Part of what has sort of flummoxed me about Roderick’s three-part conception of the masculine divine is the Sage. In most of the other Wiccan concepts of god energy, it seems to come down to a dualistic split–usually between adolescent and father/lover, I guess. The Crone seems to take the place of all old age–both for men and women. I can sort of understand this, as the young don’t typically “see” elderly people in gendered terms. There is little, if any, sexual pull from the young to the old, so–in effect–the elderly typically are gender neutral. Of course, it’s a little bit different from the perspective of older men and women. In fact, one of the recurrent news stories is the difficulties of sex in nursing homes. Apparently it’s occurring–and the children of those involved are not happy about it. Probably because they see their parents as far beyond any sexual capacity.
I suppose, then, that there would have to be some gendered difference in the energies of “older” gods and goddesses, but there should be some similarities as well.
I think Roderick’s descriptions of Crone and Sage reflect that. The Crone, for example, “is the archetype of female power turned inward […] brimming with the seeds of wisdom […] and ready to teach […] the inner secrets of magic.” Similarly, the Sage “represents the once outwardly directed energy that is now turned inward […] the ability to become self-reflective and to develop wisdom […] and prophetic vision and good counsel given to others.” Inwardness, wisdom, teaching/counsel…those are all very similar. Yet, the Crone also represents justice and life lived beyond hope. The Sage marks the passage of time and is reflective and meditative. He also “is the part of us that sees through the facades of other people,” which is quite akin to “living life beyond hope.” Like the Crone who”is the manifestation of internal movement and mystic insight,” the Sage “moves […] to the seasons of spirit and intuition [… and] understands that life is a journey, not a destination.” Very similar, but notably different: the sage is slightly more grounded in life than the Crone, who is almost completely a creature of magic.
Roderick goes on to describe the dark side of the sage as that which expands consciousness beyond practical value, or “our foolish inability to protect ourselves in the face of actual danger.” The Crone’s dark energy was self-sufficiency to the point of isolation–setting boundaries and offering a predominance of negative criticism. These darker energies definitely seem more gendered than the positive. It seems a little odd, but I guess I can sort of see it: very old people do seem to cling to their gender through a futility of protection if they are men or imposing and criticizing others if they are women. Many of the positive aspects are largely a matter of age rather than gender.
I think it might be beneficial for me to work on the godforms of Crone and Sage simultaneously at some point to better understand their nuances. For now, however, I shall focus upon Roderick’s Sage.
Table of Correspondences: The Sage
Solar Phase: Waning Sun
Seasonal Phase: Winter
Color: Violet or black
Pagan Celebration: Winter Solstice
Incense: White sage
Essential Oils: Sage, lotus, pine
Magical Number: 7
Herbs: Holly, mistletoe, pine
Body Part: Head, brain
Chakra: 7th–Crown, at the top of the head
Exercise: Knowing Your Sage
Consider your own sage traits. On a single piece of paper, draw a line down the center. On one side write down your personality traits (no matter if you are physically male or female) that reflect positive sage qualities. On the other side of the page, write down any shadowy sage qualities you might recognize in yourself. If you do not note any of the sage’s qualities in your life, this is an archetypal energy that requires balancing in order for you to claim your full potential and power.
|Positive Sage||Negative Sage
|As with the Crone, I’m pretty self-reliant and often try to turn to the path within to find answers for my problems and projects.||I have a tendency to “worry” an idea beyond its practical value. I become too engrossed in projects and exclude other important areas of my life.|
|The dissolution of personal requirements. That seems to be me. I’m a fairly low-maintenance person and can go with the flow easily.||I tend to live in the past. Sometimes I worry that I was attracted to academia because it would let me stay in college forever. I am sort of scared to move on with life.|