The patriarchal culture’s valuation of the female is based on her youthful beauty. By this measure, the older a woman becomes, the less she is valued, writes Ann Kreilkamp, founder and editor of Crone Chronicles: A Journal of Conscious Aging. “Rather than accepting our culture’s devaluation of women as they age, Crone Chronicles was founded to transform our way of understanding the aging process altogether.”
Founded 12 years ago, and written by women in the last third of their lives, reading the Crone Chronicles is like eavesdropping on a counsel of elders. The 30-50 women who contribute to Crone Chronicles each issue do not fight growing old. In personal, often wrenching columns, poems and art works about their lives, proud Crones examine, mourn and celebrate their old age with great passion.
And their words are incredible. “I feel like a butterfly emerging from her cocoon,” writes one Crone. “I’m where I need to be,” writes another, “alone, and with my life coming into focus.” Part new age vision quest, part confessional and part political agitprop, the Crone Chronicles is a homegrown mixture of interviews, spiritual writings, social commentary, and book reviews. But the best parts are the personal narratives from Crones all across the country. And we should heed their words; they are, after all, the seat of wisdom.
“Aging is not an absence of something, it’s a presence of something more. We see this phase as the crowning glory, the time when a woman enters into her full maturity, inside and out,” says Kreilkamp. “By this new (and very ancient) measure, the Crone is the most revered stage of life, rather than the least; she is the most honored, not the most ignored.”
To read the Crone Chronicles, visit them online at www.cronechronicles.com or send a check or money order for $6 to Crone Chronicles, P.O. Box 81, Kelly, WY 83011 to request a copy.
The Crone Chronicles is still in business, but maybe not for long: Kreilkamp is leaving her post as editor and publisher of Crone Chronicles, and is looking for someone to replace her and keep Crones alive. If you’d like to get involved, call Ann Kreilkamp at 307-733-5409, email her at AKCrone@aol.com, or write to her at the address above.