Menopause is experienced very differently by different women. For some, it feels liberating to be done with their menstruation cycles. Others feel like they have lost a part of their identity as a female. Some transition smoothly through the menopause process hardly noticing the change, while others deal with all kinds of horrible hormonal problems for years. No matter what menopause brings up for you, it can be useful to take the time to acknowledge and celebrate this transition.
Triple Goddess: Maiden, Mother, Crone
Menopause marks the archetypal change in the female life cycle from “mother” to “crone”. If you do a cursory search for today’s meaning of the word crone, you will find it defined simply as an “ugly, old woman.” You can see a classic image of today’s crone in the 1937 movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs when the queen transforms in to an old woman and feeds Snow White a poisonous apple.
The Queen is doing everything she possibly can to avoid being seen as over the hill. She’ll even kill to maintain her prime position at the top. All of her worth is wrapped up in knowing that she is the one with the most “fertile” features…full lips, round cheeks, and plump, perky breasts. She fears if she ends up an old woman she ends up a “nothing”.
Before our world became obsessed with youth, being an elder in the community had much value. Today the crone archetype is so narrowly defined as an ugly, old woman because we only bother to take a superficial glance at the surface. This superficiality blinds us to the valuable wisdom a woman in her crone stage has.
A crone may no longer have the physical juiciness of a peach, but her presence brings an ethereal juicy nectar that is full of sagacity and spiritually feeds everyone around her.
In her book, “The Wisdom of Menopause” Dr. Christiane Northrup likens the symptoms of peri-menopause to labor, and what you are giving birth to is a deeply authentic you. In learning to effectively manage all of life’s emotions…love, disappointment, hope, fear, anger, sadness… without repressing them or projecting them on to others, a female becomes a truly wise woman. Not just an old lady.
As she ages, if a woman is able to give birth to her authentic self, she can then become a spiritual midwife to others, assisting and guiding them through life as they also face the birthing pains of true authenticity. The crone phase is about inner beauty and development, not outer appearances which is all that “evil queens” care about.
In Jungian psychology you are encouraged to look at various characters in dreams, stories and myths as different aspects of your own psyche. In the Snow White story if you look at Snow White and the evil queen as the same person, you find that in desperately trying to capture and hang on to the innocent, youthful part of herself, the queen ends up poisoning it.
This is common in today’s society with women obsessively injecting chemicals in their faces and implanting new and improved plastic parts in their bodies. While they are fixated on capturing a fleeting physical beauty, they remain completely unaware of and asleep to the glorious goddess that lies dormant inside them.
A crone has not only lived life, she has reached a place of acceptance and understanding about it. She has dropped her pretensions and her judgment of others, wise enough to know they are just wasted energy. Crones don’t spend their precious time whining or complaining that people and things should be different than they are. As they rest their gaze on their surroundings, they love what is.
In her book Crones Don’t Whine, Jean Shinoda Bolen writes, “Whining is an attitude that blocks spiritual and psychological development. Whining makes genuine communication impossible and extorts what then cannot be freely given.”
An older woman who whines has not transitioned successfully into the wise woman/crone stage, but is instead stuck being a “martyr mother,” or may have never even matured beyond the the maiden stage. Whining and complaining don’t do anything but accentuate the problems with you and your life. When you whine, who wear an emotional dress that highlights your worst attributes.
When you quiet your complaints, and focus on loving what is, your ageless, inner beauty shines through. Your emotional dress is flattering and draws attention to the loveliness of your nature. Instead of shining the spotlight on flaws, you become a light that ignites the radiance in those around you. You illuminate their brilliance by resting your loving gaze upon them. Your essence acts as a cloth that rubs away the tarnish that prevents their inner light from shining brightly.
Rituals are important when transforming into the crone stage of life. The ancient crone archetype is rich with ritual history. Nothing feeds wise woman/crone energy more than ritual.
Menopause can have many different phases, and often more than one ritual is needed to deeply align you mind and body to the wise woman/crone stage of life.
As you you come to the end of the supply of “seeds” in your body, it can be helpful to go out into the wilderness alone and plant new seeds that represent this new phase of life.
Planning and taking a luxury trip alone can deepen your connection to your inner, wise self.
Call now to receive a free 15 minute ritual consultation.
949 648 1109
I can help you create rituals that enable you to enter the crone stage with ease and elegance so that you can joyfully set your younger years behind you, and embrace the precious moments of the present.