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When I first started talking about a Ladies-of-a-Certain-Age group, I called it a Crones Club.  Many friends strongly suggested that I don’t use the word “Crone.”

I did not understand the objection to the word “Crone,” so I decided to look it up on line and quickly learned the word is associated with a wicked, old, ugly, malicious woman who may have supernatural powers.  Wow! That is not how I thought of the word Crone.

So, I decided to delve further and remembered my friend named Brooks, whom I have known for a number of years. She had told me that she belongs to a “Crone Lodge,” that meets once a year in the Northwest and discusses thoughts and issues online during the year.. She went on to say that during the Feminist Movement in the 1960s, the word Crone was revitalized and symbolized a wise older woman.

Over coffee, Brooks told me that the word crone has been used for centuries.  A crone was often a post-menopausal woman in that was a midwife or a “healer.” She often used herbs in her medical practice because they did not have much else then.  Sometimes Crones were thought to be witches and were burned at the stake.  (Pardon me, I could not help but think that maybe physicians of the time – males – found this a convenient way to get rid of their competition.)

Brooks recommended a couple of books about Crones and I have listed them in the “resource section.”

I decided to do more research and found a very helpful web site, http://www.cronescounsel.org. The components of their vision “To reclaim the Crone archetype through the creation of gatherings of women include: promote equality, encourage diversity, support personal empowerment, honor the value to society of older women’s wisdom and accomplishments.”

Their definition of Crone touched my heart. “Who is Crone? Crones Counsel uses the term crone to reference, and to reclaim, the name of the wisewoman of ancient times. The concept of crone existed tens of thousands of years ago when women’s life patterns were conceptualized in three stages — Maiden, Mother, and Crone. The Maiden was the youthful, independent woman. The Mother was a woman who guided others–as a biological mother or as a teacher. The Crone was the postmenopausal woman who enjoyed a special, revered status. The elder woman was viewed as a fount of wisdom, law, healing skills, and moral leadership; her presence and leadership were treasured at every significant tribal ceremony and each personal occasion from birth to death. In that light, Crones Counsel consistently focuses on the empowerment and well-being of older women and claims the honored status of the ancient crone for contemporary women.” (Note: I added the underlines.)

So you see my friends, the word Crone is a great word in 2013. We are powerful, dynamic, vital women.  I believe we will continue to change our
world and will become more and more recognized as a very valuable resource in society.

Hooray for the PBS and AOL special ” “Makers,” that aired the last week of February. It was a series about the Feminist Movement and women who were first in their field.   Yes, we’ve come a long way baby.  I remember vividly the day  in the 1980s I was finally  able to get my name, along with my then husband’s name, on the utility  bill!  We changed the world back then; we Crones are changing the world today!