LSW March Issue

Maiden Mother Crone

When Crone is Greeted by Winter

By Christine Schultz

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Crone is last stage of the moon cycle. Spring, summer, autumn, winter are the Earth cycle seasons. Autumn and winter must correspond to the Crone stage. I understand autumn and see the beauty in it, but I’m unclear on winter. Winter is a metaphor for death. Or is it the very last stage of life? What is the symbolic and energetic meaning of the winter years? What is the beauty of it?  I came to realize autumn is about reaping life’s harvest, and also letting go. Does that continue into winter? When does the season of winter begin for us humans? My father, nearly 81, recently had a stroke and is in decline. Depressed and wishing to die, he lost his zeal for life. Once the desire to live dies, does that mark our winter season?

But wait, he’s recovering! He’s regaining interest in living, if only to complete those things he’s not yet finished — something he says haunts his dreams. This sounds energetically autumnal. He wishes to complete a book and other projects. He is still harvesting from the remaining fields. I, as an autumnal, don’t know the truth about winter. Maybe I cannot.

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If I look to nature for the answer, it becomes less clear. Winter is the season of death, it seems. The geraniums and vegetable plants die, but their seeds are left behind. Trees go dormant and drop their leaves, looking austere and barren, but they have new growth in the spring. Badgers and bears sleep deep in their lairs, but they rise with the warming air. Where and when does death actually happen in this annual life-death cycle? Is life itself so strong a pull that a potential is there up until the last breath? If so, then this season is perplexing. Does autumn actually extend until the last breath? I don’t know.

I do understand death, however. I believe that actual death is carefree bliss as one remembers the nature of all and returns to the source. It is the gestation period within the womb of the All-in-All. I believe in reincarnation; it seems also to be a reflection of the seasons of life on Earth. I wonder, is death actually life? Is the blissful disconnect from our human body a more direct reconnect to the all powerful, all present One — the Universe itself? So then, when does spring begin?  

It’s 7:22 am, and I’m on a flight to Cancun escaping the winter weather in Wisconsin. I’m in seat 5E. In 5F is my sweetie, a ready-to-retire doctor excited about the prospects of his future. He’s a 57 year-old kid who still rides the supermarket shopping cart to his car. In 5D is another man with hair as white as snow. He’s eighty-something and frail, but with a strong, compelling voice. He’s been glancing at my writing, and I wonder if he’s actually reading. Maybe I’ll ask him what he thinks about all of this…