Crone Chronicles #23(original)
Aphrodite & the Crone

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Aphrodite & the Crone
This issue, published in the summer of 1995, focuses on the uneasy and exhilarating topic of "Aphrodite and the Crone." As Ann Kreilkamp, "We thought we would call it Crone Sex. But something made me change it ... and it turns out that calling it "Crone Sex" would have not been healing for our deeply secluded and wounded Aphrodite/Crone selves." But the issue opens up the taboo topics of elder sex, relating to our aging bodies, and even (gasp) the healing benefits of Crone masturbation in a way that is both passionate and compassionate.

Ann herself, in her editorial admits that, reading through the submissions, "I was aroused, my entire body subtly vibrating. But how could I function as an Editor when my unruly body kept intervening?" As it turns out, this is the very centerpoint of the issue: the question of how, as crones, we hear (or ignore) the call of our sexual beings, our very earthy bodies, which threaten to override our carefully-constructive controls. As Helen Redman writes of the cover artwork, "Aphrodite's love is alchemical, and ignites the transformational power of art."

We begin the issue with Georie Morgan's "The River", a luscious account of her journey into the Grand Canyon -- or is that a journey into the Collective Unconscious? Read it, and decide for yourself. Maren Carpenter shares a "Long Song to Hecate" while Gwendolyn Endicott shares her reflections of the connection between the "Tower" Tarot Card and the Crone; Claudia Van Gerven shares her surprising poem "Snow White Contemplates Aging", and Joan Harper's incendiary talk on the herstory of older women's oppression (based on women's supposedly insatiable sexuality) in "Crones, Hags, Witches and Wise Women." The theme of hags as victims -- transformed into hags as heroines -- is the theme of Sherry Ruth Anderson's essay "Beyond the Hag Trap."

In the heart of this issue is a quartet of articles on the sexual experiences of elder women, "A Dream Comes True" and "The Weeping Willow Tree" (both submitted anonymously) detail the juicy reality of crone sex; while Karen Sand's interview with author Betty Dodson takes the path of exploring the passion (both physically orgasmic and metaphorical or dreamlike) of post-menopausal women; and Marcia Singer's delightful "Freeing the Divine Serpent" shares her experience with fully owning her kundalini energy.

Cooling down a bit, sensual (not sexual) experiences fill Jeanne Shaw's "On the Beach", and Mary Ann Van Sickle's "An Altered State Croning Ceremony" to round out this fascinating and ground-breaking issue. Edited and published by Ann Kreilkamp in Summer 1995. 60 pages.

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