Crones: They’re Not Just for Halloween

Crone Power

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In honor of the current special theme for Gyroscope Review, “The Crone Issue”, let’s talk a bit about the theme. When we put out the call, we decided to limit it to an underserved section of the population, women and those that identify as women over the age of 50. It’s around that age that women really start to disappear in society. They are not valued any longer. Having outlived their usefulness as mothers or sexual objects, they are discarded and disregarded. From the heartfelt cover letters we are getting, it’s apparent older women are eager to have an opportunity to submit, and disappointed that this kind of opportunity doesn’t present itself more often.  Older women need to be include, invited, and embraced.

Older women contain a wealth of wisdom. This is what we want to celebrate. Crone has been turned into a derogatory term. Let’s take it back. The dictionary defines a crone as ‘a cruel or ugly old woman’.  The dictionary was not written by the enlightened. We prefer the more modern take, as identified in Wikipedia. “In New Age and feminist spiritual circles, a “Croning” is a ritual rite of passage into an era of wisdom, freedom, and personal power. Some feminist authors have defined the crone archetype in a positive light, as a powerful and wise old woman.

By taking back the word Crone, women are recognizing the power, wisdom, and abilities of aging. We want work that celebrates the ideas of crone: wise woman, matriarch, post-menopause, grandmother, elders with strength and experience. Tell your story. Tell what has been digging at you the past 50 years. What are you not going to stand for anymore? What is your source of power and strength, be it quiet or fierce?

Women have a wealth of life experiences to share with others. Remain silent no longer.

Here is a poem that resonates with the theme of Crone.

 

Dislocation

by Marge Piercy

 

It happens in an instant.

My grandma used to say

someone is walking on your grave.

 

It’s that moment when your life

is suddenly strange to you

as someone else’s coat

 

you have slipped on at a party

by accident, and it is far

too big or too tight for you.

 

Your life feels awkward, ill

fitting. You remember why you

came into this kitchen, but you

 

feel you don’t belong here.

It scares you in a remote

numb way. You fear that you—

 

whatever you means, this mind,

this entity stuck into a name

like mercury dropped into water—

 

have lost the ability to enter your

self, a key that no longer works.

Perhaps you will be locked

 

out here forever peering in

at your body, if that self is really

what you are. If you are at all.

 

“Dislocation” by Marge Piercy from The Crooked Inheritance. © Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.

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