October 24-28, 2001
Asilomar, Pacific Grove, California
CRONES COUNSEL IX – THRESHOLDS
From the first sound of the haunting chant of Jennifer Berezan’s Returning, “a healing chant to the Mother of Us All”, heard at the opening ceremony, the recovery, healing, inspiration, and quiet sharing began. Crone Circles became storytelling circles of grief, healing and comfort as women cried out, and reached out to one another to share themselves in mourning. By the second night we were all comforted and empowered by the shared wisdom of our Elders as they spoke to us during their honoring. The bonfire of the third night allowed us to drum, howl, cry and chant our grief and resolve. The fourth night of Crone Follies allowed the healing of laughter, gratitude and support to come forth. By the closing ceremony, we were emotionally exhausted, yet took with us the grounding strength of new perspective, shared experience, comforting shared outrage and humor, healing memory of time spent with the beauty of the sea, and remembering who we were through love for one another and the Crones Counsel experience.
The eight hour drive back from Crones Counsel IX with three other crone voyagers was a reflection of the wonders and joy of this annual gathering. We talked of the Thresholds; the memorable stories told each morning, the vivid opening and so-right closing, including the marvelous reading of “ 9/11” by the woman who had been so distraught throughout the four days, trying to find the right forum to present her work. We mused on the challenges and the healing dynamics of Crone Circles and the way women are able to share and draw upon their own life experience and that of others. Everyone shared the workshops they attended, and we remembered lots of giggly girl talk, further bonding with one another, and the moments that we each had simply enjoying the healing venue of the sea. I came back to a peaceful house, a husband, mountains of mail not yet dealt with from my October absences and took up the everyday, tasks and responsibilities that make up my life. I found myself renewed, inspired, and reflective. I am listening, acting as required, and wise enough to take a nap now and again, sometimes dreaming. I carry a heightened awareness of how blessed I am with the richness of my life and the amazing women I have come to know since my first Crones Counsel. I am coming to appreciate, and draw upon all of my experiences in the past several months, and “Thresholds” Crones Counsel at Asilomar.
I am listening with new wisdom to my children, husband, aging parents, and loving them all with greater compassion, admiration and understanding.