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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Year's End Dark Moon

Hasn't 2018 been the oddest year energetically? It has felt both overfull and stop and start. Old routines and ventures appear to be coming to the end. Or at least need to go fallow for a year. Meanwhile, what is beginning is also a bit lame and halt. Nothing is quite what it seems to be. Or at least that is what this crone divines.

We have just passed the night of the dark moon at the darkest time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In our rural fastness,without street lighting, night is very tarry at this time of year. And so, too, at this dark moon did my knees and bones complain and beg to rest. 2018 has been exhausting,personally and collectively.

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Hecate's Eve

A friend had to remind me that yesterday was Hecate's Eve. As a crone I love Hecate,her dogs and crossroads, her ways and means, her lantern light. I wrote several poems back in 2016 when I was participating in Joana Colbert Powell's 30 Days of Hecate e-course. It was a wonderful way to stay sane in what was a momentous year for me - getting married, turning 60, my croning ceremony.

And just prior to that croning ceremony I wasin Knaresborough, Yorkshire at Mother Shipton's Cave. It was there I realised that, along with Biddy Early, that she was one of my croning confirmation sponsors. She lived in a cave in the King's Woods and prophesied. She is an Anglophone Hecate made flesh. Here cave is really very, very, woo-woo!

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  • Hearth M Rising
    Hearth M Rising says #
    So pretty!

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How to Build a Sanctuary

I answered the phone. It was my brother-in-law. He opened the conversation with "Your country has gone mad." Which I know.He's absolutely right.  And he has seen some crazy in his day in Northern Ireland during the thirty years of The Troubles.  So how to not add to the sum total of crazy these days? The words sanctuary and refuge keep resonating with me.  We speak of asylum seekers and refugees. Sanctuary is a safe haven, which in ancient times could be claimed in sacred space by those who were hunted. In this cultural climate of fear, where do you build a place of safety for yourself and for others? How can you build a sanctuary, which is also synonymous with a reserve, although in that sense it is used when talking about protecting nature or animals.

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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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