The Crone

The Crone

The Crone is a being of age-old wisdom. She is shrew and counsels well. She
cares for the Maiden and the Mother as well as the off-spring thereof. She is
logical and can be terrible in her vengeance. She stands at the door to the
dimension of death. In human years, she is approximately 45 or older.  The Crone is the Most difficult of the three to place in human age. The Crone’s
traditional colors are black, gray, purple, brown or midnight blue.

Rituals using the Crone

—————————————————————————-
* Ending relationships, jobs, friendships
—————————————————————————-
* Menopause, or coming to terms with aging.
—————————————————————————-
* Divorce.
—————————————————————————-
* A regrouping of energies needed at the end of a cycle of activity or problem.
—————————————————————————-
* Rest and calmness before making new goals and plans.
—————————————————————————-
* When the garden or plants are ready for winter.
—————————————————————————-
* Harassment of any kind.
—————————————————————————-
* Retribution on rapists, murderers, abusers.
—————————————————————————-
* On the death of a person or pet; of any animal or human. Contemplation at the end of your own life cycle.
—————————————————————————-
* When moving from a dwelling or job.
—————————————————————————-
* When strong protection is needed for attacks on the physical or psychic
levels, or even annoyance by spirits.
—————————————————————————-
* To understand the deepest of mysteries.
—————————————————————————-
* Developing trance or communication with the guides or other spirits.

On Becoming a Crone

On Becoming a Crone

Author: Belladonna SilverRayne

Why is it so hard to admit we’re growing older? Why do we fight it tooth and nail? Society and the media as a whole, wants to show aging as something to be fought against, to be put off as long as possible. Why? Look at any sit-com, news broadcast, music video…. it’s all about being young and “beautiful”. Youth is made out to be the epitome of what we all want to be. Who wants to get old, right? Wrong!

I will be 45 on my next birthday. A fact that, when said out loud at first, made me mentally cringe. “Me? 45?? That means only 5 more years till I’m 50!!” After I said it aloud several times, and really thought about it, I could say it with confidence. Yes. Me. 45 going onto 50.

And I love it! I am moving into the Crone stage of my life, and enjoying every minute of it!

I loved the Maiden stage, when I was young, supple, carefree, and self-indulgent. Who among us didn’t? Life seemed so simple, so easy to handle. And it was. My biggest worry was what outfit I’d wear out to the club to dance and make merry with friends.

I sowed my oats, looked out for number one (me, of course) and just basically did my own thing. I moved at the speed of light, never really stopping to appreciate the things around me, never really taking anything in. Just “doing”. As I got a little older, I met the person that would become my husband and the father of my kids and we began our life together.

And I grew.

Then came Mother-hood. My body showed great evidence of the birthing of my children, as did my energy levels, emotional (in) stability, and newfound patience. I now had three other human beings, put on this Earth by me, all looking TO me to provide, nourish, teach, and love. Wow! As they grew, learned, made mistakes, and matured, I did as well. I managed to learn along the way to slow down a bit, to really notice things as they happened around me. I watched and listened a little more carefully now. I loved every moment, good and not so good, watching these amazing people who were once actual, living parts of my own body, turn into individuals, all truly unique within themselves, seeing them overcome hurdle after hurdle. Such a reward in life I will never receive again. Or will I?

I divorced my husband, and watched my kids growing older, going out on their own, and beginning their lives as young adults.

And I grew.

When I first began my Pagan path, I was still in what is considered the Mother stage, my kids were still relatively young and “needed” me in a mommy way. I was still very fertile, and the idea of having another baby sometime was not out of the question. Time passed and that idea faded, along with my monthly menses. (Can’t say I miss them much!)

It took me quite awhile to realize that I was no longer in that stage once the Croning period began. I wanted to fight it, to deny it, all for vain reasons, I’m sorry to say. I wanted to cling to that youth, or at least the image of it. Or so I thought. Now, after having met, gotten to know, and come to love, many admirable women, all in the Crone cycle of life, I am fully aware that I too am at that stage. And come to find out, it’s not so bad after all!

As I move into my Croning time, I don’t look at it as an ending, but a beginning, very akin to giving birth (only this time, I don’t think I’ll need all the medications!) . I will be giving birth to my Self. I can allow my Self to now grow, learn, and experience life, as I once allowed my children to do these things.

I am eager to gain more wisdom as time goes by, as the Great Wheel turns, and as season drifts into season.

I am learning to cherish the lines on my face, as each one stands for some lesson learned, some path walked down, perhaps a hardship suffered and come through stronger because of it.

I have begun to admire my stretch marks as battle scars, won not on the field of some war, but fighting to bring life into this world, one wonderful child at a time.

I now embrace the fullness of my softened body, knowing that even though it may not bring life into this world any longer, or be as taut and supple as it was two decades ago, it can still allow for pleasures, for physical support, and for living life in a healthy, Goddess-filled way!

I am now allowing my mature mind to expand and create in ways that it could not in the past.

I enjoy the younger ones coming to me, asking for my opinion, needing a particular sort of comfort that only someone my age can offer.

I am now ready to walk towards the end of my path in this particular life, knowing that even though it comes towards me quicker than ever, there is still much to gather, much to pass on, but still much MORE to learn and take in.

In Pagan societies (as well as many others) Elders are looked to for advice, comfort, wisdom, and as examples. Who better to follow than a grand Crone or Sage, not past their prime, but fully embracing it, fully aware of themselves as human beings? I so hope to be such an example, to my children, my Pagan brothers and sisters, and non-Pagan friends, alike. I want to show what it is to age gracefully, to accept that life is a never-ending cycle of birth, growth, death, and re-birth, in so many ways. I want everyone to see that while youth has it’s merits and perks, so does growing older and wiser.

Whatever stage of life you may be in as a woman. Maiden, Mother, or Crone, realize the absolute beauty of the moment, embrace it for all it is worth, and live each cycle to the fullest. Know that you have earned all that you are made up of, inside and out. And fear not, for Crone is not the end of the line, it is the goal we, as women, all strive to attain.

Imbolc Ritual #1

Bardic Imbolc Ritual
by the White Bard

 

Materials

  • a candle for each covener present.
  • a MAIDEN, dressed in white.
  • a Crown of Light, made from three, six, or nine candles.
  • a BARD/GREEN MAN.
  • a DARK LORD, dressed in dark clothing, and holding a dark cloak.

The place of ritual should be set up, away from the gathered participants. It is more than a good idea to manage bathrooms and such like before the circle is closed. This Mystery is not something any of the participants should miss out on!

The BARD should stand to the WEST, unless otherwise specified in the ritual.

HPS

Go we now to the sacred place
And stand within the sacred space
Turn your minds to sacred things
And dance with me unto the ring!

HP and HPS lead the coven to the place of ritual by a spiral dance, ending in a circle around the altar. The cauldron should be at the south. The Bard/Green Man dances at the end of the line. A good song to sing here is “Lord Of The Dance.”

HPS

Come we forth, with the Spiral Dance
Within the Lady’s radiance
To celebrate the Sun’s rebirth
To renew life, to warm the Earth

Earth and Water, Fire and Air
I invoke the Goddess there!
This night we are Between the Worlds
To celebrate the year unfurled!

HP

Earth and Water, Fire and Sky
I invoke the God on high
This night we are Between the Worlds
To celebrate the year unfurled!

The corners shall be called thusly, that all may hear, but shall not be called until the HPS reaches that corner on her circumnabulation.

EAST

O Guardians of the Eastern Tower,
Airy ones of healing power
I do summon, stir and call you
See these rites and guard this circle!

Come to us and heed our call!
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee:
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

SOUTH

Oh fiery ones of Southern Power
Thus I invite you to this tower
I do summon, stir and call you
See these rites and guard this circle!

Come to us and heed our call!
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee:
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

WEST

Western ones of water’s flow
Help to guard us here below
I do summon, stir and call you
See these rites and guard this circle!

Come to us and heed our call!
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee:
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

NORTH

Earthen ones of Northern fame
Bless and guard our Power’s fane
I do summon, stir and call you
See these rites and guard this circle!

Come to us and heed our call!
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee:
Come to us; and Blessed Be!

The HPS shall move to each corner, and say, following each corner’s crying as she moves to the next:

HPS

So I cast and consecrate
This Circle of the small and great:
By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree,
By Rock and Earth, by Land and Sea,
By Fire and Water, Earth and Air,
By the Lord, and Lady Fair!
By Love and Joy and Work and Play,
All things harmful cast away!
By lightening’s flash, and rain’s soft fall,
By the Power that made us all;
By the Power that blesses Thee:
(Cast the Circle: Blessed be!)

On her return to the first corner she shall change the last line above, and say: “The Circle’s cast; and Blessed Be!”

The callers of the corners shall return their tools to the altar, and then shall join the circle at their corners.

Here begins the Candlemas (Imbolc) Mystery:

The Maiden shall step forth, and say:

MAIDEN:This is the time of Brigid, the Patron of Poets and Fire, and of Healing.

HPSThis is the time of new beginnings, when the Mother has become Maiden.

HPThe days have turned, and grow longer, and the Sun-child is growing to His strength.

BARD/GREEN MAN

I have been a wave upon the sea,
And a spark in the firelight.

I have been a fish in the ocean.
I have been a Thought within a Word,
And a Word within a Deed.
I was cast away, and found again.

I have been made of flowers
And of cold steel and brass.
Fire and ice are alike unto me.

I have been the narrow blade of a sword
That kills without cutting.
And the Void is my homeland.

I have been in Caer Sidi
In the Spiral Castle of Glass.
And the letters on the Standing Stones
Are no secret from me.

I have been in Annwyn
And Tir na n’Og,
I have danced the Spiral Dance,
And drunk from the Hierlas at daybreak.

I have ridden beneath two ravens
And served in the kitchen,
And all places are alike unto me.

I have been a child
And now I come into my strength!

I invoke the Land, the dear Land,
the Earth our Mother!

MAIDEN

The cycles of the Moon have taken their course, and I am in my Maidenhood.
The stars are kindled, and I dance in their light.

DARK LORD

Thy home is with me thru the long months of Winter,
and the Earth shall lie fallow and bare.

The HPS shall then light the candles of the Crown of Light, and shall approach the Maiden, who is now standing in the East, and place it upon her head. She shall now, in company with the Bard/Green Man, circumnabulate the circle, and the coveners shall light their candles from her crown. The Bard/Green Man shall return to his normal place within the circle and the Maiden shall place the Crown of Light on the altar. The Maiden shall then approach the Dark Lord, and kneel before him, and he shall say:

DARK LORD:As it always is, always was, and always shall be. Come to my Kingdom.

Here he shall place the dark cloak around her, and they shall retire to the West. Here ends the Candlemas Mystery.

A normal cone-of-power may be raised, for growth and healing:

HPS

In a ring we all shall stand
Pass the Power, hand to hand.

HP

As the Sun is given birth
Build the Power; root to Earth

HPS

Pass the Power, hand to hand
Bless the Lady, bless the Land

HP

Bless the Lord, and bless the Skies
Bless the Power that never dies!

The above four verses should be repeated three times, (or as many times as needed) and then the HPS should say:

HPS

By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree:
Let the Power flow out and free!

All should release, at this point.

Such coven business as must be transacted may be done here. This is a good time to bless candles for use during the coming year. This is also a good time for initiations.

The Circle is opened.

HPS

Thus I release the East and West
Thanks to them from Host to Guest
Thus I release the South and North
With “Blessed Be’ I send them forth!
The Circle’s open, dance we so
Out and homeward we shall go.
Earth and Water, Air and Fire
Celebrated our desire.
The Sun’s returned to banish dark
The Earth awakes to sunlight’s spark.
By Fin and Feather, Leaf and Tree,
Our circle’s done; and Blessed Be!

Coven: Blessed Be!

All spiral dance out from the Circle.

Imbolc Is The Season for Cleansing

This Sabbat is a time of cleansing and newborn lambs, a good time for the Blessing of seeds. It is a festival of the Maiden in preparation for growth and renewal. Imbolc is a time to honor the Virgin Goddesses, along with the first signs of returning life in a frozen Winterland. In many places, the crocus flower is one of the first to show itself popping up through the snow, and so it is also a symbol of this Sabbat. Candlemas is a Festival of Light and is therefore celebrated by the use of many candles.

 

 

Symbolically, many Pagans choose to represent Imbolc by the use of Candle Wheels, Grain Dollies, and Sun Wheels – these may be used in ritual or simply as decoration. Candle Wheels are generally round decorated “crowns” made of straw or some type of natural woven substance which is ringed with either eight or thirteen red, pink or white candles and decorated with colored ribbons. In many Imbolc rituals, it is traditional for the High Priestess or the Maiden to wear this “crown” during the ritual at some point.