Jane Fonda on "The Third Act of Life"

Jane Fonda discovers and lifts into the mainstream, in her beautiful, inspiring way, what we women started to explore in Crone Chronicles: A Journal of Conscious Aging, between 1989 and 2000. See also Crones Counsel and the more recent Crone magazine.

That our lives evolve over three acts is also denoted through the astrological cycles of Saturn, each of them 29-30 years long. Jane Fonda says she started to think about all this when she turned 60. No surprise for this astrologer! In fact, it was the fact of this third Saturn cycle that got me talking to clients about the years between 60 and 90, knowing that our culture ignored them at best, or vilified them at worst, in its constant quest to be or seem “young,” lest we lose value in our own and others’ eyes. This cultural focus on appearances especially affects women.

In Crone Chronicles, we referred to the ancient Triple Goddess, and her three phases, Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Jane refers to the third act the way we do, as coming into authenticity and wisdom and wholeness. Not automatically, but because we reflect at length upon the first two acts of our lives.

Rather than living from the outside in, we crones live from the inside out. This is because, as crones, we have learned to “swallow our own shadows,” i.e., integrate, or in Jungian terms, “individuate,” come to terms with, and forgive, even the most difficult parts of our lives.

It is this, what Jane calls the “life review,” that allows us to live and move with equanimity in the world, offering perspective, solace, and refuge to others.

 

 

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