I love the idea of a croning ceremony!
The word crone is derived from the word cronus (time) and it means the wisdom gained through life long experiences. Krone also means crown. To become crowned crone then, acknowledges that you are a wise woman who has gathered up the fruits of her experience into profound and sovereign understanding. The wise crone becomes the resource of wisdom for her community and a source of inspiration for her circle of cronies.
A croning ceremony acknowledges the transition into a crone or wise woman, usually when a woman enters menopause. The last menstruation is a farewell to the motherhood stage of a woman’s life. A doorway is now open to step through into the crone phase. Media would have us believe that staying young and firm is what it’s all about. And although I am not at the crone stage yet, I do have grey hairs (ssshhh don't tell anyone I dye them LOL) and I am starting to get wrinkles, and my body is already fighting against gravity. I am not necessarily happy with all these changes, but I do intend to welcome and celebrate my crone stage when it arrives.
This passage celebrates the end of the time that our energies are turned outwards toward physical activities and marks the beginning of the time that we turn our energies inwards, toward more spiritual activities. Our physical growth slows down, and gradually our physical bodies begin to separate from our spiritual bodies.
In some cultures now and in the past when a woman enters menopause she keeps her wise blood inside her and it increases her wisdom. Elder women were and are still in revered and honoured. A croning ceremony provides acknowledgement and celebration of this.
This can be a personal ceremony, or held with a few close friends or a big celebratory party.
A croning ceremony may include, creating sacred space and having all your friends participate. The priest or priestess could say a few words about the person, her qualities and traits. Then each guest could share some memories or mementos.
Then the priest or priestess could say a few words about life and its various stages, how each stage marks changes in our lives and each stage adds to our characters. The person could then be crowned with a circle of flowers.
A presentation of three stones could be made to represent her life – past, present and future.
A candle is lit to represent the light of wisdom, salt is given to represent eternal wisdom & experience.
A re-dedication to deity perhaps.
During my research I also discovered a similar ceremony for men that reach ‘elderhood’. It was also traditional to gift a man on reaching elderhood his staff. It seems the traditional cloak or cape is presented at croning or elderhood.
I also found a lovely idea, once you reach cronehood or elderhood. Set aside a certain time each week to sit and mediate. For that meditation you take yourself to the world of spirits. A short journey at first to see where it takes you, then each visit you go further and find yourself a home in the spirit world, each future journey you add to it and make it your own. Each week re-examining the details you have made previously and adding to it. This meditation creates your very own perfect place ready for when you cross over.
Image by Lora Craig Gaddis
Image by Lora Craig Gaddis