Crones Counsel Newsletter – February 2018

Women’s Love
By Janet Morrissey

“When we’re old our lives become the sum of all whom we have loved. It is important not to waste anyone. One task of living out the last half of life is excavating and recovering all of those whom we loved the first half. Thus, the recovery of lost loves becomes an important way in which the past affects the present.” From Aging Well by Dr. George E. Vaillant

You will be receiving the Crones Times Journal soon, and it is a commemoration of two lovely, caring women who have moved to the other side of the veil: Enid Williams and Ann Emerson. Ann and Enid showed us the Spirit of the Crone, remembering always the women in their lives who laid the path before them.

This Spirit continues to be true of the women who come to Crones Counsel year after year. When first timers come, they feel this glow of love moving down the line and settles upon them. We return each year to get our dose of this “Women’s love” which is the binding force.

In the last few months we’ve seen the power of Women’s Love through the Women’s Marches, the strength of the #MeToo, and the courageous young United States gymnasts. We’ve seen young and old women pull together, encouraging each other to speak out. We are all learning from each other and growing stronger. We are at a time to honor each other in our solidarity by giving support to each other on this road to equality.

Our honored Elders, Enid and Ann worked for Women’s Rights. They were strong believers in working toward the betterment of all women. I quote Ann from a poem in Crone Times 2012, “And it is we, the older women who can lead the way. We who have lived and struggled through the slow years of throwing off the strangling grip of the patriarchy, that conditioned us with an iron hand and taught us to conform—to being so much less than all we were and could be.”

We honor the spirit of all women who attend Crones Counsel, and we are grateful for the wisdom we impart to each other.

See you all in Bellingham.

YEAH! Drumming! Registration Open

We’re very happy to offer a pre-conference Simone LaDrumma workshop — Drumming & The Holistic Expression of Rhythm” — this year in Bellingham. It will be on Wednesday, September 25th from 10 – Noon and 1 – 4 p.m. The cost is $50 and there is a limit of 30 participants. Registration is available via the website  through April 30, 2018.

Simone will bring some drums but you are welcome to bring your own – djembes and/or congas. (With regard to frame drums, Simone teaches on hand drums, not drums that use mallets or sticks. Frame drums will have a very limited use in the workshop.) You can bring other percussion instruments – rattles, bells, etc.

The workshop will include:
The “blueprint” of rhythm: the all-important UP, DOWN and OFF-Beats.
How to feel rhythm rather than just count it.
Technique on West African djembes and Cuban congas.
Hand percussion: How to play bells, shakers, etc.
Playing multi-part rhythms with others How to create your own rhythms,
and much more…

Get more information or register Now.

I Notice. I Wonder. It reminds me of …
By Maggie Fenton

My latest favorite book is The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, written and illustrated by John Muir Laws. The illustrations and writing are equal in quality and have propelled me to make a New Year’s ‘intention’ of following the guidelines. Laws writes that he uses the prompts: “I notice. I wonder. It reminds me of ..” to focus his observation and inquiry. Although the winter deep freeze in central Ohio has kept me inside way too much of the time, I’m attempting to make a practice of noticing, wondering and thinking about what I’m reminded of. It’s a very childlike behavior and being deliberate about it takes me to a time when the whole world seemed new and magical.

We watch a lot of ‘BirdTV’ at this time of year as our feeders attract a wide variety of birds, both those who are braving out the winter here and others that seem to be passing through. Today, a red shouldered hawk swooped in to perch in a tree above one of the feeders. Small birds scattered in all directions. Slowly, bird by bird, in spite of the threat, they came back to the feeder, hunger a stronger drive than safety. We’ve tried to position the feeders so that predators can’t pick them off easily and finally, the hawk decided to leave for an easier hunting ground. About an hour later, Mike noticed the hawk out in the woods on the ground. Through binoculars, we watched and determined he had scored a squirrel or a rabbit. Nature, red of tooth and claw.

I wondered how many days he could live on one squirrel. I wondered about his preferred diet. I wondered how they all stay warm in these subzero temperatures. I wondered if the hawk had already found a mate. I was reminded of several winters ago when I watched a red tail hawk catch a squirrel and take it to his mate perched in a nearby tree. I wondered if it was a form of courting.

This day I was reminded of how each of us often find what we need to survive whatever we encounter. We reach deep down and weather the hardships that come along – weather, hunger, peril, loss. By the time we reach our Crone Years, we’ve learned what Ramona Adams once told me, that “everything, everything, everything in this life .. is temporary.” Knowing this, we carry on.

Tell me what you notice, what makes you wonder and what it reminds you of.

Prayers for Joyce Perata

Joyce Perata, a former Mother Board member and Crones Counsel Treasurer, is having brain surgery again in the next two months. She had very serious brain surgery in 2014, the rehab of which was extensive and complicated. Joyce is now looking forward to the permanent removal of her brain tumor. She will receive 27 days of radiation three months after the surgery.

Joyce was an active and contributing participant in Crone Counsel gatherings until she was diagnosed with her brain tumor in 2014. She is in contact with us and is requesting, from her Crone sisters, “positive healing thoughts and prayers – from Goddess/God – during this time” and in the future for her continued recovery.