Sacred Feminine &
Sacred Masculine

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Maiden, Mother, Crone
By Minna EarthKeeper

Maiden, Mother, Crone. What does a maiden have to do with children? I wonder if part of Maidenhood is also leaving maidenhood. Yes, there's the encounter with 'other' ~ man, but there is also having babies ~ or giving the love to people that they missed and still need so deeply when they were babies ~ or even perhaps more importantly, giving the Mother love to oneself that is so deeply needed. The transition into Motherhood. Each phase contains within it the transition to the next. The sorrows and the partings, the joys and the beginnings. Mother includes within it the birthing of baby or self or other and the raising and then releasing. The joys and the beginnings, the sorrows and the partings, and then again, the joys and the beginnings.

I have encountered in so many the sorrow that they believe they will never encounter Motherhood for themselves. That great hope, and that great ache. And it's not practical. Because there are moments when, even when a woman has born babies, no matter how many babies one might have born, there comes the time when those babies are too grown and your arms ache for that tiny, trusting little bundle, to hold and love and nurture.

There is an empty space in us that misses holding, carrying, nurturing. But because there is that space, that void, there is magic in us. There is so much need for love. There are people walking around who are still, inside, a little bundle ~ wishing, wishing, wishing to be held. It's not the same as a tiny one in the young mother's arms. But it is oh, so very meaningful to take that loving void and offer it as sanctuary for someone who needs just a little touch. We do this because we are women. We do this without knowing or thinking about it. This is a great gift we are given. And it is a great gift that we can offer because we are women. Creation, nurturance, love, tenderness. I remember holding a young woman. She was so sad because she thought she would never be a mother. I did the best I could to explain how I felt about all those who need a bit of mothering. How great the need and how great the gift is. It was so brilliant to see her figure out that she didn't need to give birth to give mother love to so many who need so much. And the same tender love that a baby needs is longing for someone... For a few moments I held her. She was a head taller than I am and I think she outweighed me by quite a bit. But for just that little moment we shared, she was a tiny bundle and I was holding her, safe and loving. It was something so precious that I will never forget. I am a crone now. And within my human, neurotic, personal limitation, I can love everyone as much as I can. And when it happens it is the most wonderful thing there is. Today, I'm neurotic, and it occurs to me that I need to take myself, my own tiny little bundle and hold me inside the tenderness that I have to offer. That's an interesting idea for me right now. I am my own Mother. I am my own Void of Love. I wish to encircle myself in tenderness today.

Beautifully expressed, Minna. More sparkles to spread around here. Thank you.

((((((((((Minna)))))))))))) Maiden, Mother and Crone... All of the feminine of Life, including its processes of Birth, Death and Rebirth. I do believe that part of the Maiden is the transition into leaving the Maiden. It's part of the death process of the Maiden stage. The desire to leave childhood dependency and views/values/norms and to start owning our own beliefs. To stand in our own Power. That doesn't happen overnight. The physiological and physical changes in puberty trigger emotional and psychological changes too. The most commonly examined changes are increased awareness of the concept of Self and that of feelings, needs and goals. Three categories within the stages of puberty that are significant in relation to the change from girl to woman:

* preoccupation with changing looks and shifting allegiance from parents to peers (approximately age 12-14)

* a leap in cognitive (thinking) and conceptual skills, the capacity to act on the basis of ideas, and further separation from parents (approximately age 15-17)

* on the way to handling adult responsibilities and making goals and career plans (approximately age 18-21)

For me, the transitions are like the infinity symbol - there's one loop on one end, then the cross-over, then the loop on the other end. The one loop is the maiden (girl), which narrows down, compresses, and gives birth to itself (the cross-over) into the new loop on the other end - the Mother (woman). First it's all condensed and still narrow, but slowly we encompass more of it until we're at the widest point. From thereon we move back into the condensed area of giving birth to ourselves into the Crone. If you overlay these infinity symbols, you get the DNA helix - the Flow of Life. The birth of the Mother doesn't take place at the birth of her babe. It's a Motherhood Mindset, not the actual becoming a mother. Many young girls, from the moment they have their first menses, have started the conception stage of the motherhood mindset. It's whether we allow that part of the Feminine within us to expand, to grow, to be birthed and whether we nurture it that makes us Mothers. There need not be children. We can nurture our partners, our homes, our family and friends, our careers... as long as that Feminine aspect of "All Our Relations" is involved - for the betterment of All Our Relations. We may not have children, but still have a job or career that somehow nurtures and nourishes the next seven generations and Life itself. Crone - whether she wears purple or not - again it's a mindset. At least, that's what I believe right now (I'll let you all know when I get there whether I still believe it ). I don't believe that menopause alone "makes us" a crone. It's the sharing of life's experiences, the patience with those who aren't there yet, the ability to step out and see the bigger picture, which gives us wisdom and the balance to wield that kind of wisdom.

But let me not dwell on that more than this, since I am not there yet by a long shot. I too honor the Feminine, in whichever form She comes. Whether girl or woman, Maiden, Mother or Crone, with child or without - she is the Feminine.

Mouse, yes ~

“Maiden, Mother and Crone... All of the feminine of Life, including its processes of Birth, Death and Rebirth.”

And I love the infinity symbol and the helix idea. And honoring the processes, the flow. To me, this is where men are included.

It's not just a physical or hormonal thing. And I don't know. Maybe being a crone is about having worked with the Emptiness. If it's just about being old, well, I'm there. But, maybe it's having lived for a bit inside the emptiness, having found a way to call it Friend.

Maybe it's something about that. Of course, every Emptiness is a new challenge. But sometimes I call to It, and It soothes me.


Maybe the Crone is also learning to love and care for ourselves? Not in a selfish way. I mean more in a self-aware way.

Kind of..

Maiden - we are young and cared for by our parents, mothers, etc.

Mother - we care for others.

Crone - we realize people need to take care of themselves and let go. We care for ourselves. Just a thought.

A few years ago (I think....time SOOOo eludes me) I had a dream.

In my dream I had this baby, this baby...oh my, I loved more than life itself. Holding her was what I feel I was born to do...all this in the dream.

And, I remember having to leave places to keep her safe.

Once, we left out on a boat, on a body of water......

though, when the dream ended and I woke up, there was a very, very, strong pull on my womb area, around, under my navel.

I woke up frantic, by god I wanted to know who this baby was and where she was, where was she I wanted to feel her again.

She was a part of me in the most magical way.

I had never felt a tug and a pull like this before, ever.

I was indulging in a deep learning soon after this.

I was making a very special mask for myself.

I buried it in the Earth one night for many reasons, to give it life and blessings and what happened when I went out to retrieve it, as I walked to the burial site that very same intense pull, tug happened.....it was as if


co-creation, birthing, magic,

All I know, is that there is a void.

Much, much, magic is there.

I grow gourds.

They are very representative to me.

Within the gourds’ void there are seeds.

We women I feel are so very lucky to have the ability to have the void.

I give and pass on the Mothers love within my as much as possible.

It is what we do, huh?

I am glad I get to encounter many people in my working day, many elder and children.

And today, as with you, I will give it to myself as well.

I will be gentle with myself today.

(so many times when I write this much I hit the back button rather than posting...it seems, just for me, it is good just to get it out....though, I will hit the post button today)


Very nicely put everyone.

My transition into Crone/Grandmother has been a little rough.

Mother is such a comfortable age for me.

*raises a cup of Java" Here is to new adventure and challenges.

Hi, {{{Crow}}} you gotta good point there.

StarBear, Grandmother wasn't so hard for me, because reaching 50 was hard, the hard thing for me. I had to practice for almost a year saying, "I am 50." I finally got good at it. But that number was such a landmark for me.

So when my first grandchild was born, I could just be glad. You helped me remember a really good thing about being a grandmother that I had forgotten. Maybe I need to remember it again for my children now that they are grown too. We went camping together with my daughter, her husband and their two children when my second grandson was just a few months old.

My second grandson, being so little was really upset that his schedule, his place, his surroundings were just all off-kilter with the camping. He was just having one of those screaming fits that won't stop. He had been removed from his crib, his home, his schedule and he was mad as hell and stressed about it and he wanted the world to know. So he just screamed. My poor daughter was beside herself. She had done everything she could think of to calm him, but it wasn't working.

I went into their tent and suggested that she just take her oldest for a walk and I'd hold the baby while he was screaming. So she did. Well, this little guy just kept at it. So i held him in my love while he screamed ~ for a long time. He had a lot to say about the situation. Eventually he expressed himself, wore himself out and settled down. And went on to sleep.

My daughter came back and saw all was calm, and she asked how I could be calm and hold him while he was screaming like that. I told her it was because I wasn't his mother. I was his grandmother. As I had been with her, any time he was sad or mad or hungry or upset, because she was his mother, it was her 'responsibility to fix it'. And if she couldn't fix it then it was 'bad on her'. And she felt terrible and then he felt her tension and it just cycled. Well, as his grandmother, if he was fed and dry and not sick, I didn't have all those 'mother inadequacy' dynamics going on and I didn't need to fix anything. I knew he was ok and mad. I could just be with him and love him while he needed to scream ~ release to holding him while he protested all the changes and expressed his vast displeasure with the Universe.

And he did.

And it was good.

And after he had had his say, he got tired and relaxed and went to sleep. Since he had expressed himself he was fine for the rest of the trip. I don't think I put that clearly, but it was a really good feeling to know that I knew he was ok and I could just be with him and love him through his fit.

And it was all good.

Ten years ago I was asked to write an article about Crone, Wise Woman Elder, this is the result. Although it may be time to do a little updating here is my take on being a Crone ... members.shaw.ca/mikinaak/...0Woman.htm

Thank you for sharing that, Lotus. It is wonderful! I think you probably wrote that, if you wrote it about ten years ago, when you were my age. I'm still working on it. Thank you for the window to aim at.

Yes Minna, I was nearing 60 when I wrote the article ... ooooh, that seems so long ago now


Time is not measured by the years that you live
But by the deeds that you do and the joy that you give-
And each day as it comes brings a chance to each one
To love to the fullest, leaving nothing undone
That would brighten the life or lighten the load
Of some weary traveler lost on life's road-
So what does it matter how long we may live
If as long as we live we unselfishly give.

Mouse, I have been thinking about that infinity symbol for years, and its meaning. I see too, as well as the double helix with many of them, many of them is like weaving (I have been learning to weave, and now see life relating to it everywhere.

I think with maiden, I started my shaman training then. I grew with it. A friend once said she thought maiden was about potential, as well as the other things mentioned here. The potential of woman, of mother and crone. Of what could - and one day might - be.

Now, I am 30 (and two days old!) and very inside the mother phase of life. My life hasn't so far, and most likely won't, bring physical children. But I can feel the mother energy strong within me, and have done things in the past five or six years in particular that are very mothering things. Lived my life in a mothering way. It is very powerful medicine, and two years ago, I did the hardest thing I have ever chosen to do, and that was to do what it took (very hard ask of me in the situation) to protect another woman's child from terrible danger. I think the strength of the mother energy within me at 28 is partly what enabled me to do this for this child.

I think being this old is great. I have the experience and knowledge of self to really get what I want from life, not what people tell me I should want. I watch my mother, now 62, moving more deeply into crone. Her relationships, in particular with her children, change to reflect this. (actually, she makes being in your 60s look like an absolute ball!) I wonder what it will be like for me to one day move into crone and understand more fully that energy?

Yes Lune! I feel that too when I am sewing or otherwise using thread - the infinity symbol as a way to connect two fabrics (ie quilting), the back and forth of weaving, the in and out of knitting... I have used the infinity symbol for years in my work with children as a means of facilitating neural pathways between the two brain hemispheres, strengthening eye-hand coordination and improving motor skills and balance.

There was a recent bit of research in Holland that suggested that the figure-8 hip movement in salsa (dance) was one of the best ways for grounding and outer and inner balance in the body. Is it a surprise? Not to me - I've been dancing Latin dance since I was 12! Left-right coordination (which is necessary in both dancing and in making the figure 8 with the pelvis) increases a sense of well-being, gives clarity as to what is needed in the current moment (because ratio and feeling are balanced and have access to each other).

I've also used the infinity shape to help women open their pelvises and to accommodate the descent of the baby - by moving the pelvis in a flat figure-8 motion. It's also the symbol that the Metis use in their Flag btw - I found that very interesting. So I'm all for the infinity symbol, and its use in such a beautiful Feminine way. Balance. Centering. Grounding. Weaving/sewing/knitting women's medicine... Quilting the dreams into Life, into Being…

“actually, she makes being in your 60s look like an absolute ball”

I look at my mother and think the same thing. And my maternal grandmother and great-grandmother, both of whom lived well beyond their 80's in independence and strength. Longevity is a strong gene in both my parents' families, so I am just going to assume that I will have at least 35 to 40 years to do what I need to do after I reach the crone passage. I better make sure that I have fun in those years!!

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