Last night I was a participant and contributor in a Ceremony of the Crone. I was invited to join a close-knit sisterhood of friends that spans back more than four decades! I was the outsider. I knew one of the women very well, although not as well as the other women present. I never could having only been a part of her life for the past dozen or so years. Still, I hold this woman so dear and close and have shared so many personal experiences of growth, vulnerability, strength, laughter and love, that she invited me into her fold. I attended with honor.
I met the other women last night, for the first time. Together we each contributed something personal, something of us, that made the celebration more than ritual. It made it ours. It wasn't perfect. It wasn't somber. But it was real. There was laughter, joy, singing and the celebration of all the journeys that led us to the age of the crone.
We began around a bonfire, under the star lit night. There we were reminded of what the crone years represent. The time of finding our inner wisdom, of not weighing our worth by how others perceive us. But, a time to honor the journey that led us through our maiden and motherhood years.
We passed an Elder wood wand, bedecked with a found crow feather, and crystals of smoky quartz and black tourmaline. With it in hand, we shared into the circle a name of a wise woman that has passed, and called her and her wisdom to our ceremony. We released something physical from our maidenhood or motherhood years. Something of no use to us anymore or something we were grateful for. We heard poetry. Speaking to the importance of friendship and traveling on this journey, not alone but supported by each other. And then we walked, in silence, through a candlelit wood to a labyrinth in the meadow.
We called in the four elements and their gifts to make our circle a safe, supportive space. And we thanked and invited Persephone the Maiden, Demeter the Mother and finally, Hecate the Crone to guide us on our journey. One by one, from eldest to youngest, we walked into the center, stated aloud our maternal lineage, lit a candle to guide our journey forward, and spoke our intentions for how we wish to manifest ourselves in this new age. We were received and supported by the outer circle, first by the cacophony of various frequencies of singing bowls, under the waning moon. And then with an affirmation of support of being seen and heard by the sisterhood.
After each had made their journey and adorned themselves with our handmade grapevine crowns, we celebrated with song, dance, laughter, food and love.
I cannot express enough how profoundly moving it was to sit in a circle of nine powerful, strong and loving women and to honor each others journeys. Nor how humbled I am to have been asked to to join this group. Now forever, we are bonded together, as we enter the age of the crone.