Crones are women of wisdom, age and power. They embody all the wisdom gained through their experiences of the three phases of womanhood - Maiden, Mother and Crone. We will each progress into Cronehood as our lives continue. Some of the qualities that characterize a Crone are that her bleeding has stopped for at least year and a day, she is either literally or figuratively grandmother, and she has experienced her second Saturn return, which always occurs between the ages of 56 and 60. She has often developed deeper awareness of her own mortality, either through her brush with death or through facilitating the passage of another. She is shifting from an external focus to a more introspective state. She experiences a sense of urgency to get on with the real business of her life, and she has begun to shed the old in order to pursue what has now emerged as her life purpose. At Elderflower Womenspirit, any woman 56 years old or older who chooses to claim her status as a Crone is invited to attend a pre Croning workshop in preparation for declaring herself a Crone at the Croning Ritual. Not every woman who is over 56 years young declares herself a Crone. When to make that declaration is every woman's personal choice.
Dark Crone Mysteries
Crone Mysteries is probably the least understood aspect of a woman's spiritual journey. The Dark Crone is the Ultimate Teacher of the deepest wisdom. When we look at Her through our own life experiences, we are looking into the most profound inner work of our lives. Every woman ultimately must face the night, the winter, the abyss, the end of cycles - in everyday life - to enter the Gateway of joy, self healing, wisdom, and rebirth. In ancient times Elder Wise Women honored the Crone through secret initiations - similar to the annual Elderflower Womenspirit Croning.
The Croning Ritual is closed to everyone except Crones and Crone initiates. This ritual is a time for those of Croning age who identify with the Dark Goddess to publicly affirm their commitment to Her service. The Croning Ritual is an initiation, and marks a woman's transformation into Cronehood, into the beauty and expression of her inner Crone wisdom and her deeper Crone understanding - within a community of other Crones.
The Crones set all of their own policies at Elderflower Womenspirit. At Elderflower, any woman 56 years old (or older) who chooses to claim her status as a Crone is invited to attend a pre-Croning workshop in preparation for declaring herself a Crone at the Croning Ritual. Any woman between the ages of 50 and 55 (or over) who wants to explore the meaning of becoming a Crone is also invited to attend the pre Croning workshop and to sit at the Crones' table where she can interact with the Crones at mealtime.
Crones at Meals
At the festival, Crones are honored by having a dedicated table at mealtime. Others may join them by invitation. Not every woman who is 56 or older declares herself a Crone. When to make that declaration is every woman’s Crones may also claim a front place in line at meals if they choose.
Declaring Oneself a Crone
If you are 56 years old or older and are interested in becoming a Crone at Elderflower Womenspirit, you can leave a message on the message phone listed below, and we will put you in touch with this year's Crone Coordinator. Or you can check in with the Crone Coordinator at the Crones' table in the dining hall during a meal.