Today we set aside the mother to begin the next aspect: the crone.
You know, I think that when I think of ‘The Goddess,’ qualities of the crone are more like what comes to mind. She’s the lady of wisdom and common sense. She knows all and doesn’t put up with any flim-flam. It’s not a classically feminine behavior. She’s the goddess who can transcend superficial matters such as gender. It’s unimportant for her. So, in a way, she’s a very freeing aspect. She can just let loose and tell it like it is.
Roderick seems to back me up on this. He says that the crone “represents repose, wisdom, and decline.” To expound upon the matter further:
Beyond her childbearing years, the crone is the archetype of female power turned inward. She is no longer the fragrant, full bloom, but she’s brimming with the seeds of wisdom. She’s ready to teach others the mysteries of what lies beyond death and the inner secrets of magic, if only you would listen. You can’t pull the wool over those old, weathered eyes; she has been around the block a few times already and she is the personification of common sense and seasoned practicality.
Roderick also makes the point that she “represents justice” and the reaping of our harvests. He does make the point that it’s the harvest we get, not what we hoped for. The crone is at the end of her life and needs no hopes. She deals in practicality and actuality. Roderick also makes the point that our dark crone aspects can lead to “bitterness and self-sufficiency to the point of isolation.” As he says:
When we have dark crone energies in our personality, we might believe that we need to “set the record straight,” set endless boundaries of other people, and criticize without noting much of anything positive. In her dark aspect, the crone can be our potential to cut ourselves off from other people, to judge harshly, or simply to carp.
I think I might have a little bit of trouble with this. I think that isolation, harsh judgment, and bitchfests aren’t necessarily bad things. It can make a person a pill to deal with…but on their own, are these qualities all that negative?
As with the other aspects, Roderick gives a lists of correspondences and an evaluation exercise.
Lunar Phase: Waning/dark
Seasonal Phase: Late fall/winter
Pagan Celebration: Samhain, October 31
Incense: Mugwort and star anise
Essential Oils: Sage, cedar
Magical Number: 6
Herbs: Nightshade, fly agaric
Planet: Saturn, Jupiter
Body Part: Eyes
Chakra: 6th–pineal, at the center of the brow
Exercise: Knowing Your Crone
Consider your own crone traits. On a single piece of paper, draw a line down the center. On once side write down your personality traits that reflect positive crone qualities. On the other side, write down any shadowy crone qualities you might recognize in yourself. If you do not note any of the crone’s qualities in your life, this is an archetypal energy that might require balancing and integration in order for you to claim your full potential and power as a Witch. Over the next few days, you will learn how to evoke these qualities into your life.
|I can see things as they stand. I’m a good, fair judge. I can usually approach a situation objectively and offer a well-rationed criticism.||I’m a born critic. And I can be incredibly nasty about it if the situation is beyond stupid. Sarcasm comes naturally. Tact and kindness is something I have to work very hard at. It feels false.|
|If you look up self-reliance, you’ll find me and Ralph Waldo Emerson.||Isolation, thy name is Me. These days especially, I rarely see my friends. I never ask for help. I try to improve myself all on my own…and it gets very lonely very fast.|
|I’m something of a know-it-all and people come to me for practical advice.||I have very little patience for people when they just don’t get it.|
I really do have a ‘problem’ with the dark side of the crone. I think I lean towards her very strongly, and I know it can be to my detriment. I do not make new friends easily. I am intensely prickly when people first meet me, and it takes a good long exposure in order for most people to actually see me. I am cold. I am aloof. I am stubborn. I do not like to enmesh myself into the problems of others. I have myself to worry about.
It can be a problem.