I’m Jennifer Jefferies, an author and speaker in the area of health and wellbeing and the creator of the Healthy Life Hacks podcast. For the last 25 years, I’ve worked closely with some of the world’s most well-known brands to restore work-life balance and minimise presenteeism and absenteeism in their organisations.
But the closer I got to my ‘wisdom years’, the stronger a new message started weighing on my heart. It all started when my mum turned fifty. I wrote on her birthday card, saying, ‘Congratulations, you’re now a Crone!’
Now, I meant it as a sign of great respect that she has reached an incredible milestone, but sadly she didn’t see it that way.
You see, traditionally, the Crone was the matriarch of the village. She was the wise older woman who stood in her power on top of a lifetime of experience. She was unapologetically herself and was both feared and revered for the wisdom she possessed.
In eastern cultures, the Crone is still revered. But unfortunately, in the western world, it’s the complete opposite – and this is why my mum felt insulted by my card.
Somewhere along history’s path, a mistranslation of the Greek word ‘Hagia’, which demonstrated people’s high respect for older wise women, changed the Crone to the current Western world ‘hag’ persona and with it came a lower standing in our community.
If you do a quick search of the Crone, in most cases, it will bring up an unsightly picture of an older woman dressed in rags and described as a witch. It’s an entirely false representation – and it needs to change. But it’s on us to change it.
As Baby Boomer women, we need to take charge once again. We did the bra-burning and worked hard to break down barriers. The women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and 1970s laid the foundation for young women’s rights today.
We were the first generation to want and gain a family and a career, and we followed on from the courageous suffragettes of the early 1900s. I’m hoping that culturally we’ll also do the same with the Crone and reclaim the title of being honoured in our post-menopausal stage of life.
So, I want to extend an invitation to you. If you feel that there is more to life than the roles you have had and what you’ve achieved so far, if you feel lost but know you have a greater purpose, and if you feel called to share your wisdom and experience with the world, I’d love for you to join the Rising Crone community. Let’s explore this season of life together, find our power, and give back with purpose. Find out more here.