Ride the Storm and Dance with the Crone – the messages of menopause

by Rachel Mayatt

Goddess as the Challenger of Illusion - artwork by Rachel MayattI’ve come to that age now when my body begins to change again as I make ready to initiate into the time of the crone and it’s a strange sensation sometimes. Thinking about it recently took me back to when I began to change as a young girl, developing hair in odd places, filling out on the hips and developing breasts. I don’t remember it being particularly obvious at the time, apart from the weird sensation that I had two bumps appearing on my chest when at one time it had been smooth.

I hadn’t had any teaching or support from family regarding periods as I came from a fairly repressed kind of family environment. My mother is a strict evangelical Christian and kept things fairly secret about bodily stuff, and when I did finally begin to bleed monthly, it felt more like a dirty secret than a life affirming thing. (But that’s another story I have gone into in a previous article.)

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Croning – a personal journey

By Rachael Clyne

Behive Chamber in the FogouThis April I turned sixty thus achieving cronehood, but I felt my journey began two years before in the summer of 2007, when what is known as my second Saturn return (Crone’s male counterpart) really kicked in; and boy did it kick in! Saturn returns are slow, grinding and thorough re-evaluations of our values and structures, often restrictive and lasting around two years.

That summer was the end of the cycle and I was shaken by the revelation that a lifelong friendship which I’d fully expected to last through old age, had run its course. I felt Saturn placed a scythe in my hand and I had to sever the cord that bound us together. Like someone said, once out, I couldn’t put the cork back in the bottle. It was inevitably fraught and painful as we separated our commitments over several months, and decades of sharing our lives, work and our spiritual journeys were all flung apart to distant memory.

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