Article ID: 15922
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 356
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Author: Lady GoldenRaven
Posted: September 30th. 2017
Times Viewed: 2,691
Hello to all you Crone Wytches out there from another Crone Wytch. I am High Priestess of Circle of the Autumn Winds and I never gave a thought to what would happen when I was unable to prepare for ritual and feast. You see, I am fifty-four years old and I have fibromyalgia. I am also a one year, eleven month cancer-free survivor. There are times I feel like I am ninety.
During my stay in the hospital, Yule was fast approaching. I always had a huge feast for ritual day and I always buzzed around making sure the house was clean, altar prepared, topic for discussion during “teaching time”, etc. I couldn't do any of this from my hospital bed. Yes, I had other priestesses and coven members who were able to help. They held the ritual at a friend's house instead of our covenstead.
After I came home from the hospital, I had a chest tube sticking out of my side for almost three weeks. Imbolc was now upon us. Ritual was held here, but feast was scaled down. I cannot even remember if I held ritual or had another priestess conduct the ceremony because by this time, I was knee deep into chemotherapy. Chemotherapy destroys brain cells. Chemo brain is horrible. One cannot control one's emotions, one cannot remember things, and speaking is also difficult because you stumble over words. It is quite embarrassing at times. I am also a nurse, being able to get across what is needed was nearly impossible, so now I am on disability. I have all the time in the world, but I cannot do much at one time.
Fast forward: it is now almost two years later. When does one decide it is time to designate responsibilities for feast and ritual? When does one decide that it is time to totally back away from preparing feast, needing help cleaning my house, and even time to step down from conducting ritual?
My health is better and I can do more now. Things must be done in stages for me. Luckily, I have my husband and adopted daughter living here who do help with housework. I am happy to relinquish some of my feast preparation work, but not my High Priestess duties. My brain is clearer, so speaking is much better. My thoughts are also clearer and not muddled. But there are times when I still feel like I am ninety years old instead of fifty-four as I stated above.
However, there will come a time when I have to decide to give up the reins to whom I decide and the coven agrees upon. I always took in stride, the turning of the wheel and the changes I would go through as a woman. I had no issues when going through menopause—it's natural. I have also given up many things important to me in my life and have sacrificed greatly of late. I am still heart broken and soul broken over my last loss—my 10-month-old kitten! The Goddess gave me a beautiful kitten to love, when she became sick and had to be put down, I was extremely angry with the Ancient Ones. It took a long time after her death before I could approach my altar! So, turning over the covenstead is one milestone I am NOT looking forward to. This will sadden me deeply. I am sure I will do so with all the grace I can muster, but the thought of it now is strangely overwhelming.
I am just happy I was able to guide several people along the paths of the Ancient Ones to a place where they can handle the responsibilities of priestesshood and High Priestess responsibilities as well. I can accept a “back seat” role when the time comes as more of the Crone we all envision; advising, counseling, and whatever else I am able to do.
I am deeply committed to my fur-babies I had in my life and those whom I do care about. So to give up something as precious as my fur-baby and my coven is not something I want to think about, but I must at some point.
Preparation for this time is key. Mentally, you have to adjust to a different role. This is hard because for most of us, myself included, we do not want to give up our freedoms—physical freedoms. Freedoms such as taking charge of the feast, helping cook the food, set tables, etc. Freedoms such as being able to prepare the altar for ritual or even being ale to stand at the altar and deliver the ceremony.
Spiritually, you have to be prepared to accept the new role as more advisory than active. Now, I still prepare the altar and can still deliver the ceremonial words and raise energy. Having stepped back from and participate less in cooking of the feast has helped me tremendously as far as my physical abilities.
This also starts my brain into an emotional windstorm. Yes, I accept the fact of my life moving forward, but as young as I am chronologically, my body is more that of a seventy year old sometimes. It is difficult to even climb out of bed some mornings. These health issues bring you down emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
I thought I would write about this, because we will all face this challenge at some point: Handing over High Priestess duties. For those nearing this time in their life, I thought this needed discussing.
So, to sum it all up and to prepare for this time in a positive light and in a proper way, I am hoping the guidelines I prepared for myself may help others:
Spiritually: Ask the Lady and Lord for guidance through this time. Know it is time for Life to move forward and that the Wheel is continually turning. Know by these preparations They are also preparing you for the last stages of life when you cross over and are helping with a smooth transition to both.
Emotionally: Let yourself begin believing that it is time to take a more reserved role in both your regular life and your life as High Priestess. This is a good thing. There is nothing wrong with doing less even when you are used to doing everything.
Mentally: For me, it is knowing I led a fantastic hard life. I worked hard, lived through things nobody should have to, traveled the world, and loved life and had fun. So yes, I am ready to relax. Know the scars you bear are mementos of your life and a medal of honor that you survived that particular time in your life. They made you who you are today, so I deserve to lighten up on myself.
Physically: Accept your limitations. Let go of some of the physical responsibilities you have. This means cleaning house, preparing feast, and ritual preparation. Now, I let my priestesses prepare the altar and I add my energies and maybe some setup.
Slowly, the transition will be upon us, as we age and accept the crone role. How we handle it? It is an individual stage of life one must travel alone. But traveling alone does not mean you do not need a road map! I hope my words can help and if anyone has suggestions for accepting this role more easily, it would help many women.
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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