Blood and Bone: The Time Between Mother and Crone

Blood and Bone: The Time Between Mother and Crone February 16, 2019

I found witchcraft in my late twenties when my ‘mother’ phase of life was in full swing.  It was also a time of personal chaos so finding a path to follow that felt like coming home gave me grounding.  Like most people who have been hit with a lightning bolt of clarity, I was eager to explore this new world (or old world).  I started off by reading books on Wicca but they didn’t quite hit the spot so I followed an eclectic, solitary path.

Witchcraft and the ‘mother’ phase can be a delightful adventure, especially if you’re creative.  I enjoyed crafting and fusing food with magick (which I still do).  I didn’t think too much about the inner work that accompanies a spiritual path – I just enjoyed the fullness and freedom of crafting my own practices.  I had a popular witch blog where I’d share recipes, spells and life’s (mis)adventures.

Over recent years, I’ve been questioning why I no longer feel the same joy on this path as I felt back then.  It wasn’t that everything was new but more that I had discovered who I was (the signs were always there but my eyes were not open).

The books, full of spells and tips for witchy life, that line my bookshelves are rarely cracked open these days.  I seldom buy anything for my spiritual path and while I still go to Pagan fayres, I go for the talks rather than merchandise.  Even Glastonbury, which was once one of my favourite places, seems to have lost its lustre and gained an air of commercialism.

I’ve felt that there must be something wrong with me to not light up at all the shiny baubles in witchcraft shops or want to rush to buy the latest tarot deck. My view of witchcraft and of myself as a witch had subtly shifted and I have been searching for the past enjoyment when I’m not the same person as I was 17-years ago.  I’m very aware that the stereotypical witch, particularly the new #InstaWitch, is not who I am.

This change in my spirituality has coincided with moving into the between time of mother and crone.  I crave something deeper than flipping open a book and chanting a few words.  I seek inner power and most importantly, I seek myself.  That isn’t to say that these aren’t available to anyone at any stage of life but where I am, this is what’s important to me.

Bodies and cycles change for women at this time.  Like my shift in focus on my spiritual walk, this has been subtle.  Shortening cycles, heavier flow, disrupted sleep, tiredness and a harder leaning into my natural introverted nature.  Finding peace can be challenging – it was easier to accept a body accustomed to being fully in the ‘mother’ zone.  Far fewer surprises and a regular pattern month-after-month.

Shifting from a well-worn path, both physically and spiritually, to something new and unpredictable (until a time it isn’t) has its blessings.  I’m more aware of myself, not in the self-conscious way that plagued my maiden years, but with a deep appreciation of the cycles of life.

I took for granted both my initial zeal for witchcraft and the physical stability of mother years.  I never gave much thought to change: it’s easy to do especially when you have a busy family life (or busy life in general). When change did arrive, I wasn’t prepared.  As I said, I kept wondering what was wrong with me.  Why didn’t the same things as before hold the same appeal? Was I bored with witchcraft?  Had it been a phase? Was I really a witch?

So many questions.

To be in this time between Mother and Crone is an honour that many of my foremothers never achieved.  From a witchcraft perspective, it creates a space for self-reflection and self-enquiry.  We can use this time to find ourselves and tentatively leave the comfortable slippers of the mother behind to slip into the unique, custom designed shoes of the Enchantress.

Our spiritual paths are not linear, sometimes they are particularly circular or crooked.  You never begin a journey to end as the same person who embarked on the adventure.  And, you’re most definitely not even the same person when you’ve reached somewhere in the middle.

About Lyn Thurman
Lyn Thurman is a witch and priestess on the south coast of England. She's the author of The Inner Goddess Revolution and Goddess Rising, and the creator of the Sea Whispers oracle. When she's not writing, she is helping authors build their business and find their voice at the Quiet Rebel Bureau (or she's obsessing over vegan cakes). You can read more about the author here.
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  • I. H. Hagar

    I will be seventy-one in July. I have had my ups and downs but mostly with life not with my spirituality. When I was a mother (to two sons) I was too busy to really think about my life. I just lived it. I did my solitary rituals and I studied but mostly I cared for my boys and my helpless husband. Then my sons grew up and left home. They are now 45 and 42 and live in another city then I do. The oldest of my children, my husband, is still with me and just as helpless. I do have more time to contemplate, meditate and examine my life and my spirituality. I am pretty satisfied with my life. In a time when you were not considered a viable or good “feminist” unless you had a career or at least a job that paid you I bucked the system and chose to stay home and be a good little housewife. I loved being with my kids. They were the fuel to my fire. I taught them and they taught me. I was prepared for them to leave home but it still hurt and caused me a lot of turmoil. One day you are needed and the next day you are obsolete. But that is when I started listening to the God and Goddesses that were calling me. I now had much more time to listen and study. My physical change had not been that difficult. One day in my fifties I had my monthly moon cycle and the next month it didn’t come. And it never came again. Mild heat flashes. Some mood swings but then I’m naturally moody. No tired feeling. Nothing as bad as I had read or been told. I never had a doubt about my religious and spiritual life so that has made all the other trials and tribulations I have had to deal with much easier. When times get tough the tough get going. I gather my strength and try to keep on learning about my chosen path. I have added some practices like cooking with herbs for healing (body and soul). Herbal and stone magic and Shamanic healing. My hips are bad and they hurt quite a bit but I work on them with these healing techniques and some gentle excersize but I can’t really go to any open circles or other public Pagan gatherings so I miss out on a lot. But I am happy I can still do some magical and ritual work. I will continue to do as I please and keep myself happy. I will walk with the Gods and stay on my path for the rest of my life. It is not the same for everyone and some have to struggle with themselves to see what is right. There is a Native American prayer to the Creator that says “Great Spirit, Make me strong and help me fight my strongest enemy, myself.”

  • Gwen N Dave

    It seems I am about a decade ahead of you in this cycle. I can tell you that I understand and that you won’t feel this way forever. Neither will you feel the way you did when you first walked this path. As you transition fully into the Crone, you won’t mind. It is not that you will over come that wistfulness for past naievete or exhuberance but those feelings will be part of your past and you will accept and fully embrace the freedoms and power that accompany this new stage of life.

  • Sol Seeker

    I’m in the same position as you right now and feel much the same way toward it. I find it increasingly more difficult to relate to the younger generation (not because I don’t want to or because I have some sort of “kids these days” attitude – I just find that I genuinely do not have a lot in common with most of them). It can be isolating at times. It’s nice knowing I am not the only one who feels this way.

  • JenniWest

    I’m in that space between “Mother” and “Crone” and I am most certainly neither. I have never been a mother. And I don’t qualify as a crone. Witchcraft, in its zeal to force symbolism to work, has left me out in the cold with no label. The triple moon should be replaced with something 4-based.