The Crone: Woman of Age, Wisdom, and Power
a book by Barbara G. Walker
(our site's book review)
Crones are women of age, wisdom and power. In the naturalistic world view over five thousand years ago, there was an ecological, pro-nature worldview in which life and death and human bodies and sexual functioning were accepted as natural and good. Then along came the anti-nature patriarchal religions, viewing all flesh and sex as sinful and evil, and death as a punishment to be avoided by attaining a mythical afterlife in heaven as a reward for being good (or at least repentant). Life was about sinning, sacrifice and suffering, and especially avoiding the sins of most things that were pleasurable. Life’s only purpose was to decide one’s status in the afterworld. So the Great Mother was dumped and the Great Father was introduced, and the powers that be decided that anything with the slightest relationship to the Great Mother was evil and the work of the devil.
Oppressed, tortured, persecuted old women murdered in the name of religion
The oppressed, tortured, persecuted old women murdered in the name of religion from the 12th to the 19th century were, in reality, merely older women who were poor and vulnerable and trying to live without male control. Most had been married and had had all the abuse they could take. Males found it too much to stomach when the women were happier without males around to tell them what to do. And such women were too creative for male tastes—some experimented with herbs and such and this made males envious. (Isn’t it ironic that since the late 1990s the Christian Broadcasting Network has been pushing natural herbs and such as alternatives to orthodox medicine’s pharmaceuticals, and that many of these natural remedies—now mostly pushed by men—are the same types of substances that women were burned for advocating in the Dark Ages? And yet no women are preparing to burn these men—this can’t be fair! CBN sells 18 different herb books in 2013—ain't hypocrisy grand?)
Prepatriarchal women functioned as healers, etc.
Prepatriarchal women functioned as healers, judges, wise women, arbiters of ethical and moral law, possessors of the sacred lore, funeral directors—as well as mates and mothers. Today, our society regards old women as ugly and useless. In the Dark ages it was thought wise to “beat the devil out of” one’s woman often. The Church saw women as the root of all evil and said so (In the 1700s there was quite a lot of caregiving by men since women were felt to be too "evil" to be trusted with childcare—guess which holy book gave them this assinine idea!). Crones were universal scapegoats for anything that went wrong—including the weather. (Even to this day spousal abuse is common and not often prosecuted or even reported.)
Crones were universal scapegoats for anything that went wrong—including the weather
A goddess statue before anti-nature patriarchal religions started wrecking things
“The history of religion in the Western world offers one of the best examples of men’s propensity to harness the religious impulse to the service of their own greed. This history also proves that there is no limit to the atrocities that men will commit in the interest of that greed. These things must not be forgotten.” Man needs to be called on the carpet for his gynocidal (woman killing), genocidal (people killing) behavior soon, says the author, “. . . for he is already counting down to doomsay.” (The latter refers both to man’s technological toys that can help poison us all or blow us all up, and man’s beliefs in the Bible-prophesized coming of Armageddon soon.)
The feminist perspectives in this book are a good antidote for the patriarchal views taken in most books, including holy books, history books, etc. Philip Slater, Rianne Eisler and Gloria Steinem shed light into such areas as well, in their books, respectively, A Dream Deferred, Sacred Pleasure, and Revolution from Within.