Ceremony and ritual clear the path, they open the door, honor the individual and the collective. One of the rite of passage ceremonies that I offered in my work with private clients and with guests at Canyon Ranch was honoring the croning phase of the woman's journey. Culturally, we aren't crazy about the crone. Every woman at a certain age in this culture is supposed to turn her face away from aging. If you haven't already noticed from the advertising, being lifted, supported, smoothed, tucked up or over and otherwise preserved in some way is what the culture demands of its crones. And if you don't make yourself look like you are 30 you become invisible to the rest of our society.
The crone ceremony became very popular in my work because it filled a deep need and longing to welcome in the deep wisdom. The ceremony honored women who wanted to move into their rightful place of power of that stage.
As I write this, I am 42 and for a while I did wonder if I should be guiding women through the croning passage that I myself have not moved through. I spoke with some wise crones about this and one wonderful, supportive wise man about it to have a counterpart view. I was encouraged to continue and the women kept showing up asking. I listened to this because while I don't understand all the workings of this Great Mystery, I understand enough now to know that when the knock comes - best to open the door.
This morning, I picked up the book, The Crone, once again. I have flipped through it many times through the past years. Today however was the first time that I saw the inscription from the previous owner on the very first page. 'Wise Woman, you inherit this story now, you who acknowledge no other master than the divine.'