By Maggie Fenton
Since we made the announcement at the December zoom that 2023 would be the last gathering for Crones Counsel, we’ve heard from several of you expressing your dismay and asking if we’d reconsider closing down the organization. Believe me, we’re right there with you and have pondered, debated and considered and considered again.
Sadly, the facts don’t add up to changing that decision. Here’s what’s right in front of us:
- The two gatherings prior to 2020 did not generate the revenue needed to sustain the organization, i.e., to cover basic expenses including not only the expenses of those gatherings but also the annual maintenance of the website, insurance, etc. Attendance has dropped significantly. If an event loses money and we can’t cover the expense from our funds, board members under our non-profit status are responsible for covering them from their personal resources. Board members are not compensated for their time, their registration, their travel or hotel expenses. In addition to our work and time, most of us make regular donations to the organization.
- Attendance has been dropping for the last six years including the zoom gatherings. The reasons we’ve been given for not attending an in-person gathering vary but primarily are because of costs and reluctance to travel because of aging. Both are understandable.
- Although our Zoom gatherings started with high attendance, that has also been falling off. We’ve had a number of new people come but very few repeats. Several have complained about the cost ($25) of the Zoom.
- Many of the founders and stalwarts who brought along several with them are gone.
To those who have contacted us asking to keep things intact, we’ve asked them to gather crone peers and do the hard work of coming up with a new mission statement, new bylaws and a new organization. We’ve recommended that they get legal advice (for the structure of the organization), financial advice (to understand the reality of running an organization, manage the books and banking) and technical advice (to manage website, zooms, compliance, Facebook, newsletters, mailings). If it continues to be a corporation, even a nonprofit one, there are laws about officers, record keeping, meetings and fiscal responsibilities.
Finally, we opened registration for the Las Vegas gathering on January 1 and it will close on April 1. We’ve only had ten registrations so far, six of them board members, all of us understanding there is no refund.
Virtual Crones Circles – Our Legacy
By Carol Friedrich
Many of you may already be part of a Crones Circle, either in-person or virtual. In addition to our quarterly zoom gatherings, virtual crone’s circles became an ongoing way to meet up after the pandemic resulted in our canceling annual gatherings. Crones connecting with others from around the US and Canada in this way have found it valuable, whether or not they have had the opportunity to be a part of a local circle. These small, virtual wisdom circles were formed for that purpose.
As Crones Counsel now has completed its primary mission to establish gatherings, and as we evolve in 2023, it is the hope that those of you still wanting to be a part of an ongoing virtual circle may make your wishes known. We will facilitate the creation of a circle for you during this year even as we also plan an in-person gathering for October 12-15, 2023.
Currently there are approximately twelve virtual circles which include more than 60 crones who meet regularly, and those are only the ones we know about. In facilitating the formation of a new virtual circle, we compile a list of those interested and match them with a crone who becomes that new circle’s facilitator. She contacts them by email and they together decide on a meeting time and day. The circle then evolves from there. Support mentoring is available for each one of these circles.
Now we want to give the opportunity to other women, either those of you who have attended a few or many gatherings or those who are new to Crone, to let us know that you want to be included. If you are interested in either being a facilitator or a participant in a newly organized circle, please contact Carol Friedrich at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the CC website using the link “contact us”.
WHEN I AM 80
When I am 80
I want to lie on the forest floor
And watch the 200 foot tall Redwoods
Dance with the Wind.
I want to feel the Earth
And celebrate life with her,
Not worried at all
About the duff in my hair
Or what’s for supper
Or anything else.
I want to laugh madly
As the dog and I
Make up games with a ball,
In each other’s inventiveness.
When I am 80 I want to live,
Just like that,
Always near water.
Karuna writes about herself: I am 80. I retired in 2012 after working as a Medical lab tech and then started new and wonder full work teaching a workshop called Awakening the Illuminated Heart designed to raise consciousness and open the heart. Covid put a damper on that and so I started writing both poetry and a memoir of my life on a farm Canada during the 1970s. I am living close to family on the Monterey Bay in California.
Crones Counsel Saturn Return
By Ann Kreilkamp
During our last in-person gathering, in 2019, I spoke with both the group as a whole and with the board about the fact that the Crones Counsel would soon undergo its first Saturn Return. In other words, this entity was about to complete Saturn’s 30 year cycle, which would inevitably yield a sense of completion, closure. Closure for the Crones Counsel, so that it would dissolve altogether? Or closure of the first cycle, with a view towards a second cycle that, having learned from the first, would stand on the foundation of the first cycle without exactly repeating it.
Just as a person undergoes this Saturn Return process after 30 years, so does any entity, said to be born at a certain date, time, and place. (Look back on your own life to see this process at work as you neared the age of 29-30. An old reality was dying, a new one about to begin.)
[For a person, the first cycle of Saturn (0-30) is one where we are learning the rules and roles of the culture we are born into, either coming into compliance with them or rebelling. During the second cycle (30-60), we come into our own as an individual, in what Jung called the process of individuation. During the third cycle (60-90), having learned from both previous cycles, we gift of our individual selves to the culture, unreservedly. These cycles are called “Maiden/Mother/Crone.”
The actual Saturn Return for the Crone Chronicles occurs between April 2022 and January 2023. In other words, NOW. If there is to be a second cycle, two questions — What have we learned from the first cycle? And how has the culture itself changed? — need to be addressed to determine if the organization can still be of both individual and cultural value.
Remember: CC was born during the very month that Uranus and Neptune conjuncted in Capricorn for the first time in about 135 years. This rare conjunction between two outer planets works mostly at an unconscious level in the culture at large, unless an entity happens to have this conjunction in a prominent place in the birth chart. For CC, this conjunction is at the Midheaven, i.e., THE PATH.
The path of the CC is cultural: to marry Uranian individuality with Neptunian communion. We pursued this paradoxical path during the first 30 years, by encouraging each other to sing our own praises within a loving, caring atmosphere. We can continue this overall direction for the next 30 years, if we so choose. The structure will change, but not the beneficial individual and cultural mission as shown in the configuration for the original natal chart.
Six out of the ten planets in the CC chart are in only two signs, Libra (Moon, Sun, Jupiter) and Scorpio (Mercury, Mars, Pluto). Both are signs that signify one-to-one relations with others. The first, Libra, signifies equality between equals, and yet prefers to stay on the surface, be nice, etc. However, Scorpio cannot help but deepen and energize the experience, and, when unconscious, be encountered as power struggles for dominance.
Of course there have been periodic power struggles throughout the first 30 years. We’ve managed, through three decades, to process them. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have gotten this far!
In order to deepen and energize, we need to feel and express ourselves fully to each other, surrendering to our common vulnerability, and transform contractive fear (of the other, of our own pain and woundedness, of what might be next, and so on) into expansive love embracing the whole without reservation.
Ann Kreilkamp Ph.D. 79, Rogue philosopher, astrologer, published author, conference presenter, world traveler, founder & editor of Crone Chronicles: A Journal of Conscious Aging (1989-2001), and founding visionary of Green Acres Permaculture Village (2010 to present).
Crones Counsel XXXI – 2023
October 12-15, 2023
Las Vegas Embassy Suites Hotel (Near UNLV)
4315 University Center Dr.
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Get complete information.
The Elegant Crone by Sydney Metrick, Ph.D.
Becoming an elder is about more than just getting older.
The Elegant Crone looks at how the aging process is experienced negatively as our bodies and faces change in ways that are often difficult for us. This book helps women discover the true meaning of the crone and claim their power as they enter their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.
Sydney Metrick has written six books about various rites of passage. For The Elegant Crone she talks with a range of women about the rites of passage that describe the transition into elderhood. As she enters her fourth quarter of life, she looks back at her relationships, personal growth, and accomplishments in the arts-writing, teaching, and community arts.
In this book, you’ll discover:
- The power that comes with aging
- Learn how others have not only come to terms with, but enjoy being elders
- How the universality of ageism works against women
- What a crone circle or supportive circle women looks like (From How to Start a Crones Circle by Carol Friedrich and Annie Lehto)
The Elegant Crone serves to support and companion all women going through the aging process. If your heart’s desire is to move through your golden years with grace while being a blessing to others, this book is for you.
The above promo is from Amazon.com where you can purchase the Kindle version of the book for $4.99. https://www.amazon.com/Elegant-Crone-Sydney-Metrick-ebook/dp/B0BFZYBV7T
Crones Counsel Newsletter editor, Suzanne Gruba notes: I purchased the Kindle version of this book and enjoyed the book. It is a quick read that is affirming and interesting. The author draws upon other Crone writings, interviews of Crones and uses information from How to Start a Crones Circle by our own Carol Friedrich and Nancy Lehto.
In Memory – Esta Feedora
Esta Feedora, 92 made her transition on December 15, 2022. Originally from New York City she had lived in Hawaii on her farm and had a successful business selling batik sarongs and pareos from artisans in Bali. She attended many Crones Counsel Gatherings. A memorial service was held in Hawaii on her birthday, January 16.