Spirited away, my energy gently glides above the treetops like a down feather blown within the circling wind. Below, I see the quilted workings of Mother Earth in the patches of green grass, freshly plowed ground and fields of grain ready now for the harvest. The air is sweet and cool as it moves around my body and delights me like loving whispers of voices unknown. Faeries dance on the wing; their joyous laughter calling my spirit ever on. Reaching down, I try to grasp a bright purple leaf from atop the sugar maple. As my energy moves within the magickal moment, I feel the sun warming me as it moves through the essences of my being, giving glimmers of what possibilities lie just beyond. . .
And then, in a sound, a spark of light, the cracking of a twig, I find myself laying atop the freshly cut hay ready for baling. Yet looking down I find within my hand the big and beautiful purple leaf from the top of the old sugar maple. Did I pick it up in my dreams or from under the tree? In my heart, I shall always believe it came within that veil of magick just between dreams and what others call reality.
I always looked forward to sharing my adventures with my Great Grandmother. She, in her wisdom, would listen to each of my quests with attentive wonder and delight. It didn’t matter if they were ones of my chasing a frog down the creek bank for a few short and muddy hours or those that carried me above the tree tops and into the veils of magick and possibility. She was there for me, smiling and teaching; teaching me many lessons I still remember even today.
Now that Autumn is here and Samhain is quickly approaching, I cannot help but remember the magick I felt and still feel today in this time of changing. The energy seems to rise within my spirit, as it sparks and dances across the essence of my soul. It touches me in memories and stories shared as my Great Grandmother would teach the old ways and the understanding of the Seasons of Life. In this, I again feel I can soar above the treetops in the arms of Autumn.
Fall is more than a season or that time of transition from summer to winter. Fall is what my Great Grandmother called the “Croning Time;” that time where the giving of life moves to the teaching of life within wisdom, no longer giving birth to new life, but nurturing all that is life and all that life brings.
Autumn is the “Spirit Goddess of the Changing.” She is the guardian of the Croning Time.” Autumn in Her feminine form is welcoming us unto Her as She, in wisdom, changes to the Crone. Autumn is a Grandmother Goddess and a keeper of the Cauldron of Life. She is wise with great knowledge and the understanding, which has grown within and of her experiences. Proud and strong, She dresses in the glorious colors of all that She is and shall be again.
As the Great Crone, Autumn welcomes us with an understanding of our own personal changes within the seasons that are life. She teaches us that Fall, as the Croning Time, is a time of celebration and joy. As we celebrate the seasons and ourselves, we find the wisdom within to see the beauty held in all the colors that make life the magick that it truly is.
Today in the eternal goal of everlasting youth, we find disgrace in and hide the changes of our personal seasons of life. Wrinkles are no longer seen as the lines of knowledge and understanding from the roads in life we have traveled and conquered. Now they are marks of shame for what nature brings us. We fight and pull and dug until sometimes, we cannot even recognize the reflection looking back at us in the mirror.
Graying hair is no longer a crown of wisdom, but a symbol of old age to be hidden. Age is no longer held as a destination of honor but is approached with the fear that we will be cast away, unimportant and forgotten. For our society finds it easier to lock away the wisdom of the aged behind closed doors than to seek the secrets held within. Perhaps age causes us dread because it uncovers within what our emotions fear. For when we are faced with those aged by life it reminds us each of the approaches of inevitable death. Death no longer being a new beginning but the end of what was.
Autumn, as the Great Crone reminds us, that time life and death are but a thought, a moment flashing past eternity. Not to be feared but each to be relished and enjoyed. For as with the seasons, each holds it on gifts. Spring, Her excitement of the possibilities of the magick life holds anew. Summer, Her knowledge growing as She gives birth to new beginnings and eternal hope. Autumn, in Her wisdom and beauty, reminds us of all that we have and all we have to give. Winter, wraps us in Her soft blanket of white that we might rest within the arms of Mother Earth to be reborn again in Spring. For this time shall come again as time circles forward in the Great Wheel of Life.
For thousands of years, women of wisdom and age were honored, valued and revered as the Elder Women. Autumn, as the Spirit Goddess of the Changing, is also the guardian of the Croning Time. Dressed in Her radiant colors, She reminds us of the respect held by those who are entering The Croning Time. Autumn allows us to reclaim our identity and status of the ancients, as Crones and Elders. We are coming of age, accessing our wisdom and acting upon it. Croning is the process of becoming active wise women.
Croning can begin at any age and is particularly relevant for women 45 and older. Yet, even men can become Crones within their on understandings of this passage. Personal experiences of aging provide the understanding of your path within this Time of Changing. It is up to us to decide how the circumstances of life transform us and move us forward.
We can no more hold back time and aging than we can stop the Great Wheel as it moves forward in its seasons. Perhaps the reason we all find such a joyous renewal in the energy of fall is the power that Autumn gives us over the fear of change, in both life and death. Change should not be feared but celebrated, for life has given us another year of wonder, magick, and beauty.
My Great Grandmother opened my eyes to the magick of the seasons. She walked with me as I found the Goddess all around me, dressed in Her bright and fiery colors of reds, oranges, purples, and golds. When I became tired, she encouraged me to walk forward on the hillsides and watch the morning rise as the glistening dew gave a kaleidoscope of color on the leaves. When I became weak, she would carry me until I could once more hear the sweet mystical voice flowing in the breeze that would renew my spirit.
Autumn is the Croning Time, a time of magick, a time for renewal of spirit. As you experience the mysterious energy of this mystical season, allow the child within you to replenish your soul . . . and again look to the treetops in their beauty and touch the veils beyond.
Now I am the Crone, proud to teach those within my life in honor to my Great Grandmother. Let the magick of the Season truly touch your spirit as you walk forward in the colors of life.