The Magical Crone: Celebrating the Wisdom of Later Life
By Jennifer Reif and Marline Haleff; Citadel Press (Kensington Publishing)
Witches on broomsticks? Wizened old ladies with warts? Not in this book. The Magical Crone was written to dispel the ageism that many women find hamper them in older life. In the pages of this book you will find history, rituals, spells and meditations all aimed at the older woman. There are many close looks at the three forms of Goddess as Maiden, Mother and Crone.
The authors start by defining what a crone is. They take us on a journey of self-discovery through intimate workings with four Goddesses. Each Goddess is honored and explored for a set period of time. We are instructed in the writing of a “Crone Journal” where we examine our life’s accomplishments and foibles as well as our dreams for the future. Afterwards we are treated to special crafts with blessing rituals to sanctify the results. The last chapter in the book turned out to be my favorite. That chapter was a series of short biographies about elder women who the authors considered exemplary crones.
I was disappointed with the book as a whole. I am approaching my crone-hood. I had expected there to be more ritual and information specific to the Crone. I would have liked to see at least one ritual of Croning. Instead I found that the rituals, meditations, crafts and spells could easily be used by anyone of any age or gender. In fact some were very similar to ceremonies I had attended in my twenties.
The book seems to be trying to be all things to all people. I’m not sure the authors focused on a particular audience as they wrote. Some portions of the chapters are written for the beginner and other areas are written for those with more experience. In my opinion, the book is Wicca 101, Part II. It is not at all what a woman reaching the status of Crone, an elder in the Craft, would want or need.