She's a woman of “a certain age.” Our culture thinks those words are better than saying “she’s old.” Well, I am a woman of a certain age. I am certain of who I am, certain of what I want, and certain of what I have to offer. I’m 72 and I’m a crone. I claimed that title in a ritual called croning.
Last month, I spoke to the Women’s Mystical Collective in Austin, Texas — via Zoom. One of the organizers, K, had found my website and podcast through an Internet search. She asked if I would speak to the group about rituals.
It wasn’t until the night of my presentation that I learned that K’s Internet search was born of personal frustration. She was looking for a ritual that honored one of the most dramatic changes in a woman’s life. Because of posts I had written about the triple Goddess known as Maiden, Mother, Crone, Google directed her to me.
In the course of a lifetime, humans undergo various rites of passage. Some are dictated by culture or religion. Among them, a bar or bat mitzvah, a quinceanera, a confirmation. Some rites of passage are universal, such as a wedding or the birth of a child. Each of those events involves at least one other person. In most cases, all of the events involve giving gifts. The giving of gifts is one of the ways society recognizes the significance of these events.
A croning ritual is different.
For one thing, a woman can perform her own croning ritual, all by herself. Still, as with any rite of passage, it’s good to have family and friends witness the transformation. Continue reading