The metaphor of standing uncertain in a winter landscape—needing to turn inward, into the stillness—is a valid metaphor for the collective consciousness on our planet right now. Collectively, we just don’t know what’s going to happen or where we’re all headed.
Isn’t it an insult to call a woman a Crone? I’ve invited guest blogger Dale Allen to tell us how we can more effectively harness our leadership as women when we understand the archetypes, and bring the wisdom and strength they provide to the table. Tune in to the 3 blogs on this topic to learn more about why you just might want someone to call you a Crone!
I learned so much when I interviewed Dale on Tuesday, March 6, 2012. You’ll enjoy her perspective.
It’s wintertime in our northern hemisphere – a perfect time to explore the Crone archetype and start the series: The Archetypes That Shape A Woman’s Life. The feminine archetypes I speak of are Maiden, Mother and Crone and, in that order, fit a woman’s chronological life: Maiden – childhood, Mother – reproductive years, and Crone – elder years. I really want to stress these archetypes are alive, not just some cold and impersonal psychological labels.
I invite you to come into a dream space, a space that is timeless, where characters in novels dwell and where archetypes live and breathe. Within our psyches, the archetypes are always available, they are always there. Rather than just focusing on, and taking the gifts from, certain ones at certain times, it’s very important we understand the archetypes. They offer us such valuable insight, pathways and perspective to understanding where we are in life and what we’ll miss if we don’t glean their wisdom now.
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung described archetypes as models of people, behaviors, or personalities. For Jung, the psyche was composed of three components: the ego, the personal unconscious, and the collective unconscious. The collective unconscious is where the archetypes exist. These models are unlearned; they are innate, universal, and hereditary. An archetype is an inward image in the human psyche that exerts a powerful influence on the nature of an individual’s personality and, in turn, on the larger culture.
In The Archetypes That Shape A Woman’s Life, I’m not going to begin with the Maiden, which would logically fit the chronological order of things. We aren’t going down a logical path here. We’re going into a space that is beyond logic and beyond time. It is not sequential. We’re going into the dimension of archetypes. I want to focus on the Crone, because I believe that the Crone is probably one of the least well understood of women’s archetypes. Could it be that we fear her, in our culture that so prizes youth and productivity? Are we so jaded by the glamour of youth that we look at the Crone sometimes and say, “Can’t we just skip this one? I don’t think I want to go meet her.” She exists and has existed in us since the day we were born. And she’s so powerful! One of the greatest things we can teach our children (by “our children,” I don’t mean biological/personal family only—we all have children of some sort in our lives) is life is a series of deaths. Life is a progression of disappearances. Our culture thinks of life as an experience that goes something like this: we build it, we structure it, we count on it, we delude ourselves into thinking we’ve arrived somewhere … and then it all goes away. Instead we should look at certain threads that remain: threads connecting to our constant and timeless Inner Core. If we don’t, we can get lost in the painful shambles when all these constructs fall.
Do you remember graduating high school, perhaps heading off to college, and hearing the adults say in a wistful sort of way, “They have their whole lives ahead of them”? What they don’t seem to realize about this stage in our lives is that it is actually a kind of death. Deaths happen even during childhood. I make this point so that you understand that all sorts of deaths happen throughout life. Unprepared, we can get to a point where what we constructed, put all our efforts into — our plans, our dreams, our hopes — are the ways we came to define ourselves and our lives.
These constructs can and often do fall. You may find yourself asking, “What happened? I’m standing here now and I can’t see any of it anymore. I don’t know where to go. I can’t see the path, it’s covered with snow. I don’t know anything here. It’s very still. It’s very silent.”
Yes, winter is a great time to explore the Crone. The winter landscape offers us its barrenness. Rather than despair, we need to look on it as a revelation. See that the lack of fruits and flowers, our myriad creations, the garlands around the Maypole are not truly hidden by the bleak landscape with trees silhouetted against the sky.
We will come to see that it is just another manifestation of death, not to be feared. What was familiar may be gone. But we can’t fast-forward to spring. In fact, if we try to fast-forward so that something will immediately fill the void, we will find that it is false and it, too, will fall. If we have the courage to stand in the stillness and simply look around us, there’s an invitation that will occur. It’s an invitation to journey down deep within our selves. The Archetypes That Shape A Woman’s Life – The Crone© — By Dale Allen
In tomorrow’s blog, I’ll take you on that journey beneath the snows to meet the Crone within.
Thank you Dale! Please visit Dale’s website to learn more about her beautiful work and listen to some of her powerful dramatic talks. — http://www.inourrightminds.com
I celebrate you, the way you find your wisdom, listen to your intuition and express your leadership – for the benefit of the world!