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To heal and honor your crone self.

To be performed at midnight, at the dark of the moon. Be sure that you are completely alone and undisturbed.

Fill your cauldron with dried sage for burning. Dress all in black, drape your altar black, and use a black candle. Carve the Crone's pentacle into the candle.

Before the ritual, spend a few hours, and if possible a full day and night in solitude. Eat a meal by yourself, savoring the peace and the food. Meditate upon crone, the dark side of your nature, the sorrows and fears you have known. Keep notes in your journal, and record all significant realizations. Go out and find a crone for your altar.

Light your candle at midnight, and seat yourself before the altar. Light the sage and inhale some of the smoke, letting it pass over you and fill your aura. Sage is herb of wisdom, appropriate to crone rituals. Place a crone image upon your altar. Do some breathing, and let yourself go into trance: close your eyes. See yourself entering a cave and descending dawn long, dark passages into the bowels of the earth. Let yourself see your own special Crone there, awaiting you beside her cauldron of wisdom and transformation. She helps you into the cauldron where you are healed, liberated, renewed (Healing: Mother: Liberation: Maiden; Renewal: Crone.) She gives you three gifts: a crystal for insight, a sickle blade for cutting, and snake's skin for transformation. You tuck these into your robes, saying:

"Hecate, Cemdwen, Kali,
Dark Moon Woman Wise
One who knows the secret ways
I receive thy gifts in joy and in solemnity
Always will I treasure these
Always will I remember their teachings
Many thanks. Blessed Be."

The Crone embraces you, kisses you on each of the cardinal points of your body, embraces you one more time, and sends you on your way. See yourself ascending up through the passages of the earth, out under the night sky, and back to your position before the altar.

When you open your eyes, sit in silence for a while, gazing upon the candle, the flame, the image of the crone. Take the image into yourself, become one with her. Open yourself to any insights or prayers that may come.

When you feel complete, ground the energy and snuff out the candle.

Written by Shekhinah Mountainwater

Book of Shadows © 2001, Dana (Huntress of the Dark)