Truth is divinity.
A female tradition that changes our values and priorities in amazing ways is menopause? Well, it can be. It used to be connected to one of humanities oldest mysteries. In many traditions the crone was the most powerful goddess, and crone does not equal ugly. Some people mistake that, but in fact the original meaning of the word crone and why it inspired fear, was because the crone was the most powerful deity. Be it the smiling and gentle grandmother goddess or the cranky old widow, she was still the one who knew most fully the rites of the mystery of life and the power of birth. They were even mimicked by men, sort of twisted, and is why much of men’s magic is so weak. There isn’t the understanding. In the Norse tradition it was called seidr, roughly meaning fate weaving and men who seemed sensitive to it were derided as womanly. But it’s still a truth even in today’s world, the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. If you see a families women together, maiden, mother, and crone, who’s in charge?
Even though women still are more likely to struggle with poverty. Regrettably that’s true, and it was not always so. The crones of a village cared for the young. This is why in fairy stories it’s always a grandmotherly figure who either teaches, or scares, sometimes both. The mothers were usually busy gathering from the fields or tending to infants and the village. That group of houses people called home, even the teepees of some Native American cultures, those belonged to the grandmothers and the mothers. The men paid with the sweat of their effort to share these with the women.
The warriors in Native American tradition could not go to war without the say so of the grandmothers. If the elders, the grandmothers, thought a conflict foolish it was forbidden. If a young warrior went on his own, it was to either count coup or likely he would die. Without the grandmothers there would be no warriors, and this is how the crone is so revered and why she’s connected to death. Also why witches were described as so very old, they actually knew how to survive. Perhaps woman’s intuition.
They guarded the passages of birth and death between the worlds. The grandmothers often were the only one to do a funeral. It was their sacred charge. They were the washers of the dead, also dressed them, and often lead the memorial rite, yet another rite of passage. A portion of the deceased’s belongings become legally hers, and this is true even now in South American cultures. The local bruja is given food just because she knows. They know she knows, and she advises. Where as they say “el brujo is loco”, the knowing old man is crazy. They usually don’t show a brujo the same respect. In that case it’s mostly just fear, they don’t reject him but he doesn’t have the place of a bruja.
So I respect women, but even with these insights they are still individuals. Even the crazy old male shaman still knows. Respect is something that we all benefit from if it’s universal.
The blood is the life, and all that live will die. Women see this mystery the most clearly, but even men are the children of women. That being dogs we are criticized for…ours is the mystery of the beast, of the hunt, and it’s vital also. Ours is the mystery of the enacting of war, which is only in balance if it’s in harmony with the feminine mystery of life. The truth is in the balance.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.