Birthing the Crone 1993-95

The Crone as translator of life’s passages midwifed the continually recurring cycles of life and death.
Filled with this new/old symbol of Crone, I am eager to birth her. My art becomes pregnant with self. The end of personal fertility opens a whole new generative realm. As I labor, the images that emerge are alternately funny and painful; yet I continue to bring forth what arises within me. I like the idea that a time arrives for women to replace the biology of the womb with the creativity of the psyche.
As I accept this everything about my art begins to change. I move away from biological birth images to crone figures that resemble earth divas. The fiery colors mute towards earth tones, the canvas is cut out and ripped off the stretched rectangle. The texture of what is old, worn, furrowed and in the process of decay absorbs me. Painting less, I begin rubbing and drawing with crayon, colored pencils and oil pastels. Playing with the imagery of composting and recycle, I’m able to release some of the awful fear of decline and decay.

Birthing the Crone

It is important to know that the word Crone, often used pejoratively to mean “old hag” has noble origins. Hag used to mean “a holy one,” from the Greek hagia. I am consciously learning to love my old woman, my old hag, to reframe and re-enchant this ancient archetype.
You must give birth to your images. They are the future waiting to be born. -Rainer Maria Rilke

“[The Crone] holds an unspeakable wisdom in the very cells of her body. The beauty and the horror of all life are held together in love. Being with her…. we begin to see everything from two sides–the side that is totally in life, and the side that is already dwelling in disembodied soul. The Crone helps us hold the paradox.”  –Marion Woodman