Odyssey into the Night ~ by Loran Hills
As we begin to enter into the ‘winter/wise woman/crone’ phase of the year, we are posting a guest blog from Loran, a TreeSister in our network who is passionate about the role of the Wise Woman archetype.
You are the darkest childe You spread your angel wings And fly through the night into the dreams of ancient ruins And make them sing
~ Sophie Hawkins
In the northern hemisphere, the days are getting shorter. We are beginning the annual descent towards the longest night of the year.
The Crone whispers, “Take my hand. Come with me into the darkness. Do not be afraid.”
The Crone is a post-menopausal woman. In the long ago past, it was believed that women became wise when they no longer shed the lunar “wise blood” but kept it within. The word hag, defined as an ugly old woman, especially a vicious or malicious one, usually brings up feelings of revulsion. Yet, hag originally meant “Holy Woman,” queen of the dead, incarnate on earth. Where are wise, holy women in our society today? Wild women have been called corrupt, depraved, immoral, sinful, wanton, and wicked. They live in a state of nature, not tamed or domesticated. They are unruly, ungovernable, visionary, savage and ferocious.These labels teach us to fear our power and deny our wisdom. Following the Crone, I step into my cone of power as a mature woman and call upon my inner strength and courage. Raising my arms to the moon, I stand with bare feet on the cool, damp earth. I draw down the silvery light to infuse myself with power. I am both the ground and the sky. I am the warp and the weft of the tapestry of my life. The ancient goddesses started calling me over thirty years ago. Awakened with curiosity, I read volumes of stories about the Goddess of 10,000 names. I learned about my feminine connection to the cycles of the moon. My dear friend, Kathryn, and I formed a small sisterhood, a tiny tribe of two. We desperately sought our deepest selves out of a strong desire to reclaim our personal power. Our wild hearts were drawn to ceremonies that connected us to the sacred cycles of nature. Although it was unusual at that time, Kathryn and I also lifted weights and studied martial arts together. We were Amazons, Wild Women Warriors. We continued to read voraciously and talked endlessly about women’s spiritual practices. Kathryn created a sacred space in her basement, The Red Room, painting it entirely dark red.
The dark red color represented our return to the sacred womb of creation from which we all begin our journey into this life.
We had many magical moments sharing our thoughts, hopes and feelings, as we became everlasting Moon Sisters. It’s a little difficult to convey exactly what it was like to be on the brink of discovery all those years ago. Then, mainstream ears misunderstood the word “goddess.” Now, bookshelves are crammed with volumes written about women’s spirituality. It’s almost impossible to choose from the unlimited Tarot decks, Oracle decks and Angel cards. It’s not unusual to read women online discussing all things related to the goddess and the moon, but it wasn’t always that way. The Wheel of Life turns again and again. Having made the springtime journey from maiden, into and through the summer of motherhood, I’m beginning my descent into the Shadow Lands, now in the autumn of my life. There have been times when I was cracked apart by pain and sorrow during dark winters of my soul, but the experience of aging is a different kind of journey. There is no return to springtime. The crone stage and the knowledge of the ancient ones has been obliterated by our youth-worshipping culture, yet within us is a connection to the Divine Dark.
We need compassionate and loving discussions about our attitudes towards aging. We must learn how to celebrate the depths of wisdom that come from living a long time.
Awaken with curiosity! Ancient goddess wisdom is not lost. There is an iridescent rainbow of goddesses that represent courage, strength and healing for all of us. We can collect powerful symbols and images that will guide us back to our truest selves. If we answer the Crone’s whisper, She will guide us through our darkest nights. Claim the unruly and ferocious wisdom of the Elders, acknowledge their insight, and greet them without fear or aversion. If we do, we will become the Wise, Holy Women we seek to know and understand. May you be restored to wholeness in the darkness of the waning light. A beacon shifting the paradigm on aging, ever evolving on the spiral journey of life, Loran is now a crone, writer, nature love and photographer. You can find her at loranhills.com on Facebook or Instagram