It is also a time to celebrate and revere the Crone. Sadly, in modern society where age and beauty are the determining factors of a woman’s worth, the Maiden stage of a woman’s life is revered, whereas Crones are viewed as dried out, crotchety, cranky ugly beings who contribute nothing of value. Christine Gaudet poses an interesting question ~ what would happen if we chose to honour Crones as compassionate healers who radiate beauty?
With this in mind, my Winter journey with the Tarot is going to be one in which I explore the Crones of the Tarot; the wise, compassionate healer/teacher and holder of Women’s Mysteries and Rites.
The Tarot Crones we will be exploring are Justice and Death from the Druidcraft Tarot and The Hermit from the Daughters of the Moon Tarot . We’ll also explore the Cronesbody spread.
The Hermit (Daughters of the Moon Tarot)
This Crone is a shapeshifter who continually renews herself in the Maiden and Mother forms ~ having lived through all three forms, she can now move within them. She is the Wise Old One who knows the secrets of our universe, and symbolises that part of us that hungers for deep knowledge and understanding of both ourselves and our world. This Crone appears as the Dark Moon and lives in the unconscious, where dreams are born and intuition is guided. She is teacher, spiritual guide and protector, our Wise Grandmother. This woman knows the value of creative solitude, of aloneness (“all-one”) This Crone reminds me of Hecate, the Greek Goddess of the Underworld with the light in her wand lighting the way for us to seek our own inner truth, lighting her lamp in the abyss.
There is a beautiful relationship between the Crone and her Maiden form ~ the younger woman needs to revere the Crone’s wisdom, power and experience; the older woman loves and respects the humour and experience of youth. The two enrich each other with their different experiences and views of the world and glisten wisdom from each other, hence the Shapeshifting between the various forms of Goddess for this Hermit.
Justice (Druidcraft Tarot)
On the surface, Justice does not appear to be a spiritual card; in fact, it looks quite cold. But Justice tells us that now is the time that true understanding of our place in the world, and her sword is pointed upwards, showing us that the world of Air (reason and intelligence represented by Swords in tarot) is connected to Spirit. The pommel of the sword in the Justice card of the Druidcraft Tarot is two testes, serving as a reminder to us that the decisions we make sow seeds in the world. The Crone’s wisdom comes from experiencing the fruits these seeds sow.
Think of the two cards that precede Justice in the Major Arcana ~ the Hermit can bring you objectivity that comes from the inner work of Winter and the Wheel gives us the sense of the patterns and cycles of life. The scales seem to be balancing the two worlds with the message “You've spent all your time in one world, now it is time to move into the other to balance yourself out” which makes sense ~ the Winter world is an inner one, the journey is internal. We eventually have to step back into the world and start participating again, which is what Justice is all about. Justice is the Crone telling you it’s time to get back out there girlfriend!
Justice’s Crone energy (and please remember, it is about the energy sometimes with tarot, not the outward appearance ~ the Justice card is another example of the Shapeshifting qualities of the Crone) is straight forward ~ look at her posture, she faces you front on, hides nothing and has her eyes open wide, and is to the point (literally represented by the Sword). Her Sword, like all the Swords in the Tarot, is double edged ~ it can pierce to the truth and it can cut away what is no longer needed. The Sword is like the Crone’s wisdom and insight.
Death from the Druidcraft Tarot
How perfect to have the Crone as Death ~ 13 is the number of the Moon and there are a number of Crones who serve as lunar Goddesses ~ Hecate and Ceridwen to name only a couple, who also serve as Goddesses of Magick and women's intuitive knowledge. Death is often a sphere of the Crone Goddess, the Dark Woman of Knowledge, and this card of full of the symbolism of the Crone ~ the sickle (representative of the Harvest Moon), the river, which is associated with life and death; after we die, we cross the river to the Otherworld before being reborn, the snake that sheds it's skin to show us the process of death and rebirth is a continual process of transformation, which is the Death card's inner meaning. The wise welcome the cleansing power of the Death card ~ look at the tenderness with which the skull is treated ~ letting go, release, is an act of love and compassion, not anger. At the heart of Death is compassion ~ during the Winter we die to our old selves so that come spring, we can be reborn into new ways of working, living and relating to the world. This is the Crone's wisdom working through the Death card ~ She intrinsically understands both the power and importance of rebirth and transformation, and not only welcomes it, but is there to guide us, her Grand-daughters, through such times as we often resist Death in it's many forms. She teaches us that the old and un-necessary wants to die, and that we can open ourselves to the new with an open mind and full heart.
Simply shuffle your deck in your usual manner and lay out 4 cards in a row
1 2 3 4
1.Bones: the structure of your existence
The card in this position speaks to your survival needs, the root of your situation and it’s requirements. This also indicates your physical health, your financial and other physical resources that allow you to live life as best you can
2. Flesh: the intimate surroundings of your existence
The card in this position speaks of your friends, family, lovers ~ it indicates your bonding and social needs, address issues of emotional health, how you live with and love others.
3.Blood: the juice of our existence
The card in this position spraks to your needs for expression, creation and individual recognition. It also indicates our sexual and other gratification needs and feedbacks your self demands. This card tells you how to stay juicy!
4.Breath: the environment of your existence