Monday, December 17, 2012

The Crone

The Crone

In modern pop-culture, the Crone is seen as both Wicked Witch and Fairy Godmother. I believe that this is a concept not very far from the truth. The Crone, as the aspect of the Goddess, is the elder wise woman with knowledge of all magic.

In First Degree Lesson 2, Reverend Don Lewis describes the Crone as “the Great Sorceress” and “the Hallowe’en Witch.”  For many, the Crone is the ideal Goddess of the witch in that she is the one who holds the power of magic in her hands. She is a guide for all witches to the inner secrets and deepest knowledge.
She is also the guardian of the veil, not only between this world and the astral plane but also between life and death and rebirth. The Crone is called “the Destroyer” in that she is the Goddess of Death, which, for many, brings an image of fear.

Fear of the Crone
“In many minds today, Crone is synonymous with wrinkled, dependent, frail, debilitated, ugly, grotesque, dispensable, useless, or unimportant old woman.” Ruth Gardner explains in Celebrating the Crone that this was caused by the events that formed the image of crones and witches in the mind of society including the inquisition, the burning times and the degradation of women.
I believe that Rev. Lewis was correct in saying, “People who do not possess wisdom often fear it, thus is the Crone Goddess often feared as well.” In our society, when people fear something or someone they tend to degrade it, make it into something they can look down upon and over power. This may be one of the many causes of so many fairy tales depicting the defeat of the wicked witch.

My Relationship with the Crone
The Crone is a Goddess with whom I have a very deep relationship with and connection to. She has been my Patron Deity since I was fourteen years old. Also, the Spirit Guide who aids me and whom I channel during divination spells takes the form of a crone. Many of the divination tools I own I have blessed by invoking Her, and most were bought with Her in mind such as my rainbow obsidian sphere that I call my Crone’s Eye.

I first connected with the Crone during winter of 2002 while I was meditating and asking for guidance as a witch and as a budding woman. I began by lying on the bed, eyes closed in the yogic corpse position. I then received a vision that both astonished and absolutely terrified me. A woman dressed in black was leaning over me from the headboard, which I only later admitted was impossible physically as the headboard was pressed against the wall. Her appearance was scary in that she seemed an old woman with a slightly hunched back, long spider-webby white hair, and a harshly pointed, slightly crooked nose. The most terrifying part of her appearance was that she had no eyes. In place of them were two black holes that seemed to be filled with the darkness of space itself.

My fear was so great at how real and physical this woman seemed, I cried out and fell out of bed to get as much distance between her and myself as possible. My cry was loud enough for my grandmother, who was downstairs, to come up and check on me. When I told her what I saw, she automatically assumed I had been dreaming and offered to bring me a cup of warm milk and honey to help me sleep.
That night I stayed awake wondering about this vision as, at that time, it was the most vivid I had ever had when awake. Since that night, I have come to love this apparition and seek her guidance in most of my magical work that uses any form of divinatory practice.

Seeking the Crone
Just as any other facet or face of Deity is associated with certain aspects of the Divine, so is the Crone. The Great Sorceress can be called upon for any magic, but her closest association is in divination, shadow work, endings and new beginnings.
A witch can find great success in calling upon the Crone when performing magic associated with:

  • ·         Aging
  • ·         Menstruating or Menopause
  • ·         A need to end something
  • ·         Project has come to an end
  • ·         Exploring the unconscious realm
  • ·         Shadow work – exploring trauma, negativity, depression
  • ·         Improve psychic skills
  • ·         Feeling of being threatened
  • ·         Put the past behind you/begin anew
  • ·         Need to retreat and rest
  • ·         Facing death or a loved one is dying
  • ·         Connect to ancestors
  • ·         Desire to explore deep mysteries
  • ·         Need for deep wisdom

The Names and Correspondences of the Crone
“Through the years, the Crone has been called by many names…All of these (and others) reside within each of us.” – Ruth Gardner
Crone goddesses include Cerridwen (Celtic), Grandmother Spiderwoman (Native American), Ereshkigal (Sumerian), Hekate (Greek), Kali (Indian), Lilith (Hebrew), Nephthys (Egyptian), and XochiQuetzel (Mexican).

Hekate is the face of the Crone I have the most knowledge of. In First Degree Lesson 2, Hekate is “the Great Crone Goddess of ancient Greece, patroness of magic and wisdom, and a Goddess of the Spirit World.” She is said to be associated with the Egyptian Goddess Hekat, which, linguistically, would make sense as well as the fact that Hekat and Hekate share associations with deep mysteries and magic. Hekat, also spelled Hequit, is the Goddess of magic and midwifery, giver of wealth and wisdom. She was also considered associated with Nut and Hathor, just as Hekate is linked to Demeter and Artemis or Persephone as a completion of the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone.
The priestesses of Hekate were considered especially powerful in ancient times when her worship was at its height. Powerful priestesses even ruled as queens in some societies especially preluding the fall of Troy in which Hekabe or Hekuba ruled and is known for cursing the wandering Odysseus.  Hekate’s worship continued strongly until it was forced underground by the Romans and even there continued in some covens who were said to meet at the fountain of Hekate Trevia during the full moon.

Crone Correspondences:

  • Waning/Dark Moon
  • Late Fall/Winter
  • Direction: West or North
  • Time: Dusk
  • Sabbat: Samhain
  • Tarot: Queen of Swords, The Moon
  • Planet: Saturn
  • Color: Indigo, Black
  • Herbs: Nightshade, fly agaric, vervain, aconite, mandrake, henbane, and henna
  • Incense: Mugwort, star anise, myrrh
  • Essential oil: sage, cedar
  • Animals: Flesh eating birds – Owls, Vultures, Ravens, Crows. Spiders
  • Number: 6
  • Chakra: Third Eye/Pituitary, Crown/Pinneal
  • Body Part: Eyes
  • Magical Correspondences: Divination (especially scrying), Prophecy, Shadow work, Banishing, Devoking, Transformation.

The Witch School First Degree by Rev. Don Lewis Lesson 2 “Crone Goddesses”
Hecates “Hecate the Crone”
Order White
Celebrating the Crone by Ruth Gardner. Llewellyn “Hequit-Hekat-Hekate and the hags of Ancient Egypt” by Saeth

***Essay created for Lesson 2 in my First Degree studies 

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