by Candace Ross
“You are wrong”, he says. “The word Crone comes from chronological. It refers to a person of years, a female person.”
He is a very educated man. He speaks 6 languages, has 2 degrees. (I on the other hand have a few semesters of community college.)
Once when we were arguing, he tried to win by saying, “I’ve explained this to you in every language you understand, which is 1!”
I suppose he thought this would embarrass me, but I was already a Crone, and laughed at his arrogant, childish attempt to invalidate me.
So now I repeat myself. “No”, I say, “it means Crown. I know it does”. And I do know it, intuitively. Deep inside, from another time. It is a precious, beautiful word reserved for a woman moving into and thru the third stage of female being.
But I look it up anyway.
In the Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects, I find Hag, (hagia) a holy or wise woman, who knew the ways of nature, healing, divination, civilized arts, and traditions of the Goddess. “Like the word Crone”, it says, “hag once connoted an elder woman with the spirit of the Goddess within her, just as after menopause her “wise blood” remained within her body and brought her great wisdom”.
And in the book “Celebrating the Crone” by Ruth Gardner: “There was a time when Crone meant Crown, and a crone was called Wise Woman.”
I remember reading as a child about cultures who revered their elderly. “Noble one” or “learned one” they called them. Even “aged one” was a term of respect.
But not in my country.
Here age is something to be hidden, it is a “sin”. Lie about your age, have a “procedure”, starve yourselves so your belly can’t take on the roundness of a post-menstrual woman.
I am an old woman.
I am a Crone.
I am happy with that, even delighted.
I will not be ashamed.
I will love and honor this important phase of my life.
I will sing to the Goddess in gratitude for blessing me
with this most wonderful human adventure, old age.