Ah, Bahia is on the bay
And a full moon lit the way
Wow, Crones Counsel was so much fun
In a perfect place with sand and sea and sun
by Marian and the San Diego Crones
The vibrations of 200 crones filled the San Diego air, October 14—17, as Crones Counsel XIII continued the tradition of gathering women together to celebrate our age and wisdom. Arriving from 25 states, Canada, Mexico, England, Scotland, and New Zealand women came together resonating with Crone vibrations and responding, each in her own way.
The logo for this Counsel represents a connection to the universal wisdom of women throughout time. The sea represents vibrations and wave energy, as cycles are symbolic of the “sacred spiral of life.” The sea is in constant motion with an energy center that spirals out. These vibrations induce a state of ecstasy enabling us to enter the “beyond.” The moon governs the tides and all phases of the feminine here on earth. The three birds represent the maiden, mother, and crone.
These gatherings remind us of who we are and give us time apart to touch one another, to raise one another up, to maintain balance, to live in peace with each other, to honor the Creator and the Earth, and to acknowledge and show respect for one another and to remember that we are all one.
This year the gathering officially began on Friday, rather than the usual Thursday, because of Yom Kippur. Knowing that some of our sisters would arrive early to enjoy the sights and ambiance of San Diego, the local crones invited any early birds to join them for “Dinner with a Local” on Thursday. Nine cars, filled to capacity, took visiting crones to favorite restaurants of the locals and for brief sightseeing ventures.
On Friday evening, women filed into the ballroom to the steady beat of drums as the Opening Ceremonies began. As the directions were called in, the feeling of sacred space filled the room and set the stage for the entire weekend. As we sat together, we knew we were enveloped in a safe and supportive aura.
Continuing a tradition that began in Las Vegas, each woman received an abundant supply of “rainbow shells” in her nametag pouch. Each shell contained a condensed, magical ray of sun vibrating at the counsel. We shared this loving kindness by freely giving the shells to those with whom we felt a connection in any way.
Storytelling is one of the most sacred and respected traditions of Crones Counsel and, as usual, we were moved to tears and laughter as, one by one, crones came to the stage to tell their stories on Saturday and Sunday. Some storytellers were empowered by using Shauna Adix’s staff, which had been renovated during the year, or Shauna’s cape. These sacred items brought Shauna’s energy once again into our midst. As we witnessed each woman’s story, we related to the elements of her story that resonated within each of us. Standing ovations were asked for and received with much love.
Crone circles have become an honored part of the gathering and this year was no exception. Women gathered in groups of about ten to tell their stories in a more intimate setting. A power animal was used to designate each circle and these animals provided a starting point for discussions and sharing that ranged from poignant to humorous.
Workshops were the focus of each afternoon and the variety of offerings was wide and wonderful. Each workshop presenter offered her special talents and insights as gifts to the women attending. Women learned, shared, and grew from their participation in these workshops.
The vendor room was a magnet attracting women to come, browse and shop for the many delightful wares hand-created by crones. It is always amazing to see the range of talent and art exhibited in one small room and, as always, deciding what to buy was very difficult.
Saturday night was one of the highlights of Crones Counsel XIII as the banquet and the “Honoring the Elders” ceremony enriched each of us as we participated in honoring those who have so much wisdom to offer us. This year’s “Honoring the Elders” featured fourteen women over the age of eighty, centered by Laura Simon, age 99, a font of inspiration. Seated on the dais at the front of the room each woman was introduced and then spoke a few words of wisdom that inspired and encouraged us to live fully as they have lived. Following this, the elders led the way to the give-away table, followed by other women by age groups, where each selected something special.
A box lunch on Sunday gave Crones Counsel Board members an opportunity to dialogue with women informally. Other women enjoyed the informality of the occasion to get better acquainted with each other.
Despite a threat of rain, Sunday evening began with a group of about 75 gathered around a blazing fire pit, rumming up the moon. And rise the moon did although its appearance was quite brief. Three women took advantage of the opportunity to take a quick dip in the bay while the rest of us cheered, but stayed warm by the fire.
Following the bonfire, Crone Follies took center stage. As usual, this evening included dancing, poetry, singing, and skits, all received with enthusiasm. Jackie Gentry and Betty Brown were MCs for this fast paced talent show.
On Monday morning, we met for the last time as Crones Counsel XIII. The powerful Closing Ceremony touched everyone as we prepared to leave this safe haven and return to our normal lives. We were all moved, touched, and humbled by the request of one of our own for suggestions about how to resolve her need for a way to get home. There wasn’t a dry eye in the circle as we gathered around, sang “How Could Anyone Ever Tell You,” and passed the hat to help.
Another heart-warming experience was the presentation of a check for $1270 to Dr. Amy Mahoney, director of the House of Rachel, a local homeless shelter for older women. Helen, a resident of the House of Rachel, told us how her life is changing as a result of the support, encouragement and training she is receiving in this safe haven.
Breakfast followed as we took advantage of the last few minutes to talk to friends we won’t see again for another year. As the close of breakfast, we were each given a heart cockleshell to remind us of our heartwarming experiences and to help us remember the empowerment and love that is generated at each gathering.
As we took our experience of Crones Counsel XIII home with us in our hearts, we discovered that we had become more attuned to the crone vibration and its emanations in the world. “Gotta keep those crone vibrations a-happenin’ with us” until next year when we meet in Colorado.