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Other Rites: Croning and Crowning
The word crone is derived from the word cronus (time) and it means the wisdom gained through life long experiences. Krone also means crown. To become crowned crone then, acknowledges that you are a wise woman who has gathered up the fruits of her experience into profound and sovereign understanding. The wise crone becomes the resource of wisdom for her community and a source of inspiration for her circle of cronies.

A sample of a Croning and Crowning ceremony is below:
The Croning and Crowning of Mary

Today we are going to Crown Mary as Crone.

Mary we acknowledge that you are such a woman. For you have enriched and bewitched our lives with your loving heart, (include personal qualities and individual peculiar traits).

You offer only your unconditional friendship as well as practical help and sound advice. You are indeed a Queen and you bestow onto us the royal gifts of loyalty, love and friendship.

Some of us have known you only for a short time, others much, much longer. But it is all the days and years of your life and your relationships with others that have shaped you into the crone and the source of wisdom that we find in you today.

As your friends, Mary, we would like to share our memories of why you are so special to us.

(The guests share some memories about Mary’s life some will have brought little mementos such as photos).

Throughout life we pass through many stages. Each stage marks and brings about profound change in our lives – birth, education, leaving home, marriage, children – all bring significant change and identity to our lives. This Crowning announces, and in many respects, creates the Stage or state of Sovereignty in your life.

At this passage in your life your focus will shift from the exterior world of conventions to the freedom of being the ruler of your own inner realms. Your challenge is to make known your understanding of life and lend your wisdom to enlighten others to life’s beauty and its ugliness, its light and shadow. For the awakened woman holds the keys to sovereignty as ruler of her own life.

(The crown is placed on Mary’s head)
Crown on a woman's head

The circle of the crown is a symbol of the sun and of the earth and the universe. A circle for love that never ends, a circle for arms that embrace. A symbol of friendship, for friendship breaks down all boundaries and has by its very nature to be a circular flow of giving and receiving.

The circle is a symbol of unity into which your life is joined in an unbroken circle to those whom you choose to love and befriend, so wherever you go in life, your love will constantly be returning to them.

Stones

The Stones
These stones represent your life - past, present and future. One represents your past; one the present; and the other the future. It does not matter which is which, for we are all interconnected, all in process – from rock and shell to stone and sand. One grain of sand makes a whole beach. Time is both her-story, and potential happening, in this one moment – always in the now.

Love, friendship and wisdom are formed through shared experiences and these experiences are refined by the purity of the fire of your feelings. These glass stones are sand refined by fire. They represent that love, friendship, and wisdom has substance as well as soul, a present as well as a past.

The experiences you have had together, through confidences shared, through joy, fun and laughter, and despite occasional sorrows, has polished your love, friendship and wisdom into a closeness that shines with good memories and gives a sparkle not only to today, but to your futures together.

Mary, however painful the past, you have learnt much wisdom from it; however much you have had to struggle, there have been rich days like today; however daunting or hopeful the future, your experiences, expectations, learnt knowledge and feelings have shaped and will carry on shaping and developing your own unique wisdom.

Candles
Candle
This candle represents the light of this wisdom. Use your wisdom to lighten the lives of all those for whom you love and care; and with them remember and celebrate all that is good in life.

Salt
Take this salt and remember; Eternal Wisdom, as a woman of experience, you are the salt of the earth. Enrich and preserve all the rich flavour of life.

And so today Mary, among the people gathered here, you have entered a new stage on your journey through life. Now you can look forward to new ways, to the untapped energy within you that you have yet to discover, the undiscovered opportunities, joys and challenges.

May you receive wisdom and courage to take hold of the rest of your life and live it to the full. Fulfill your dormant ambitions, discover new talents and find the time and space to enjoy your life.

Mary: Above you are the stars
Below you are the stones
As time does pass, remember…
Like a star should your wisdom be constant.
Like a stone should your wisdom be firm
Be understanding,
Be wise.
Have patience.
Feel free in giving advice and guidance
for your years of experience have crowned you as a wise woman.
Have no fear, and let not the ways or words of the unenlightened give you unease.
For your spirit of wisdom and love will see you through the years ahead
Now go forwarded into the days of your future
and may they be good and long upon the earth

May Mary’s presence among us bring gladness and beauty.
May her life be a blessing to all those she encounters.
May she travel her path with heart,
and rejoicing, reach the end of her soul's desire.

All present here offer to you, Mary, our blessings for your future happiness. We offer to you our love and support as we too remember and celebrate with you the friendship, love and wisdom on which the world is founded

So be it.

Let us congratulate Mary, crowned crone and wise woman.

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