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Dria El
July 13th, 2001, 06:50 AM
Embracing The Crone
by Pamela Learned

Greatly misunderstood and feared is the Archetypal Dark Goddess, And rightfully so for those who choose to ignore her important role. She represents the cycle of destruction, death, decay and renewal. For many the word "Crone" may conjure images of a Wise Woman who guides and counsels us or the gentle Grandmother who possess great dignity and sageness. The aspect of the Crone that many of us loathe, is the dreadful Hag. In our society the Hag is the abhorrent embodiment of many women we choose to neglect, discard and ignore. She is both young and old. She's the drug addicted prostitute selling herself for the next fix. She's the old woman placed in a nursing home and forgotten by her family. She's the homeless lady whom you avoid eye contact with. She is the mentally ill woman in the throes of insanity. She's the elderly woman who's plans for a caring family don't work out. No one is exempt from the influence of the Crone.

My encounter with the Crone has been a profound experience. During episodes of debilitating panic disorder and clinical depression, I had plunged into darkness, confusion and pure terror. During this intolerable state of melancholia, I wished for death and death I received. Death not only manifests as physical death, but also as a psychic death. Being in this immobilized stage of my illness, the Crone's intrusion into my psyche was a poignant reminder that I was losing myself. Faced with the loss and death of things that had once given my life pleasure, structure and purpose, I mourned in a catatonic state. In this dark abyss of madness I saw a distant light, and realized I was in Hekate's realm.

Hekate (pron. heh-KAH-tee) is the Greek embodiment of the Great triple Goddess. She is a Lunar Goddess most often linked with the dark of the moon, childbirth, prophetic vision, death, the underworld and the mysteries of regeneration. Goddess of the Crossroads, the triple-faced Hekate rules over the three great mysteries of birth, life and death. Portrayed as a torch-bearing Goddess, Hecate wears a crown of blazing stars whose light pierces the darkness of the underworld. Hekate is the Goddess of all composting matter. From death and decomposition thrive the fertile substance that ensures and nourishes new life. Glowing Hekate finds the new seeds and pushes the vital force of spirit from below to above, up to the living, and the cycle of re-birth, life and death continues.

Triple-faced Hekate also presides at the crossroads of our unconscious. As Crone, she not only portrays the destructive side of life, but also the necessary forces that make growth and healing possible. Accompanied by a lot of blood, sweat and tears, are the growing pains of this healing process. The end result is truly a gift.

In my own Dark Night of the Soul, torch bearing Hekate illuminated the hidden parts of my psyche, revealing layers of repression. Such clarity of these hidden labyrinths of my subconscious were excruciating. I became plagued with constant flashbacks of past trauma's, hallucinations and violent nightmares. My existence had become fraught with memories of self-destructive behavior, and near annihilation of self. The insidious terror that plagued my every waking hour, is beyond description. Solitude and isolation had enveloped me in a cocoon of what seemed like perpetual non-existence. In retrospect, I'm certain I was in the process of transformation. By moving through the darkness and facing this Dark Goddess within myself, I received her gift of perceptiveness and renewal.

Hekate's Torch burns ever brightly in my earthly realm as it did in my underworld. With keen eyes I see the picturesque beauty of my surroundings. With biting tongue I taste the intoxicating nectar of life. With sharp ears I hear sincerity of endearing words. With perceptive nose I scent delicious earthly aroma's. With acute touch I handle both the physical and emotional with gentleness and empathy. Embracing the Crone has given me perspicacity of the sorrows of the world, and in turn a reverence for the joys and pleasures.

Spirahl
July 16th, 2001, 02:59 PM
Panic disorder- me too.
Thank you very much for this information Dria El.