Crone Chronicles #26(original)
Initiation

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Initiation
"The sh*t stops here" is the title of Ann Kreilkamp's editorial in this challenging and profound issue of Crone Chronicles. The "stuff" she's referrring to is the "business-as-usual" of the dominant paradigm: war, oppression, sexism and plundering the earth.

Taking a stand is important, even vital, but sometimes carries unexpected consequences. In esoteric terms, the transformation from one state of being to another is called "initiation," while in Christian mysticism, it is often termed "The Dark Night of the Soul." In any case, it's not usually a walk in the park. In this issue, Crone writers are grappling with the (sometimes triumphant, sometimes unpleasant) consequences of standing up for what they believe in.

We begin with a report on the events of the Arizona-based Crones Counsel III by Alta Happ Wertz and Telia Nunn. In addition to the usual set of inspiring workshops, friendships made and reinvigorated, Alta and Telia describe the unexpectedly challenging reading by Kate Millett, acting as the Dark Crone and holding up a mirror to our shadow selves.

Next to pick up this theme is Ann McCoy's "Reflections on the Dark Aspect of the Great Mother" and Ann Kreilkamp's astrological musings on the shadow manifestation of Pluto as it begins to enter Sagittarius. (This period lasted from 1995 - 2008 and a look back at these musings sheds light on a number of events which occurred during this period.) To Ann, the most important aspect of this period is the need to confront and overcome our own tendency to judgement, fundamentalism, and the places where we are emotionally stuck.

Initiation through nature the theme of the next set of articles. Sallee Wade's "Deep Breakfast" describes the enormous ego cost and corresponding day-to-day enlightenment, which has come from her conscious attempt to live a more soulful life under constrained physical circumstances. (Great writing and a willingness at complete honesty, combine to make this article a highlight of the issue.) Short pieces by Doris Boyle ("Transformation") Peg Edmister ("The Hunger"), Kalioppe ("Fusion"), Nine Inch ("On the Death of My Husband") and Patricia Bono ("Crucifixion, Resurrection) further explore the process of pushing beyond our previous limits to somewhere new.

Next we come to a pair of articles which describe initiation through shock -- circumstances which sweep us off our feet emotionally, and break open our defences. Author Oriah Mountain Dreamer ("The Invitation") recalls a confrontation with female elders in "Sacrifice to the Crone") while in "The Shaming, the Shift" Jo Mills Garceau describes her painful experience wrestling with leadership issues in a holistic spiritual community.

Initiations created by the interface between generations is the theme of both Alex Miller-Mignone's "A Gay Male's Crone Initiation" and Elvira Brockman's "And at moments we had stained glass." In both cases, younger relatives learn from their elder's experience and wisdom -- but apply the knowledge in new ways.

Initiation by bodily transformation -- in this case, through menopause -- is the theme of essays by Carole Spearin McCauley ("Sailing Through Menopause"), Doris M. Boyle ("Menopause and Meditation"), Mary Martin "I Feel it in My Gut," and Penelope Young Adrade ("Let the Body Lead"). Also on this theme is excerpts from Susun Weed's keynote speech at CCIII "We are the Earth Changes" and "A Full Moon Blood Ritual" by Lauren Gail.

Initiation through political activism and awakening is the current running through two large articles that complete this edition of Crone Chronicles: a report on the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, and Ann Kreilkamp's lengthy interview with strong-hearted crone activist, self-avowed spinster, sustainable living nomad and simplicity proponent Redmoonsong. (A warning: reading this interview may cause you to ponder making changes in the way you consume resources and choose to live!)

This issue will challenge you and make you think, feel, and ponder your own existence. What could be more Crone-ish than that? Edited and published by Ann Kreilkamp in Spring of 1996. 68 pages.

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