–Donna Longuillo, New Jersey
The word Crone has developed a negative connotation. Websters dictionary defines a crone as “an ugly old woman”. Society has put much emphasis on youth yet we are living longer and healthier lives and a large percentage of the population is over 50. Women in my family often live to be 90 and beyond. They are strong, intelligent, solid citizens who contribute so much wisdom.
One meaning in the Free Dictionary for a crone is ” A woman who is venerated for experience, judgment, and wisdom.” When we began to move from a matriarchal to a patriarchal society, there was a shift in power. During ancient times, the elder women were the wise in the village revered for their knowledge and life experiences. We have to ask how and why did this change. How did we go from celebrating our valued wisdom to stifling it?
Reclaiming the Crone is not a new concept. We have a voice. I would like to share with you, six of my reasons to celebrate being a Crone.
1. We have wisdom through experience:
We have raised our children. Nursed our loved ones. We have begun, ended and maintained countless relationships both personal and business. Relationships wrought with love, turmoil and obligation. Relationships with men, women and children. We have walked through the world exploring and learning. We have 50+ years of experience with life. 50 years, half a century, five decades. That is a LOT of time! We have lived and loved and experienced. We have something to say. We might not know the latest trends but we have time and grade in daily living. We have earned our PhD in Life. We have something valuable to share, learn from our experiences. We have a story to tell. We are crone.
2. We have seen death and recognize we are no longer immortal:
When we were younger, we thought we would live forever, but we have seen death. Death of those we have loved, death of entire aspects of our lives. We have scars, accumulated from years of caring for our families and loved ones. Our skin is no longer taunt, it may sag, it may be stretched and it is ours. There is no shame in our appearance, it took years to get here. Of course it is worn, it has served us well. It is a map of our journey. We wear it proudly, it is the banner of our experience. Our journey is not complete, we continue building our map. We are our scars. We are crone.
3. We have loved with all our soul:
We have sacrificed, nurtured, tended and taught. We have held on tight and have learned when to let go. We didn’t give up when others did. We were there for our tribe, our families and friends. We have held your hand, wiped your brow and dried your tears. We have prayed and sent all of our energy to those we love, often forgetting ourselves. We have and continue to hold space with you. We have earned our place. We are crone.
4. We are beautiful sexual beings:
We have had lovers and have been loved. We know what we want, what we do not want and we know how to express it. We have a new sexual freedom that is rich and exciting. We are able to explore and experience in ways we could not in our youth. We are no longer the young maiden or the distracted mother. We are confident and self assured. We are sexy. We are crone.
5. We have felt the pain of patriarchal society:
We were there when women had no voice. When we had no choices about our bodies and were the property of our husbands, fathers, brothers. Some of us were beaten and abused in a time were we had no options. No escape, prisoners in our homes. We remember the darkness of sexual oppression. We became pioneers in the women’s movement. We burned our bras and bared our breasts. We continue to move forward demanding rights for all women. We earned our rights and demand for more. We are Crone.
We make choices because we can see the whole picture. We have power. We are Crone.
6. We are empowered
Crones are incredibly strong women and with that strength they are empowered. We are no longer hindered by the same demands on our time. Our bodies are more predicable, we have learned how it works. We wear what we like because it makes us feel good. We do what we please because we understand life is short. We grasp every brass ring. We recognize the need to be silent and when to observe rather than act. We speak our mind. We make choices because we can see the whole picture. We have power. We are Crone.
Society tends to shut down the voices of our elders as they age. Push them aside because we think they can not relate to modern life. Yet, as we advance in technology I also see us seeking alternative paths. Crones can help on that path. Celebrate the Crone.
I am a Crone.