Ancient Wild Power
During our New Moon calls, we invited our network to share their thoughts about the Wise Woman archetypal energy and the Crone life phase. This is a guest post by Loran Hills (guest posts do not necessarily represent TreeSisters’ view on a subject). 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. Hag has no male form or counterpart. She is a diviner, a soothsayer, a woman of prophetic and oracular powers. The hedge was once considered the boundary between the “civilized” world and the wild keepers of primal mysteries. The Hag is She Who Straddles the Hedge. 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. Clarissa Pinkola Estes says, “A good deal of literature on the subject of women’s power states that men are afraid of women’s power. I always want to exclaim, “Mother of God! So many women themselves are afraid of women’s power.” Divine feminine forces are vast and they are formidable. Do not fear the hag who cackles. Baba Yaga spoke to me the morning after the last TreeSisters’ New Moon call. She lives in a hut in the woods. She tells stories at the hearth. She speaks in mysteries. Baba Yaga knows the priestesses at Delphi who planted the seeds, watered the plants and harvested the wheat. She bore witness to the fallow fields in Ireland and the battlefields full of blood spilled by men, not the blood of life, the life-giving dark womb mother of us all. She sent a message from our Mother: We all came from mother, from wet blood and slime and placenta full of nourishment, breasts full of milk spilling over in joyous laughter. Dry breasts and thin babies. No water. Why? What are you doing to me? When will you stop? The keening, the wail of the banshee, the shrieking wind. We frighten you and you hide your eyes in shame. Bow down before me. Stand up before me. Hold out your hands. Receive my gifts, not of myrrh and frankincense, the gift of life, blood and milk. Fill your cups. The oracle has spoken with her wizened crooked finger pointing at you. Yes, cringe and cower before my might. I can shake you loose, throw you off. Drown and freeze you. My breasts are drying up. My womb no longer bleeds. The crone will deny you life if you must continue. It’s your choice. The Implacable One isn’t speaking sweetly to us. She’s warning us to take action, even if they are small steps. On the New Moon call, a TreeSister mentioned she didn’t have a website or the resources to plant trees. She is “being now more than doing.” Not doing is a form of action as well. Not buying toxic food, not using plastic shopping bags, those are actions too. Expressing gratitude, listening to the calls, caring for each other, and offering support; these are all actions. Restraint, refraining, reframing, generating lovingkindness towards the planet and its inhabitants, all steps. 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 aging. We must celebrate the depths of wisdom that come from living a long time. If we answer the Crone’s call, She will guide us through our darkest nights. Claim the 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. I’m a mature woman, a crone, a hag, a wise woman. I call on my inner strength and courage, even when I feel moments of fear. I step into my cone of power and raise 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. My website, loranhills.com, is dedicated to shifting the paradigm on aging. I have a secret Facebook group, Skin Deepest, for women who want to explore their crone energy. Friend me on FB and ask to be added to the group if you’d like to join or sign up for my newsletter on the website to receive information about upcoming e-courses designed for sublimely brazen aging women.