Crones Counsel Newsletter, October 2017

Joining the Counsel as a Crone in Embryo
By Brenda Johnson

On my first day at Crones Counsel, when I was still around a 7 on a scale from 0 to Complete Panic, a woman with a very kind face and a sweet voice came up and introduced herself to me. I didn’t know at the time to be wary of the name on her name tag– Janet Morrissey. And by the time she’d drifted away to join her sisters on the Mother Board at the front of the room, I’d agreed to write something about my experience at Crones Counsel for an upcoming newsletter.

So here we go.

The Crones Counsel comprised some of the most exhausting days in my recent memory. And I am so, so, so grateful for every second. As of the time I’m writing this, it’s been less than 24 hours since I gave my final hugs and left the University Guest House. I’m already going through withdrawal. (Symptoms include: Lethargy, staring off into space, an irresistible impulse to talk about how amazing the experience was, a simultaneous desire to nap and also clear everything off of my To Do list, and cuddling with a piece of quartz gifted to me by a dear friend.)

Being at Crones Counsel was an incredible experience for so many reasons. I met people who I’ve been missing my whole life– people who have filled spaces in my heart that I’ve been holding open for them without even knowing it. I’ve learned new skills, and I’ve had important discussions that are helping me work through some difficult things.

At 33, I was one of the youngest attendees of the Counsel—a crone in embryo. Regardless of my age, I never felt like I was treated differently. I wasn’t excluded from conversations, or treated like I couldn’t understand what was happening. I was welcomed with open arms and kind hearts. I was given an amazing gift: I got to catch a glimpse of who I can become.

That might be one of the most important things that I gained from this experience. I got to meet so many women, all of them with unique lives and experiences that have taken them down different paths. I got to see that there is no one way to move through life. There is no single template for maiden, mother, matron, or crone. There is no single way to grow up.

And also, I got to see that we are never, ever finished growing up. There is always an opportunity to learn and grow. There’s always an opportunity to change our minds and choose a different path.

If I had to boil my experience down to one thing, it’s that lesson. We have a choice. We have power. Not only in some instances, but always. The choices may not always be great. Changing course may not always be easy. But we can do it, if we choose to. And that power never leaves us. As we get older, the coursing river inside of us may slow, but it never stops. It never loses its power.

In every phase of our lives, we have the power to reshape the world.

Thank you for reshaping it in a way that brought me to you. I can’t wait to continue moving mountains with all of you next year.

Crones Counsel 25
By Maggie Fenton

Wasn’t it a great gathering? What did you like best? I haven’t had lots of time for reflection since I’ve been home but am looking forward to just remembering. The pictures that are being posted on the FaceBook page certainly bring it back. I think, for me, it will be the faces .. I love your faces, you beautiful Crones! I recommend that each of you take a turn getting to the front of the room next year just so you see all the beautiful faces looking back at you. There was lots of laughter .. I remember that. There were also some tears … remember those too. There were a couple of times that I was just awestruck by the wonder of this phenomena .. this gathering of wise women .. that has continued for twenty-five years. It has become a ‘homecoming’ for me – a chance to hug and be hugged, a place of shared joy & sorrow, a place where I can continue learning and growing, a place where I can share my story and hear other stories, a place where I can be me, warts and all!

I’ve been to conferences, taken various workshops, gone through intensive education and training in spiritual pursuits but nothing in my journey compares to this gathering. It is rare and special and I feel blessed to be a part of it. Thank you Shauna, Ann, all the originators. We’ll keep your torch burning.

Crones 2017
By Rosemary Lucier

“Crone years are growing years, when women can devote their time, energy, and creativity to what really matters to them.”

Those words opened the 25th Crones Counsel in Salt Lake City and prompted me to write about my experience at Crones.

I come to Crones Counsel because it is a place to celebrate our experiences, to honor ourselves and our elders, to speak our truth and to hear other womens’ truth.

We joined together in weaving the threads of our lives. We cried together, learned together, and played together. The highlights for me were the daily sharing of stories—stories ranging from the depth of our beings to the heavenly, from tears to laughter; the small wisdom circles which covered topics from family, sisterhood, aging and death and culminated in closer bonds with each other; and the honoring of our wise, funny, strong elders which was preceded by a delightful playful dancing session with balls, scarves and crones bouncing and swaying all over the room. These memories will remain with me until we meet again.

Rosemary Lucier, a wise woman crone, from Grover Beach, CA

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Crones Counsel 26
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Bellingham, WA 98229
September 26-30, 2018
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Enid Williams

We remember our dear Enid with one of her writings submitted to Crones Times Journal in 2008. She shares her philosophy of life.

Most of What I Know, I Learn Anew From Prairie Dogs?
By Enid “Meadowlark”

Be proud of who you are.
Enjoy standing up, looking around, and suddenly charging off in elegant burst of speed.
Choose your burrow wisely, and enjoy it.
Know that you have a place in the Universe, but select it wisely.
Use wisdom in surveying your territory for possible problems.
Have carefully detailed procedure for categorizing and evaluating threats.
Evaluate new arrivals for friendliness or danger.
Select your diet sagely; know your likes and dislikes.
Savor your peer-companions, frolic with them, but let them know your boundaries.
Go with the flow of life, accepting life’s stages with grace and equanimity.

Thanks, Enid. Your humor and joy of life will be missed immensely.
Crones Counsel Mother Board