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Death & Darning

During Winter this year, I had the good fortune to be able to sit in Circle at Mullumbimby for the
first Winter Woman/Bone Wisdom workshop with Jane Hardwicke Collings (Founder of the School of Shamanic Womancraft) among sistars of the Four Seasons Journey. Jane isn’t yet a Crone, but is closing in and preparing herself, what we call a Baby Crone.

Potent Questions To Ponder

Questions on this day started with:

  • How do we want to meet our Death?
  • What makes us valuable?

Crones are the Truthtellers, the Myth-busters, the Storytellers... This is the ultimate right of passage. A total unconditional space of holding. Susun Weed says:


The Crone speaks first and for as long as she wants.


Today we are holding the Crone in her most exalted form...

  • So what does she have to say? 
  • Who are the wise elders in your life? 
  • What are the messages you have received in your life about getting old?
  • And if you have an opportunity to sit with an older woman, Who would she be?
  • What kind of elder do you think you will be?

On Jane’s Earthling 101 map (I have a pretty tidy version pictured for you) that we have drawn
many times during the journey and I drew it again on this day (which mainly highlighted the Crone

The Maiden is carefree, at menarche she enters her power, and she is the budding rose. The Mother 25-50 years is responsible, she practices her power, and her rose is in full bloom. The Mage/Maga 50-70 years, has carefree responsibility, she becomes her power, and her rose is just beginning to fade but smells its sweetest. The Crone 70 years onwards, is responsibly carefree, and her rose has distilled its essence into the rosehips - the most potent part of the rose. 


Magas, Crones & My Own Intention

During this day in a ceremony I ask for clarity, that I will be able to provide a safe haven with wise council. When I did the Four Seasons Journey, I turned 50, and as our group was larger than 50, we made smaller groups for discussions, I was at times grouped in with the Magas, and initially this was a moment of feeling “What!! No.. Are you sure??” But I was soon to find that this was a deeply soul nourishing place. In the Maga phase “it’s all about you”. So we would gather on the big old comfy lounge on the shady verandah, surrounded by nature, drinking tea. Since then I have felt truly at home with being a Maga, and so much so that I welcome the Crone and love spending time in the presence of a wise one, especially fireside darning.


Death & Dying

In November Akhalita and I attended a workshop at the Steiner School in Coffs Harbour with an  Anthroposophical approach to Palliative care. This approach sees illness and end of life as having the potential for significant inner development and spiritual fulfilment. The process of dying is a path of gradual surrender where we let go of the needs of our earthly everyday self to concentrate on strengthening our inner, spiritual life.

Therefore death is seen as a metamorphosis of life. The spirit sheds the physical body and is birthed back into the spiritual world. As the soul and spirit were explained in their role in this transition, we also considered the nursing care of the body prior to and after death. So we looked at the possibility of accompanying the human being during this process while full consciousness is carried around the sacredness of this mysterious threshold.

The aim of this weekend was to empower families and communities to take death care back into
their own hands, highlighting the three day post death care vigil in the home. A particularly beautiful part of the weekend was observing the process of laying out the body, washing and anointing/oiling the body with Gold, Rose and Lavender oil, clothing and shrouding and attendance to the body during the three day vigil... and luckily we had a willing participant in our group.

With attending to our loved one to help settle them, we can also use the Gold, Rose and Lavender cream applying to the heart, face and hands.. Copper oil can be applied to the soles of the feet for warmth. Washing the person in lemon and rose is harmonising and invigorating. After a presentation of facilitated family conversations and a guided visualisation we participated in Art Pastel work (pictured).

Rudolf Steiner says:

As far as our physical senses are concerned, an entity comes into being with birth and passes away with death. But this is only because the outer senses cannot perceive the hidden spirit. For the spirit, birth and death are merely transformations, just as the burgeoning of a bud into a blossom is a transformation occurring before our physical eyes.

What does death look like to you dear sistar?


By Erika,

Alchemist & Hearth Keeper


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