It’s Time to Embrace the Crone

I’ve been getting little reminders about my age recently. More than the expected aches and pains of arthritis. That I’ve been dealing with  since I was in my 20s! No, I’m talking about the other reminders.

  • Looking in the mirror and realising that for some time now I’ve had more grey hairs than brown.
  • My youngest son telling me after school one day – “Mummy, one of the kids in my class asked me if you are my Nan.” It didn’t worry or concern him, he was just passing on what had been said.
  • Seeing women with newborn babies and getting broody. For grandbabies.
  • Looking at the calendar and realising my 50th birthday is less than 3 months away.
  • Looking more closely at the calendar and discovering it has been over 300 days since my last menstrual period.

Four years ago, I wrote my thoughts on what makes someone a crone. And I made this statement:

As I enter the latter half of my 40s I am drawn more and more to the figure of the crone and identify myself more with her. Even though I have young children at home. Even though I am not yet through menopause. This is a natural stage of progression for me as I move through life, and I look forward to making this transformation.

Four years on, and I have gone from looking forward to the future, to being in the midst of my croning time.

V0036030 A "spae wife" (fortune-teller). Engraving by J.A. Wright aft

The Spae Wife

None of the points I made above cause me stress. I am not worried about growing older or trying to escape it. I earned the grey hairs on my head and wear them with pride. When you consider that I am the same age of some of these other kids’ grandmothers, and I have a child near their parents ages it makes sense that they would ask if I was his grandmother. Not having to deal with periods has been a blessing – no washing out pads and moon cup, no cramping, no mood swings.

I think I have been looking forward to this stage of my life more than any other. Of course, I have had more time to consider this stage as well. It didn’t sneal up on me in the same way that adolescence or motherhood seemed to do.

Not that the way hasn’t been easy. I have had to deal with and shed a lot of emotional crap over the past 3.5 years. But, I have emerged from it with a newfound sense of my own worth and power. I am standing up for what I believe and what I think in ways that I wasn’t able to do just 4 years ago. I am setting healthy boundaries, and keeping abusive and manipulative people outside those boundaries.

February wil mark the end of my first half-century of living, and it will mark the beginning of my second half-century.

I don’t know that I will have a birthday party – I’m not one for making a fuss about birthdays. A day of celebrating my croning and a ritual to honour this new stage of being may be in order though.



10 Useful Tips for Pagans

1. Birthday candles work just as well as any other candle for spellwork.

They don’t burn for hours longer than you really need them to, are cheap and easy to get from any shop, and come in a variety of colours.

2. Spells work better if you use your own words, and they don’t really have to rhyme.

Not everyone is a poet, and you can get so caught up in trying to find a word that rhymes with purple you lose focus on what you’re trying to accomplish.

3. Candle wax will drip on fabric no matter how much you may try to prevent it.

To get candle wax out of fabric, cover with parchment paper or kitchen greaseproof paper, and slowly run a warm iron over that. Pick up and move the paper frequently to keep a clean section over the wax.

4. Fruit juice is a suitable substitute for wine in the ritual cup if you or one of your guests doesn’t drink alcohol.

No matter how much the Gods or other guests may moan about it.

5. Smoke alarms can be annoying.

If taking the batteries out of a smoke alarm isn’t an option, you can temporarily cover the sensor with cling film (make sure to remove it afterwards!). Or run a circulating fan pointing towards the smoke alarm to blow any incense smoke away.

6. You can find all sorts of really cool ritual tools and items in boot fairs, charity shops, and antique stores.

They won’t be labelled as such, so use your imagination. Also look for old mugs if you host a lot of gatherings as Pagans tend to go through a lot of tea.

7. The week after a major holiday is a good time as well to get witchy type items from shops at a discount price.

I’ve found candles, decorations, incense, and even a witch’s broom at post-holiday discount sales.

8. The Gods don’t care if your ritual cakes are home baked or store bought.

Your guests will appreciate the store bought if you really can’t bake.

9. It is okay to break the rules of spellcasting and ritual work for your tradition. understand the rules

First you have to know and understand why the rules are there, so learn and follow them. But if when doing work for yourself you get an urge to do something differently, or if you see someone else doing it “not the way you was taught”, that’s okay.

10. Ritual robes don’t have to be fancy

  • For a quick and easy ritual robe, meaure your height from shoulder to just above the floor.
  • Buy a length of fabric double that number. If necessary, trim the top and bottom to make them straight and even.
  • Fold the fabric in half from top to bottom, and then from side to side.
  • On the upper double folded side, cut a rounded corner off, about 4 inches from the corner.You can make a slight cut to make this wider if necessary.
  • Undo the first fold.
  • Sew up from bottom to 8 – 10 inches from the top on each side, leaving a 2 – 3 inch edge on each side.
  • Put on and mark where the robe hits your waist. Make a 1 inch slit on each side to run a belt or cord through.

basic robe

Bonus 11. Never invoke something if you don’t know how to get rid of it.

Really. Don’t. Just don’t.