Day 32: The Crone, Invocation

On a poetic note, I approve of Roderick’s coupling of the internal “nn” of Inanna and Rhiannon much better than him stretching for the initial alliterative as with the Mother’s Cerridwen and Ceres. It’s also the first time I’ve ever heard of the phrase “buckled horn.” I literally cannot find it mentioned anywhere else on google but in this passage. Something in me likes the phrase as a the god’s equivalent to the dark moon symbol…but it is so close to meaning ‘broken,’ I just can’t bring myself to believe it appropriate. Weathered maybe? Seasoned? Gnarled?

Exercise:

Stand facing the west. Light an indigo candle and set it on a table before you. Ignite self-lighting charcoal, then sprinkle loose incense (mugwort and star anise) on the hot coals. Practice the magical pass of the crone, and hold your arms in this position while you say:

By Hecate and Hel,
By Sophia and Sekhmet,
By Inanna and Rhiannon,
And the countless names of power,
By the dark moon and buckled horn,
Come ye Crone Goddess,
Thy Holy Rites reborn!

When you are finished, sit where you are, close your eyes, and sense the crone goddess’ presence.

I think I have learned something very important from the combination of the gesture and the invocation. It really does help align the immanent and transcendent aspects of the deities. I first evoke the aspect within me, then I invoke the aspect around me. It’s a very elegant subtlety. Though none of these invocations have been particularly powerful or resonant with me (indeed, they feel like dead words), they still bring something and I am more attuned to it because I have already found that energy within myself. I think I understand why Roderick has organized these aspects like this now.

The crone invocation was confidence, pure and simple. Queenly confidence, within and without. Bliss.

Advertisement

Day 31: The Crone, Magical Pass

Now this is a pose that I know well from other applications in Wicca. This is the God’s stance–what you assume when you draw down the sun or invoke the God. Oddly enough, I’m very comfortable with adapting it for use with the crone. She’s the independent one of the bunch…beyond the point of worrying about gender. Really, with her self-reliance, you could argue a case that she’s a rather masculine aspect.

Roderick asks that we stand facing the west–the crone’s direction–as we perform this pass. Easily done.

You know, there really isn’t all that much difference between this pass and that of the mother. The hands are just about in the same place, but the right is over the left part of your chest and the left over right. The feeling, however, is completely different. There’s just no other way to describe it…but I felt centered. Almost like I was more me than I’ve been in ages. I had all my power there at my disposal, I didn’t have to reach for anything else. I could provide for myself, rely on my own faculties upstairs, and just…be.

This could be addictive.

Day 30: The Crone, Intonation

More symbol stack up! The crone’s time is dusk, her location west, her color indigo, and her color six. So here we go!

Exercise:

Set your alarm so that you know to begin this exercise at dusk. Take out your compass, locate the west, and place a cushion on the floor or set a chair so that when you sit you will face this direction. Set the indigo candle before you, light it and set your gaze upon the candle flame. Take a deep breath, expanding the lungs and the belly. As you exhale, begin to vocalize the sound “mmmm.” Sustain the sound until all breath vacates your lungs. Allow the inhalation to arise from this emptiness you created from the vacated lungs, and then again fill your lungs to capacity. Repeat the intonation five more times, making a total of six intonations. When you complete the sixth intonation, sit in silence for 15-20 minutes and allow the essence of this intonation to change your consciousness.

My head hurt and I felt cranky. Crotchety old woman, yes…but I’m not quite sure that’s what we were going for.

Day 29: Calling on the Crone

Exercise:

Sit by the hearth at night and build a cheery fire. Don’t worry if it is the middle of summer–make the fire anyway. If you live in a home without a fireplace, sit in a corner of your home during the night and light several candles. Watch the flicker and dance of the flames until you feel your eyes becoming heavy. Close your eyes and take several deep breaths. Relax your body from head to toe with each exhalation. Once you are relaxed fully, imagine that you are standing in the dark outside of a rickety wooden cottage in the middle of a dense forest. It is midnight. With your spirit-voice, internally intone the name of a crone goddess. Watch as the door of the cottage opens and an old woman walks toward you.

In her hands she holds a magic mirror. This is the mirror that reveals your wisest self. She silently holds up the mirror to your eyes and an image appears. It is the image of you acting throughout your day from a center of wisdom. She then whispers a word that represents a trait you must accrue to become your wisest self. Listen. After she speaks, she turns silently away and disappears into her cottage. Once she has, you will return to the place where you began your journey, seated in the chair before the fire (or candles), and open your eyes.

For the next 24 hours, try to live by the wise rule of the crone, guided by her magical word.

It’s strange, somehow, how the mind works. I didn’t reference my experience of this exercise last year before I started it this year, but I again called to Hestia. And she again appeared, with a surprisingly young face, olive skin, and thick white hair twisted into tons of dreads and falling in a rope across her breast. This time, when she handed me the mirror, I didn’t see myself composed and regal…instead I saw myself at a desk with all sorts of papers and books in front of me. I was at graduate school. And I wasn’t rushing to write a paper or plan a project. I was organized and in control. I’d gotten myself figured out and had stopped my procrastination habits. I was–there is no other word for it–centered.

And that was a lovely vision indeed.

Hestia didn’t say anything. She just leveled me a knowing gaze, which I met. There was a challenge there, and I will do my best to live up to it.

Day 28: Meeting the Goddess, Crone

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
Color: Indigo
Pagan Celebration: Samhain, October 31
Direction: West
Time: Dusk
Incense: Mugwort and star anise
Essential Oils: Sage, cedar
Magical Number: 6
Vocalization: Mmm
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.

Positive Crone
Negative Crone
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.