IT'S TIME TO TAKE BACK THE WORD
The Crone: Woman of Age, Wisdom, and Power is Barbara G. Walker’s book about the historic role of female elders until their displacement by patriarchal religion; and since then, by Hollywood and the media. Despite the transition from ancient goddess to haggard witch, and the currently prevalent view of elder women as invisible or superfluous, the crone still represents wisdom, teaching and healing.
I'm taking back the word.
The Crones Project is a community built around the wisdom of women in their 60s, 70s, 80s and older, facilitated by Barbara “Queen B” Dolan (still in her 50's but decidedly a crone). Queen B will seek out these older, wiser women to record their stories and capture the kinds of things women in their 30s, 40s and 50s want and need to know as they transition into the second halves of their lives.
The voice of older women is largely missing in today’s digital community.
Despite being over 50% of all American females and the fastest growing segment of adopters of technology, women over 45 are rarely acknowledged when it comes to podcasts and other electronic media. This demographic is finding themselves in “midlife crisis” as they enter perimenopause and beyond – something every woman on this planet goes through, yet we hardly ever talk about. Divorces skyrocket during this tumultuous and transformative time (hormones, amirite?), alongside an insatiable consumption of self-help books, boot camps, spiritual retreats, personal coaches and gurus.
We all seem to be looking for something.
Scientific research proves over and over the vital role that social interaction as part of a close-knit community plays in women’s health, happiness and longevity. It is The Crones’ belief that sharing knowledge and experience through true stories in an elder’s own voice can help all of us evolve gracefully from young woman to wise crone.
Call it sisterhood, up-leveled.
In Native American culture, women are celebrated in ceremony as they earn the respect of being called Abuela based on their advancing age. In witchy magic communities, the crone is an honored position, sought out for having lived long enough to sit on a throne of wisdom.
The Crones have already navigated the difficult transitions… let them lead the way.
Sometimes the crones we meet will participate in a guided conversation around a central topic as a small group of close friends in their natural environment. Sometimes they'll join Queen B in the Airstream to sit down one-on-one.
Meet women we’ll come to know and love as mothers, mentors, role models, and sometimes cautionary tales.
THE STORIES GRANDMA NEVER TOLD YOU... BUT SHE'LL TELL ME.
I will travel to these communities all by myself in a sweet little vintage Airstream trailer: "A crone, alone."
(Tell me you haven't dreamed of this at least once.) Seeing the country, experiencing new cultures, and getting to know communities of women by sharing their lifestyle a few days at a time.
As “Queen B” of Derby Lite, a roller skating fitness company I founded in 2007 after retiring from competitive roller derby, I helped thousands of women nationwide overcome fear and isolation by welcoming them into a supportive community of like-minded and loving members and instructors. I provided women the opportunity to feel joy and motivation, confidence and mastery; to make new friends and connect with the kind of wisdom and understanding only other women can provide.
Twenty-five years before that, I started my community-building and person-connecting career in database marketing and executive recruiting (demographics, psychographics, “matchmaking”), then became an entrepreneur by creating a modern gift registry for brides, grooms, and same-sex couples. In my next adventures, I designed beautiful and functional textiles for new moms; helped my husband launch his estate planning and elder law firm; and since 2004, have spent my time with badass roller skating women.
My voice and personality – my journey for answers about things I’ve experienced in my own life – will be part of this, too… funny, smart, profane, emotional, honest. But mostly it’ll be the voices of women much wiser than me that we'll get to hear.
Stories are how people learn and remember; they touch our hearts and leave imprints in our minds.
Stories can make us laugh, cry, nod our heads, roll our eyes, and inspire us when times are hard.
Stories can normalize what we previously thought was “just me,” help us process difficult issues, make tough decisions, persevere through trying times and rejoice in the wonderful ones.
These are the kinds of stories The Crones Project will share.