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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Rituals ~ Croning/Eldering


Celebrate the Crone


A croning is a ceremony that acknowledges a woman’s passage into the third phase of life, honoring the third aspect of the Goddess. This ceremony usually takes place in a woman’s life at the time of menopause.

This ritual is written for a group/coven setting, but it can be easily adapted for the solitary practitioner. When done as a group, two women will be chosen for the ceremony to represent the Goddess in her aspect of Maiden and Mother. These women can be coven sisters, or they may be the woman’s relatives-- mother, sisters, aunts, nieces.

Also, I want to mention that I have not written an eldering ceremony for a man; however, this ceremony could easily be adapted for this purpose. Simply start by changing the three aspects of the Goddess to the three aspects of the God: the green man, the horned god, and the sage.

Items needed:

  • 1. A black candle to represent the Crone
  • 2. A white taper candle for the maiden and a holder for this candle
  • 3. A red taper candle for the mother and a holder for this candle
  • 4. A special piece of jewelry, perhaps a pendent or a ring, that commemorates this occasion and will be presented as part of the ceremony

The altar will be decorated with those items which honor the Crone, the dark aspect of the Goddess. This will include the cauldron, and you will use this fire-proof container to hold and burn the black candle for the ceremony. This cauldron will have a special place of honor in the center of the altar, place the holders for the two taper candles on either side of it.

A variety of herbs associated with the Crone, which could be laid about the altar to disperse energy, or burned as an offering, might include-- anise, mugwort, elder, hazel, hellebore and tansy-- Both hellebore and tansy are poisonous.--, lilac, lavender, jasmine, ginger root, ash leaves/berries, blackberries, or thistle.

The stage is set, the ladies have gathered, the circle is cast and quarters called to witness this epic passage.

  • 1. The Priestess stands before the altar, facing outward, to the circle and the women gathered there. The woman about to experience the croning stands before the Priestess, facing her. The Priestess says:

“We invoke the Dark Mother. Upon this day we call forth the energy of the Crone, that we may be bathed in her wisdom and experience, that we may embrace the shadows She casts, only to discover the light.”

  • 2. The Priestess will then light the altar candles and the incense, but not the black candle, and come back to her place before the altar. The Priestess will say:

“Who comes today to represent this woman and her journey to this point?”

A young woman carrying a white unlit taper candle comes forward before the
Priestess, she says:

“I come forth to represent the path of Maiden, to represent beginnings, discoveries, and potential.”

The Priestess uses an altar candle to light the Maiden’s white taper candle, which the Maiden then places in a holder on the altar. The Maiden takes her place to the left of the woman, standing by her side, facing the Priestess.

  • 3. The Priestess says:

“Who comes today to represent this woman and her journey to this point?”

A woman in the midst of child bearing age comes forward carrying an unlit red taper candle. She stops before the Priestess, saying:

“I come forth to represent the path of Mother, to represent fertility, strength, and purpose.”

The Priestess uses an altar candle to light the Mother’s red taper candle, which the Mother then places in a holder on the altar. The Mother takes her place to the right of the woman, standing by her side, facing the Priestess.

  • 4. The Priestess says:

“Who comes today to celebrate her journey to this point?”

The woman steps forward, saying:

“I do. I come forth to represent the Crone, to represent wisdom, experience, and accomplishment.”

The woman will then step to the altar and, using an altar candle, she will light the black candle that is sitting in the cauldron. The Crone will then return to her place between the Maiden and the Mother, where all three women will turn to face the circle and the ladies gathered there.

Now is the perfect time within the ceremony to include participation of family or coven members, allowing individuals to come forward to embrace the new Crone and leave a flower upon the altar as an offering to the Goddess; as each individual passes through, they will then return to their place in the circle.

When this phase of the ceremony has been completed, the Maiden, Mother, and Crone will turn once more to face the altar and the Priestess.

  • 5. The Priestess says:

“You have forged your path in life. You have stood in the light and the shadows as well. To celebrate your arrival at this stage of life, you shall receive this token-- blessed with the elements and infused with the energy of the Dark Mother.”

The Priestess then gives the woman her special piece of magickal jewelry, either clasping a pendent around her neck, or placing a ring upon her finger.

The Priestess then says:

“May you continue upon your life path, walking it now as Crone, teaching the young ones the ways of the wise woman, spreading light upon those you love by embracing the shadows and the energy of the Dark Mother.” Blessed Be!”

The quarters will be dismissed, the circle dismantled.

Let the celebrations begin!


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