Crone Be Gone

Published under: Modern Generation Map, Women

Let’s find a bet­ter word…for who we are becoming.  

When­ever the word “crone” is used to describe an elder woman, I get an uneasy feel­ing.  No mat­ter how many well-meaning writ­ers have attempted to weave a more pos­i­tive con­no­ta­tion — my gut still protests.

The word “crone” comes to us from the Mid­dle Ages - from the Old North French word “carogne” that was used between 900 and 1400 AD.  It was a term of abuse for a can­tan­ker­ous or with­ered woman.  And, for many of us, it still car­ries that vibration.

Our lan­guage reflects our per­cep­tions.  The word “crone” is arche­typal (its energy pat­tern is derived from our past col­lec­tive expe­ri­ence and it’s present in our indi­vid­ual uncon­scious). Even though we attempt to give it a mod­ern day spin, we may still be under its spell.  I can almost hear it whis­per­ing that a woman with power is some­thing to be feared and marginalized.

At first, I thought “wise woman” might be an accept­able alter­na­tive.  But, even that doesn’t con­vey the potency of who I am becoming.

I’ll keep search­ing with an open mind.

The Amer­i­can Her­itage® Dic­tio­nary of the Eng­lish Lan­guage,
Fourth Edi­tion Copy­right© 2000 by Houghton Mif­flin Com­pany.
Pub­lished by Houghton Mif­flin Company.

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