Crone in Corrogue: Wild Wisdom of the Elder Years

Glorying in the elder years, a time of spirituality, service and some serious sacred activism

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Bee Smith

Bee Smith

Bee Smith has enjoyed a long relationship with SageWoman as a contributor, columnist and blogger. She lives in the Republic of Ireland, teaches creative writing and is a member of the Irish Art Council's Writers in Prisons panel. She is the author of "Brigid's Way: Celtic Reflections on the Divine Feminine."    

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Be the Crone You Want to See

I apologise to Anne and the wonderfuls of Pagan Square for an absence of nearly two months. But it really has been a wild ride since the August eclipses. If you think that those living outside the US are not interested in the country's politics, prepare to rearrange your throughts.

My sister-in-law, who is living with 'no further treatment' cancer was glued to the Kavanaugh hearings in Northern Ireland. A friend in Birmingham, England apologised for not being able to PM, because she watching them on BBC Live. Basically, the women of the world were triggered by all the news emanating from the land of my birth in September and early October. So, too, were many men, who came out admitting their own sexual assaults on Facebook.On so many levels people experienced every single stage of grief.

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How Were Those Eclipses for You?

So, how's the last month been? Was it intense? If not for you, then for acquaintances, social circle, family members?

Or maybe not. One thing I have learned as I have saged with age, is that the more you become conscious - mindful of all the various strands and strains, as well as the bigger issues - less dramatic happenings, well, happen to you personally. Some people need the neonlit drama to din in the meaning or life lesson that has been avoided.

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Calling the Great Mother this Eclipse

From July12th/13th (depending upon your time zone) we commence a momentous season of a rare series of three eclipses within a month. The first occurrence this eclipse season is a solar eclipse in Cancer. Then at full moon, on July 27th, we have a total lunar eclipse in Capricorn. The following new moon in Leo is on August 11th. There is plenty of internet chatter about how these eclipses will have a huge impact on both individuals and the collective. But we all have a conscious choice how we are going to walk in the world. So I thought I would share with your how I plan on marking my path through this next month.

For this solar eclipse in Mama Moon sign Cancer I have created an altar for collective ceremony and prayer with a group I belong to, the Sanctuary of the Divine Feminine. This is an altar that is dedicated towards healing traumatised children and divided/separated families.  My intent is to symbolise by using photos of parents and children together, of extended families rejoicing in happy celebrations and gatherings. This collage is at the foreground of the altar and uses images from both my own and my husband's lineages as representatives for all families.

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Midsummer Retreat

Sometimes the activity of the waxing year come so thick and fast that by Midsummer you can feel a bit ramshackle. Part of it is due to the aging process. But also, I am the sort of person who needs a good chunk of quiet time to process the emotions around events. So what happens? I get a little bit sick, a virus, just sick enough to take me out of the fray to ponder the imponderables, to think around the large and small circumstances of life, and to put them into perspective.

I felt a bit like this ramshackle old glasshouse seen on an open garden day at Colebrooke House, near Enniskillen in Fermanagh. When spirits and physical energy run low, sometimes it is only a garden and flowers that can be this Bee's balm. That was about the last day we had overcast, cool weather in June. We have experienced surreally hot and dry weather for Ireland in June. Seeing that I am not genetically engineered to withstand more than a quarter of any hour's strong sunshine, I have been indoors. Without pollution our sun is particularly searing. A Factor 30 sunscreen could not protect me for a half hour out on the beach last Friday. Yes, I am that much of a shade plant!

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  • Deb
    Deb says #
    I love this post and can really relate with what you said. As a transplant from the northern area of the USA to Florida for the pa

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The Divine Mother

Happy Mother's Day - to those who have biologically procreated, to those of us who failed in that quest, to those who had to let go and say goodbye to children for a multitude of reasons and circumstances, to those of us who cherish and mother projects, humans, animals and the Earth Mother Herself.

On my pilgrimage around southwest England I noted images of the Divine Mother at Chalice Well Gardens and various churches and cathedrals. For many pagans, and those who have harsh experiences of institutional religion, visiting Christian sites may be anathema. I have my peace, most times, with my religious upbringing. And, truth be told, in England and Ireland, you would miss interesting traces of the old religion as it mixed in with the new. So I was happy to chase around cathedrals trying to discover Sheela-na-gigs and Green Men, as well as witnessing the Madonna at pagan sites of pilgrimage like Chalice Well Garden and the White Well in Glastonbury where there is a Black Madonna 'Lady Chapel' in an alcove.

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A Glastonbury Beltane

Belated Beltane greetings! Or Bealtaine as we call it in Ireland. But this year I greeted the May at dawn in Glastonbury. And not being a morning lark by nature, I indulged in the Irish custom of bathing my face in the May morning dew for the first, and most probably the last time, in this lifetime! It dawned an icy 1.5degree C at our rented cottage in Wells. But the rituals must have worked because the sun came out and I roasted and toasted the winter chill out of bones at the Beltane fire in Chalice Well Gardens later that morning.

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Bring on the Blackthorn!

This wild and weird winter. It has been coldier and snowier than usual in Ireland. And what snow we got was POWDER, instead of the wet stuff that automatically turns our lane into an ice rink. Normally, winter is - should be, OUGHT to be - a time of going within and hibernation. But not the winter of 2018! This first quarter has rocketed. It has jetted through time zones and international datelines.

That's a metaphor actually. I have strayed no further than county Mayo at March New Moon. It's just been very, very busy.

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