The Crone… not an archetype we like to talk about because we don’t like ending in our society. As defined by Joanne Sienko Ott, St. Catherine University, “The literature describes the crone archetype as a pre-existent form in the collective unconscious that embodies instinctive ways of channeling wisdom, inner knowing, and intuition, guiding us through the transition of life, and going inward to bring forth the light for transformation.“
Only with age can we receive the gifts of the crone. To know life through personal experience and to be able to share what we’ve learned with others. We aren’t guaranteed to reach this phase in our life so wouldn’t it be wonderful to actually honor this stage instead of dread it?
Since I’m still in the first half of life, I can’t say that I have much, if any, wisdom to share on death and healing our relationship with it. That’s why I brought Janet on to talk about the crone and her inevitable association with death.
Janet was born to grief, and has been drawn to the sacred transition of death for as long as she can remember. Now embracing her own embodiment of the crone, she seeks to engage more fully in her healing journey, looking deeply at the things that have been carefully hidden for many years. This creates space to step into the purpose and truth she finds for her remaining time on the planet, whether that is measured in days or decades. She believes that as we approach death as a kind of birth, we can become excited to consider what we leave behind, and what we carry into light.
Join us in this provocative conversation about the Crone archetype and death.
On this episode we discuss:
• What is your first memory/experience with death?
• How did this experience shape the way you look at death?
• In the West we have a hard time accepting and talking about death, why do you think this is?
• How do other cultures look at or celebrate death?
• What are ways that we can begin to change our relationship with death?
• Is there a way we should be talking to children about death?
• What is an End of Life Doula?
Find Janet Online:
Resources From The Episode:
About This Episode’s Painting: The Crone
A mix of mediums and a love for the beauty of age, I created this episode’s painting with the thought of elegance and beauty behind it. During the making of this piece I was in a Georgia O’Keefe obsession so you might notice a few similarities there. Specifically with the hat, but I’m also a lover of hats.
The Crone in so many portrayals is seen as ugly and wicked, take any Disney movie you grew up with. But she isn’t. Her wisdom is a gift, a beauty that we can all appreciate and hope to attain. While she isn’t drinking from the fountain of youth, the wrinkles on her skin and the twinkle in her eye are all signs that she has lived and knows things you couldn’t dream of.
With half her face hidden we’ll never fully know the Crone. She will only share the wisdom she’s willing to let go of, the rest is hers to keep. Her story. To be held onto.
Since starting to love the relationship I have with the crone and embrace this idea of death, not only my own but more specifically the people I love, namely my parents, I have actually fallen in love with painting crone like figures, aka women over the age of 50. In the episode I mention that finding reference photos for women of a certain age has been a challenge, and our society’s obsession with youth is a huge part of that. But if I can’t find reference photos then finding paintings of this age group is even harder which is why I’m happy to say that my collection of crone figures is growing.
The crone is an invitation to live life to the fullest, to collect memories, and to accept the circle of life. From ash we were created, to ash we will return.
Whatever phase in life you’re in, whether you are the child, the mother, or the Crone, the crone has something to offer you. Comfort in the changes of life, wisdom from passing through each of these phases, and love as you embark on your own journey’s with death (facing your own or a loved one.) Add the crone to your walls as a reminder that beauty doesn’t come from the fountain of youth but instead from the experiences of a life well lived and know that she is here for you always to guide and give wisdom when you need it most.
Want the Print That Goes with This Episode?
Hang this painting in a place that will remind you to come home to your space and yourself every day.