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Tag: aging

Glimpsing The Crone As We Mother

Posted in Self-Care and Self-Healing

The crone phase of life is drawing closer and to be honest, I’m not ready.

I’m possibly being a bit alarmist.  Most texts describe the crone stage as beginning after menopause and I’m not even in peri-menopause yet.

I guess I’m feeling into the aspect of crone that’s always been with me.  I believe we carry the archetypes of child, maiden, enchantress, mother and crone (plus many others), within us from birth and all the way through our lives.  The stages of life that bring us into the full expression of these roles are quite fluid and overlapping.

It’s been four weeks since I turned 47 and I’m still coming to terms with this ‘late-forties’ status.  I colour my hair to cover the greys, I look after my health and my body so I still feel and look youngish, plus I still have school-aged children, so how can I be moving into the wise woman phase already?

Well to be real, we’re a bit messed up in our modern lives when it comes to living out the ancient female archetypes.  For one thing, we’re having our children later.  A couple of hundred years ago I would have been welcoming grandchildren into my life at this age instead of still parenting my own teenagers.

In a tribal scenario I would be winding down, being cared for my my adult children, imparting my wisdom and being revered as an elder.

Instead, I feel like I’m winding up into the most productive era of my life.  In my fifties and sixties I see myself writing books, speaking at events, leading women’s retreats and guiding people on their paths in coaching and counselling programs.  And there’s certainly some crone-like wisdom emerging as I embark on this phase.  I can feel it.

So how do the gifts of the crone archetype fit into this modern era?

The crone is the old wise woman.  The hag in the cottage in the deep dark forest.  In the traditional Russian tale of Vasalisa, Baba Yaga is the wild and unpredictable keeper of female intuitive power and magic.  She’s the observer, holder of energy, subtle healer and sage who has seen much and is ready to turn away from societal expectations to enjoy her life with less burden and pressure.

How we might embody the crone archetype while we’re still actively mothering our children is an interesting dilemma but one worth nutting out.

In her article describing the crone energy, Miranda Gray outlines ways each of the four feminine archetypes correspond with the four phases of the menstrual cycle.  The post-menstrual phase is represented by the blossoming maiden, the time of ovulation with the mother, the third phase is for the enchantress and as the menstrual flow begins, the crone.

The Crone energies are like the winter, quiet and still. Her outward face is hidden, and she is turned completely inward. She lets go of the need to interact with society and to conform to its requirements. The Crone doesn’t have the physical energy to make things happen; instead she watches and, in her stillness and being, allows events to evolve. She is the weaver of Universal Energy, who creates with intention and flow.Gray, January 2015

So not only is the crone energy within us always, and most especially after menopause, we also might dwell in this energy during menstruation to make the most of its deep and interesting gifts.

To live in a mindset of embracing change feels more useful than resisting it.  Sure, there’s a part of me that wants to stay young and fears the advancing years but hey, what choice do we have.  I want to be here in twenty years.  I want to see my grandchildren arrive in the world and I want to be an active participant in my own long life.  I want to own my crone years.

I have beautiful friends in their mid-seventies who embody it all, maiden, mother, enchantress and crone in their lives right now.  I see it when they laugh, cry, dance, impart wisdom, sit and listen, paint, write and speak.  I also see it all in my 13 year old daughter.  She can be wise, funny, silly, wicked, wild, nurturing, intuitive and alluring all in one day.

So perhaps we may turn our attention to embracing many of these archetypes at any stage of life?  We need not wait for the years to age us before we claim at least a small portion of crone status and we may retain a little of the younger archetypes in later life as well.

What do you feel?  I’d love to know.

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A New Kind of Normal

Posted in Live From Intuition

How would a younger you feel about the way you live your life right now?  Is what’s ‘normal’ for you now the same as it was ten or fifteen years ago?

During a very enlightening astrology reading the other day, I was drawn back in time to when I was 31.

I remembered in a new way what I was like at this age and how different I am now…

At 31 my first child was born and my whole life changed…in a good way but also in a very unexpected and challenging way. You see the birth was nothing like I’d hoped it would be and it threw me the biggest curve ball in my life to date.

My two day labour ended with a C-section and although our beautiful baby son was perfectly healthy and seemed none the worse for wear, it was an intense experience for us both.

Three weeks after delivery still looking a bit shell-shocked.
Three weeks after delivery still looking a bit shell-shocked.

Who I was before his arrival, and who I was after, and indeed who I am now almost 14 years later, are vastly different.

What I thought was normal at 31 resembles nothing like what I feel is normal now…

When I was 31, normal felt like this:

  • Work hard and you will succeed
  • Deny your feelings, be sensible, be realistic
  • Set high standards and try to meet them every day
  • Don’t let anyone down, even if you are unhappy with the status quo
  • Maintain a persona that is compliant and non-threatening so people like you
  • Use your powerful mind to analyse, weigh up the pros and cons and make logical decisions
  • Adhere to society’s idea of success and focus lots of energy on financial security and ‘getting ahead’

And hey, in the grand scheme, my life was actually pretty darn good.  I was stressed, dissatisfied, longing for more meaning in my life and not particularly grateful for what I had, but yeah, I was an averagely happy 31 year old white Australian mother.

So you know, time went on, another beautiful child arrived into our family and I slowly began to wake up…

The road was pretty long and yes, it absolutely winds on into the distance to this day. But boy have I changed!

Now that I’m 45, this is my new normal:

  • My own health and happiness are my highest priorities
  • My personal standards have relaxed and I’m much more loving and forgiving to myself
  • I treat work as a gift and know I will succeed because I’m living my passions
  • I’m more comfortable to assert my point of view and not so scared that people will reject me
  • I listen to my inner voice, value my feelings and respond to their guidance every day
  • I live from intuition and although my mind is still a powerful force, it plays second fiddle to my heart.
  • I value friendship, family, love, creativity, freedom, service, nature and community much more highly than material wealth or career success

We all change, grow and evolve through our lives.  That’s a given.

How much?

Well, that’s our choice.  The sky’s the limit people.  There is no ceiling to how much happier, healthier, more free, more creative, more generous, more loving, more open-minded, more forgiving, more abundant… we can become.

It’s all about acceptance and gratitude.  Bless it all and you will find your bliss.

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Enjoy your day.  Much love, Tricia