Merry Meet All,
I am the entire Universe within the Void.
The Wheel of the Year has turned again. We are nearing the dark half of the year. Already it is getting darker earlier in the evening. The wind is chillier. Richly colorful leaves flutter to the earth. Pumpkins appear in grocery markets.
This time of the year is the time of the Crone. The attributes of the Crone are wisdom, love, intuition, pragmatism, and fortitude. The images of the Crone are frightening. Humans fear death and the Crone reminds us of old age and death.
The Crone has earned her position in life and was once seen in more respect for the knowledge and wisdom she gleaned throughout her life. She was once revered. Today our society is harsh. The Crone is forced into nursery homes and turned into a vegetable.
The associations with the Crone are old animals, dark colors, heavy clothing, late fall and winter, the waning moon, and the hours from sunset to dawn. The Crone is associated with Witches. The Crone may appear in different cultures, including the Celts. The Celts had a special love for the number three. Their deities appeared in groups of threes: Maiden, Mother, and Crone. The deities were Morrigan, Cerridwen, Brighid, and the ancient Matronae.
The Sheela-na-gig is my favorite example of a Crone. To me, she truly embodies the Crone. Ancient stone carvings depict her squatting and displaying oversized genitals. These women appear emaciated, with or without eyes, a large misshapen toothless mouth, green stringy hair, and torn clothing. Despite the images, they were considered lucky for they forewarned of death. She was seen at the shores of a river, washing the clothing of those who were soon to die in battle. The sexual organs were a holy symbol of birth and life that symbolized the life giving and regenerative powers of the Crone/ Goddess. Artifacts date back to the Neolithic Ages.
She is an enduring example of a life-death goddess. She cannot be destroyed. Her name means “hag”. Just as she is seen as a giver of life, she walks the twilight shadows of darkness and death. She is the keeper of the Underworld. The Crone holds secrets and knowledge. She is the keeper of herbal lore, remedies, and wisdom. In our society where death is feared, and women are portrayed as sex goddesses, the Crone is pushed away and only seen at Samhain, the wicked witch in fairy tales. She is more. The Sheela-na-gig’s pose is confrontational, daring you to defy death and to accept growing old gracefully. The cold season brings people indoors. Take this time to reflect on the Crone and what she may represent or gift you with in your life.