Rise, Crone. Rise, Wise Woman… it’s Your Time
Of the many female archetypes that move through us, there are four that most women will more fully embody, during each lunar month.
At around the time of the waning crescent, and dark Moon phases, and when this same energy moves through our wombs and we are bleeding, the last of the four archetypes reveals herself, asking for embodiment:
Meet the Wise Woman, also known as the Crone archetype
The crone features in many myths and fairytales. She is the witch – the haggard old woman who lives in the forest. She is feared by children and a friend of death. From Hansel and Gretel to Baba Yaga, this archetype has become one to avoid. And now, in our modern culture, the Wise Woman is probably the least valued of all.
She has come to represent aging and loss: loss of fertility, external beauty, and activity. And if you think about how YOU are regarded by society when you have your period and are bleeding (and I mean in reality, when you’re achy and tired and slow – not in the vision of those unrealistically white-hot-pant-clad women in Tampax ads!) – these are not such abstract or distant remarks. (And the very fact that the media rarely dared to depict a bleeding woman realistically reiterates this archetype’s ostracism).
Older women who have moved through the portal of menopause, leaving youth far behind must identify with this too. The lack of space for any women not conforming to the fresh-faced, unwrinkled beauty standards of a society so fearful of the truth of women is a reality. She isn’t welcome here.
Yet the Wise Woman emerges though us all, once a month.
The Wise Woman archetype may bring with her physical pain, tiredness and the need to slow down. She may bring emotional sensitivity, introspection, or even feelings of being disoriented. But these sensations are all signals that an important transition is happening, as this archetype heralds the onset of metaphorical death, and with it: renewal.
This happens for us all (female and male) each lunar month, as well as for women during menstruation.
In the physical realm for the women, our wombs are literally releasing their life-source of blood, gathered to support a potential life. This is an actual death.
The presence of the wise woman archetype marks our graduation from the archetypal energy of the Wild Woman / Enchantress.
She signals the transmutation of the darkness, and the deep, wild, authentic emotions felt during the previous phase (and whilst many of us were in the throws of what is normally described as “PMS/T”), into wisdom.
Have Patience When You Welcome in the Wise Woman
The transformation she brings won’t happen automatically – this deeply feminine archetype requires our slow, still presence to emerge. She is old and wise and asks for our patience – if you have it to give. If you do, she’ll reveal to you the truth of your soul, your real, limitless nature and light the way to freedom from the constraints of society.
It is this inner archetype, that embodies your lessons, once they’ve been learned and processed by your younger self. Her weather-worn skin? That IS embodied knowledge!
And it’s this seedbed of wisdom, that this archetype brings into your life, that will create the conditions for your renewal and rebirth once more. When you begin again – next cycle within and next cycle without, unless you have integrated, you’ll simply repeat the same patterns of learning that you failed to rise up from last time.
This most feminine of wise, wise archetypes is deeply connected to the more subtle realms of existence.
She connects and communicates with energy and spirit (as you can, so much more powerfully when you are bleeding – perhaps here lies the root of much historical fear of menstruating women?) The wisdom that you have gathered on your journeys will reveal to YOU the deepest truths of the Universe. If you invite this female archetype willingly into your being.
This archetype is pretty incredible!
It does take perseverance to create the conditions for her emergence.
This is because so many of her qualities are in such direct discord with society’s expectations of what the character of women should be like! But find space and time to let her in, and it’s so worth the effort.
Here are my methods for bringing her into presence so that we can receive her gifts:
1. Honour the Dark Moon phase.
The dark Moon is the time in the lunar cycle when the sacred crone archetype emerges. Unburdened by duty, responsibility and the “shoulds” of all other phases (and archetypes) this phase is for surrendering to the mystery.
You can also find out my favourite dark Moon practices in THIS POST
You could also attend (or host) a women’s circle. But instead of a New Moon ceremony, why not gather together with like-minded sisters under the dark Moon and explore the cron archetype together?
Or simply retreat away from stimulation altogether, for the day or evening of the dark Moon, and spend time tuning into your inner-self.
2. Move Closer to the Spirits
Speak to them. Ask them to move in close, dream with you and walk with you. Listen. If this isn’t something you’re used to, try guided meditations that will take you on a journey to meet your spirit guides. Do this regularly to form relationships with them.
3. Cultivate Your Intuition
Work on developing your own sense of intuition. Act on it! This will reinforce your ability, and bolster your capacity to trust your instincts.
4. Familiarise With the Subtle Realms
Work with energy on a daily basis. Cleanse spaces with incense, set your day with intention, and bless the food you eat. Use and give value to your energetic, physic abilities.
5. Accept your Shadow
Spend time with her. Don’t be afraid to sit in your discomfort, your darkness, and pain. Resist the urge to judge yourself (or others), instead express the wisdom of compassion.
6. Love your period.
YES! It’s possible. Your cyclic nature is truly your power and when you bleed, it’s a gift, an elixir. Sound a bit extreme? Connect with your blood – try re-usable products (washable pads, or a moon-cup for example) so that you start to realise its, and your, transformative potency.
7. Listen to Sadness
If you feel yourself slipping into fear or depression, then it may be that these states hold a message for you, so listen. Try to allow yourself the time to retreat and slow down, to reflect and find insight. Then emerge slowly (and trust that you will emerge). **If you do suffer from chronic depression, though, make sure you do seek help.
8. Let Go
Learn to release, on all levels of existence. Let go of actual, physical objects, and old, outdated feelings and beliefs. Question whether the emotional patterns you hold onto belong to a younger, less-experienced version of yourself. You may have needed them at one stage in your lif, but now they are a hindrance. So thank them for their help, and let them go.
9. Embrace Change
Allow change to manifest in your life without resistance. Remember, the Inner Wise Woman is the archetype of transformation, and whilst her presence may at first seem scary and unstable, it’s through her that your re-birth will come.
10. Share Your Wisdom
She’s not called the wise women for nothing! But rather than imposing your views and opinions on others, cultivating this inner female archetype means developing a sense of the value of your own experiences and lessons. Then learning that where appropriate, you can share them to help others.
11. Love yourself
A wonderful practice to develop self-love is to spend anything from 2 minutes gazing into your own eyes in the mirror. (Yes, really – try it!) Look beyond your appearance, deep into your soul. Learn to love what you see there. Learn to embrace your looks, particularly any physical signs of aging that are appearing.
Your body and face are the canvas across which your own experiences and wisdom slowly emerge, as life progresses. Spend a couple of minutes staring at yourself in the mirror, appreciating this beautiful record. You are a work of art!
12. Use Crystal Magic
Place some deep purple amethyst around your home, or next to your pillow, to activate and enliven your intuitive awareness.
The Wise Woman archetype, or Crone is one of the most valuable you can embrace, when consciously learninf and progressing through the personal myths of your life. And she’s the well from which you can offer the compassion, wisdom, and guidance to help others too.
But she is also the least recognised, and least appreciated of all.
The qualities that she contains (and therefore strengthens in each of us) are some of those that I feel have been most feared and suppressed in the women of our ancestral lines. And this is why it is often so difficult for us now, to re-ignite and value them.
But we must.
I invite you to meet her.
And become her.
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