Only a short time ago we were all dancing in the spiral energy of the Crone. I can still feel all of us, close, circled together in the Siskiyou Room, basking in the heart-warmth of woman spirit. It was a marvelous event. I knew it would be. How could it be otherwise?
Every one of you came with your hearts and souls open and wide. I remain astounded at the effort many of you made to journey to Mt. Shasta. Many of you spent hours on a train. Many of you spent days traveling by car over miles of terrain. Many of you navigated one airport after another. And then a shuttle. Many of you spent a year’s saving. Yet you all came with a broad smile and an all-embracing hug to savor the 23rd Crones Counsel Gathering.
And, so, I look back with joy. I look back with gratitude for each and every one of you. There were stories told this year that I will never forget. There were women who returned, women whom we love, who had not been to Counsel in years, whose faces and bodies made the sun rise in my heart when I beheld them joining with us again. We all gloried in the new women who came . . . to risk being seen by this seasoned group of wild women. There was laughter, deep laughter, and humor that none of us will forget. Help was offered when one of us was without her medication. Some of you came mourning the loss of your beloveds, sharing your tears and love with us. Bounteous gifts were offered day after day. The majesty of Mt. Shasta graced us with her many permutations. There were glorious sunsets. There were too long walks up to the lodge. There were times we sat too long in the sun. It was all there; the Crone energy was spiraling in all its manifestations. Graced by the largesse of the Crone, each of us came to the table. We all had skin in the tent and it was glorious.
I remember Lani asking me towards the end of the Gathering: “Did we make you proud?” Yes, Lani and Melinda. Indeed you did. You prepared the space for the flame of the crone-hearted women to come alive. Yes, you did a bang-up job. The Mother Board thanks you. We all thank you. And, to all of you who came? To all of you who offered your gifts and your talents? Who made the journey to Mt. Shasta? We say: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
In March, Susan Ann, Carol, Janet, Suzanne, Kay, and Kathy will travel to the mile-high-city to scheme and dream, vision and immerse ourselves in imagining and planning the future of Crones Counsel. This Board has never met together for a full face-to-face Board Meeting. We are now sustainable – thanks to the high registrations and generous offerings and gifts that many of you have given to Counsel – and we are able this year to meet to plan and strategize together while we get to know each other’s strengths and capacities.
As an organization, we are on an upward arc. We intend to stay on the rise. It has never been clearer to us that the time of the Crone woman, the Wise Woman, has come. The crone has arisen and is calling all of us into action. Crones Counsel was early on the horizon. When Counsel began in 1993, hardly anyone knew what the word “crone” meant or what “Crones Counsel” was. Not so anymore. No so anymore. Now is the time to use our foresight and wisdom to inspire new strategies and new actions. We have entered a threshold decade for Crones Counsel, a tipping point of extreme but exciting challenge. So, we are going to invest in the maker-instinct – the inner drive to build and grow things (and people) as well as connect with others in the making (Johansen, 2009). As a Mother Board we will grow, re-grow, and re-imagine this organization again and again. Many of you have shared these same sentiments with us. We are listening. And we are learning to listen for the future.
We will be re-examining our mission and our vision. Each one of you will share in that endeavor. All of us have the ability to be about commons creating, the ability to seed, nurture, and grow shared abilities that can benefit others. The more connected we are, the freer and safer we will be (Johansen, 2009). As a planet we are searching for new common ground. We will be asking such questions as: “What is it that we have in common as Crone women that can make the world a better place for more of us?” “What do we stand for?”
Many of the Crones Counsel women attended the Parliament of World Religions held right after Counsel in Utah. 10,000 people gathered to talk about the future and to pledge to action to create a world in which we all would like to live. Fifty faith traditions were present. Some 500 different denominations. From all over the world. The Divine Feminine was present throughout the gathering. There was a gorgeous Red Tent that had continuous workshops in it all day long, every day. The Wiccans, and pagans and goddess traditions were as present as the Hindus, the Sikhs, the Buddhists, the Mormons, the Catholics, the Episcopalians, the Baptists, the Evangelicals, the Jews, the Muslims, the indigenous peoples and the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. One whole day at the Parliament was devoted to furthering women’s rights and women’s agenda. It was magnificent.
There was nothing tame about this group. They told it how it is . . . with love and compassion and a HUGE vision. Crones Counsel has been too tame. No more. The Divine Feminine has arisen. The Crone is here. And She is US. We can play a part in this larger vision and we must.
Write us. Talk to us. Share your vision about the future of Counsel. Where are we going and why? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org or https://www.cronescounsel.org/contact-us/
Check out our New Website!
We have a new website! We’re breaking out of old molds and creating new ones! Nelson Mandela wisely said “that it always seems impossible until it’s done.” And Suzanne Gruba, our web mother and our wonderful new web developer, Chris West, in Florida, have unabashedly redesigned our website for ease, efficiency, and greater effectiveness. Check it out! It is live right now. Thank you, Suzanne for your dedication, commitment and creativity. You make it happen for us and we deeply appreciate your efforts.
In the sacred space of Mt. Shasta we experienced “the Eternal Spiral”. Let us take that experience and look forward to next time when we will gather for another shared “mountaintop” experience.
Crones Counsel XXIV is planned for September 21 -25, 2016 in Denver, Colorado, to coincide with the Fall Equinox on 9/22.
The theme is Seasons of Our Lives, reflecting on those “seasons” we experience as women
— Maiden, Mother, Matriarch, Crone.
In the natural world, we delight in spring, summer, autumn, and winter. These seasons flow one into another, just as in the “seasons” of Maiden, Mother, Matriarch, and Crone. One becomes the next. Crone includes Matriarch, Mother, and Maiden. Matriarch includes Mother and Maiden. Mother includes Maiden. And so our lives evolve.
Begin to plan for our next Gathering by registering online at www.cronescounsel.org.
Make your hotel reservations using our link to the Renaissance Denver Stapleton Hotel. Mark your calendars to join us September 21 through September 25, 2016. We look forward to seeing you again. Namasté,
CC24 Planning Committee
annie Lehto, chair
Carol Friedrich, Facility Liaison
Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. It fills us up. It is one of the most healing emotions we can feel. It elevates our mood and fills us with joy. Meister Eckert wrote that “If the only prayer you said in your life was ‘Thank You,’ that would be enough.” Showing gratitude is simply one of the most powerful gifts we can give to each other. We all know this. So, let’s share with all of our relations this Thanskgiving just how they’ve made our existence richer and finer, let’s encourage those we know to pursue their dreams because, in reality, they are our dreams as well, and while doing this, let’s look them in the eye and tell them how they have made our world better by being in it.
Oh, and remember to laugh a little at the same time you are cooking and eating all that food.
It’s never happened before. Can you believe that we forgot to pass the hat for scholarships at the Gathering?
This last year, we were able to offer more scholarships for women to attend the Gathering than ever before. Yes! Providing scholarships is part and parcel of what we do: Enable and empower women. No woman who deeply desires to come to Counsel and who does not have readily available funds, should have to stay away from our yearly Gatherings.
Scholarships are made possible only by your generous outpourings of monetary gifting. So, while you are practicing gratitude and celebrating the Solstice, please send some of your bounty to Crones Counsel for next year’s scholarships.
You might even make a ritual out of it. Hold your gift in your hand, close to your heart, and send it out to another woman in your mind’s eye. Then lovingly put your generosity in an envelope and send it to:
Crones Counsel, Inc.
C/O Kay Bouma
5452 E. Hillery Drive
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Know that it will be gratefully received.
We cherish each and every one of you.
Blessings to you this holiday season.
Know that love is happening everywhere . . .
especially among the Crone Counsel Women.
An Autumn Blessing
By Joyce Rupp & Macrina Wiederkehr
Blessed are you, autumn,
chalice of transformation,
you lift a cup of death to our lips
and we taste new life.
Download the complete poem and read more.