The Crone is one of the most ostracized feminine archetypes, but reconnecting to her is where we find the depths of our truth, wisdom, power, and courage.
There is a reason why we have been discouraged and disconnected from the wise woman (more on that later), and we still live in a time where she is feared. But this is primarily because her frequency is wildly misunderstood.
It doesn’t matter what age you are; the Crone lives within you, as do all the feminine archetypes. And there are many times when connecting with her will greatly serve and support you on your journey.
Are you ready to meet and integrate your crone self?
What is the crone archetype?
Also known as: Sage, Wise Woman, Grandmother
Gifts: Intuition, wisdom, confidence, knowledge, courage, perception, foresight
Corresponding moon phase: The dark moon and new moon
Corresponding menstrual cycle phase: Bleeding and menopause
Her season: Winter
When this archetype is in balance: Strong psychic abilities, cuts through the bullshit, speaks the compassionate truth, seeks knowledge, deeply connected to the spiritual realm, recognizes that death is not the end but a new beginning.
When this archetype is out of balance: Fears loss of beauty, aging, and death, spits truth that wounds, can be emotionally detached, riddled with self-doubt, experiences a lot of pain when on her period + moving into menopause.
Who is she really?
The Crone is the wise elder or grandmamma of the tribe. She may be still and silent in the background, though her presence is powerful and always felt. She does not speak without thinking or to fill a space. Every word that leaves her mouth is laced with clarity, purpose, fire, and intention. She is the woman who guides and mentors younger women—maidens and mothers—through the messiness of life, holding space for it all: their mistakes, initiations, failures, sorrows, and triumphs as they navigate womanhood.
She is the woman who has walked all the way to the end of the bridge between this world and the spiritual realm. She spends much time in the inner realm, reflecting, unraveling, marinating, and evolving. She has honed her psychic gifts of intuition, knowing, seeing, and dreaming and uses these powers to guide herself (and others) through initiations, crossroads, and deep transformation. The Crone is no stranger to death and rebirth; she goes through this cycle maybe several times each day. She is not afraid for things to fall away and die, for she knows death is inevitable and integral to growth.
She is you, but the you who has run out of patience. The antithesis of the people-pleaser. She is not here for drama, pettiness, or mind games and does not crave to be liked. She values herself and her time far too much to waste it on trivial things that mean nothing in the grand scheme of it all. Imagine yourself nearing the end of this life here on Earth. You’re brimming with wisdom but also tired from the unpredictable waves of life tossing you around. This means you have little time for mincing words and skirting around the real issue. Your bullshit radar is off the charts, you’re not afraid to drop an f-bomb, and if there’s a big decision to be made, you won’t put it off.
The wounding of the Crone
When you think of the word “Crone,” it’s likely you carry some negative beliefs around it. Look up the definition of a Crone in any mainstream dictionary or platform, and you’ll be met with something like: “a haggard, ugly, evil old woman.”
So naturally, we fear the Crone archetype.
The word Crone comes from the word crown, which refers to wisdom from the head or crown chakra.
The word Hag comes from the Greek root hagio, which means holy, and this term was given to wise, older, holy women who were deeply respected.
But over time, modern religion and patriarchy twisted most of these words that held positive, powerful connotations for women. The true power of the feminine was greatly feared, so the aim was to strip women of this power and their connection to the feminine and remove them from all positions of power in society.
This is how the witch hunts began. Witches were simply medicine women, healers, and midwives of their communities. They were also often older women and seen as Crones and Hags, which is why millions of women were vilified, tortured, and murdered.
And while most of us aren’t being hunted like witches today, we carry this generational witch wound. On top of this, we live in a society obsessed with the physical and primarily celebrates the Maiden archetype of the feminine, i.e., youth, beauty, and fertility. We fear the Crone because the death of our youth and beauty means the death of everything we know and value.
How to connect with the crone archetype
1. Reflect on your beliefs around the crone
The first step to connect with the Crone is to reflect on your wounding and beliefs around this archetype. Spend time journaling on the prompts below.
What do you believe about the Crone? Are these beliefs your own, or did you inherit them from someone?
How did you see women around you growing up interact with their crone aspect? For example, how did your mother speak about beauty and aging? Were you surrounded by women rooted in truth and wisdom who spoke compassionately, or did you experience something different?
How do you currently feel about getting older? And if you feel negatively about this, can you bring more presence to some things you’re looking forward to about aging?
2. Shift how you view your sacred bleed
The Maiden, Mother, Wild Woman and Crone each correspond to one of the four phases of the menstrual cycle:
Maiden – follicular phase
Mother – ovulation
Wild Woman – Luteal phase
Crone – bleeding
The Maiden and Mother phases of the cycle are deemed normal or optimal, and society widely accepts these archetypes. But the Wild Woman and Crone phases of the cycle are the PMS and period phases, which are shamed, judged, misunderstood, and feared by both women and men.
If you want to reconnect to the Crone archetype, one of the best ways to do so is to reconnect to your sacred menstrual cycle.
Connect with your blood using period pants, a moon cup, or free bleeding. Learn more about the energetic cycle that your body goes through, and give yourself more rest when you bleed. Unlearn any shame or judgment around your period because bleeding is beautiful and powerful and connects you to the cyclic rhythm of Mother Earth.
3. Meet your shadows
Wisdom comes from living life, making mistakes, learning the lessons, and integrating what you’ve learned to evolve into the next version of yourself. You might think of this as becoming, but I see it as unbecoming everything you’re not.
We all carry shadows. I used to think we could completely rid ourselves of this shadow aspect through enough shadow work, but this is not the case. We will always have shadows because this is the dual nature of life. And as we grow and learn to hold and radiate more of our light, our shadow will grow. Our willingness to be with and meet this shadow enables us to hold the frequency of light.
Meet your shadows. Sit with your shame, pain, guilt, fear, and discomfort. Let go of judgment and call in compassion. Commit to any healing that you need to do. Integrate what you learn.
4. Create space for stillness
Society runs a distorted masculine template that encourages and praises hustling, busyness, and doing. We are conditioned to believe we must always be “on” and take action to succeed. But this leads many of us to spend all our time in the external, outer world and feel exhausted and unfulfilled.
We all have an inner world, too, and the work you do here is what transforms your outer world. Trying to change above the surface without doing the inner work will lead to short-lived results at best.
The Crone archetype is comfortable in the inner realm. She creates space in her schedule for nothingness. She lets herself slow down, be still, and hear her inner guidance. And she will only emerge when the time feels right to her.
5. Gaze at images of older women who are honored
Usually, I avoid linking to studies because much of what I write is based on feeling and knowing, so facts and science become obsolete. But while researching the Crone archetype, I came across research by Joanne Sienko Ott, who conducted a study on the Crone archetype and how women relate to it.
She found that when women see and resonate with Crone images where older women are honored, they find a positive sense of self and purpose. Not only does this benefit them and help them transition through the aging process, but it also benefits our wider collective.
So, are there any older women you know, personally or in the public sphere, who you resonate with and admire?
Looking at these images and seeking inspiration from these women can help you reconnect to your inner Crone and reevaluate your beliefs around beauty, youth, and growing old.
6. Talk to your wise, older self
An exercise that can help you embody the gifts of the Crone archetype is to visualize and connect with the older version of you. Imagine you’re an old woman with gray hair, wrinkled skin, and a river of stories to share about your time on Earth.
What wisdom does she have to share with you? Is there a specific word or message she wants to offer? Maybe just a smile or a hug. Perhaps a truth bomb that will floor you.
This exercise can be helpful when you have a big decision to make or are unsure about something (or someone) and need advice from a wise elder. Except, in this case, that wise woman is YOU. She has been there, done it all, and is not afraid to cut through the bullshit and give you direct advice from the heart.
The question is, are you ready to hear it?
7. Speak the loving truth
The Crone is not interested in what you want to hear; she will presence what you need to hear, even if it’s difficult or uncomfortable.
Start practicing this. For example, if you’re in some kind of group setting and something is said by a teacher or senior figure that you don’t agree with, can you find the courage to speak up?
If a friend asks you what you think about her partner, and you know he is not good for her, are you willing to tell the truth?
Remember that this is not about blurting out every thought that enters your mind. This is about discerning what you share and what you don’t share. It’s about truth meeting compassion = the loving truth.
8. Embrace the paradox
The Crone archetype can hold the light and the dark, have one foot in the physical world and one in the subtle realm, and meet life and death with equal enthusiasm. She will answer your question with yes and no...
Our world and life are full of opposites like this. Can you hold both of these perspectives simultaneously and embrace the mysterious paradox of life?
9. Let go of what no longer serves you
The Crone is not afraid to light a fire on everything she owns and watch it all burn to the ground. Clothes, objects, patterns, beliefs, relationships, and businesses.
She knows that what may have served her and aligned with her soul yesterday may no longer match her today. And instead of clinging to what feels safe and familiar, she is a pro at opening her hands and letting anything that feels heavy fall away.
What are you holding onto that has already served its purpose and keeps you small?
Are you willing to let go and make space for something better to flow in?
Change is scary, but it’s necessary to grow and rebirth into the next version of ourselves.
10. Use your psychic gifts
We all have psychic powers, but some ignore them while others practice and strengthen them. This includes your intuition, receiving messages in your dreams, seeing visions, sensing that something is going to happen, and being able to foresee something ahead.
The best way to strengthen these gifts is to use them more often.
What does a yes feel like in your body? What does a no feel like?
Tune into how you feel about a particular situation or decision.
Think back to a time when you followed your intuition, and it served you well, and another time when you didn’t and wish you had.
Start a dream journal and write down all the images and messages you receive in your dreams, even if they don’t make immediate sense.
Look for the patterns in which you best receive inner guidance, and watch what happens when you follow it.
11. Get comfortable in the unknown
The Crone is content standing at a crossroads, between one world and the next, and in the void of the unknown. She knows this phase is part of the life, death, and rebirth cycle. And to fear the unknown, to fear change and death is to fear the feminine.
So the next time you find yourself in the void, in the unknown, in the mystery, don’t resist it. Embrace it. Sit with it.
12. Trust your inner wisdom
We are often taught to believe that our parents, teachers, mentors, or gurus know better than we do and, therefore, know what’s best for us. But this is bullshit. How can anybody know you better than you?
All the answers are already within you. Teachers and guides may point us in the right direction, but they don’t have the answers you seek.
Embodying the Crone archetype means to tune into and trust your inner wisdom in the little moments and the big ones. Whether it’s choosing what to eat for lunch, when to birth a new offering into the world, when to slow down and take rest, and when to walk away from something or someone.
Even when it makes no logical sense, can you trust your inner wisdom and follow it down the path less traveled?