BWOCs, Crones & Hags
In my early 30’s I went to the Woman Within weekend in the beautiful mountains outside of Ramona, California. The weekend was a spiritual exploration that taught me about my inner power and it was my first experience with recovery as the path to heal from everything that has ever had a negative impact. We all have something to recover from.
It was there that I was introduced to the concept of the Crone. The Crone represents the last stage of a woman’s life, after the Maiden and the Mother. A Crone is wise and respected for her experience. She is a healer and is sought out for her accumulated knowledge. In the circle of life, her role is positive and valued. Being an old hag wasn’t always a bad thing.
I was a Maiden at the time and wasn’t sure if I would be a Mother so the idea of ever being a Crone was unimaginable. It was impossibly far off in the future, like summer vacation and Disneyland was when I was a kid.
I will be 48 next week and maybe it’s just the perimenopause talking but it feels like the unimaginable is nipping at my heels. I’ve been telling myself that this is a journey that should be celebrated, like the smelly armpits and baby mustache hair that my prepubescent son is sprouting. Sure, my husband and I might need a safe word to coax me out of my hormone induced tantrums (frozen banana! frozen banana!) but the end of my youth is the beginning of a much earned maturity.
Or so I tell myself.
I’ve been thinking of this stage as my BWOC years. My 30th high school reunion is later this year and I honestly don’t remember who the Big Women On Campus were but I remember who I thought they were. They were the smart, beautiful ones with perfect hair and skin and they seemed to have preternatural confidence. They were sought out for what and who they knew and they looked great in leggings (the precursor to yoga pants) and high waisted jeans. I’m nowhere near earning the title of Crone but I can be a BWOC. I can rock those jeggings and I know shit. Seriously, there are things that can’t be found on the Internet and that can only be discovered through sharing with another human being.
If I’m lucky, I will be a crone someday. Hopefully, I’ll look like Jane Fonda.
My Grandma was a Crone. She died in January, a day after her 94th birthday. She is the woman who inspired me to have a family and told me I should have a career too. She was the epitome of what makes life so valuable: connection, openness, love. Thinking of her makes me less afraid of how I will be perceived as I age and whether or not I’ll be relevant enough. If she was an old hag, I want to be one too.
Whatever stage we find ourselves in, this is my prayer and wish: Keep an open mind and soft heart. Seek out those who can benefit from what you’ve experienced. Take a risk to reach out, to connect, to serve. Embrace and share your power. ❤