CRONES COUNSEL’S 20th ANNIVERSARY
By Carol Friedrich, CC Board Member
Although I had previously participated in seventeen Crones Counsels, I was again inspired and nurtured by our gathering in Salt Lake City. Seeing old friends with whom we have shared our stories of challenge and growth over the years is always special to me. Crones Circles are a highlight of each gathering, as I am able to meet and share with other women in a comfortable, small-group setting. That is very important to me. I see growth in others as well as in myself and I have been able to risk more there than in the larger setting. I was also impressed by the “gates” and their meaning for our lives. The planning committee’s hard work was evident in the gates’ details, both in their design and in the messages of each. Material for ongoing thought. The Red Tent event, as well, stretched our boundaries and perceptions of Crone. The SLC planning committee is to be commended for their creativity and insight.
A Tour de Force
By Enid Williams, Honored Elder
Our cherished co-founder, Shauna Adix, would have been enormously proud of us ― the shining 20th session of Crones Counsel was one of the best, most meaningful ones, ever!
Salt Lake City’s Crones Counsel 2012 featured many of the events I have treasured during my 15 years’ attendance ― and more! It was obvious that much loving attention was given to planning this momentous event. The Red Tent afternoon was a tour de force, a very important First. As ever, I loved the ceremony honoring our members who have leapt over Big Eight-O and have survived and thrived. Story Telling was a complete joy, especially with Mahtowín presiding. Her dignified, supportive presence gave a special background to our open-hearted
words. All this, and so much more!
Another Thoughtful Observation
By Mahtowin Howe
I especially salute our new members. Coming to know you has been a heart-stirring experience. Being a part of Crones Counsel will enhance your lives; it will help you to evolve into cronehood in a wonderfully enriching way ― as it has helped Enid and so many other women over the past 20 years.
Our Shared Stories – Counsel’s Heart
By Grace Zach, Honored Elder
Crones Counsel in Salt Lake City was a great experience! The energy of so many women gathered together was dynamic. And the variety of our shared stories counsels the heart. I must admit ― I delight in the role of “Honored Elder.”
I always enjoy the time with our small circles because we do form closer personal connections.
I loved the depth of thought and planning by eight different groups, which created and produced the eight “gateways and thresholds.”
It was fun to hear each group talk about that because each gate was indeed a special work of art. Many of us chose to walk through those gateways again and again.
Saturday’s Red Tent event was almost the gift of a second conference! I marvel at the amount of planning and individual commitment. The shared responses from the hearts of maiden, mother, matriarch, and crone was a special gift.
So I send hugs of appreciation to all of you who worked to make the entire gathering possible.
Exceeded My Expectations
By Kianna Bader, Crone Times Editor
What an awesome tribute to Shauna and to Crones Counsel celebrating its 20th Anniversary in Salt Lake City, where it all began. Nineteen years ago, when I attended the second Crones Counsel, I never would have guessed this gathering would become such an important part of my life. As it has become more meaningful to me each year, the rest of my life is planned around it.
In October, the Salt Lake gathering exceeded my expectations. It provided a deeper, more spiritual experience for me. The stories were richer; the Red Tent experience added more diversity to our gathering. I loved the Threshold Theme. The eight gates were so meaningfully decorated by various women. I loved the historical video of the past twenty years and hope it can be shown far and wide to attract more Wise Women to our gatherings. It is always fantastic to be with so many unique like-minded women. What other place in our lives gives us this chance?
Basking in Your Embrace
By mARTa Quest
I’ve been coming to Crones Counsel since the Scottsdale gathering in 1995, and I must say that this latest event has brought back the heart of Crone. I am so relieved! This gathering was so rich in deeply moving ceremony as well as just plain fun.
My soul gets filled by Crones Counsel and lasts until about April when I start yearning for it to hurry up and arrive so I can bask in my “tribe’s” soft, loving, and accepting embrace.
Each year has many gifts that I muse about, discuss, and share with anyone who will listen in my daily life. I’m very glad we did have the small sharing circles, as they are so allowing of the intimacy that larger circles can’t accommodate.
As has been mentioned by other Crones, the Red Tent afternoon was fabulous and was a dream of mine: acknowledging without shame and celebrating our uniqueness as women who shed blood as part of creation.
Thank you, Crones Counsel Board and the Salt Lake City planning committee for all your hard “work” and vision for the beginning of the next cycle of gatherings! I love you all.
By Maggie Dickson
Wonderful, wonderful Crones! Thank you! You are all sustaining inspirations for me. Always. Forever. I treasure the 2012 Counsel memories. I was fascinated by the stories, immersed in the deep and honest sharing in my circle. You, my Crones, nurtured me, enabled me to continue my RV journey throughout the beautiful lands of southern Utah. I’ve been on the road since Labor Day and will end in Yosemite. Then home to Aptos, California for the holidays. I carry your spirits with me as I wander, going through magical and sacred gateways and thresholds, entering and reentering the Red Tents of my life.
First-time Attendee ― Youngest “Cronette”
By Aimee Bodnar, age 28
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I came to my first Crones Counsel, but my fears were immediately alleviated when I was greeted as the youngest Crone there at age 28, into warm and welcoming arms and hearts.
I learned what it is to be a Crone, and what exactly a Crone’s purpose is. To be young and able to soak up all of the wisdom and life’s directions was absolutely humbling and incredible. I was in awe of all of the strong, positive, and wise ladies.
This Counsel, the 20th to be exact, forever changed my outlook as a woman and emboldened me to take life and learn from it at every step. I learned it’s okay to worship myself and to trust my instincts. I will never again fear to make difficult decisions because I know that I will always have the love and support of a lot of new Sisters! Thank you to all again for accepting me and loving me, no matter what. I cannot wait to see everyone again next year in Asilomar!
Yanking My Chains
By Sheri Sheya
Having been born and raised in Salt Lake City and being lucky enough to attend Crones Counsel for the second time with my “Aged P” (Pat Sheya), Salt Lake Crones gifted me with returning friends, familiar faces, and rebooted my own personal hard drive. My first Crones Counsel was in Portland, where I drifted around the energy spirals of women. Workshops, faces, names, and stories set in the City of Roses. Like a sponge, soaking up all Portland Crones offered, and returning to Salt Lake squished full of memories, knowing Salt Lake was where it started 19 years before ― and would be the Host City in 2012 gave me pause. Salt Lake City? Really? Someone in Portland was yanking my chains.
Yet the energy, enthusiasm, strength of women holding each other; whether in a small group or large contains a power incredibly difficult to describe. “Holding” not just meaning “to grasp,” but also emotionally, psychologically, “soul-fully,” healthfully, and fully. Laughing heals, crying heals, silence heals, dancing heals. Listening heals. For me, Crones in Salt Lake City whispered insights, an epiphany of my own, a quiet realization. Stories teach me, listening guides me, stories sadden me, listening makes me laugh. Our Elder Women are our gifts.
The banner from the SLC Gathering: