"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture
and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words." ~Goethe

~ also, if possible, to dwell in "a house where all's accustomed, ceremonious." ~Yeats

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Crones At Last

Stained Glass Avian Triad ~ Birthday Present From Melinda

Connection ~ Treasured Friends

2010 ~ Celebrating Kitti's 53rd, Nancy's 70th, Melinda's 60th
In our matching embossed shirts:

Coincidence ~ Barbara G. Walker ~ Witches & Crones
In anticipation of our birthday gathering, I shared with Melinda and Nancy a few pages from one of my favorite works of religious insight: The Skeptical Feminist: Discovering the Virgin, Mother, and Crone, Barbara G. Walker. A brief interchapter entitled "The Witches" bridges the second and third sections of the book. In this mystical interlude, Walker describes thirteen friends who meet for a ceremonial supper once a month in observance of the full moon. Here's the thing about the "witch women" -- they are also just regular women: At the close of the evening,
"The women stand and put their arms around each other's shoulders for a moment. Then they collect their dishes, coats, and candlesticks, and go out one by one into the night. Each makes a little bow toward the full moon. They get into their cars and drive away, once more transformed into ordinary modern housewives and working women, filled with ordinary concerns. Yet each retains a small, steady, sustaining core of calm, like a candle in the center of a room.

They will meet again in another 28 days
" (207).

With no prior knowledge that I had copied these pages in preparation for our birthday celebration, Nancy presented me with Walker's classic introduction to aging wisely: The Crone: Woman of Age, Wisdom, and Power:
"A first step is to realize that the Crone was once a vital part of divinity . . . even early Christianity -- the nontraditional or Gnostic kind --had its own Crone figure, the feminine forerunner of the later, masculinized Holy Ghost. She was sometimes Sophia, personification of Wisdom; sometimes the Pneuma or Holy Spirit; sometimes Grandmother of God; sometimes the feminine Thought without whom God could not have functioned as a creator. . . . " (38).

[For more on Walker, see my previous posts:
Politics & Religion, Three Christmases, Once A Time Before.]

Custom ~ Birthday Reunion
2017 ~ Celebrating Melinda's 67th, Kitti's 60th, Nancy's 77th
In our coordinating scarves and birthday hoodies
fromTillicum Village ~ Blake Island, Washington

Ceremony ~ For May the Month of Mary
~ A Prayer For The Times ~ A Litany of Women for the Church ~
Dear God, creator of women in your own image,
born of a woman in the midst of a world half women,
carried by women to mission fields around the globe,
made known by women to all the children of the earth,
give to the women of our time
the strength to persevere,
the courage to speak out,
the faith to believe in you beyond
all systems and institutions
so that your face on earth may be seen in all its beauty,
so that men and women become whole,
so that the church may be converted to your will
in everything and in all ways.

We call on the holy women
who went before us,
channels of Your Word
in testaments old and new,
to intercede for us
so that we might be given the grace
to become what they have been
for the honor and glory of God.

Saint Esther, who pleaded against power
for the liberation of the people,
Saint Judith, who routed the plans of men
and saved the community,
Saint Deborah, laywoman and judge, who led
the people of God,
Saint Elizabeth of Judea, who recognized the value
of another woman,
Saint Mary Magdalene, minister of Jesus,
first evangelist of the Christ,
Saint Scholastica, who taught her brother Benedict
to honor the spirit above the system,
Saint Hildegard, who suffered interdict
for the doing of right,
Saint Joan of Arc, who put no law above the law of God,
Saint Clare of Assisi, who confronted the pope
with the image of woman as equal,
Saint Julian of Norwich, who proclaimed for all of us
the motherhood of God,
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, who knew the call
to priesthood in herself,
Saint Catherine of Siena, to whom the pope listened,
Saint Teresa of Avila, who brought women’s gifts
to the reform of the church,
Saint Edith Stein, who brought fearlessness to faith,
Saint Elizabeth Seton, who broke down boundaries
between lay women and religious
by wedding motherhood and religious life,
Saint Dorothy Day, who led the church
to a new sense of justice,

* * *

Mary, mother of Jesus,
who heard the call of God and answered,
Mary, mother of Jesus,
who drew strength from the woman Elizabeth,
Mary, mother of Jesus,
who underwent hardship bearing Christ,
Mary, mother of Jesus, who ministered at Cana,
Mary, mother of Jesus, inspired at Pentecost,
Mary, mother of Jesus, who turned the Spirit of God
into the body and blood of Christ, pray for us. Amen.

Sister Joan Chittister, OSB

In addition to Chittister's litany of encouragement, Nancy also read a contemporary psalm of hope to carry us forward into the new year and our next decade of life on this beautiful, chaotic planet:

I will praise God, my Beloved,
for she is altogether lovely . . .

On the edge of your abyss I look down and I tremble;
but I will not stand gazing forever.

Even in chaos you will bear me up;
if the waters go over my head,
you will still be holding me.

For the chaos is yours also,
and in the swirling of mighty waters
is your presence known . . .

Though I lose all knowledge and security . . .

[God] will recreate me, in her steadfast love,
so that I need not be afraid.

Janet Morley ~ All Desires Known

"Transforming Spirits" is the name of this dragonfly design
by Coast Salish ~ artist ~ Simone Diamond
More on Quotidian Transformation and Renewal

Next Fortnightly Post
Wednesday, June 14th

Between now and then, read
my shorter, almost daily blog posts

Looking for a good book? Try
my running list of recent reading

No comments:

Post a Comment