Crones Counsel Newsletter, February 22, 2015

A Message from Susan Ann

Moment after moment after moment, round and round we go.   Time leaves us with whatever gifts we care to take in.   I watched, and heard, the leaves drop off the trees in my back yard, and now, only a few months later, I detect the tiny greening buds sprouting gloriously from veined limbs enlivened once more, unrestrained now the cold has left, and bursting with life.  The Eternal Spiral of life pulsing, reminding me that Spring is near and we begin the yearly round again.

This same greening, budding energy is issuing in the conversation among the Crone women.   Talk, talk, talk.  How this?  How that?  How will we get there? Who will travel with me?  Who will room with me?  Will this friend come?  That one?   Yes, it’s a go.    Yes.  Yes.  I am going.   I’ve decided.  I registered today and I have my chalet.  We are going to Mt. Shasta!

The energy is high and women are taking advantage of the reduced early registration.  You are all encouraged to take advantage of this rate – February is giving way to March and  there will be an increase in the registration fee.   Our registration numbers are soaring.  There is no time to waste. Register now.

Everyone – the Crones Mothers, Melinda and Lani, our registrar, and other committees – are working diligently to plan another unique Gathering in this decidedly spectacular place.   Not everything is completely worked through; we are still gathering information, attempting to clarify as many details as possible.  Please, please be patient with us.  Your exuberance is greatly appreciated and we are doing our best to keep everyone informed amidst the inevitable changes that happen when planning a Crones Counsel event.  It is a wild process . . . but totally worthwhile and we love it!  Anticipating another Gathering with all of you always makes the socks roll up and down.  Hang in there with us and trust that everything will happen and you will have everything you need to make your plans as we move along.

Spring is in our planning . . . we are budding and greening.  Spiraling along, we will soon be in full bloom with all plans and arrangements firmly rooted and winged.

Deep Condolences

It is with deep sorrow and sadness that we acknowledge the death of Melinda Field’s husband, Dr. Stephen Perlman, on January 28th of this year.  Melinda is one of the co-creators of our upcoming gathering, author of True, an award winner in the Lorian Hemingway International Short Story Composition, and co-author of the three sets of wisdom cards with photographic artist, Lani Phillips.  His death was unexpected.  This is an excerpt from his obituary:

“Dr. Stephen Perlman skied into eternal powder on Jan. 28, 2015.

We would like to thank our family, friends and the community for all of the love and support we have received.

Steve’s love of life and kindness will forever be remembered. There are no words to honor him, as he touched so many with his caring heart. He was truly one of a kind!

He will be missed tremendously by his family and friends. His wife, Melinda; children: Noah, Eli, Maya, Chai and Matthea; and all of his grandchildren will always cherish the time and love they shared with him.

There will be no services at this time, but a celebration of his life will happen in the following months. Details will be provided at a later time.”

Dear Melinda, all of us mourn with you.  We know the grief must be overwhelming at times.  Please know that we will embrace you with our love and care.  We will wrap you in the loving circle of Crones Counsel and we wish only for your utmost well-being in the months and years ahead.

A Note from Kay Bouma “The Keeper of the Money” (Treasurer)

Hello from Arizona.  I am thrilled to be on the Crones Counsel Board – what a wonderful group of ladies.  It is such fun getting to know them.  The transition of the financial books from Joyce to me is in progress.  We all wish her a continued recovery.

You should know that the Crones Counsel volunteer board members are dedicated to the upholding the purpose of the Counsel, conduct themselves in a very ethical manner and understand their non-profit responsibilities.

I’m looking forward to Mt. Shasta – it is going to be glorious!  Hope to see you there.   I’ve started my “Change for Crones” jar.  I have 220 days to fill it!

Artisan Bazaar 2015

Our dear Marta Quest will manage the Artisan Bazaar during our upcoming Mt. Shasta gathering.  Marta is an ardent supporter of Crones Counsel, having  attended almost every Gathering.  She works her fabulous magic every year with the Crone crafters and artists.  Please contact Marta directly to share and offer your creations at the upcoming gathering. Email Marta at

Workshops at Mt. Shasta 2015

In the eternal spiral of life things change and morph.   Thank goodness!   Life would be utterly bereft without change and surprise.  So, the organizing committee (Lani and Melinda) is considering how best to do the workshops.  The contact person for workshops is Lani Phillips  When decisions are firm as to the “how” of workshops this year, we will surely send the information along to you.

Wisdom Circles at Mt. Shasta 2105

The Wisdom Circles at Mt. Shasta will be synchronized by the San Diego Crones.  These women have graciously offered to organize the circles and they have the skill and expertise to design something powerful and heart-warming.  You will be hearing more about the circles in the next newsletter.

Colorado Crones Circle of Wise Women

The Denver Area Crones Circle was created in 1994, the year after the first Crones Counsel in Jackson Hole, WY, by a woman who attended that first gathering.   The CCCWW, as we are now known, was a new name adopted a few years ago to better describe the cross section of women who come to our group meetings from several cities in the greater Denver metro area.  Boulder was included until they created their own group in 2013.

At present a core group of just under 20 women has become a fully active circle, meeting for three hours in a library conference room, rent-free, on the third Saturday of each month.  It is an open group that welcomes new participants of any age at any time.  There is no membership or dues but a meeting donation is accepted to cover expenses.

We begin each meeting with an opening ritual which consists of several intentions for meeting together, and then a “check-in” time reconnects us with each other.  We honor each one in turn by saying together “Welcome Crone (Name)” or ”Welcome Matriarch (Name)”.

Following that, a discussion is led by one of the women who has chosen a topic or activity.  A wide range of subjects, scheduled at the beginning of each year, have included these examples:  “de-cluttering our lives”, life goals collage, learning to meditate, finding your life song or personal muse, honoring our foremothers, developing an attitude of gratitude, personal altars, house blessings, preparing legacy and business affairs, sharing experiences by Crone Counsel attendees, etc.    Rituals are used as appropriate.

In addition to the monthly meetings, we have an annual holiday party and a picnic.  In past years we planned group croning ceremonies, and these women, having claimed “crone”, continue to be committed participants in our monthly gatherings.  Our goal for each meeting is to create “sacred space” where confidentiality, safety, diversity, mutual respect, undivided attention, personal sharing, ritual, and fun exist. More information available by emailing Carol Friedrich at

Update on the St. George Crone Circle

The St. George Crone Circle is now about 6 months along and thriving.   We have about 25 members and we are still growing.  The circle consists of an astonishing cadre of women; there is so much wisdom and love and care among us.  We meet at the beautiful Green Valley Spa once a month on a Tuesday afternoon.  Many of us are planning on coming to Mt. Shasta!   We’ll see if we can get the entire group to come.  Wouldn’t that be a blast! ????!!!!  Susan Ann Stauffer

Update on the Salt Lake City Crone Circles

Two active circles of Crone women are in existence in Salt Lake City.  The first circle was established by our own Shauna Adix, Founding Mother, immediately after Crones Counsel I and has flourished for 23 years.  Ours is a closed circle, a very tight circle of women , who meet twice monthly without fail.  We meet for two hours and we all go to lunch for another two hours!  Our members rarely miss the meeting; we are strongly committed to the circle and to each other.  Barbara Lewis

The second circle came into existence after the Salt Lake City Gathering in 2012 at the insistence of Dineh Torres. This is a lovely circle of women who meet on the first Saturday of every month. We are very happy that Crones Counsel, Inc. took our circle into consideration when planning dates for Mt. Shasta.   Many in the circle are intent on attending The World Parliament of Religion which is meeting in Salt Lake City later in October and the CC planning committees changed the dates to allow our circle women  to attend both events. “We thank you!” “Goddess willing, many of us will be to Mt. Shasta.”  Joanne Casey

New Phoenix Crones Circle

By Kay Bouma
After the St. George Gathering, we started a Phoenix Crones Circle and are having monthly meetings.  It has grown from the original four women at the St George meeting to eight women now!  I am so happy.  I just know there is a tremendous need for Women’s Circles.  I encourage each of you to reach out and start your own.

Meeting Again by Janet Morrissey

Our local Crones’ Circle resumed meeting again after a 6 months hiatus.  Our Circle was created after the 15th Crones Counsel Gathering in Asilomar.   Kathy Puffer ( secretary for Crones Counsel) and I had attended a workshop on starting a Crones Circle. Along with Maureen Arrigo and Susan Damron, we began meeting and planning.  On January, 2009, we held our first meeting with 15 women in attendance.  Through the years our group has grown and dwindled, but now in 2015, we are renewed and rededicated.

We are using Becoming Women of Wisdom by Melody Lee with Karen Edwards and Dorothy May Emerson, which is providing us a guideline to adapt to our needs.  Dorothy had attended the Gathering last year and was selling the booklet in the Artisan Hall.

This month we held our first meeting with six of us attending.  We handed out folders to keep handouts, writing materials and song sheets.  Each of the 13 chapters in the spiral booklet uses a principle adapted from Jean Shinoda Bolen’s Crones Don’t Whine.  The first one is, “Take time to listen to your inner wisdom”.

In preparing to write this column, I kept hearing this principle being repeated in my head.  So I invite you to listen attentively to that inner voice, inviting you to pay attention, particularly, to your thoughts and feelings about making the trip to Mt. Shasta.  What is your heart telling you?  What would you need to do to make the trip?

First, please register because this month you will receive a reduced rate of $175 and Elders at $160; however, this rate changes as of the last day in February.  You can register on line.  Go to our website ( to get the forms and information.

Listen carefully and you will hear the Crone calling you.  Come and be with the sisterhood of Crones in Mt. Shasta.

Calling All Circles

If you belong to a Wisdom Circle, a Crones Circle, a Women’s Lodge, or any other group aligned with the archetype of Crone, please contact us.   We want to know about all of you and what you’re doing and where you are.  We imagine that there are a lot of us out there……we just need to find each other and connect.   Please contact Janet Morrissey a We are able to do great good in women’s lives when we are rooted and connected in the ever-circling, eternal spiral of life.


Kathy Puffer, Secretary, reflects on her first 100 days on the Mother Board

Ren and Stimpy said it first, and that combination of feelings best describes the rather exuberant tenor of the current Crones Counsel Mother Board.

The job description for secretary is pretty standard.  Keep a record of what is being accomplished, and a record of what could be called ‘opportunities for improvement.’ Einstein said that insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. A good secretary helps to prevent this from happening.

Any time you start a new job, you have a period of time in which you are forgiven many things, and that’s where I am right now. As in any new job, I’m finding out who the Board members are, [I only knew one person. Everyone else, I didn’t have a clue as to who they were] what personality quirks they have [did you know that a majority of the Board rather passionately loves cats?] and their work ethic [there are several very compulsive people who are driven to do their assignments immediately, impeccably, and with a sense of a higher mission]. Our current Board members have a HUGE sense of humor when it comes to the human condition; and they have an enormous tolerance and empathy for all people. At least so far.

My impression is that 2014 was a challenging year for the Board. There was a need to address the long-term financial health of the Counsel, unexpected medical issues among Board members, and the Board assumed responsibility for the annual Gathering.

Now, with the addition of the new Treasurer, Kay Bouma, plus myself as Secretary, more Board hands are available. Our wonderful cheerleaders for Mt. Shasta, Lani Phillips and Melinda Field – every Crones Counsel member gave them moral support from the moment they asked to host the 2015 Gathering. And that support helped give the Mother Board a boost of energy they really appreciated.

Crones Counsel members have asked that the Board make a greater effort to share their information. With Suzanne Gruba’s manic desire to see that everyone is connected to everyone electronically, we don’t have a chance. She is going to see to it that we get all the information we want and more, MUCH more. This year promises to be the year of interconnectedness, and I don’t think it’s just because we’re all having to consider sharing those rooms in Mt. Shasta.


you never walk, you always leap, skip, or dance.  You rush in with baskets full of life, giving us all spring fever.  We promise to multiply the life you bring by planting new seeds.  We will believe in the secret invisible life in each seed as we drop it into the rich soil you have provided.   In this season of rebirth, teach us the steps to your dance.  Encourage us to celebrate the exuberant life rising around us and within us.  Absorb us in the ritual of rising.  Remind us to never be ashamed of the beauty that is ours.   Bless us, awaken us from productive slumbers that we might believe in the fruit born from the womb of darkness.   Your secrets once sleeping in the heart of the earth are stretching towards the sun. Help us to stretch with them as we reach for all we can be.  Share with us your virtues of joy, rebirth, and hope.  In this season of resurrection, may the brokenness of our world be healed by your contagious spirit and energy.  –  Macrina Wiederkehr