"Season of the Crone"Poem by Gerina Dunwitch
Crone of Samhain's spellbound cold,
in Her cauldron of black are told
secrets ancient, truths and tales:
mystery Her light unveils.
She is wisdom, She is changes:
time and space
In Her hands, the card of Death,
for transformation is Her breath.
Crone of Samhain, Grandmother wise,
look into Her gargoyle eyes.
Let Her lessons teach you well:
life is but a magick spell.
"Samhain Goddess: The Crone" by
Arwens Grace (Angela Jayne Barnett)
Our modern-day Halloween celebration comes from the ancient Celtic holiday called Samhain (SOW-en). October 31 was the Celtic New Year's Eve, the end of the year. This is the time of the season which the Crone rules.The Crone is one aspect of the triple Goddess, made up of Maiden, and Mother and Crone. Essayist Christina Aubin says it is the Crone who "opens the Western gate for those who have departed to travel into Summerland. She rules areas of death and regeneration, occult sciences, healing, and the wisdom of the ages . . . . We use the Crone to assist us in transition from one life to the next, leaving one level of our existence and entering the next. This brings us into the Womb of the Mother to assist us in being reborn once again. For it is through Her Wisdom and guidance we learn lessons from experience past and begin life anew from the wisdom gained."
The Crone is known by many names. To the ancient Greeks, she was Hecate. With her black cloak whipping about her and her black dogs beside her, Hecate's territory was the wild night and the crossroads. She can manifest with three heads - lioness, mare and dog.
Cerridwen, "the bent white one", is a Welsh Crone Goddess. Cerridwen's name shows she's a moon-goddess. This Crone keeps the cauldron of inspiration and transformation. Into the cauldron the Crone throws many things, to mix and stew and come out changed.
The modern incomplete version of The Crone is the mean, ugly old witch flying on a broom stick across the moon. With her cackling laugh, her stringy gray hair, hairy chin and warts, she frightens children away. After all, isn't she the Hag with the poison apple?
Writer Scott Cunningham suggests we look at the "ugly" Witch figures as symbols of the Crone: "See the blackness of the clothing as the blackness of the sky during the waning moon. See the hat as a symbol of her life: as the Maiden at its brim, as the Mother at its midpoint, and finally as the Crone at its top. See the broom, if any, as a symbol of the Crone's ability to travel backward in time to retrieve of experience. Her white hair represents the moon. The cat is her companion, a minion of the night."Most importantly, see within that face—however disfigured it may seem to be—her determination and fire, her caring for her children, and the wisdom and strength that she's acquired. If it's green, see it as the green of the Earth, the coming fertility of the Maiden and the Mother that she'll bear anew at the first quarter of the moon."