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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Crone without Crown

This is the first entry in Bee Smith's new blog, "Crone in Corrogue." Entries for "Away with the Fairies" can still be found in the archives of Bee Smith's writing on PaganSquare.

It is not a flattering word – crone. But like that other ‘c’ word used pejoratively that references my lady parts, it wants reclaiming. Etymologically unflattering, it does not, as some would have it, refer to a crown. Its roots are deep in Old Northern French, carogne, translating as carrion.

Old woman – hag, putrefying flesh, cantankerous. Sounds…’Nasty!’ Cantankerous? We know what that’s like. Quarrelsome, ornery, and troublemaking. And if you trace the ancient roots of the word cantankerous we come again to Old North French (which makes one wonder what amazing, glorious old women were hatched there) contechier, which means ‘to hold fast.’

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Abducted by Fairies

You might have thought I had been abducted into the Other World.

It has been nearly a year since I posted here. You could well think I have been abducted by fairies. For I have indeed been inhabiting a liminal space.

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Brigid as Serpent Goddess

Early on Brigid's morn

Shall the Serpent come from the hole,

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Seeking the Source of  Winter's Grace

I live in a landscape of liminal spaces. This past Samhain I have been hovering, neither truly in this world nor out of it. Partly this has to do with pondering mortality and how we may live out our last days.  I am not dying (well, not that I know of at any rate), but there are others close who have been taken to that edge physically, mentally and spiritually.  2015 was a challenging and exhausting year, with many highs and some gutting lows for me and those close to me.  I have had to pause, hibernate and dip into the no-words place before I could break surface.

Winter has a stillness that I truly value. I am grateful for the ice that hems us in. I am grateful for the wood that snaps in our log burner and the candle that glows with my many special intentions. I sit and knit little squares that will eventually become a blanket for a refugee or migrant and I am grateful for the meditative space between the click of the needle and the flick of the loop.

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Occupy Sacred Space

If I were not a post-menopausal crone I might put down my frayed, tired and emotional state to PMS. But maybe the entire world is feeling that way, not just me? All I can say is that I am ready to embrace Samhain, the plunging into nights as dark as pitch with pinhole bright spots in the sky and  murky dank days. I associate Samhain as the reflective time, not so much 'down time' as spiral inside time. It is bear in the cave time, slumbering snake time, disappear down some interesting badger den or hare hole time. Less do and more be.

Ironic, since a lot of what I 'do' is encourage people to 'be'. I teach creative writing. I talk with groups and guide them around this corner of sacred land that I am blessed to occupy.

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Of all the Sagewoman blogs I have written, this one, Bake Your Lunasa Loaf For Peace,  hit a chord.

( http://www.witchesandpagans.com/sagewoman-blogs/away-with-the-fairies/bake-your-lunasagh-loaf-for-peace.html)

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Equinox Migrations

I moved to Ireland at autumn equinox in 2001. Autumn Equinox is inextricably wedded to migration as I remember the fourteen hour journey - three trains, a ferry and a car ride -that was the emigrant trail for me and our Household Goddess Sophie, our beloved and ancient tortoiseshell cat.  At dusk on September 21st  Tony's brother drove down the last road to our rental property. I was arriving sight unseen, since Tony had brought the dogs over the previous week.  The sphinx like profile of the Playbank hove into view and I was completely enchanted. That mountain has never let me go.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Playbank-Hagrid-effect.jpg

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  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    I add my prayer to yours that Danu bless and rescue these refugees. Americans have been terriblly remiss about taking them in. T

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