Updated: Aug 4, 2020
By Charlotte Pointeaux, Certified Womxn's Life Coach, Sacred Circle Holder and author of Simply Sacred Self-Care
In July we sat in circle for the last time in 2019, ahead of the birth of my new bub. I was really quite sad knowing it was going to be my last circle for several months but we sure made it count. What a beautiful and powerful evening we spent together!
The theme for the deep winter's circle was "Celebrating the Crone within us". Being winter it was the perfect opportunity to dedicate an evening to honouring the old, wisened women in our lives & culture, to embrace our own ageing instead of fearing it, and to claim our own inner feminine power & wisdom.
It was a wonderful chance to deepen our exploration of the feminine - something I'm increasingly called to do and share widely - so here's a re-cap if you'd like to explore this within yourself too!
WHAT IS A CRONE?
The triple goddess represents the 3 primary archetypes of women throughout their life cycle: the maiden (young, naïve, blossoming), the mother (fertile, abundant, gentle, loving and giving) and the crone (the aged, wise woman).
These 3 archetypes are within us all now and always besides representing literally the stage of life that we are at. Furthermore, these aspects are also represented by the seasons: Maiden (spring), Mother (Summer) and Crone (Autumn/Winter).
Appropriately for this mid-winter circle we delved into the more misunderstood and neglected archetype of the crone – and how we can embrace our inner Crone energy, mentality and wisdom.
The Evil Witch or Wise Woman?
As we're all too aware, today our culture overwhelmingly, painfully celebrates youth and vitality, as in the Maiden archetype – and there is little appreciation for the wisdom and incredible intuitive powers we develop post-menopause and into our older age, which frankly is a huge loss in our culture.
Sadly, in Western fairy tales & culture, the crone is commonly portrayed as the witch, the hag. She's portrayed as having lost her beauty, her fertility, and as reaching the very end of her life. She is evil, a wicked sorceress, distrusted, who lives in solitude. She's the classic evil archetype - think the witch in Hansel & Gretel as just one example.
In her positive aspect the crone is depicted as the kind and gentle Grandmother. Before partriarchy and Christianity corrupted the Crone archetype, the crone was the ‘crowned one’, the witch was the ‘wise or witty one’ and the hag the ‘holy one’.
Wisdom emanated from her crown like a halo. She was entirely revered, trusted, known to be a powerful healer. She was the midwife and medicine woman, the beholder of all knowledge whose intelligence and knowing was sought to guide others through life’s challenges.
Nowadays, particularly as female empowerment builds, and more women have greater prominence in our society and live longer, we are beginning to reclaim our feminine power – in all aspects.
HOW CAN WE HONOUR THE CRONE WITHIN?
The crone relates to the winter season as she represents death, destruction, decay, hibernation, rest and reflection. Usually this energy is scary for people to consider, and so she is often misunderstood. However, we remember that she brings many rich & powerful deep gifts, and she does bring the promise of rebirth soon enough with spring around the corner.
Aside from during winter, we as women are guided by the moon cycle, and our own internal moon or menstrual cycle. For those of us who are currently cycling with a monthly bleed, the crone archetype embodies the time when we have our period. In cycle wisdom, when we bleed it’s time for us to rest and retreat, to go inwards, to discover our inner world and wisdom and be far more reflective than in summer for example, which is a time of peak energy, sociability, fertility, confidence and being out in the world.
The crone of our period invites us to slow down – every month you can explore your own inner crone when you bleed. It is vital to spend time resting each month – if we embodied the high social and striving energy of our summer for too long we would burn out.
For those of us who are no longer cycling or who’s cycle are changing, we can use the moon cycle instead to remind us when to embrace our inner crone. The Crone is represented by the dark or new moon – so we can use the dark moon as a prompt to know when to retreat, to focus on meeting our own needs, to celebrating and growing our quiet inner wisdom and power.
In circle to deepen our exporation of the crone and her wise energy, we reflected on these journal prompts. Select the questions which you're drawn to - or for deeper reflection, choose those that repel you and dive deep into your shadow...
· How can you trust your inner wisdom more?
· How do you feel about ageing?
· How can you love and honour your inner crone more wholly?
· What can the crone archetype teach you about yourself?
· How can you step into your female power more?
TUNING INTO OUR INNER POWER CENTRE
Our evening's meditation began with a deep Yoga Nidra relaxation process, before connecting into our 3rd chakra in our solar plexus, manipura chakra, our personal power centre.
This chakra lies between the navel and breast bone around your tummy and is the source of our self-esteem and centre for transformation. When it is blocked we feel pain there especially when anxious, and can have digestive & lung problems. We find it difficult to make decisions, and can feel helpless, powerless and low in self-esteem.
And when our third chakra is flowing we feel self-confident and like we're living on purpose - we're filled with the beautiful feeling of being so capable of achieving everything we intend to in life.
Because the 3rd chakra is linked to the colour yellow and the element of fire, we visualised building up a swirling, intense fiery yellow in our solar plexus. Once we felt deeply connected to this power, we were able to trust in our own wisdom and ability to always know what is best for ourselves. We asked ourselves "What do I need to feel my most well right now?".
It was a beautiful practice, and one that can be repeated any time we seek guidance, answers and clarity. And such a special honouring to our feminine power which is so needed today to balance the incredibly dominant masculine power all around us.
If you'd like to hear this powerful meditation as a guided track, it's available now as part of my new book "Simply Sacred Self-Care". Featuring 70 pages of simple but nourishing self-care ritual ideas, a quiz to determine your dominant self-care style, journal prompts, plus a whole pack of digital downloads including audio meditation tracks, affirmations, worksheets and guided rituals, grab yours now at www.charlottepointeaux.com/book