Joanna DeVoe from her website "KickAss Witch"
Never having been given a title any more imposing than “Cub Scout Den Mother”, it was a shock to learn from a fellow blogger named Joanna DeVoe that she had featured me on her March 23 post as a “KickAss Crone”—one of six so honored! I quickly clicked on her blog “KickAss Witch: Putting the "K" in Magic” and read the “Witch List: 6 KickAss Crones”.
This is how the post began—and I must say I have to agree with Joanna’s thoughts:
The Witch List : 6 KickAss Crones
You know what bums me out? The way our culture portrays women.
It especially breaks my heart to see the way women over a certain age are bullied into feeling like they need to cut, inject, starve, or otherwise manipulate themselves to look younger &; therefore more viable as human beings.
It's not just the media that does this. The public does it, too.
I see the way some commenters on popular blogs will recoil in horror at a woman's bony hands or "disgusting" cellulite then turn right around to throw eggs at her for having unnaturally inflated lips or a frozen brow.
When it comes to trying to please the masses, it's a damned if you don't - damned if you do situation. So, let us all fondly recall the words of 90's girl punks, L7, "the masses are asses", and live for pleasing ourselves.
"I look forward to being older, when what you look like becomes less and less an issue and what you are is the point." -Susan Sarandon
Some cultures have croning ceremonies (1000 cool points for pagans), celebrating the magickal rite of passage in which a woman moves from the mothering phase of her life to step fully into her power as a person of age & value. She is publicly revered for the strength she's acquired over the decades and honored as a source of wisdom.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all started doing this? Why don't we?
And- as far as our youth-obsessed media goes, I will give them (a little) credit for having the decency to occasionally feature kickass public figures like Betsey Johnson, Helen Mirren, Gloria Steinem, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Maya Angelou.
However, there are others, less conspicuous but vibrant & inspiring none the less, and I want to take this moment to shine a light on a few of them here.
So, in no particular order, I happily present you with 6 Kickass Crones...
And then there I was—number four among a half-dozen women of a certain age. They included a woman who writes “Style Crone” who, after losing her beloved husband of 32 years to cancer has “rather than letting herself go in a pool of bottomless grief, poured herself into her passion for fashion,” wrote Joanna.
Next came a 54-year old raw-food chef, herbalist, published author and proud mother and doting grandmother.
Then Joanna described a woman who has an “unabashed approach to spirituality, which is a quirky blend of witchcraft, kabbalah, tarot, quantum physics, Gnostic Christianity and whatever else she sees fit.”
Also on the list was a woman who “at 66 years young is a master herbalist, an educator and a published author who teaches the Wise Woman Tradition of using nature to nurture our way to balanced health.”
And finally—the only lady on the list even older than myself: Ernestine Shepherd, who at the age of 73 became the world’s oldest body builder. Up at 3 a.m. every morning, she spends her days running, lifting weights and working out.” (And you should see her muscles, which would give Arnold Schwarzenegger pause.).
Well, this was a pretty high-achieving and intimidating group of crones to find myself among!
Joanna herself is a limber, skinny and sassy, California blonde who looks much too young to be a crone, but introduces herself as “a KICKASS WITCH. I believe in the transformative power of LOVE, the alchemical process of FORGIVENESS and the magick of setting & holding an INTENTION to manifest the kickass life of your most cherished dreams. I believe it's never too late to be what you might have been. I BELIEVE IN ROCK & ROLL! I believe in meditation, daily exercise, raw organic vegetables, nature walks, a great book, and a hot cup of tea.
If you watch the video on her web site at www.kickasswitch.com, you’ll learn that Joanna has evolved from a divorced single mom with an autistic child, living in Hollywood with no one to help, chemically dependent, suffering from agoraphobia, into a self-confident, hula-hooping, life consultant who’s now “proudly sober, meditates and exercises every day and has developed her own repertoire of things that work for living the kickass life of your dreams.”
If following her rules for living can spread some of that bliss and confidence my way, I’m on board. After all, I’ll have to work to keep my title as a KickAss Crone!