• ms. crone

You say crone like . . .

Once upon a time I called myself a hag. Now I call myself a crone.

A little (a lot) about me: I’m a writer, editor, mother, adoptee, gamer, student, INFJ, HSP Gemini. I’m a pastry-lovin’, fire-cider-brewin’, tincture-tinkering, tree-planting, vegetable-growing, sword-wielding, bird-watching, light-seeking dancer in the dark.

I’ve suffered (yes, suffered) from fibromyalgia, anxiety disorders, self-loathing, weight issues, poorly designed brassieres, heartbreak and self-diagnosed toxic workplace syndrome.

I’ve battled demons, narcissists, dragons, injustice and chin hair.

I’ve lost one biological and two adopted parents. I’ve been married and divorced. I’ve done the online dating thing and I’m, finally, quite happy single.

When I was young I was prettier than I realized, thinner than I was told, dumber than I knew, angrier than I should have been, and entitled to far less (and far more) than I believed.

I used to write about music, now I write about getting old.

Quite literally, the day I turned 50 I began menopause. I also planted an apple tree. That was six years ago. They say you are officially menopausal when you’ve had no menstrual cycle for 12 months. I say, you are officially menopausal before that. You can say you are officially menopausal whenever you’d like. We know our bodies. That’s one of the gifts of age.

My boyfriend during that time always made sure I had enough progesterone cream on hand. If I wasn’t looking for disposable objects to break, I was crying, itching, sweating or inappropriately laughing. I took up tennis.

I became insatiable for information, consolation and encouragement. I had a million questions — none of which doctors seemed to have answers for. The solutions I sought, the solace I craved arrived via Christiane Northrup, M.D., wise-woman author and herbalist Susun Weed, the “Power Surge” discussion board and a precious few friends.

. . . it’s a bad thing

It was in the wise-woman literature that I learned of the crone. And it was there that I discovered her in me. Also, and perhaps more importantly, I learned that crone is a stage. Preceded by the maiden and mother stages (admittedly, not all women experience motherhood) it is the final and, in many ways, most poignant. The crone stage is both the culmination of all those years and the shedding of them. It is the second act, the winter of our lives and nothing to do with practicing magic, though many crones do.

The word tends to evoke the ugly-old-woman-stooping-over-the-cauldron archetype, and thus causes many women to bristle. I get it — and its etymology supports that image. I’ve always found humor to be the cure for nearly everything, so when I think of myself as a crone or a woman in the crone stage of life it gives me a little chuckle because I don’t really look like that except for the stooping and the cauldron. Mostly, being a crone to me means being a survivor, being an example to younger women who fear aging and, sometimes being a hot mess and being OK with it.

As a longtime journalist in the alt-weekly market, creating a magazine for the enormously under-served market that is “older” women was a no-brainer. Naming it “Crone” (or as I like to write it [C R O N E] to symbolize its departure from the traditional definition) was the obvious choice, and I still get goosebumps when I think about it.

I hope you get it and it gives you a little chuckle and maybe a couple of goosebumps when you think about it because if you’re here you are a crone — like it or not — and we crones need each other like we need a cool breeze and a heroic hairdresser.