I know this title is eerily similar to last week’s “The Secret Power of the Psychopomp”, but they both are so wonderfully alliterative and honestly the format of the two will be pretty similar. Last week was all about the psychopomp, but this week is all about the hag, the crone, the “dark” goddess as an archetype. What is an archetype, you ask? An archetype is: “…An idea, symbol, pattern, or character-type, in a story. It’s any story element that appears again and again in stories from cultures around the world and symbolizes something universal in the human experience”. Understanding the concept of the archetype is so valuable as a witch, and the crone (or “wise woman”) archetype is an extremely appropriate one to explore further especially during the Samhain season!
As I said in my post on Instagram and Facebook yesterday, in our culture women seem to only have value as long as they maintain an appearance of youthfulness. I can’t say how many times I’ve heard from aging women that once they hit middle age they basically became invisible because the patriarchal world around them sudden stopped seeing them as useful in the absence of conventional, youthful beauty. Of course, who (among those reading this) can look at the leather-line and wrinkled face of the woman who has lived life the fullest and not see beauty? There is an archetype at play here especially visible to those who know what they are looking at, so let’s discuss the crone archetype and how you can work with it regardless of age!
First of all, let’s define what exactly the crone archetype is. The crone archetype is otherwise know as the “Wise Woman” archetype. The Wise Woman is not always depicted as old, but very commonly is. The Crone or Hag is, through her age and spiritual ascension, considered to be hyper-spiritual and closer to the spirit world which, therefore, gives her access to higher knowledge. She is the old woman who lives in the shadowy cave on the outskirts of town; the outcasted eccentric old lady that scares us for her “craziness” as much as her power and ability to know things she probably shouldn’t. In myth and folklore often the Wise Woman is twisted into a caricature of reality and turned into the hag witchy that we know so well from fairytales. This, I posit, is part of the smear campaign against women that we’ve been enduring for millennia. The power of the crone is great — so great in fact, that the patriarchy saw fit to turn them into the villains so that people would no longer pay them heed.
So the question becomes — how do we tap into that power? How do we use it regardless of age? Here are some suggestions:
Sink into the truth of mortality. Download one of those silly apps for aging yourself and try it. Sit with that image. What feelings does it bring up for you? How does it make you feel about the choices you have been making? Does it change your priorities or make you think differently? The wisdom of the hag is hard and long-earned. Take those feelings and thoughts as the wisdom of the Crone goddess and act according to how that version of yourself would choose to do so!
Cross something off your bucket list. The Charge of the Crone Goddess says “Let my worship be within the heart that has truly tasted life…” And I don’t think you can get better advice than that! The magick of the hag and wise woman says that you need to live while you are young enough to enjoy it. When your “spiral dance” comes to an end, you don’t want to have any regrets!
Do something that would have had you burned at the stake a few hundred hears ago. That’s pretty easy, right? I’d say that considering it’s Samhain season and tapping into the energy of the Crone is the motive operandi, why not engage in some good old-fashioned divination? The veil is thin and we all have access to the Spirit World that the crone can always reach better than most. Use it to discern guidance for your life for the upcoming months!
Pick up a Nana craft. I’m not sure that’s the technical term, but Nana crafts are where it’s at. You are creating something new and often that something is incredibly practical. Maybe your grandmother was great at knitting but you never picked it up. Or maybe she was a painter. Or she was a whiz at darning socks. Connect with the energy of your ancestral crones by walking a mile in their orthopedic shoes.
Spend a day running errands wearing no makeup. Ok, maybe this sounds silly, but hear me out. Most of the makeup I wear is intended to make me look younger and more awake. (Hello, dark eye circles!) As a 35+ year old woman, now, I am already feeling closer to Crone than ever — all the more so when I wake up in the morning with my bare face. We spend so much time trying to hide our age rather than celebrating it! Try a day without. Try a day where you appreciate your bare face for its naked beauty — lines and dark circles all. Remember that those marks are indicators of a life well-lived — of babies well-raised and good times had.
Have you ever worked with Crone energy? How do you feel like YOU tap into the magick and power of the hag in YOUR spiritual practice? Tell me about it in the comments below!