She has many names according to Barbara Walker in her book “The Crone — Women of Age, Wisdom, And Power”. Wise Woman, Witch, Crone, Mother of Mothers.
Although I’ve been a Witch a long time, the name I use most frequently — when approached these days is: Crone. A title I have well-earned.
Let it be known, however, The Patriarchy has done all it can to erase her existence from the face of the planet for millennia.
This is not breaking news even to my generation. Walker’s book has a 1985 copyright. My daughters were not yet in elementary school back then. My younger child might not have been out of diapers. I’m 100% sure I was still thinking I’d never get a full night’s sleep again.
But I digress.
According to Walker — The Crone, the third aspect of a woman’s life cycle had many functions in societies past. Wise Women were the ones past menstruation. They retained their life-giving blood and instead of using it to create Humans, they used it to birth wisdom, to lead their people, to heal, to create art.
And lastly, a most important task — a task which is sadly lacking in today’s society — was The Crone’s duty as Death Bringer.
Not quite literally — but The Crone was the hospice nurse of olden days. She knew which herbs and teas to prepare to ease suffering. She knew what to do to bring about a Good Death. She taught the people about the cycle of life and how Humans were Part Of Nature — not separate from it as the patriarchy will have us believe.
She did not fear Death and she taught her people not to fear either.
We were born — as all creatures are — Of Mother Earth and to Her we shall return. We are not saved because we were never lost. We repeat the cycle of life — death — rebirth as She wills. The Great Creatrix — Shakti, Shekina, Sophia, Hokmah — She has as many names as there are religions to name Her. Yet, there is only One — so She is all the same.
Once The Patriarchy imposed its belief of eternal life upon the world — with the gates of heaven a competition, Life couldn’t be a cycle — it was linear — with an end game. Punishments and rewards. Love/Salvation had to be earned — there were rules — so many rules.
The Angel Of Death had to go. With all her herbs and wisdoms. Circles and cycles. Moons and phases.
Very very Dangerous Women — these Crones.
So they labeled them witches and sowed fear among the people.
Then they sat back. They let Fear do the rest — as Fear always does.
The people began to burn them. Their own people — began to burn the Women. All. The. Wise. Women.
Many times they burned the Mothers and the Maidens along with them.
But thankfully, they could not burn us all.
We are still here. We are still practicing our spirituality — believing in Her — Who Created All. The. Things. Remaining open to Her Love. Even in the face of The Patriarchy and all its ridiculousness.
We watch The Fear they still sow to this day grow and spread like the toxic choking weed it is. We remember — We stand against it — We pour Love upon it. We kill it at its roots with compassion.
We are The Angels Of Death. We are The Healers Of Wounds. We are The Singers Of The Songs and The Tellers Of The Tales.
We remember the smell of the smoke and the heat of the fires.
We are the great-granddaughters of the witches they didn’t burn.