The Crone: Woman of Age, Wisdom, and Power -1988

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The Crone: Woman of Age, Wisdom, and Power -1988

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A probing account of the honored place of older women in ancient matriarchal societies restores to contemporary women an energizing symbol of self-value, power, and respect.Chapter OneCreationAll over the modern world, a new social phenomenon is gradually taking shape. Women, the traditional pillars of Judeo-Christian religion, are turning against this faith. Many women prefer to gather in small grass-roots groups in each other's homes, where they discuss recent studies of prepatriarchal Goddess worship and engage in rituals aimed at recreating some feeling for those ancient faiths.Because of its private nature, the phenomenon is almost invisible to the public eye. Occasionally, the popular press takes a passing interest in it, giving it the label "witchcraft," which is understood to be mildly newsworthy. Under another one of its labels, "the women's spirituality movement," the phenomenon is hardly defined or even definable in this man's world.The women's spirituality movement has given many women better feelings about themselves, in consequence of joining together with other women in groups, gatherings, circles, covens, or conferences. Women touch, embrace, communicate. They share food, feelings, thoughts, and ideas. They praise each other's accomplishments. They support each other in trouble. They provide sympathy for hurts, advice for problems, many kinds of mutual education. They laugh or cry together, love or quarrel, lend things, give gifts, do favors. Some find in women's groups the closest relationships of their lives, closer than their bonds with husbands, children, or parents. Others drop out after a time, but with changed attitudes.Women have always banded together along the underside of male-dominated social structures. Aside from obvious natural bonds among female family members, women have always joined all-female groups that in some wayserved the mutual support functions listed above, whenever they could. Old-fashioned sewing circles and quilting bees gave their members more than needlework expertise. Grandma's Saturday afternoon teas or Sunday luncheons held

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