Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Crone

One of my closest friends went to Ireland about a year or two ago, and brought me back a wonderful triskel pendant (similar, but not identical, to the one pictured here). I wear it almost like a talisman. At the time, I had just finished reading Princes of Ireland, by Edward Rutherfurd. This is a wonderful book about Ireland from the time of the Celts. The more I read of pagan peoples, the more I come to think they get it mostly right. There seems to be more balance in that world.

(An aside: Please don't think I overlook or romanticize the brutality present in Celtic Ireland. There were blood sacrifices and the like. But, really, was brutality quelled in any way by the introduction of a monotheistic religion? Then as now, blood is shed in the name of god and gods. Only now is Christianity beginning to respect the environment, but I suspect that is for political gain, at least in the US.)

Take, for example the triskel. It is a three pronged conjoined spiral, that is, according to Celtic lore a symbol of the female divinity. It represents her three stages of being: Maiden, Motherhood and Crone. At the age of 40, nearly 41, I have been the Maiden, I am the Mother, and will be the Crone. What I find most interesting is that there doesn't seem to be a particular stage that is more revered than any other. It also seems to me that the final stage, the crone, is really the hardest to fully realize.

The word Crone connotates a shriveled old woman, hooked nosed and mean. When I was young, my mind's eye conjured up the evil old woman in the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. But really, a Crone is a post-menopausal woman full of wisdom, and willing to impart it. A fully self-realized woman. She is wise in the ways of the world, at peace with it, and herself. Able to teach without bitterness. I strive to be this woman. To shed the failings of my youth, find contentedness, and show, if only by example, how to reach it.



Dwight said...

Hi, rp! You opened a can of worms (for me anyway). Thanks! I love worms - at least for fishing. Here's my comment on the aside.

I believe Christianity has the reputation you described because most 'Christians' (not all) don't get it. It's about Christ IN you. (Colosians 1:27-28) It's not about keeping the 'law'. Jesus Christ fulfilled the law. Christians are not under it; they are under grace. In fact, where the law is kept (in your heart), grace cannot exist (Romans 6:14-15).

As Paul said, "to live is Christ." Or, as Swami Beyondananda ( put it, "We’re not here to earn God’s love, we’re here to spend it."

If only 'Christians' really understood grace, love, joy, peace, etc (living according to the spirit, Romans 8) - that it does NOT come from individual effort 'to do the right thing' (aka 'keep the law'), but that it comes from Christ alone (Galatians 5) - then, and only then, would Christianity shed the 'monotheistic religion' stigma. Until then, Christianity has the reputation it deserves (building walls and striving for political gain, as you suspect), because it's mostly NOT about Christ, doctrine, and spiritual maturity. It's about the people who claim to be led by God. Yet, they end up projecting onto others what they cannot overcome themselves - hate.

David said...

The world was smaller back then, and information didn't travel so fast. Sometimes I think it would be better to have been born in different times. But then when I'm hungry at two o'clock in the morning and only microwave popcorn will suffice....

rp said...

this blog is a place for me to either rant, or think some things out loud. Some comments posted in response to my words are themselves very thought provoking.

While I don't wish to enter into a religious debate, I believe that no matter which God or Gods a person believes in, they all basically represent the same thing: Love, guidance, father/mother figure, comfort, that sort of thing. Some Gods have a punitive aspect, some not. In the Cristian trinity, there is the good cop/bad cop thing with the Father and the Son. Pagans simply divide that between multiple Gods. Another balancing act with Pagans is in the gender assignations of divinity.

Where people (yes, people, not God or religion) get into trouble is when they force their beliefs on others (not at all what I think this is). If we just learned acceptance (not tolerance, tolerance, for me, has very negative connotation--it is either something unpleasant with which you are forced to deal, or what you build up). If we accepted that any form of religion is of equal validity as any other, and will bring us each to our own promised land, we would then truly have god in our hearts.

rp said...

David, here in NY, we call the 24 hour deli for a bag of chips and a 6 pack at 2am and have it delivered :) Truly decadent!

David said...

I miss having things delivered. :(

PS: After watching Apocalypto yesterday I feel perfectly content to live in the present day. :)

Dwight said...

This is your blog, indeed, rp. I simply felt the urge to respond to the aside. I hope my comment was accepted and not merely tolerated. ;-)

Anyway, thanks for the insight into the triskel. I agree that the interesting part is that the symbol represents balance among all three stages of womanhood. You might think 'crone' is the desirable stage. But the 'all in due time' distinction reminds me of my son growing up. It seemed that since he was a baby and people asked how old he was, they always said the same thing. "Oh, that's a perfect age." They were right. Whatever age he happened to be, it was the perfect age to enjoy the challenges and rewards that came with it. Likewise, it's important to be in the stage we're in as we age.