by Christine Schultz
Maiden, mother, crone - this beautiful tri-goddess symbology that reflects the moon cycle: the waning crescent; full moon; and waxing crescent. For maiden, the waxing crescent, it’s obvious that it is the girl before menses and/or before children. The Mother (full moon) is pregnant with child. And the crone, the waning crescent moving into less and less presence and brightness, is past the mothering years into old age. Going even deeper, it seems each phase has an energy. Certainly, those past menopause can be new mothers in today’s world with adoption, surrogates, etc.; and those who never bore a child may foster children close to them -- nieces and nephews, or stepchildren. I feel motherhood is also the way in which we’ve birthed new ideas, businesses, organizations, etc.
And the energy of the crone? If menopause means we, at around fifty, dry up and begin the descent into diminishment, I’m not comfortable with that. I want to know the value of Crone. There must be more. Age, for a male or female, should mean that life has provided experiences for one to develop wisdom; I get that. I still feel there has to be more to being a crone.
At one point, I was introduced to the idea that our lives reflect the Earth cycle (spring, summer, autumn, and winter). As our life expectancy has increased, the Earth cycle begins to make more sense because for many, our lives will be only just more than half complete by menopause.
AUTUMN - this intermediate phase between summer/mother phase and winter/crone phase ushers in a whole new way of looking at the post-menopausal years. Autumn is the harvest season - the most abundant time of year, the most flavorful, and rich in color. It’s also the time when the leaves fall and let go… Symbolically, an autumnal woman is reaping the fruits of her life’s work, she may be heading into retirement and may have the resources and time to travel. She may be free of small children and may be going into grandparenting. She may understand death more intimately as loved ones pass. She may be releasing relationships, or careers may change. It’s a time of purification and getting clear on who she is. The Autumnal woman is bursting through patriarchal cultural conditioning of being irrelevant and worth less. On the contrary, today, she’s often the one making decisions because she’s done well in academia and business. She is creating a new idea of beauty, as wisdom becomes desirable and culturally significant. Youth and men may not quite be on the same page, yet I see the change. For the younger women who see it, age is encouraging rather than scary. For the men who do see it, it’s sexy.
The Autumnal Woman knows real Freedom, Beauty, Wisdom, Clarity and herself more than ever as she paves the way for the last phase - the magic of Winter.