This is something I wrote a few months ago for a similar situation in another group addressing the Crones and those younger members who are interested in learning ‘just what constitutes being a Crone’.
First of all, who qualifies as being considered a Crone? The consensus is that there are three stages in a woman’s life …. Youth (Maiden) … Middle (Mother) … Ageist (Crone). The Mother stage is when procreation is most prevalent yet if you are childless, of course, you are still in this stage. The Crone is when most women are post-menopausal, usually sometime in their 50s. Yet, others may, due to medical circumstances, become post-menopausal at a very early age. In those cases, I believe a period of more years of experience, knowledge and aging will result in becoming a Crone.
Secondly, how do cultures and societies treat an ‘older’ woman? Pre-patriarchal (over a 30,000 year time span), the older woman was revered as a healer, spiritual guide, teacher, nourisher of body, mind and spirit from birth to death, mentor, powerful leader and above all, honored for her wisdom and was held in esteemed respect. She was called: Crone, Shaman, Eldress, Sage, Grandmother, Wise One. Then the patriarchs demanded the power and reverence for themselves and slowly, insidiously claimed what was once the ‘older’ woman’s place in life. We were then called: witch, hag, harpy, shrew, fishwife, crone, ogress, ugly, battle-axe, biddy, old bag, withered, old lady, feeble-minded, senior, gray-hair, AARP member, elderly, over-the-hill, older than dirt.
In this spiritual, enlightened age we now live in, ‘older’ women are reclaiming what once was their place in life. We are bringing back the names: Crone, Eldress, Wise One, Grandmother, Sage, etc. in honor of what Womankind has endured, survived, transitioned and evolved into … WILD, strong, determined, powerful, inspiring, compassionate, courageous, WISE WOMEN!!!!