The Crone energies are the energies of the menstrual phase, of the Dark Moon and of the Winter. This is a time of stillness, of hibernation and sleep, of withdrawal from the outside world and connection to the deeper inner world. Gone are the turbulent emotions and mood swings and the physical and mental energy ups and downs of the Enchantress phase. Gone is the neediness, the vulnerability, and the wild inspiration and compulsive behaviours. Finally, like the sea after the rush of the out-going tide, we are still and peaceful.
Just as the Moon hides her face from the world for three days, our energies have also withdrawn. We are like the land in winter where the plants and animals hibernate and the life-force has left, only to return in the spring.
For many of us this dark withdrawal can feel frightening. In the modern world, we fill every hour of our life with input and activity; we can’t even wait in a line-up without reaching for our phones to check our Facebook or to listen to music. Emptiness and boredom are a thing of the past, and yet our cyclic nature craves it. In this withdrawn and empty state we embody the deepest part of ourselves, the part that is beyond everyday concerns and is at one with the Universe. For many women this can feel like depression – but it is in fact a wonderful state of altered awareness where we touch the face of the Divine and are able to drop our ego and love, and we can accept, heal and restore ourselves.
It can feel easy to welcome the end of the pre-menstrual phase, but it can also be a challenge to stop still at the heart of the labyrinth and sit welcoming the silence and the darkness. To help us with this, we can join with other women in reconnecting with the sacredness of this time. In doing so we can appreciate the sacredness of our bodies and femininity, and acknowledge our female ancestors who stepped out of the world at this time to focus on their healing and renewal and on their spiritual connection.
Where we bleed in relation to the lunar phases can vary throughout our lives, and our orientation towards a ‘Red Moon Cycle’ (where we bleed around the time of the Full Moon) or a ‘White Moon Cycle’ (where we bleed around the time of the Dark Moon) depends on our focus and our purpose in life at that time. All orientations are equally natural.
In the past, as some women withdrew to the Red Tent to share their bleeding, a few other women walked the world, showing the outer face of the Divine Feminine. While some women were celebrating under the light of the Full Moon, other women withdrew to the Red Tents, reminding all of the presence of the Dark Mother in all aspects of life.
The Crone offers us a sanctuary in our busy lives. She says “It’s all okay. Let go. Accept. Withdraw. Rest and day-dream.” Then we can emerge from the winter of our bodies and out into the spring renewed and full of energy.
Welcoming the Crone phases of menstruation, the Dark Moon, Winter and post-menopause:
Give yourself permission to let go of the expectations of modern life. So often we fight this phase to meet deadlines and do the things we must do. But the Divine Feminine is asking us to rest and to focus on our relationship with her.
Honour this time by slowing down, going to bed a little earlier, and doing something that nurtures you.
Create your own ‘Red Tent’ in your bedroom – snuggled under a red duvet, with spiritual books and music, comforting things to eat and the internet turned off.
Use my book ‘Spiritual Messages for Women’ to give you a focus for day-dreaming and for connecting with the Divine Feminine.
Dark Moon Crone:
If you can, take a long bath.
Imagine the dark dome of the sky above you, sprinkled with stars. The sky is without a Moon.
You are floating in the waters at the heart of the labyrinth, floating amongst the stars.
In your being you know that you are at one with the stars and the Universe, part of this beautiful energy of the Divine Feminine.
In your being you know your soul’s purpose.
In your being you know that you are loved and full of love.
Rest without words in this wonderful knowing.
If you aren’t able to have a bath, you can take a long shower or use a bowl of water (perhaps one of your Womb Bowls) as the focus for this meditation.
For more ideas, see ‘Red Moon – Understanding and Using the Creative, Sexual and Spiritual Gifts of the Menstrual Cycle’.
Winter is a time of rest and withdrawal, of keeping warm by the fire and sharing magical stories and myths and legends. It was the season of the ancestors, when their presence was felt in the land, bringing wisdom and guidance.
Within the darkness of winter is a turning point, when the sun stays still and then slowly starts to increase again. The Winter Crone holds the sun-child within her womb before birthing him back into the world. And she also holds us, giving us a space to be nurtured, to rest and to grow into our full potential before the new energies of spring.
At the beginning of the Crone season (October 31st Northern Hemisphere, 1st May Southern Hemisphere), tie a red ribbon to the branches of a tree or plant – somewhere you can see it daily. This ribbon symbolises the menstruation of the Earth Mother, reminding us to connect to her through our own menstrual phase and to honour this sacred time by slowing down and expressing our love, gentleness and spiritual awareness.
‘Menopause’ is our last menstrual bleed, and after that we are ‘post-menopausal’. The changes that began in the Enchantress part of our life continue into our Crone phase. The archetypal energies within us are appearing in our lives to be loved and accepted so they can merge into the pinnacle of female life, a ‘Complete Woman’. As a Complete woman we live in a fifth phase, where all archetypal energies are merged but also individually available to us. We have the expanded vision of the Crone, and so we are Wise Women, and we have the gentle, ego-less aspect of the Mother, so we are Dark Mothers or Grandmothers.
Celebrate this amazing part of your life with a simple but powerful morning affirmation:
I am the centred and full Wise Mother.
I bring soul healing and wisdom into the world.
Feel or imagine that you are a Crone from mythology – full of spiritual power and wisdom and oneness.