Turning Sixty, Turning Crone

Dear Poets and Dreamers,

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but a seed buried within sprouted wings last week, as I dreamt of writing sixty new poems for my sixtieth year …

“Sixty years have passed
Laughter lines reveal secrets …”

© Deborah Gregory 2023
Art: “The Ancestor of the North” 1983 by Susan Seddon Boulet

“Turning Sixty, Turning Crone” will also be the title of my next book. I’m hopeful that publication will take place around late autumn 2025 … maybe earlier, maybe later …  

24 thoughts on “Turning Sixty, Turning Crone

  1. Happy Birthday dear soul sister! I love the variety of ways in which you see yourself through such loving eyes. Like facets of a diamond, a slight turn and a new view appears to reveal depth and wonder of your life process of ever-blooming to reveal more of the beauty of your soul. Then, to cap it off, you have the ability to convey it all to us with such clarity and love. Beautiful. Love to you sweet sister and blessings for a bountiful year.

    1. How wonderful! In pure coincidence this afternoon I started re-reading Marie-Louise von Franz’s ‘The Interpretation of Fairy Tales’ (I have several of her books on this subject) so, I naturally started thinking about you and your work in this area, and then hey presto, here you are! I do love it when that happens!

      Many thanks Pamela for your beautiful blessings and seeing me through your own loving eyes! I could’ve carried on writing these haiku yet felt compelled to stop at thirteen. Oh, I do love your poetic metaphor of each haiku representing facets of a diamond. Crone sister love and sixtieth birthday delight, Deborah.

    1. That’s lovely, many thanks Luisa! Crone sister love and sixtieth birthday delight, Deborah.

  2. Oh, Deborah. Congratulations on your 60th birthday! I loved my 60’s. They were such a lovely, productive time of maturing and following mislaid dreams. Your haiku poem is pure magick! And you covered so many important aspects of this time of life. You have a very special gift for that format. It’s not easy.

    I love Elaine’s question, “What do we call a crone when she’s 80”? As you know I reached that threshold this year. Good question. I would like to say “wise”. But I don’t feel wise. Maybe “older and wiser!” Haha. I guess we can all say that at every phase of our lives . . . Actually I feel freer, and more open, spontaneous, and child-like than I ever felt in childhood. I also feel more humble and compassionate. Is there a name for all of this? I don’t know. But it feels good.

    Much love and wishing you continued joy and beauty in your life and writing.

    Love, Jeanie

    1. Thank you so much Jeanie for your lovely birthday message and wonderful feedback on my sixtieth haiku! Sixty, certainly feels like a turning point as I prepare to write my fourth book which I had no idea was happening until last week’s magickal dream. No doubt this one, like the others … will take on its own unique shape, rhythm and spiralling journey!

      My answer to your question, is the same as my reply to Elaine below … we call her, ‘Most Beloved Sister Crone’! Feeling freer, more open, humble, compassionate, spontaneous and child-like sounds positively delightful. It tells me you’re ageing in the right way, although I’m not sure ‘right’ is the ‘right’ word! … I hope to write about this ‘ageing to sageing’ soon.

      Sending much love, light and laughter across the oceans between us, Deborah.

  3. I am realizing how important each step we take as woman and how we grow and learn are so important. Happy Birthday and Thank you for gifting us with your beautiful haiku on the Crone. I am 63 years old and I am just learning so much about our history of always moving, always changing and the knowledge just flows through me. I cannot wait to read your next book on the Crone. Love and peace Deborah ❤️

    1. Love and peace to you too, Kimberly! Thank you so much for gifting me this 60th birthday blessing! I’m so pleased you enjoyed my birthday poem, I write one every year, some sleep in a dark drawer, others see the light of day. Another crone poem I really enjoyed writing was ‘Metamorphosis of the Crone’ (page 86) which I’ve included in Soror Mystica.

      I see you are only three years older, so we are close in age. Yes, there seems to be so much for us to learn and this is why I’ve decided to commit to writing about ‘women and ageing’ in my next book. It’ll probably take me a couple of years to complete … maybe longer, we’ll see. Until then, crone sister love and sixtieth birthday delight, Deborah ❤️

  4. What a delicious and sumptuous poem. Thank you. Many things happened when I turned 60 from learning to support a dying lover and learning to live again after he died; to giving up my work in health care and taking a year to heal myself; to writing about soul topics and publishing a book. Marion Woodman’s influence permeated all of it. I love your idea of a crone’s book. (What do we call a crone when she turns 80 which will happen to me in under two years if I live that long? Older than old with a project still to complete.) Sending love and birthday hugs. Light those candles, Poet! Blessed Be!

    1. Thank you so much my soul friend and sister crone for your birthday blessings and sharing your journey, friendship and wisdom with me all these years. It’s been such an honour to walk beside you. Please know that you inspire me, over and over and again! What a metamorphic soul journey your 60s were, filled with the most transformative of life changes and how precious your friendship with Marion was, she was an inspiration to many, just like you!

      What do we call a crone when she turns eighty? We call her ‘Most Beloved Sister Crone’ and when you get to that age, I shall write a poem all about you and what you’ve gifted the world, and to me. It’s a promise I shall keep. I’m lighting those candles and last night filled my glass with Baileys and ice, a few days early I know but it’s the weekend, so hey ho! Crone sister love and sixtieth birthday delight, Deborah.

  5. Welcome sister crone, to this ancient threshold.
    May Blessings abound during this next ‘year around the sun’.

    1. It’s wonderful to see you here dear Catherine! Thank you so much for popping over and leaving your beautiful birthday blessings. Much crone sister love to you, your poet friend, Deborah.

  6. Such a measured, sure, confident, energetic rhythm to this Deborah! I can feel the beat from within and without.

    Is your birthday this weekend? Every day and every line seems like a birth day.

    Love, susan from the south

    1. Thank you so much dear Susan from the south, for your wonderful, thoughtful response to my birthday poem and book news! That you felt that beat ‘within and without’ brings this poet deep joy! It’s hard to believe that I’ll be sixty in a few days, the celebrations of which, gleefully, started last month.

      My first treat was a trip to my favourite theatre (Stratford upon Avon) where I soaked up another of the Bard’s masterpieces. We’ve seen several of Shakespeare’s plays there over the years but never Macbeth before, which was just extraordinary this year! Crone sister love and sixtieth birthday delight, Deborah.

  7. So then, I can welcome you into the club of the sixties (as I stay at the last step on the threshold of this) and wish you a fabulous and happy birthday. Enjoy it with your loved one, and thank you for this beautiful poem.

    1. Aww, thank you so much Aladin for your happy and fabulous wishes, my lovely friend! So next year you’ll turn seventy, what an age! Now I’m wondering what the male version of a Crone is? Sage, Elder, Wizard? Or is Shaman the title that describes men’s passage into his sacred, silver years? Do let me know, if you know, I’m interested. Love and light, Deborah.

        1. As a shaman is seen by others to serve his culture or community, I would say that you’re already on the path to the Shaman’s Gate, Aladin.

            1. Oh, I just thought Aladin … ‘Turning Seventy, Turning Shaman’ could be a new post title for you, next year?! ❤️

  8. This is wonderful Deborah – you have told the story of your unfolding as you approach 60 so beautifully through Haiku. I love the idea of this and how you have woven them – each Haiku a phase of croning in it’s own right – although I think you turned crone many years ago from the wisdom you have shown in your writing. I’m looking forward to your new book already!

    Many happy returns and welcome to the Third Age! Birthday blessings, Sophia

    1. Thank you so much Sophia for the gift of your wonderful birthday blessings! I’m loving this celebration of ‘Act Three’, as sixty certainly feels like a milestone age. Hopefully, I’ll be writing several more Crone poems for this new book. Today, I feel such deep gratitude for reaching this age.

      Writing haiku stills feels new to me as I only started writing this form a year or so ago after being inspired by Lori, another wonderful poet friend. I’m learning that you can say so much with its 5,7,5 structure and 13 haiku felt like the right number for this particular poem. Crone sister love and sixtieth birthday delight, Deborah.

    1. Oh, it’s wonderful to see you here Béa! Thank you so much for your beautiful comment. “Act III” & I ab-soul-utely love it! Crone sister love and sixtieth birthday delight, Deborah.

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