I figured that if I waited awhile, I’d get more photos from those who were present at the Counsel. I myself only carried my iphone for photos the final evening, when we combined first, Honoring the Elders (see Part 1), then a Croning Ceremony, then High Tea, then the Crone Follies. Three of these sections of the final evening have been present in past Counsels, but not necessarily on that same evening. The Follies themselves are the climax, and the time when the Baubo archetype within Crone surfaces. For example, here’s Tara wearing what she identified as her “vagina” costume. Basically, she just got up on the stage and swished around, opening and closing her “vagina,” and we crones ROARED with laughter. At the end she said she had no idea what she would say when she got up there, all she knew was that she would wear her vagina costume, and I doubt any of us, including herself, remembers what she did say.
Tara, swishing her “vagina.” From a distance:
From close to:
If you recall from the first post, Alice is currently our eldest Crone Elder, 99 years old. Here she is, posing in the bower our Elders all moved through before being seated at the table, set for 26 Elder Crones, all between 80 and 99.
The empty table, beautifully set, awaits their presence:
The Elders parade through the bower:
A Croning Ceremony followed, where those who wanted to be officially croned passed through the bower into a welcoming tunnel of warmth and caring. I asked one woman, a take-charge, no-nonsense kind of gal, how she felt moving through the crones on either side who were caressing her, and she said it really felt good to feel such love and warmth. The woman glowed in remembrance. I have a feeling this is not a familiar experience for her in the world!
Each newly crowned crone then received a certificate. (This is a new touch, at least to me. Croning ceremonies vary wildly.)
Here’s a group shot, in between various Follies acts. I’m in it. Guess where (blue top, beige pants, head turned, left of center).
A few more Follies shots: Here’s the Witches Dance. Love the shadows dancing on the walls.
Another witches shot — they did try to all do the same moves at the same time . . .
Lots of other acts, mostly variations on singing and dancing. In between, Andrea and her mother Win served as SuperCrone MCs, and of course told jokes.
Their costumes reflected the theme of this year’s Counsel: Super Crone!
Of course, the local Raging Grannies made an appearance:
As did our beloved, and fantastic, long-time drummer, Simone La Drumma, here shown in a drumming workshop she gave before the Counsel began.
As I already indicated in Part I, our mornings were devoted to Storytelling and Wisdom Circles (groups of 10 to 12 who stayed together for three mornings for more intimate croneversation). Afternoons were given over to workshops that we gave each other, including one that I gave on the Origins and Evolution of Green Acres Permaculture Village which was very sparsely attended, in fact, only two people, one of whom was my dear friend Claudia, and the other a woman whose arm we twisted to get her to stay! She said she would, but only if she could critique my presentation. Terrific! So I gave my 140 slide show in a giant room with two women, both of whom ended up critiquing my presentation, saying I need to prepare each specific audience for what is to come.
For example, for this group, how many know about permaculture? Okay, fair enough. Crones, for example, probably don’t know much, certainly compared to the permies at the Permaculture Convergence back in California, where I gave the same presentation not even two weeks ago.
Another example, and this one threw me: “WHY are you doing this?” When she asked that, I couldn’t help but sputter: “BECAUSE IT’S NECESSARY!” I nearly yelled, “We’ve got to re-member how to cooperate, especially intergenerationally, and with the Earth.”
“Okay,” she responded. “Now you’ve got my attention.”
And now I know how to begin these presentations. Thank you.
Though my giant ego was seriously disturbed by the nearly empty room, there were nearly a dozen crones who came up to me that evening and over the next two days, seriously wanting to know what I was doing with Green Acres Village. (My workshop had been held late Saturday afternoon, when many crones were exhausted, and napping.) Each time I went into my spiel; but without photos, it’s hard to convey just how fulfilled people feel when they are working together in this way, while also preserving both individuality and solitude.
I do realize after this experience, that it’s hard for older women to even begin to imagine doing what I’m doing. It does take a lot of energy. But think about it: the young ones also GIVE a lot of energy. And they have more energy to give! And I feel so much more flexible now than I did a few years ago, less habit-bound, less my-way-or-the-highway. Plus, it’s more fun than living alone, which I did, for a number of years, after my husband Jeff died. Most crones do live alone, or in retirement communities with other people their age. But it’s just so obvious to me that we need to mix up our ages in order to truly thrive.
One woman, Betty, who lives in Atlanta, is very interested, in fact enough to come and visit for a few days, to see how we do it. She says it’s been coming to her that she needs to invite young people into her life. Yay Betty! BTW: The photo does not do this energetic, charismatic, and very funny crone justice.
Here are two younger women, indeed, we would call them “cronettes,” or “crones-in-training,” or “baby crones,” but the woman on the right here, whose face is green (she was the chief witch in the dance), says she doesn’t like any of those terms, that she wants to be called “Crone-X”, as in Gen X! All right! Love it! We certainly could use that kind of creative reframing as we go forward. The other woman in this picture is a gifted intuitive reader. At the Counsel, the two of them, who had never met, kept getting mistaken for each other. And guess what? Their names are similar: Shimayo and Shimaia! Can you believe? They wonder if they are soul sisters and plan to get together soon.
CALLING ALL CRONES! The 27th annual Crones Counsel will be held in Tucson, September 4-8, 2019. The theme will be “Changing Woman,” and they’ve already got the logo, thanks to Marta, one of our beloved long time artists: