BWOCs, Crones & Hags

Me, aging gracefully

In my early 30’s I went to the Woman Within weekend in the beautiful mountains outside of Ramona, California. The weekend was a spiritual exploration that taught me about my inner power and it was my first experience with recovery as the path to heal from everything that has ever had a negative impact. We all have something to recover from.

It was there that I was introduced to the concept of the Crone. The Crone represents the last stage of a woman’s life, after the Maiden and the Mother. A Crone is wise and respected for her experience. She is a healer and is sought out for her accumulated knowledge. In the circle of life, her role is positive and valued. Being an old hag wasn’t always a bad thing.

I was a Maiden at the time and wasn’t sure if I would be a Mother so the idea of ever being a Crone was unimaginable. It was impossibly far off in the future, like summer vacation and Disneyland was when I was a kid.

I will be 48 next week and maybe it’s just the perimenopause talking but it feels like the unimaginable is nipping at my heels. I’ve been telling myself that this is a journey that should be celebrated, like the smelly armpits and baby mustache hair that my prepubescent son is sprouting. Sure, my husband and I might need a safe word to coax me out of my hormone induced tantrums (frozen banana! frozen banana!) but the end of my youth is the beginning of a much earned maturity.

Or so I tell myself.

I’ve been thinking of this stage as my BWOC years. My 30th high school reunion is later this year and I honestly don’t remember who the Big Women On Campus were but I remember who I thought they were. They were the smart, beautiful ones with perfect hair and skin and they seemed to have preternatural confidence. They were sought out for what and who they knew and they looked great in leggings (the precursor to yoga pants) and high waisted jeans. I’m nowhere near earning the title of Crone but I can be a BWOC. I can rock those jeggings and I know shit. Seriously, there are things that can’t be found on the Internet and that can only be discovered through sharing with another human being.

If I’m lucky, I will be a crone someday. Hopefully, I’ll look like Jane Fonda.

My Grandma was a Crone. She died in January, a day after her 94th birthday. She is the woman who inspired me to have a family and told me I should have a career too. She was the epitome of what makes life so valuable: connection, openness, love. Thinking of her makes me less afraid of how I will be perceived as I age and whether or not I’ll be relevant enough. If she was an old hag, I want to be one too.

Whatever stage we find ourselves in, this is my prayer and wish: Keep an open mind and soft heart. Seek out those who can benefit from what you’ve experienced. Take a risk to reach out, to connect, to serve. Embrace and share your power. ❤ 


23 responses to “BWOCs, Crones & Hags”

  1. Nice post! I had just been looking at photos of older fashion icons and thinking how few looked truly contented. I love the example set by these gorgeous icons and I know we all have bad days, but still I felt concerned for them. Then wow! Behold your grandmother, utterly elegant and bursting with joy!


    • The pressure to keep looking young. I often wonder when is a women allowed to look her age? It’s changed the way I give compliments. I used to say things like, “You look so young!” instead of “You’re so lovely.” My Grandma’s beauty showed through her eyes and smile until the end. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for liking and following my blog. I really enjoy your posts. I’m not new to WordPress, I am just coming back to it after a long time off. Again, thank you very much.


  3. How cool that your grandmother made it to her 94th birthday. She looks so happy in the photo. I like your photo too…they do that bird thing at a zoo near us and my daughters participated last time we went but I just watched. One landed in my daughter’s hair and we thought that was so cool (and unnerving for her). They really seem to like you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was amazing that we had her in our lives for so long! This picture is from the year before. She had a stroke just before she died.

      Those birds freaked me out! They swarmed me and I couldn’t do anything but submit. 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Karen, I just loved reading this! Approaching 57, I am not sure if that deems me to be an old hag but hag or no hag, I plan to enjoy every single day that is gifted to me!


  5. I am 65, no make that 66 actually . . . for some reason, 65 seemed to be the point to just stop counting . . . When I was 25 I never thought I would get to 40 – not being dramatic, but just thought that particularly with my substance abuse, my body would just be worn out. So I got past all of that, and I have to say that until my mid-50s, I really felt kind of bewildered as to what I should be doing or who I should be. But it definitely seems that for the past decade, that Hamlet line used on AA coins of “To Thine Own Self Be True” takes on added meaning, emphasis, importance. I don’t know the male equivalent of a crone or a hag, but I do feel that I have definitely come into my own, and I don’t really care or think so much about what others are expecting of me. And I know now too that path to true self is never completed, which is exciting because every day I wake up can start a new adventure on that road.

    Best wishes,


    • That’s lovely! It’s funny because I remember the day I finally felt like a grown-up and it wasn’t that long ago. It had something to do with those expectations you mention, like they weren’t so heavy on me. It’s a wonderful sense of freedom to be ok with whoever I am at this moment and to know that I can still learn and grow no matter how old I get. ❤


  6. Absolutely beautiful! I turned 50 a few years ago, and because of where I was with regards to healing, instead of feeling like I was getting old, tired, and washed up, I really began to feel like I finally had some wisdom to share. I felt like a baby crone.


  7. Oh, how I have missed your words. This was absolutely beautiful.

    “I’m nowhere near earning the title of Crone but I can be a BWOC. I can rock those jeggings and I know shit.” You are BAD ASS!

    Have you read Women who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
    Book by Clarissa Pinkola Estés? It’s so good and speaks to the hag and the mother and woman clawing her way back into herself. Reading your post makes me think I need to go back and revisit…

    YAY! So glad to see you here. xoxoxo


  8. So beautiful Karen. I thinketh me somewhere between The Crone and The Hag (at 54). LOL. Something funny about getting older and wiser that I love … and some things I don’t love. Although somehow I think I shall learn to embrace all of it. Sending love.

    Liked by 1 person

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