Crone Chronicles #27

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Crone Chronicles #27 - CroneWork
One of the letters in this issue queries: "What is a Crone? A aging woman? A witch? How is this word supposed to be complimentary to women?" Defining Crone is what this issue "CroneWork" is all about -- how, where, and why we, as eldering women, choose to define our identity and our mission. From the contributions in this issue, it's fair to say the a Crone's work is whatever she wants it to be!

Jean Mountaingrove writes, "As a feminist, I know that I can invent my own old age, and one of my most pleasant surprises is a new sense of freedom and self-confidence. I have my permission to do what I want and say what I want. Most of society doesn't care what old women do, we're invisible." Jean finds that raising her voice and demanding equity -- whether in a government "steering committee" or as a passenger on a chartered sailboat -- is pretty good work for an empowered crone.

Brenda Kelly found that the experience of designing and conducting a Croning ceremony taught her a great deal about becoming Crone. Her resulting ceremony (which she shares in her article "Crowning Our Elders") in a wonderful, empowering ritual based in Goddess spirituality.

Upon encountering a woman at Crones Counsel who "no longer believes in aging," editor Ann Kreilkamp moves into an extended conversation with the idea of aging and whether it is necessary do "look our age" as Crones. She plunges into this (as she calls it) "hornet's nest" of ageism, the tyranny of "looking good" (or not), and how we define our own self-image (at any age!) in her essay "What Matters? On Ageism, Aging, and Agelessness." For Ann, integrating and processing paradoxes defines Crone work.

For dancer and anti-nuclear activist Cora Anderson Miller, being crone means following one's principles with determination and joy. In "I've been Spooked and I've been Exhilarated," she shares her experience of spending 40 years fighting for peace and justice through bodily engagement in both protest and liturgical dance. Now 80, Cora is as feisty and committed as ever!

Other writers share their experiences with challenges including menopause, so-called "aging spots," an ectopic pregnancy, incontinence, and a cracked tooth. Yet, above all, a sense of quiet determination, courage, and celebration pervades this issue. Crone work, it seems, is not just making lemonade out of lemons -- but making lemon meringue pie!

If you are looking for real-life, no sugar-coating stories about the challenges of becoming Crone -- but from the perspective of claiming our power and living life to the fullest -- this is your issue.

68 pages, published in Summer, 1996.

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