Metamorphosis of the Crone

Metamorphosis of the Crone

Last night I had a dream
the Triple Goddess appeared,
first as a dancing girl
who wove violets in my hair,
then as my silent mother
who led me by hand to a mirror.
There, a beautiful, ugly
old hag stood laughing at me
and with her laughter
I began to laugh too,
as each flower metamorphosed
into love, poetry and music.

Music I heard long ago
in the first flowering of life,
now, the playful virgin
who became the loving mother,
was pushing me out
of my cosy, middle-years nest.
Pulling me into something new
as I stumble past midlife,
to alight upon a silvery path
that began with waxing maiden,
led to full mother
and will finish as waning crone.

The chorus sang of singing
with age-ing to sage-ing sisters
beside the cosmic cauldron,
rousing my moon-guided soul
to metamorphose itself
into a green and juicy crone.
Share your wisdom they cry,
dancing wild and free
around Hestia’s hearth-fire,
liberating the light of the soul
in older, wider bodies
belonging only to themselves.

Praise be, each crone cries,
let the wise-woman within
step forward to claim
Hecate’s Triple Moon crown,
invisible to the world
now all eyes are off her body.
For we crones are no longer
interested in clearing up others
piss, shit, puke or lies,
no longer will we serve the ego,
come burn your apron poet,
take down your family nest.

On waking I grab poetry’s pen,
watching my ink turn red
as I craft with the crones,
while the ripening heart-berries
of my feminine soul
dance with conscious delight.
From deep inside the well
of black masculine font,
my pen slows down
to soul speed,
as I dive into watery, feminine
words and worlds.

Let Sophia make herself known,
my hand sings to the pen,
for as poets, writers and artists
is it not our task to free
Her Divine radiance
from the darkness of our matter?
Which way to turn, I howl,
after years of animus dieting
and dancing with hermaphrodites,
in a world filled with
distorted feminine mirrors,
where do I find the crones?

Where are the older women
who no longer binge or starve,
have self-seeking surgery
to change the way they look,
or still snared in bitchy battles
with their shadowy selves.
Alas, where is the crone
and why does my path lead me
past lines of pouting fillers,
botoxed faces, tattooed brows,
photoshopped, augmented,
sixty and seventy year olds.

No I don’t wish to follow those
puella fake-lashed women,
those wrinkle-free gurus
who live comfortably with lies,
while filtering fakery
behind flashy #insta profiles.
Did I use the word women
to portray these caricatures?!
No, where are the crones
those holy hags, green witches,
keepers of keys and torches
in touch with Gaia’s rhythms.

Where are our medicine women,
full of magick and mystery,
the ones who exude
immense love and warmth,
not from beautiful young faces
but from beautiful hearts.
Silver soul-sisters who know
the ways of hidden things,
who know that the reality
of the life of the body
is deeply connected to the reality
of the life of the soul.

She who’s lived through
endless dark nights
of death, violence and birth,
yet somehow survived,
she who knows how to live fully
and is not afraid of death.
She who, when she speaks,
neighbourhoods are wise to listen,
she who is not afraid to sit
and wait in the darkness,
she who knows what she knows
and knows what she doesn’t.

Those archetypal big sisters
who journey between worlds,
full of wise innocence,
ancient, yet eternally young,
seeing three ways at once
yet guided by the one moon.
Respectful of Mother Nature
and all things green,
whose mysteries are understood
in rambling reverence,
honouring the deeper secrets
that sleep beneath the earth.

Come jump inside the cauldron
of your own body,
drop into Kali’s fiery wisdom
of blood, bone and flesh,
burn and disintegrate,
let Hecate find you in the ashes.
For inside each of you waits
the soul you are seeking,
to reach Her
you must transform inwardly,
read between the poet’s lines
to find a way in, not out.

Take me in your arms old hag,
wrap me in mystery,
let love, poetry and music
fill my croning years with song,
hold high your twin torches,
illuminate the darkness.
Oh most luminous goddess,
dark mother of the woods,
my first and last love,
let my body and soul merge,
help my metamorphosis
into one of Hecate’s holy crones. 


© Deborah Gregory 2021
Image Credit: Google Images 

28 thoughts on “Metamorphosis of the Crone

  1. Oh my word, Deborah what a wonderful dream and what a beacon of light, or should I say clarion call, to the women who will let go of the expectations of others to live in freedom from fakery, aging with wisdom, proud of their bodies and their growing connection to nature.

    I love that I’m past 60 and finding my way on this path – learning to let go of pleasing others, enjoying the freedom to be my authentic self and spending more and more time soaking up Gaia’s wisdom and energy in woodlands or even just in my garden, talking to the birds and plants (I think my neighbours think I’m crazy but I don’t care, I’m getting my crone on!) watching and learning more and more about the cycles of life…and getting more creative. As I age I have given myself permission to have more of a creative life away from the competitive business orientated life I once led.

    Yes our bodies slow down but it’s so wonderful that the transformation brings us so much new learning and life experiences as we age. And here, on your blog, there is such a band of crones…and “crones in training” who all connect through the beauty, honesty and wisdom of your poetry.

    Ps On the subject of creativity I’ve been listening to Clarissa Pinkola Estes “The Creative Fire” on audiobook – she is such a wise woman and her voice is mesmerising…the book is an excellent inspiration for creativity. Here’s a link

    1. A clarion call, I love that! Thank you so much Sophia for your wonderful comment on my new poem! It’s a big soul-sisterly yes from me to more freedom from fakery and for us all to age with wisdom in our older, wider bodies. I love being outside in nature and connecting to those rhythms.

      By the time my second Saturn return is over, I’ll be moving closer to my sixtieth birthday and joining you in that next decade. Perhaps that would be the right time to publish my Animus Diet book and not next spring? Or perhaps a new one? Hmm, I’ll see how the writing plan goes.

      Ha-Ha! “Getting your crone on!” That did make me laugh! Indeed, why not talk to birds and plants! When I was a child I can remember singing by myself to cows in the field or perhaps I did this with my siblings too, anyway I felt such a strong, instinctual connection at the time.

      What you write about giving yourself permission to have a creative life is so important on a healing journey … as a poet I sense my life depends on it! Thanks for the link. I love all things by the wonderful Clarissa Pinkola Estes, including her audiobooks. Love and light, Deborah.

  2. Love this, Deborah, it’s a timely wake-up call. What a story; what a dream, and how beautifully delivered. Let us all ‘read between the poet’s lines’ – this poets, anyway.

    1. Thank you so much Cath for your wonderful response! Sunday night’s dream was mind-blowing, especially the moment my mother stepped in and led me to the mirror and the laughing hag. I think I’ll be reading between the lines for years! Love and light, Deborah.

  3. What a glorious ode to the triple feminine. I’m blown away, dear poet.

    Here we are, and there are many of us learning to embrace our age and change. We’re walking parallel paths, some a few years and a few steps ahead or behind. All heading toward Hecate’s crossroad. Allowing age and solitude to teach and the animals (there was a red fox in my yard a few evenings ago, just passing by) and the butterflies, birds, and flowers. I loved your line about having “older wider bodies only to themselves.” That’s me. And also the disinterest in cleaning up after others and for me a disinterest in cooking for others unless it’s a shared feast and that’s been hard during covid. So, an embracing of solitude (hello Artemis and Hecate) and a life with dogs and butterflies. Since my house, including the back porch is being painted, the Monarchs live in my office now–about 50 in crates and 50 in individual jars with leaves until they’re large enough for me to keep track of them in a crate. Then I see the old faded butterflies with wounded wings in the garden, having a sip of nectar before they meet the end. The butterflies teach me that wild and impossible transformations happen every day. I just have to pay attention.

    Sending love and gratitude to you, dear poet, as you share your journey and wisdom. With love from a world between your country and the western fires in this country. I’m being taught the preciousness and smallness of this earth as the forest fires in Canada and the western United States send their smoke to my sky and air. May the Earth survive!

    And I love being connected with you and sharing your work on Facebook.

    1. Wow! I’m elated to receive such a glorious reply! Thank you so much Elaine for the gift of your beautiful, warm, wise words. You, Jeanie and Susan have long been my inspiration on my path towards cronedom and the Triple Goddess Hecate. Although I trail far behind in my years and wisdom, I’m ever keen to catch you up, my beautiful silver soul-sisters, and join you in becoming a crone. I sense that I have far to go but I know this path under the leaves of my life is clearing a little as I continue my journey … mainly with my pen and eyes as reading and writing and dreaming is what I love to do the most in this beautiful, ugly life of mine.

      Like you, being outdoors in nature, especially when hiking, is absolutely vital for my learning of and listening in, like a barefoot witch in the grass, to Gaia’s rhythms and cycles. Yes, having an older, wider body is natural for many women! A life with dogs and butterflies, oh how your living evokes the Goddesses my dear friend and something deep within me too! Ah, so the butterflies are now inside the house, Elaine, I guess this is all part of your story and makes me think deeper about becoming a crone for instead of emerging like your beloved Monarchs, a woman must submerge, descend, go under, learn to read between those liminal lines.

      May the Earth survive! Yes, its goodbye Twitter, hello FB … what have I been waiting for! Oh, I love that! Sending you much love and light across the oceans and oaks between us, Deborah.

      1. I find FB serves me better and makes deeper connections. I have more names to suggest for you, but you’ve done a lot in a few days. I saw a large Monarch mama or papa along the trail today on a healthy milkweed plant. I left it where it was to finish life outdoors. I look forward to having the back porch painted (early this week, I hope), so I can move my kids back outside in the fresh air. All the windows are open in my office because of the heat, and they smell, only faintly, of healthy soil or well digested compost. My office has two dogs and about 100 Monarchs in various stages of growth. Such pleasure.

        1. Oh happy days my dear friend! Following your beloved Monarch butterfly adventures throughout each summer fills my heart with joy! It’s been quite a few summers now hasn’t it! Ha-ha! I love that you included Willow and Disco in your “various stages of growth” comment! Lovely Willow must be at least ten? Disco, two? Good luck with the painting and thank you for all your FB help, I’m like a clueless five year old yet enjoying the play!

  4. WOW! indeed, Aladin!! Wow, wow, again and again. Oh, Deborah, I’m absolutely blown away by the heart and beauty of this poem! And your dream! My goddess, woman! Your soul really brought out the silver with this one! I love it so much that dreams don’t lie. They are simply nature showing you who you are and what’s happening in you right now and what you have the potential to become! This one says a great deal about you, and to you. And I love what I hear and see. Love, Jeanie

    1. Oh, I’m literally flying over the moon that you love this one Jeanie! It’s been slowly seeping out, beam by beam (verse by verse) all week. It was “time to bring out the silver” indeed! Thank you so much for your heartfelt, beautiful reply and inspiration! My dream on Sunday night was extraordinary, especially when the violets changed into poetry, love and music and the crones tell me to destroy my family nest as they themselves rip apart a nest of sorts. Also, it was the first time my mother appeared in a dream since she died three months ago … so it was a very special dream indeed. I love what you wrote about my potential, I just need to keep sitting on my ego and making friends with my shadowy self to stay on track. Should be easy? Eek! Love and light, Deborah.

    1. Many thanks BW for your beautiful gift of words. Here at the midpoint of this poet’s 2nd Saturn Return, I find there is much to muse and reflect upon as I enter my own croning years too. Blessings always, Deborah.

  5. Outstanding!!! Deborah, your poetry hits the mark every time!! As a woman in her forties you’ve given me something incredibly special to look forward too instead of worrying about my wrinkles and having a wider body. One for the new book maybe? I’m left hungry and eager to become a crone now, be a part of that tribe of old, wise women. All the best, Anna

    1. Wow! I’m, I’m, I’m … simply bowled over to receive such a generous response! Thank you so much Anna. I’m typing in tears to read that this has been a gift for you and one that you’ll take into your own croning years! I love that you’re hungry to become a crone! Yes, this poem will be included in my new “Animus Diet” book due to be published (hopefully) next spring.

      1. Tears of joy I hope. Since nobody has mentioned the image I will, it’s amazing!! Can I order a copy of your book in advance please? Seriously!! 🙂

        1. Definitely! Yes, the image is incredible, I found it on google but sadly despite looking for ages I haven’t found the artist yet, will post when I do. Ha-Ha! I’ll let you know as soon as the book hits Blurb bookstore! Love and light, Deborah.

  6. O such beauty Deborah thank you, such longing, such yearning to be free from the falseness of the world, free to be who one is, with love glowing and flowing in all things. Free to enter into the mysteries willingly, knowingly, following the eternal path to wisdom. The freedom to know that the dark night of the soul has purpose and impetus, pointing, urging to be steadfast …

    Am bowled over by these beautiful words that make me feel brighter and lighter thank you so much Deborah! Love, Susan

    1. Oh, I’m absolutely thrilled my dear friend that you enjoyed my poem! Thank you so much Susan for your beautiful, poetic reply! Yes, to that longing to be free from falsehood, the ego and the lies, women, in particular are fed and expected to live. Yes, to that willingness to enter the deeper mysteries, “willingly, knowingly, following the eternal path to wisdom” I couldn’t have put it any better myself. And yes again, to all your soulful words! Crones are greatly missed from this world, I hope in my own small way I have put them back on the world’s stage and my own poetry pages. Love and light, Deborah.

      1. That you have dear Poet. Every time your pen, like a sword, pierces to all that is true. They are of the world and be/long in it. And, the image is beautiful.

        1. That’s so lovely, thank you Susan! Earlier this summer I re-read your wonderful book, “Aging & Becoming: A Reflective Enquiry” and was greatly re-inspired. There’s this one line that gets me each time … “Once, in a dream, my mother gave me a key with a chain attached to it …” I mean, wow! My eyes were literally popping out! Where will it go I wonder, and wonder!

  7. WOW! Such a strong, deep, and meaningful poem. That knocked one me out!! I didn’t expect to read a poem from you so soon. I thought it’d come later. But now, you fulfilled my soul and woken up my anima with this beautiful poem. I take it as my birthday present, a very worthy present. Thank you, with love.

    1. Thank you so much Aladin for your amazing, heartfelt review! Like all poets, artists and writers I never know when the muses will call, however, following an incredibly rich dream a few nights ago, my hand woke and started singing to my pen and so this is how this poem began. Yes, take this as a birthday present my dear friend! Love and light, Deborah.

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