Sunday, June 14, 2009

Croning Ceremonies for Women 50-60, pride in aging

She Refused to Surrender to Old Age
At what age will a woman be croned? In my research, the age range is from 49 (one’s 50th year) and above. A Crone is essentially an elder, a female leader, counselor, healer.

In some cultures a woman's life has long been seen as having three stages, the Maiden, Mother and finally the Crone. These days, too often older women invisible, pushed aside and forgotten.

Many baby boomers are in their sixties now. Women are reevaluating and challenging former perceptions of age and relationship stereotypes. People are thinking outside the box and rituals are being embraced, reconstructed and personalized, including croning ceremonies. Women are being welcomed into the sisterhood of wise crones, honoring the passage into the third phase of life.

There are countless ways of conducting croning ceremonies. They may be timed to coincide with a significant date, such as a 50th or 60th birthday. Ceremonies range from spontaneous cronings at birthday parties themselves to ritual rites of passage.

Some ceremonies are personal, others are shared. Some are convened by an ongoing group for new crones and others are large rituals at women's conferences and gatherings. Usually the ceremony is conducted by women who have already been initiated into cronedom. Imparted is the title of crone, the woman may take on a special new name. It's a time to make commitments to yourself, the community and the planet.

Instead of desperately trying to hide her age, a woman who participates in a croning ceremony celebrates her age and her acquired wisdom. She becomes a guide and respected member of her community.

Alexandra - Elegant Rhinestone Crystal Tiara Crown

When I went to my friend's croning ceremony there was a glitter covered tiara. The glitter inevitably came off and got on people's hands, etc. They saved the crown and passed it along to friends as they had their ceremonies. I think a better idea would be a rhinestone crystal tiara that's more fitting for a woman who's reached this age. The cost isn't that much and it would be so much nicer.  It's made for weddings, prom and events such as fancy dress parties.

Groups may have other rituals, such as having the new crone walk through veils, celebrating her arrival at clarity in old age, or inviting her to walk through a birthing arch, symbolizing her rebirth. The ceremonies usually include food and festivities, and humor is an important part."

We need to have fun along with the seriousness,” says Neen Lillquist of the Headwaters UU Fellowship in Bemidji, MN, when a woman becomes a crone, “She lets go of mothering and perhaps fears she may have of aging. Her energies are now directed towards spiritual goals, healing, guiding, teaching, and being a living model for younger girls and women.

Please share any other books or resources
on Crones or Croning Ceremonies to add to this post.
Also available as Nook eBook

"Jean Shinoda Bolen's playful sense of humour and keen insight combine to offer women thirteen qualities to cultivate. 

"Engage in these small practices and you're bound to be a happier person, who's doing her bit to make the world just a little better. Here are thirteen brief essays to turn to again and again, in bad times and good, alone and with others." --Barnes & Noble

Crone Magazine has been growing in readership through the years and there are many celebrants who will help arrange croning ceremonies.


  1. Thank you for featuring my painting. When I made it, I was closing a chapter of my life. I had drawn her when very young... I thought she was a monster of sorts and feared her a bit. 16 years later I finished the painting - a reflection on past, present, future. I did not consider myself a crone, but had been guided by the crone wisdom of friends and family... I can only hope to be like her as I age, strong, yet sensitive, able to reflect, yet firmly routed in the present. I enjoyed your article. The spirit crone doll by Dollsbyaziza is very beautiful.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story. That's a great painting and the image fits in with what a lot of contemporary women may be feeling, our truth, our beauty. We're all so unique but some of the things we go through are very universal.


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