'Crone' Aspect of The Goddess –

an affront to The Lady?

This from Wikipedia:- "As a noun, 'crone' entered the English language around the year 1390, deriving from the Anglo-French word carogne (an insult), itself deriving from the Old North French carogne, caroigne, meaning a disagreeable woman (literally meaning 'carrion').  (charogne in Modern French = carrion - my note) Prior to the entrance of the word into English, the surname Hopcrone is recorded (around 1323–1324)." 

Carrion, of course, is derived from the Latin caro, carnis - a feminine noun meaning 'flesh' or 'meat', ergo 'carrion' = decaying or dead meat.  It is somewhat strange how people will readily adopt and use a derogatory expression or insult into their everyday vocabulary as a term of endearment when common sense should preclude the practice.  Why not employ other synonyms such as hag, harridan, shrew or virago?  Unfortunately in modern times we are too accustomed to government dictats coercing us to realise what is and is not politically correct speech, thereby discouraging us from exercising basic personal discrimination of what is acceptable and what should be eschewed.

So the dishonour of agèd womankind by deeming her 'old or decaying meat' is compounded by this offensive descriptor 'crone' and this I cannot and will not tolerate! 

No doubt such human 'crones' would strongly resist being compulsorily sequestered in a care-home or hospice simply because of their agèd appearance and sterility and not on account of being presbyophrenic, debilitated, non-ambulant, confused, deaf, half-blind and doubly incontinent!  I firmly believe these ladies would become justifiably indignant and enraged at this nature of insulting incarceration.

Whether the Lady is The Cosmic, Lunar or Terrestrial Goddess, one not only abhors this revolting term but also questions the validity of the 'crone' aspect which tends to promote the concept of post-menopausal sterility which is essentially erroneous.  Robert Graves, for obscure reasons of his own, was instrumental and ill-advised in starting the trend of appending this objectionable adjective to majestic and sublime female Deities.

The Cosmic Goddess continues, after aeons of manifestation, to emanate new life in stellar nurseries.  The Lunar Goddess in similar fashion will continue to stimulate cerebral activity, psychism & dependent physiology in humans and the Terrestrial Goddess is impregnated successfully on an annual basis ever since our planet achieved viable life-forms in the plant realm.

The obvious question here is "Do these Goddesses ever relinquish motherhood?" Heaven help us if They ever do.  Possibly this concept of aged sterility comes from humanity being preoccupied with linear time as Entropic increase, with resultant progressive energy withdrawal, engages in late life - the physical symptoms and signs of which are known as sarcopenia.  (There are also physiological, biological, social and psychological factors involved in this scenario.)

Nevertheless, Great Universal Deities (Power Houses of Force) exist in a continuum of cyclical time and one assumes that all with Nature-based spirituality march mentally in correspondingly sympathetic cycles but perhaps contemporary New-age aficionados and Wiccans do not!

Could the term ‘crone’ when applied to a Goddess, then, be in reality an insult? Should we wish simply to equate the word ‘crone’ with the positive aspects of longevity  such as wisdom, then that is acceptable but we should excise from our minds the concepts of sterility, barenness, decay and infertility, as Goddesses remain ever productive as well as wise.in all epochs.  The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states that Entropy increases with age in linear time but, I may add, Deities, whether noumena or protyles, are not affected by Entropy which obtains only in the realm of phenomena.

It should be remembered that in dealing with ladies (and men) in their dotage (linear time), we are on many many occasions faced with the allied complication of dementia or Altzheimer's disease - noumena and protyles (Deities) remaining devoid of this symptomatology. 

Indeed comparable indicators may be observed in far younger humans with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) and in alcoholics with Korsakoff's syndrome, so let us not generalise, therefore, believing the symptoms of presbyophrenia to be the sole province of the elderly. 

Perhaps we should keep in our minds the triple aspect of the Terrestrial or Earth.Goddess.as a sterling example –

  1. Maiden (virgin),
  2. Mature (and impregnated),
  3. Mother of Her children.

Her motherhood, not cronedom, lasts as long as humanity exists to the end of Her days, as does human motherhood.   This protylic period of nine months prior to birth, as in human birth, is followed by three months rest and revitalisation at Y Dychweliad (Candlemas).

Similarly, the Lunar or Moon.Goddess Who rules the airy corridors of the mind, the physiology of womanhood and oceanic tidal mechanics has functionality in triads:-

a. Conscious Mind -

  1. Engagement of consciousness (awakening)
  2. Maintenance of consciousness (the norm of diurnality)
  3. Remover of consciousness (onset of sleep)

b. Unconscious Mind -

  1. Initiator of all aspects of physiology (e.g. pubescence in living

  2. Maintenance of physiology (e.g. motivation of involuntary muscles
      such as in
the heart, circulation, endocrine & mononuclear phagocyte
      systems, lymphatics
et al..)
  3. Remover of outmoded physiology (e.g. menopausal changes - female
male).  The sterility, I must remind, in this aspect is that of living
      creatures, not sterility of The
Lunar Goddess.

c. Woman's.Monthly.Physiology -

  1. Ovulation
  2. Fertility potential
  3. Menstruation

The Cosmic.Goddess.can be seen to be analogous with the Lunar concept.

  1. The fons et origo of all metaphysical facts - Initiator (extrusion of
      new forms)

  2. The Maintainer of all in manifestation - Nurturer (Alma Mater)
  3. The Remover/Destroyer of all outmoded facts - Recycler ("the sow
      who eats her
own farrow") 

All of these are in perpetuity, per omnia saecula saeculorum - like the queen bee who is in a perpetual state of parturition (labour).

#1. Initiator (above) - the origin of all metaphysical facts. 
#2. above maintains a cosmic energy constant (1st Law of

#3. assists in maintenance of the Grand Array (Cosmos) in a pristine condition,
      devoid of the
long-term aberration of non-functionality in any sphere,
      by instigating necrosis.
(2nd Law of Thermodynamics)

The Cosmos (universe/multiverse/omniverse - call it what you will), therefore, has a recycling stratum par excellence and Ilya Prigogine's concept is validated - e.g.:-

 birth of a star >
     star life [stability] >
          turbulence [instability] >
               supernova [chaos] >

                    dust cloud [stellar nursery] >
                         birth of a new star.
(We shall omit the pulsar and black hole formation in this equation.) 
(vide Prigogine's definition of dissipative structures - 1977 and  Witten, Edward. Radio interview, Vetandets värld, Swedish public radio, 6 June 2008.)

There is no longer a concept of cosmic infertility/decay and the reversal into a 'big crunch' of cosmic death, as the components (mega galactic clusters) maintain their ever-expanding flight to who knows where, perhaps a 'big rip' unimpeded by gravity.  So there appears to be a conflict here twixt scientific reality and the Tantric doctrine that the cosmos returns to its quantum singularity, there to sleep until yet another new Day of Brahman* emerges. UNLESS, of course, the flight "to who knows where" experiences a rallentando until it reaches stasis and reverses into an accelerando to an inert singularity.   Time, or rather eons of time, will tell.

*Brahman, although considered neuter, could be thought of being the concept of totality, therefore androgynous, containing both poles of Nature or Divine Concubinage, i.e. perpetual union of Female and Male noumena - the Prakriti and Purusha respectively.   Keltic Metaphysics, however, is much more wholesome having Dôn, the Cosmic Mother pair-bonded with Her Consort Beli Mawr.  (vide the 4th Branch of the Mabinogi).

Be all this as it may, it is time to return full circle to human Cronedom.  I did have some discussion many years ago with a friend in Australia who, like me, detested the word 'crone'.  We thought of alternatives that could be appended to ladies of maturity and the only plausible term seemed to me to be 'matron'.  My friend who had been a Matron in a local hospital kindly rejected this and I agreed that it had clinical connotations.  My friend, although retired, still possessed agility of mind and in a trice arrived at the solution.  "And what better," thought I - Matriarch!

Copyright © Gareth Pengwerin 2011
All rights reserved             

(1. Maiden, 2. Mature & Pregnant, 3. Mother)


Could The Lady But Speak