Posts Tagged ‘Wisdom’

Greetings to all — and I am here to tell you that when the Universe led me to the Crones Counsel it pointed me in the right direction! We had our first Atlanta Crones Council gathering last week and I am really pumped. I have met some great crones, and am looking forward to being part of the dynamic, powerful circle of women I know we can become.

Crop Circle

Speaking of circles, did you know that the circle is one of nature’s most common shapes, has been around since before the beginning of recorded history, and that humans have been gathering in circles for thousands of years?

The circle is an ancient form of meeting that served as the foundation for many cultures. Circles are still used around the world today, creating communities where common ground is established and embraced. By its nature, a circle resists the hierarchy and status that order our everyday lives. The circle itself is structured so that all perspectives and stories are accorded equal space and value, with each participant both receiving and contributing to the group’s collective wisdom.

Celtic Circle

Wisdom circles are revered as healing places where powerful energy is generated and circulated among the participants. C. G. Jung called circles “the archetype of wholeness and divinity.” There is a sacred dimension to a wisdom circle, whether intentionally called for a spiritual purpose or not. A circle of sisters can support us as we endeavor to bring Spirit into our lives and develop deeper relationships with ourselves, others, and the Source of all life. Within a circle we can safely explore and discern how we want to be in the world, often for the first time in our lives. A circle can empower us with the courage to heal wounds of loss, illness, abuse, and neglect. It lends us strength, allowing us to listen to and honor opposing views, reconcile differences, forgive and offer forgiveness. In a circle we may share our dreams and visions, give voice to our fears, and discover the best in ourselves.

Circles inspire both individual and collective reflection, and each circle will experience outcomes as unique as the members themselves. Although not always comfortable, circles provide spaces that are safe and supportive enough to encourage revelation and risk. What transforms a “meeting” into a “circle” is the willingness of its members to shift from informal socializing or opinionated discussion into a receptive attitude of thoughtful speaking and deep listening—from the heart, the spirit, and the soul.

I have great expectations for this crone circle experience. I intend to make friends, find role models, get to know myself on a deeper level, learn to listen with my heart, find a purpose for my life, honor my sisters with heartfelt and quiet listening, and help them in whatever other way I can. I am excited, eager, and maybe just a little apprehensive. We have such potential, such power to create something significant and mutually sustaining.

I’d be interested to know about your circle experiences.


This Old Crone

Women’s Leadership Circles Handbook

Wisdom Circles (http://www.wisdomcircle.org)

PeerSpirit (www.peeerspirit.com handout ©2001 Baldwin/Linnea, extracted from Calling the Circle, the First and Future Culture by Christina Baldwin, Bantam 1998)

Additional Suggested Resources for Calling a Circle:

The Millionth Circle (http://www.millionthcircle.org)

Spirit in Action (http://spiritinaction.net)

Institute for Circlework (http://www.instituteforcirclework.org)


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This past fall I attended my first National Crones Counsel in Atlanta, GA. Crones Counsel is about women of age, for women of all ages, sharing stories, enriching connections to ourselves, each other, and the world. The term crone — “wise old woman” — is used to reference, and to reclaim, the name of the wisewoman of ancient times, when the elder woman was viewed as a fount of wisdom, law, healing skills, and moral leadership; her presence and leadership were treasured at every significant tribal ceremony and each personal occasion from birth to death.

Crones Counsel Celebrating Wise Women

I found Crones Counsel by accident, following a trail from one site to another, and now I can’t even remember why I was looking. But suddenly, there I was. I looked over the entire site, and lo and behold, they were coming to Georgia! I live in the Atlanta area, and I decided right then and there that I would attend the next gathering. I wanted to meet these women and hear their stories; I needed to find out if I, too, had a story to tell.

I had a great time!!!

Crones Counsel XVIII: Weaving Albuquerque, NM Sept. 22-26, 2010

I met many extraordinary Crones (women over fifty), and one exceptional Cronette (younger women with “old souls” who wish to share their stories). Six women in particular made me feel like I had come home rather than just arrived. The first morning I met the “Three Amigas,” Marge, Barbara, and Wanda, and we immediately became four. Later I got to know Bevie and her sister Marlene, and of course Julie, one of the cronettes. I laughed all weekend; the gathering was exactly what I had been looking for and much more than I expected. I can’t wait to see them all again. In fact, I am so eager to meet some new crone friends I signed up months ago for this year’s gathering in Albuquerque, NM, September 22-26th.

“Well,” you may ask, “exactly who, or what, is a Crone?”

According to the Crones Counsel website (http://www.cronescounsel.org):

A Crone is an elder woman who has learned to walk in her own truth, in her own way, having gained her strength by acknowledging the power and wisdom of the totality of her experience.

A Crone is a woman concerned with housing, social security, pensions, healthcare, and her relationships with children, grandchildren, and siblings. A Crone is a retired woman, a soon-to-be retired woman, a widow, an empty nester who desires good health, energetic living, and independence. A Crone is a woman who is adapting constructively, often gracefully, to the process of aging. A Crone is a woman who is comfortable with her spiritual self, her intuition, and her creative power.

A Crone may be a woman of any color, race, religion, sexual orientation, economic status, educational level, lifestyle, or political persuasion. She may be disabled or abled, introvert or extrovert, single, married, widowed, or partnered. She is like you and me. What does set the Crone apart, however, is her willingness to tell the truth about her life.

In that light, Crones Counsel consistently focuses on the empowerment and well-being of older women and claims the honored status of the ancient crone for contemporary women.

Since March is Women’s History Month I feel it is especially appropriate to mention one Honored Elder (women 80 and over) in particular. The first moment I spotted her in the crowd, Donna Love made a lasting impression on me as to the kind of elder woman I aspire to be. Donna is a beautiful, elegant, and articulate woman whose vitality grabs you even from a distance. Maybe that’s because she has, as she says, learned to “follow her bliss” (CroneTimes, February 2010, Volume 9, Number 1).

Donna Love

Donna published her first book as she turned eighty. She describes Tell Me a Story as a collection of forty “little stories” that had just “languished about the house.” Since then Donna has published a second book, To Make the House Complete, an autobiographical account of how, in her sixties and seventies, she got married and moved into four houses — two in Mexico, a farm in Oregon, and a beach cottage in California.

What I really like about Donna is that she is still excited about life. She continues to learn new skills and find something to celebrate in each day. Donna inspires me in many ways; I admire her tremendously, and she is one of the reasons I decided to start This Old Crone blog. You can visit Donna’s web site at http://www.donnarankinlove.vpweb.com.

To learn more about Crones Counsel I invite you to visit the Crones website. For those of you who live in the Atlanta area, we are in the process of starting an Atlanta Crones Circle. If you would like to join us, our first meeting is coming up Thursday, March 18th at the Meditating Mantis bookstore in Roswell, GA (http://www.meditatingmantis.com). You may contact me for details, or simply come to the meeting at 5:30 pm. You crones and cronettes who live in other parts of the country can check the website for local circles in your area.

I hope to meet a few new crones next week. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about the elders you admire most.


This Old Crone

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