What a scrumptious evening. Perfect place, perfect weather, perfect program, and, of course, perfect women.
Let’s review the Mmmm’s.
Maidens – our precious young women who bring such spark and energy and offer such exquisite hope and promise for our future.
Maids – thank you so very much, some of our maidens doubled as maids — gladly offering service during the evening. Thank you especially to Meredith and Leah for your maidly contributions.
Mothers – how fortunate are the actual – biological or chosen – children who have the great good fortune to call these women among us, “Mother”. Some are relatively new on the job … some are well into it … some are seasoned … some are skilled … some not so much … some may be ready to move on. But all will continue to be mothers forever – there is no statute of limitations on this exquisite and exclusively feminine role. Some mothers are fortunate to witness the lives of their offspring and the offspring of their offspring. Some, sadly, outlive their children. But they are all mothers to their deaths.
Some of us have not mothered in the flesh, but have been and continue to be the mothers of creation, art, work, and relationships. We are honored and acknowledged for giving birth in our own unique ways.
Midwives – We were introduced to or reminded this evening of the concept of our role as midwives. We are ready to catch girls and women as they birth themselves into new paths and adventures. We are ready to grab girls and women who are at risk of falling off their right paths. We are the midwives of future maidens, mothers, and crones – both other crones and ourselves.
Of course! This is our responsibility! Perch at the site of delivery and guide the new feminine creature into her new role. Be there to catch the baby maiden. Wrap her into our arms and help to wipe her clean. Smack her on the back if she needs our loving power to get her going. Midwife the maidens – all of them – yours, mine, and ours. Midwife the mothers – what do you think? They can learn how to mother all on their own?!? Come on now! Are you kidding?!?
GrandMothers – let’s keep grannies in the Mmmms. How delicious to have so many GRANDmothers among us! And how wonderful that so many of the Grandmothers are also Crones!
And now the BIG “C” – the Crones! Sorry Mmms … our turn! We welcomed two new Crones on this exquisite evening. We gathered and started our evening with our usual beloved ritual – joining in a circle and invoking the four directions, the sky, the ground, and our own beings. We called our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, and friends into the circle. We smudged each other with sage. Being justly joined and purified, we moved to the Crone Ceremony. Our Priestess, Tammy Trejo, blessed us with wisdom about the Crone Journey and prepared us for the Crone Ritual.
We started by walking the path. The maidens walked one cycle … the mothers and seasoned crones two … the about to be initiated crones three. As Chris and Annette neared their destination, they walked through a blessed archway, receiving breath, touch, and loving expressions from the women forming the tunnel. Annette and Chris walked through earth, fire, and water and found their thrones awaiting their arrival.
Poised in the midst of flowers, candles, a waterfall, and a clear star-filled sky, Chris and Annette were initiated into Cronedom. Both were crowned and thus transformed from Mothers to Crones.
One by one, each Maiden, Mother, and Crone in attendance approached and made offerings of gifts … tangible, symbolic, and creative. Shells, plants, feathers, fruit, autumn leaves. Poems, readings, and songs. Treasures that may not have as much meaning to others, but perfect for goddesses and moon mothers. Treasures to add to our altars and to display as artifacts of our Mother to Crone destination.
Annette took on the Crone Goddess name of Sapphire Filly … an homage to her love for the color blue, her birth stone, and her love for horses. Chris took on the name Chrisinanna .. an homage to the Goddess Inanna and also claimed the title of Priestess of Play.
Then Sapphire Filly and Chrisinanna reciprocated by offering their gifts of appreciation. Each expressed their words of wisdom and thanks and bestowed gifts upon the gathered women, who delighted in receiving delicious chocolates, feminist buttons, and toys!
With the Crone ceremony complete and the casting of our circle, we moved to the comfort of our hostess’ retreat and relaxed together with food and drink. Too soon, the evening ended and we returned to our worldly lives … inspired anew and aware of our individual and collective divine feminine power.
Until next October … blessed be.
By Chris Garrett
I Am Goddess and I Am Crone
You might know about herchurch – the Purple Church on Portola Drive in San Francisco. I have become a dedicated member within the past several months and am as much in love with herchurch as I am with Moon Mothers of Half Moon Bay. I have a North and South destination for my experience of the divine feminine – both amazing.
One of my first transformational experiences with herchurch was the annual Women’s Retreat. Twenty-one of us gathered in the Marin Headlands for an amazing weekend. Perhaps the most powerful ritual was as follows …
At the beginning of each morning, afternoon, and evening, our leader, Pastor Stacy Boorn, led us in an opening ritual. We were instructed to move throughout the room and connect with every other woman. We were instructed hold our left hands over our hearts, place right palm to right palm, peer into each other’s eyes, and to say, “I am (name), and I am Goddess.” So twenty times, up to three times per day, I placed my palm against the palm of another woman and said, “I am Chris, and I am Goddess.” Palm to palm, I heard twenty other women say their names and the words, “I am Goddess.”
It took many reiterations of “I am Goddess” for me to 1) get beyond the awkwardness of this claim, 2) move beyond the embarrassment of making such a claim, 3) try this identity on for size, 4) ponder that it might be possible, 5) choose it, 6) claim it, and 7) believe it!
Now I believe it … I know it …
I AM GODDESS!
And now I am CRONE!
We didn’t really mark rites of passage in my family … not sure why. We approached one particular greeting card category in the pharmacy … Forgot Your Birthday … if we thought to send a birthday card at all. Marriages were just another get-together opportunity for drinking and eating. Likewise with funerals … no fuss no muss … cremate the body and then have a party some months later … another opportunity for drinking and eating.
So big surprise! I became a fat alcoholic. Seriously … almost 400 pounds and a bottle of Chardonnay a day. And gallons of Dewer’s Scotch. I spent some of my Maiden and most of my Mother years lost in ethanol and adipose tissue.
NOW I look at how beautiful I am and rejoice in the potential and possibilities for the rest of my life as a healthy, svelte, and sober CRONE!
I am so moved … so “whelmed-over” as one of my dearest Crone mentors says. It is as if all my birthdays and other rites of passage have been wrapped up and gifted to me in one big package. Within that package were all the thoughtful and beautiful gifts from the Moon Mothers … shells and songs and flowers and driftwood and poems and candles and more. For once in my life I was ready to receive … not only the tangible gifts but also the blessings … the messages of welcome from Crones … the messages of honor from the Mothers … the messages of respect from the Maids.
I can feel to the core of my being the new role I have accepted. I am ready to be a mentor … a midwife … a guide … a teacher for other women who follow their own paths. I am ready to give up ambition and move to generation … I don’t need a promotion or a higher title … I am delighted to share my accumulated wisdom and knowledge … that is enough. I can slow down … I can relax … I can sit in my rocking chair and just rock. And doze. And chill.
I AM GODDESS. I AM CRONE. I AM CHRISINANNA.