maybe just a little lazy on occasion. 😉 )

So, that’s my 2¢ on being a crone. Am I? Are you?